Social Security Disability or SSI and Lupus

Persons suffering from lupus or systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) may qualify for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If the claimant’s lupus is severe enough, the claimant may qualify for SSD or SSI benefits without consideration of vocational factors. SLE is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect any organ or body system that is often accompanied by constitutional symptoms or signs such as severe fatigue, fever, malaise, and involuntary weight loss.

The Social Security Administration generally likes to see that the medical evidence show the SLE satisfies the criteria in the current “Criteria for the Classification of Systemic Lupus erythematous” by the American College of Rheumatology found in the most recent edition of the Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases published by the Arthritis Foundation.

To meet the Social Security Administration’s “Listing” for lupus (14.02), a claimant must show:

  • One of the organs/body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity; AND
  • At least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss).


  • Repeated manifestations of SLE, with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss) and one of the following at the marked level:
    1. Limitation of activities of daily living.
    2. Limitation in maintaining social functioning.
    3. Limitation in completing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace.

The SSA regulations state that “”marked” is used as a standard for measuring the degree of functional limitations, it means more than moderate, but less than extreme.” One need not be totally precluded from performing an activity to have a marked limitation, as long as the degree of limitation seriously interferes with the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively.

If a claimant is suffering from lupus, but the proof of the required severity is not shown, then she may still be found disabled if the resulting symptoms (and perhaps symptoms from other conditions or diseases) prevent her from working.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA claim, long-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board claim, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.




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