How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits with Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is a relatively rare disorder, but the symptoms can make it very difficult for the people who have it to continue working. Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory condition that causes the immune system to overreact and start attacking the body. Small clusters of inflamed tissue called granulomas start to form throughout the body and can impact a person’s ability to function day to day. If you have been diagnosed with sarcoidosis and you have worked in the past and 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 that shows you meet the criteria that the Social Security Administration has listed for a particular medical condition in their Blue Book. But there is no Blue Book listing for sarcoidosis. In order to qualify for disability benefits because of sarcoidosis you can submit medical documentation showing that you meet the criteria for another listing. For example, if you have sarcoidosis that has impacted your lungs you can qualify by meeting the criteria listed in the Blue Book for COPD or another lung impairment. The Blue Book requirements for COPD state that you must submit one of these 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).

Or you can qualify by meeting the criteria listed for a skin ailment, a heart condition, or another type of listing that is relevant to the organ that is affected by sarcoidosis. You can also qualify for disability benefits through a Medical Vocational Allowance.

Medical Vocational Allowance

A Medical Vocational Allowance is an exception the Blue Book requirement that 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 evaluation. The doctor will have to provide detailed information about your condition and how it limits your ability to work. Then submit your claim for benefits, any medical evidence that you have, and the RFC evaluation to the SSA. 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 that you can do with the skills and limitations that you have. If they can’t find any type of work that you can reasonably be expected to do then you will be eligible for disability benefits.

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 of your documentation and 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.

 

Resources:

Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research: https://www.stopsarcoidosis.org/

Sarcoidosis and Social Security Disability: https://www.disability-benefits-help.org/disabling-conditions/sarcoidosis-and-social-security-disability

Medical Vocational Allowance: https://www.disability-benefits-help.org/glossary/medical-vocational-allowance

RFC Evaluation Form: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms/images/SSA4/G-SSA-4734-U8-1.pdf

Local SSA Office: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

 

Content for this blog was provided by Disability Benefits Help.