How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits with Sarcoidosis
If you have been diagnosed with sarcoidosis and you have worked in the past, paid taxes, and you expect that you won’t be able to work for at least 12 months, you can file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits. The money from disability benefits can help you make ends meet while you can’t work.
Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits
In order to be eligible for disability benefits you will have to provide medical documentation demonstrating you meet the criteria for a disease listed in the that the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book. Sarcoidosis is not currently listed in the Blue Book. Therefore, in order to qualify for disability benefits because of sarcoidosis, you can submit medical documentation demonstrating that you meet the criteria for a disease that is listed in the SSA Blue Book. For example, if sarcoidosis has impacted your lungs, you can qualify by meeting the criteria listed in the Blue Book for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or another lung impairment. The SSA Blue Book requirements for COPD state you must submit one of the following tests in order to qualify for disability benefits:
- a spirometry test documenting your FEV1 value (your forced expiratory volume in one second, meaning the amount of air you can exhale in one second) or (FVC) forced vital capacity
- a DLCO test (which measures how much oxygen passes into the blood)
- an ABG test (which measures the partial pressure of oxygen, PaO2, and carbon dioxide, PaCO2, in the blood), or
- an oxygen saturation test (SpO2).
Similarly, if your sarcoidosis impacts a different, or multiple organs, you may qualify by meeting the criteria listed for a skin ailment, a heart condition, etc.
You may also qualify for disability benefits through a Medical Vocational Allowance.
Medical Vocational Allowance
A Medical Vocational Allowance is an exception the Blue Book requirement which may allow you to still qualify for benefits without meeting the Blue Book requirements. To get this exception you will need to have your doctor fill out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) evaluation. The doctor must provide detailed information about your condition and how it limits your ability to work.
File A Claim Today
The best way to file a claim for disability benefits with an RFC is to apply in person. Make an appointment at your local branch of the SSA. Bring all documentation, including your RFC evaluation, with you to the appointment. A staff member at the SSA will help you fill out and submit your claim for disability benefits.
The SSA will look at factors like your past employment history, your age, and the RFC evaluation. They will try to find some kind of work you may be able to do with the skills and limitations you have. If they can’t find work that you can reasonably be expected to do, you should be eligible for disability benefits.
Access Additional Support
If you need additional support, such as a case manager to help you complete your paperwork, or to make more sense of this entire process, the Patient Advocate Foundation has free case managers available to assist you.
Content for this blog was provided by Disability Benefits Help.