I Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease. Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

lyme disease vial for testingLyme disease is a debilitating condition that can make it so victims are unable to continue working. Without income from work, the out-of-pocket costs of treatment create a financial crisis for victims and their families.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Lyme disease and can no longer work, our Green Bay Social Security Disability lawyers may be able to help you obtain federal disability benefits. There are no upfront costs with our services and an initial consultation is free. We have helped people with many different disabilities secure benefits.

Contact Sigman Janssen today to learn more: (877) 888-5201.

Does the Social Security Administration Have Specific Eligibility Criteria For Lyme Disease?

If you have been diagnosed with Lyme disease, your symptoms have kept you from working for at least one year, and you have worked long enough to earn the required number of work credits, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have a listing for Lyme disease. However, you can still medically qualify for benefits under another listing.

For example, you might be able to qualify under one of the listings in Section 100, which covers disorders in the musculoskeletal system. You would need to prove you have significant mobility limitations, such as from the muscle weakness or numbness that can be caused by Lyme disease. If your symptoms make it much more difficult to walk or carry items, you may qualify for benefits under this listing.

You may also be able to qualify under one of the listings in these sections:

  • Section 4.00 (Cardiovascular System) – If Lyme disease causes significant damage to heart or results in a severe heart disease, you may be eligible for disability. The SSA Blue Book has listings for various heart conditions, such as recurrent arrhythmias, ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure.
  • Section 12.00 (Mental Disorders) – Lyme disease might cause you to develop cognitive problems, such as memory issues. You would need to present medical documentation of a significant decline in your memory compared to your level of functioning before you were diagnosed with Lyme disease.
  • Section 14.09 (Inflammatory Arthritis) – Lyme disease may cause problems with your joints, particularly your knees. This could turn into arthritis, severely limiting your mobility. The Blue book says individuals may qualify for this listing if they satisfy one of four sets of criteria.

Proving that your condition satisfies the criteria for one of these listings can be a challenge. That is why victims should seek help from an experienced lawyer. The attorneys at Sigman Janssen know how to determine if your medical issues fit the criteria for one of the listings above. We also know how to gather the medical evidence you need to show the severity of your condition.

Without assistance from an experienced lawyer, you risk submitting an incomplete application that is missing critical information.

Applying With a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment and Medical-Vocational Allowance

Unfortunately, the medical issues you suffer because of Lyme disease may not meet the criteria for one of the listings discussed above.

However, you may still qualify for benefits with a residual functional capacity (RFC) test. Claims examiners use this test to determine if you can still work with your health problems. They need to assess if you can work at your old job or any other job. This assessment identifies your physical and cognitive abilities, such as your ability to:

  • Stand up
  • Sit
  • Walk
  • Lift things
  • Carry things
  • Push
  • Pull
  • Reach
  • Stoop down
  • Crouch
  • Remember things
  • Understand instructions

An RFC reveals how long a disability applicant can stand and walk, how long he or she can sit, how much he or she can lift, if he or she can climb a ladder, and much more. For example, some applicants may not be able to stand or walk for more than four hours in one workday. Others might not be able to sit for more than one hour at a time.

Claims examiners must also review your past jobs and classify them based on the level of exertion and skill required. They can then determine if your residual functional capacity allows you to do any of these jobs. If there are still aspects of your past jobs you can do, claims examiners are likely to find you are not disabled.

Claims examiners must also determine if there are other types of work you may be able to perform. To do this, they evaluate your age, education, skills and work experience.

Sigman Janssen’s experienced lawyers know what claims examiners are looking for when they evaluate residual functional capacity. We can help make sure your application includes a sufficient level of detail about the limitations from your medical condition.

Contact Sigman Janssen For Assistance With Your Disability Claim

Many Social Security Disability applicants may not realize the benefits of hiring a lawyer to assist them. You need detailed evidence to prove you meet eligibility criteria and an experienced attorney will know how to obtain it.

Sigman Janssen has a proven track record of obtaining benefits from the Social Security Administration, and our services are provided at no upfront cost. The initial legal consultation comes with no obligation.

Contact us today to find out if we can help you: (877) 888-5201.