Posts in:August, 2021

Social Security Disability Benefits for Lupus

Posted August 27, 2021 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Lupus is a chronic disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body. It is considered an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system — the body system that usually fights infections — attacks healthy tissue instead. Lupus most commonly affects your skin, joints, and internal organs. Because it can affect many parts of the body, it can cause a variety of different symptoms, such as: fatigue, headaches, joint pain, fever, edema, hair loss, and abnormal blood clotting.

Nobody knows what causes lupus, but it and other autoimmune diseases do tend to run in families. Experts also think it may develop in response to certain hormones or environmental triggers. An environmental trigger is something outside the body that can bring on symptoms of lupus — or make them worse. Lupus is not contagious.

There are two ways you can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for lupus. You can either (1) meet the requirements of a listing set out in Social Security’s list of qualifying impairments, or (2) show that you are unable to work due to your limitations.

Lupus is one of the diseases specifically notated in Social Security’s listing of impairments. To qualify as disabled under this listing, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your lupus must affect at least two body systems or organs, (such as the kidneys and the lungs, or the heart and the brain), with at least one involved to a moderate level of severity; and
  • Your lupus must cause at least two of the following symptoms: severe fatigue, fever, malaise (feelings of physical discomfort or illness resulting in low physical or mental activity), and/or involuntary weight loss.


  • You must have repeated symptoms of lupus, with at least two of the symptoms above, resulting in one of the following limitations at the marked level: 
    • Limitations of activities of daily living
    • Limitation in maintaining social functioning
    • Limitation in completing tasks in a timely manner due to lack of focus or ability to work quickly.

You can also qualify for Social Security Disability for lupus if you can prove that you are unable to work due to the health problems caused by lupus. For example, an individual with lupus might have the following physical symptoms: fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, and abnormal heart rhythms. These limitations can make it difficult to stand or walk for a lengthy period of time, which rules out many jobs. Furthermore, those with lupus may suffer personality changes, including anxiety and depression, and may have difficulty concentrating or have increased forgetfulness. Social Security will take these limitations into account when deciding if the applicant can do even simple, routine tasks that don’t require skill. 

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

Learn more about lupus: 

Adult Listing for lupus: 

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Social Security Expands Compassionate Allowances Program

Posted August 20, 2021 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Earlier this week, Kilolo Kijakazi, the new Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced 12 new Compassionate Allowances conditions: Charlevoix Saguenay Spastic Ataxia (ARSACS), Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, CIC-rearranged Sarcoma, Congenital Zika Syndrome, Desmoplastic Mesothelioma, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – Adult, Pericardial Mesothelioma, Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma, Renpenning Syndrome, SCN8A Related Epilepsy with Encephalopathy, SYNGAP1-related NSID, and Taybi-Linder Syndrome. The Compassionate Allowances program is an initiative that quickly identifies severe medical conditions and diseases that meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits.

“Everyone who is eligible for benefits under the programs we administer should receive them,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. “Our Compassionate Allowances program helps us address barriers by helping accelerate the disability application process for people who are likely to get approved for benefits due to the severity of their medical condition.”

The Compassionate Allowances program quickly identifies claims where the applicant’s condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone; for example, certain cancers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and a number of rare disorders that affect children. To date, more than 700,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this accelerated, policy-compliant disability process, which has grown to a total of 254 conditions. 

When a person applies for disability benefits, Social Security must obtain medical records in order to make an accurate determination. The agency incorporates leading technology to identify potential Compassionate Allowances cases and make quick decisions. Social Security’s Health IT brings the speed and efficiency of electronic medical records to the disability determination process. With electronic records transmission, Social Security is able to quickly obtain a claimant’s medical information, review it, and make a fast determination.

For more information about the program, including a list of all Compassionate Allowances conditions, please visit

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®


Where the Push to Bring SSI Benefits up to the Federal Poverty Level Stands

Posted August 13, 2021 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C., have touted a $3.5 trillion spending package aimed at helping to fight poverty. 

Yet initial drafts have not included proposed reforms to enhance Supplemental Security Income — also known as SSI — that provides benefits to elderly, blind and disabled Americans. 

Still, advocates have not given up hope that the changes will make it into the package as part of ongoing negotiations.

That includes Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who in June led the reintroduction of a Senate proposal called the Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act.

“SSI has been forgotten by Washington for years — I am pushing my colleagues to make sure that doesn’t happen again this time,” Brown said in a statement Tuesday. “I’m fighting to secure updates to the program, and this reconciliation bill is our chance to get this done.”

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are among the bill’s Democratic co-sponsors. Another version of the proposal has also been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.

The goal is to bring aspects of SSI — some of which have not been changed since the 1980s — up to date. 

In 2021, the maximum monthly SSI benefit is $794 per individual, or $1,191 per married couple where both individuals qualify for the program.

Those benefits are altered every year with the annual cost-of-living adjustment set by the Social Security Administration.

Still, those maximum benefit amounts are below the federal poverty level. The Senate bill calls for raising monthly benefits to 100% of the federal poverty level — which would result in a 31% increase — and indexing them to inflation.

In addition, it calls for updating financial rules that have been in place for decades.

Today, individuals can only have $2,000 in assets in order to qualify for the program, while married couples can have up to $3,000. Those thresholds have not been updated since 1989.

The Senate bill calls for updating those caps to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples.

The bill also seeks to update SSI’s income rules, which have never been changed since the program was created in 1972. Currently, for every $2 someone earns over $65, they lose $1 of SSI benefits.

About 8 million disabled or elderly Americans currently receive SSI benefits, including more than 1 million disabled children.

“Fixing this antiquated program could change millions of lives and is our best opportunity to right the wrongs of decades of neglect,” Brown said.

Read the full article here: 

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®