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Sarcoidosis and SSA Disability Benefits

Sarcoidosis (sahr-koi-DO-sis) is a disease that is caused by the development of clumps of inflamed cells called granulomas. Although the clumps of cells can develop in different areas of a claimant’s body, they generally occur in the eyes, skins, lymph nodes and lungs. As the clumps of granulomas accumulate in an organ, they cause the organ function to deteriorate.

Although it is unclear what causes this condition, some experts believe that it is from an abnormal immune system response which can be triggered by bacteria, dust, viruses and chemicals. While this condition may disappear in some individuals, others may experience symptoms of scarcoidosis for a lifetime.

Signs and Symptoms of Scaroidosis

Signs and symptoms can vary but generally include a persistent cough, shortness of breath and skin rashes. Inflammation in the form of red bumps may appear on an individual’s face, legs and arms. Skin rashes can also include color change, lesions, and nodules. Additionally, claimants may suffer from unexplained weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, wheezing, chest pain, and extreme fatigue.

Symptoms may develop gradually and persist for years; other may have sudden symptoms which quickly disappear. Some claimants may have the condition and experience no symptoms and only realize they have the condition after a chest X-ray.

In some rare cases, sarcoidosis can cause chronic conditions in the lungs, eyes, kidneys, heart, nervous system and reproductive system. To gather medical information about this condition, claimants can request lab tests, X-rays and CT scans.

Getting disability benefits for Scaroidosis by meeting a listing

The Social Security Administration has created a list of impairments they consider so severe that claimants with these conditions are assumed to be unable to work. This list is called the Listing of Impairments or SSA Bluebook. Claimants, whose condition “meets or exceeds” a condition on this list, will be considered automatically disabled.

Sarcoidosis can affect a variety of different organs and body systems. To meet a listing on the Social Security Administration Blue Book the SSA will generally evaluate the listing for whichever body part has been affected. For example, if sarcoidosis has severely limited your lung function the Social Security Administration will evaluate your condition under Section 3.0 Respiratory System, listing 3.02 Chronic Pulmonary Insufficiency.

The best thing to do is discuss your condition either with a disability lawyer or your health care doctor for more information about your condition and whether or not it meets a listing. What if it does not meet a listing? Can you still win either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Yes, but it will be more difficult.

Getting disability benefits for Scaroidosis through a medical vocational allowance

Claimants whose condition is not severe enough to meet a listing will have a more difficult time winning SSDI or SSI benefits. They will have to prove that their condition does not leave them enough residual capacity to perform their current job, previous jobs or retrain for new work.

To prove this the claimant should focus on determining what work functions they can no longer perform.

• How long can you walk? Stand? Sit?
• Can you push and pull? Carry weight?
• Do you need to take frequent breaks from work?
• Do you have to see a doctor several times per week?

With enough limitations to perform work, a claimant may be able to prove that they cannot maintain a normal work schedule and that their condition severely impacts their ability to concentrate, and maintain a normal work pace.