Sarcoidosis is a medical condition caused by the abnormal formation of tiny clumps of tissue, known as granulomas, within the body. While the lungs are the most common organ affected, sarcoidosis can also afflict the eyes, skin and heart as well as the liver and lymph nodes. The granulomas can cause the affected organs to malfunction.
What is Sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and swelling in various parts of the body. Often mimicking the signs of cancer, sarcoidosis is difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of this condition vary based on the part of the body most affected. Sarcoidosis of the lungs can cause shortness of breath, abnormal breathing patterns and dry coughs. When the skin is affected, symptoms may include raised scars, sores and rashes. Sarcoidosis of the nervous system can result in headaches, seizures, dry eyes and frequent nose bleeds.
The condition may have an active phase when the granulomas grow and an inactive phase when the growth process stops or the clumps of tissue become smaller. During the active phase, the granulomas may cause scarring in the affected organ that persists during the inactive phase. While the cause of the illness is unknown, it can be treated successfully in many cases. Some people die due to the progressive and debilitating organ damage.
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Getting Social Security Disability for Sarcoidosis
While many people who suffer from sarcoidosis eventually fully recover from the disease, the process may take several years. The severity of the illness and its symptoms may negatively affect your ability to work. In some cases, you may be unable to work while dealing with the complications of this disease. If your doctor recommends that you stop working, you may be eligible for Social Security disability payments.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book does not contain a specific listing for sarcoidosis. To qualify for benefits due to this impairment, you must file under categories that best describe the disabling effects of the disorder. Individuals experiencing joint impairment should apply using the criteria listed in the arthritis section. When you file a disability claim, it is important that your symptoms and limitations match those found in the Blue Book listing of impairments related to the part of your body most affected by sarcoidosis. Even if you do not qualify based on the criteria in one listing, you may qualify under another section or a combination of limitations based on the combined effects of this systemic disease.
Obtaining Help from an Attorney
If you are dealing with the chronic pain and extreme fatigue of sarcoidosis, you need help navigating the complicated process of filing for disability benefits. Because the illness does not have a separate listing in the Blue Book, the filing process may be confusing to a layperson. If you or a loved one suffers from sarcoidosis, an experienced SSA benefits attorney can provide the assistance that you need. As disability lawyers specializing in Social Security law, we are familiar with the intricacies of the process and can act as your advocate. We will ensure that your application and any required supporting medical documents are processd correctly, which greatly increases your chance of approval. If your claim for disability benefits has previously been denied, we can evaluate your options and file an appeal on your behalf. Contact our office to discuss your situation. Our team will determine the best course of action and manage your case throughout the disability claims process in order to help you receive the benefits that you deserve.