SJOGREN’S SYNDROME BENEFITS
WHAT IS SJOGREN’S SYNDROME?
Sjögren’s syndrome is an immune disorder of the exocrine glands. It is named after Swedish doctor Henrik Sjögren who first described it in 1933. The autoimmune disorder is characterized by the inflammation and dysfunction of certain glands, mostly the salivary and lacrimal glands. This condition affects the body’s moisture producing glands. Therefore, it results in dry eyes, dry mouth, corneal damage, and it can involve other organs.
The exact cause of Sjögren’s syndrome is not yet fully understood. It is believed to involve a combination of factors that trigger an immune response. The immune system attacks the body’s own glands, leading to their inflammation and damage.
Many other organ systems may be involved in Sjögren’s syndrome. For example, it can include arthritis and the respiratory system. It can also involve the gastric system and your skin. You can also involve you central nervous system and your mental health. Severe fatigue and malaise are also some of the most significant Sjogren’s symptoms.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF SJOGREN’S SYNDROME
Sjögren’s syndrome most commonly affects middle aged women, although it can occur in men and people of any age. The symptoms vary between people, but usually includes dryness of the eyes and mouth. Here are some common signs and symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome:
SSA LISTING 14.10 FOR SJOGREN’S SYNDROME
In order to prove that the SSA should pay you SSDI and SSI benefits, you must show that you meet or equal listing 14.10. Below please find SSA’s listing:
14.10 Sjögren’s syndrome with:
B. Repeated manifestations of Sjögren’s syndrome, with at least two of the constitutional symptoms or signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss) and one of the following at the marked level:
In order to prove that you meet this listing, you will need to show moderate involvement of at least two body systems. Specifically, those organs or body systems need to be confirmed in your medical records. For example, you could have skin problems with a severe rash and joint pain. You could also have digestive issues, such as constipation and diarrhea. In addition to those issues, your medical records would also need to show, for example, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Finally, your records would need to show these symptoms on a chronic basis for at least one year, despite treatment.
IS SJOGREN’S SYNDROME A DISABILITY?
While Sjögren’s syndrome is a disability for which the SSA will pay you benefits, it is not usually a disease that we see by itself. That doesn’t mean that you cannot win benefits for Sjögren’s syndrome. It simply means that Sjögren’s, as it is an autoimmune disorder, occurs along with other similar medical conditions. Therefore, when the SSA awards benefits, it is normally because a combination of medical conditions are part of the picture.
For example, some of the medical conditions that coexist with Sjögren’s include Rheumatoid arthritis. This is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints, but can also involve other organs. Many SSI and SSDI cases are paid for people who have Rheumatoid arthritis, along with Sjögren’s syndrome.
Another medical condition that we see in combination with Sjogren’s is Systemic Lupus. Lupus is also a disease that can affect multiple body systems, including the skin, joints, kidneys, and other organs. Raynaud’s phenomenon is another condition that occurs in these cases. It causes blood vessels in your fingers and toes to narrow, leading to color changes, and numb and cold fingers and toes.
Sjögren’s syndrome also occurs along with thyroid diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease, which affects the thyroid gland. It is also possible for Sjogren’s to occur in autoimmune liver diseases, such as Hepatitis. When Sjogren’s occurs alongside other diseases, then the SSA will look at the combination of all of your medical conditions. The SSA can find that you meet the listing of one disease or more. They can also find that you equal a listing because your symptoms, in combination, are as severe as a single listing. Finally, they will look at how the combination of your medical conditions impairs your residual functional capacity.
YOUR RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY CAN HELP YOU WIN BENEFITS FOR SJOGREN’S SYNDROME
Even if you don’t meet or equal SSA’s listing, you can still win benefits if your Sjögren’s syndrome impairs your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is SSA’s finding of what you can physically do in a work setting, considering your symptoms.
Your RFC includes your physical limits. In terms of physical limits, the SSA tries to define your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift, during the course of an 8 hour workday. Likewise, the SSA will include your ability to carry, pull, and push. It includes your ability to kneel, crouch, crawl, and go up and down stairs. Also, the SSA will consider your fatigue throughout the 40 hour work week. Find out more about how the SSA defines work. A limited RFC proves you cannot work.
In order to figure out your physical RFC, the SSA will read your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor says about you in your medical records. Additionally, the SSA has their own doctors that can review your medical records. These doctors work for DDS, the state agency who reviews all SSD cases. The SSA will take the medical opinion of these doctors into account too. Likewise, if they need more information, they may send you to a medical exam at their expense. Learn more here about what to expect at SSA’s doctor exam.
HOW DOES THE SSA FIGURE OUT YOUR RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY?
In order to determine your RFC, the SSA first looks to the medical evidence in your case. That is why it is so important to have all of your medical evidence into the SSA. It is your “burden” or responsibility to provide all of your medical evidence to the SSA.
Normally, hiring a lawyer to help you do this is a wise choice. Learn more here about how to obtain your medical evidence for free. If you do not have enough medical evidence for them to make a decision, then they will arrange for you to have a medical exam. A medical exam can be done for your mental and your physical conditions. Find out more about the SSA’s doctor exams.
The SSA also stops getting the medical records in your case after they deny your case for the second time. This means that a year may go by without any collection of your Sjogren’s records. Then, you case will be set for a hearing.
If you do not have an attorney helping you, then there will be no one getting your medical records during the time you are waiting for a hearing date. However, you must have medical records in order to prove a mental or physical condition before a judge. Additionally, all of those medical records must be in to the judge more than one week prior to your hearing. If you submit medical records later than this, the judge does not have to consider them. This is known as the 5 day rule. Learn more about the 5 day rule for sending in medical evidence.
WHAT WE DO TO HELP YOU WIN SSD AND SSI BENEFITS
You don’t need to apply for Social Security benefits by yourself. You can always call our law firm and we will help you win benefits. We can help you file your SSD and SSI application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:
- Send you the paperwork you need to become our client
- Help you file your application for SSD and SSI benefits
- Inform the SSA that they should pay your benefits under the Compassionate Allowance Rules
- Submit an appeal if you receive an initial denial from DDS
- Help you schedule and confirm your Consultative Exam
- Request a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Prepare you to be a good witness at your SSA hearing
- Represent you at your hearing and question the expert witnesses
- Read more about job experts
- Learn more about medical expert testimony
- Request review of a decision at the Appeals Council
- Request review of an Appeals Council denial in Federal Court
If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you don’t send it back, the SSA will not process your application. Sign it and send it back as soon as you can.
WE OFFER A FREE REVIEW OF YOUR SJOGREN’S SYNDROME
If you need help filing for SSDI and SSI benefits for Sjogren’s syndrome, then reach out to Cannon Disability Law. Taking the first step by calling us. All you need to do is contact our legal team and we will give you a free view of your case.
What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. At that point, we will look at the merits of your case for free and let you know if you have a chance to win benefits. We do not charge you any money to review your case.
In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. We are experts at what we do and we will put our knowledge to work for you. Hire us to be your Social Security legal team.
We help clients win benefits in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California. Find out more about your benefits and how to apply in your state here:
- California SSDI and SSI benefits
- Colorado SSDI and SSI benefit information
- Idaho SSDI and SSI benefits
- Nevada SSDI and SSI benefits
- Utah SSDI and SSI benefits
No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team. We also can help you find medical care for free or low cost in the place where you live, so that you can have medical records to prove your case. Hire the best Social Security legal team with no money down. Also, there will be no attorney fee unless we win your case. Contact us today. We will do our best to help you win SSDI and SSI benefits.
MORE ABOUT OUR LAWYERS AND STAFF
At Cannon Disability Law, we can help you apply for benefits. In our office, we have trained staff who will help you complete your application. Usually, we help you file your application online on Social Security’s website. You can learn more about our lawyers and staff on our About Us page.
If you receive a denial, then we can help you appeal it. You only have 60 days to appeal any decision from the SSA. If you miss the 60 day limit, then you will either have to start over again or you will need to prove that you had a good reason for not filing an appeal on time. A good cause reason, for example, might be that you were in the hospital at the time of the denial and didn’t receive it until you were released. Likewise, if your case is set for a hearing, then we represent you at your hearing before an ALJ.
One of the things we do is help you be a good witness at your hearing. We meet with your before the hearing. At the meeting, we talk about how to answer questions. We also let you know what kind of questions you will be asked. Learn more about what questions the judge will ask at the hearing here.
WE PRACTICE SOCIAL SECURITY LAW EXCLUSIVELY
There are many law firms that claim they practice Social Security law. However, most of those firms do other types of cases. For example, some firms practice personal injury or Worker’s Compensation law. We don’t do that.
Our firm only takes SSDI and SSI cases. We don’t practice any other kind of law. Our firm believes it is important to focus on Social Security cases. By doing so, we have become experts in Social Security benefits. During our time in practice, we have also become familiar with many of the medical conditions that keep people from working. We have won thousands of cases for more common conditions, like spinal disease. But we have also won cases for rare conditions, such as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).
It is hard to trust your future to a lawyer. We understand. That is why we include information about our attorneys on our website. Dianna Cannon has been helping people win benefits for the past 30 years. She has written a book about Social Security law for other lawyers. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers have over 30 years of legal experience. They work hard for our clients every day. We focus on the law. Find out more about lawyers and staff at our law firm on our About Us page.
HIRE A LAW FIRM WHO WILL FIGHT FOR YOUR BENEFITS
The best thing about hiring us is we take care of your case. We have experts who will help you apply for SSD and SSI benefits. If you need help filing out SSA’s paperwork, then we will help you fill out the forms. We also collect your records. If your case is denied, then we request your hearing.
Then, we prepare you for court. Preparation for court requires review of your records. It also requires preparing you as a witness. We help you testify about your Sjorgen’s and we explain the questions the judge will ask you in court.
Before the hearing, we review your medical conditions. That way you can explain how you are not able to complete an 8 hour workday because of your severe medical conditions. Even though every judge is different, all of the questions revolve around whether or not you can work.
Prepare yourself to answer questions about your Sjogren’s syndrome. Also, if you have other medical conditions, you need to be ready to talk about those conditions. If you hire us, then we will give you a list of questions to help you prepare you to testify. This will help you know that you are ready for your hearing.
It is important for you to understand the judge’s questions. You have to prove why you can’t work. We help you do that. That is why we say we are working together as a team.
It takes a team effort to get through this process. Now is the time to ask for help. Don’t go it alone. We offer a free review of your case. Even if we review your case, there is no pressure to become our client. You can call and ask questions. Contact us today about your Sjogren’s syndrome.