Q:

Can advanced Lyme disease patients apply for Social Security Disability benefits?

A:

Quick Answer

Advanced Lyme disease patients can apply for Social Security Disability benefits if their condition prevents them from working. However, getting the benefits is not guaranteed, because as of 2015, Lyme disease is not included on the official list of impairments by Social Security Administration (SSA).

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Full Answer

Advanced Lyme disease causes arthritis and neurological dysfunction manifested as headaches. Other possible symptoms include weakness in limbs and temporary paralysis in the face. Sometimes meningitis and heart problems accompany advanced Lyme disease, according to lymedisease.org.

To claim Social Security Disability benefits, advanced Lyme disease patients should have a good doctor at their side, who keeps a detailed record of the patients' debilitating symptoms. Also, hiring a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area of law may be beneficial. The main goal of preparing documents for the application is to demonstrate convincingly and with proof the extent of the disease, which makes it impossible for an individual to work.

One way of doing this is by finding parallels between the advanced symptoms of Lyme disease and those symptoms or conditions that are already listed in SSA's regulations. If the patient does not have any financial resources, he can apply for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). If he has a required length of work history, the patient can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

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