If you suffer from mixed connective tissue disease that is so severe you are unable to work and earn a living, you may be eligible to be approved for disability benefits administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The process for filing for disability benefits with mixed connective tissue disease includes filing a claim with supporting evidence. If denied, you will need to file an appeal.
Mixed connective tissue disease combines the symptoms of lupus, polymyositis, and scleroderma, but it could also have rheumatoid arthritis as well, which could lead to a debilitating overlapping disease. This can make it difficult to work, potentially qualifying you for disability benefits.
The Initial Application for Disability with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
You will need to complete the disability application in detail and provide supporting medical documentation that shows the severity of your condition. The Blue Book, which is the medical guide used by the SSA, has listings for many medical conditions. Mixed connective tissue disease is a progressive disease and is reviewed using Listing 14.06 as undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue disease.
To be approved by the listing, you must show involvement of two or more organ systems or body systems with one of the organ systems involved moderately. Additionally, you must show the following constitutional signs or symptoms – severe fatigue with frequent sense of exhaustion that results in significantly reduced physical activity or mental function; malaise as defined by a frequent feeling of illness or body discomfort; fever; or involuntary weight loss.
You must also have enough credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In general, that means you must have worked five years full-time out of the last 10. You must also prove that you are not earning enough income to surpass the substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is $1,260 per month for non-blind individuals as of 2020.
Many disability claims are denied during the initial review. If your claim for disability for mixed connective tissue disease has been denied, you will want to file an appeal, which is called a request for reconsideration.
Request for Reconsideration with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
If your disability claim is denied, you will receive a notice of denial. The letter will explain why your claim was denied. It will also specify a deadline for appealing the decision.
You will need to gather additional supporting documentation for your claim to answer any questions that were not properly supported. You should also consider including a residual functional capacity (RFC) form completed by your physician. This will detail your limitations and restrictions while giving a clear picture of what you can and cannot do.
As an example, the RFC may indicate that you cannot walk more than 500 feet without assistance, or you must reposition every hour. You may not be able to stand more than an hour, and you may not be able to bend or to squat and you cannot lift more than 5 pounds.
This information will help the disability examiner determine what kind of work – if there is any kind of work – that you can do. If your claim is once again denied during the request for reconsideration, you can ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Help with the Disability Application Process for Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
If you are unable to work and earn a living because of mixed connective tissue disease, you will want to get the claims process underway. You can start your claim online or by calling 1-800-772-1213 and speaking with a representative.
Your chances of a successful claim may increase when you are represented by a disability attorney. Complete your Free Case Evaluation today, so you can make sure your claim is in order.