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Lupus - Is Social Security Disability Available

  • Published: 2009-01-13 (Revised/Updated 2014-01-01) : Jerry Lutkenhaus.
  • Synopsis: Social Security has a set of impairment listings with Lupus distinguished by having a Social Security Impairment 14.02 systemic lupus erythmatosus

Main Document

Quote: "We need to be able to show severe fatigue, fever, malaise and weight loss with the involvement of two body systems with at least one reaching the level of moderate severity."

Lupus is a disease that affects the nervous system. For many, it is a mild disease but for others it is disabling. Social Security has a set of Impairment Listings.

"Lupus" is distinguished by having a Social Security Impairment Listing in the Book under the name 14.02 systemic lupus erythmatosus under the category of immune system impairments.

Unlike the other listings in the book the lupus listing says you have to have lupus along with another problem caused by the lupus. The listing provides a laundry list of these other impairments:

A. One of the following other significant impairments:

  • 1. Joint involvement;
  • 2. Muscle involvement
  • 3. Ocular involvement;
  • 4. Respiratory involvement;
  • 5. Cardiovascular involvement
  • 6. Digestive involvement;
  • 7. Renal involvement;
  • 8. Hematologic involvement;
  • 9. Skin involvement;
  • 10. Neurologic involvement;
  • 11. Mental involvement;


B. Lesser involvement of two or more organs/body systems listed in paragraph A, with significant, documented, constitutional symptoms and signs of severe fatigue, fever, malaise, and weight loss. At least on of the organs/body systems must be involved to at least a moderate level of severity.

If the lupus is of such a severity, that the condition meets a listing for "renal involvement" for example the case will be easy. However, most of my cases have fallen into paragraph B of the lupus listing. We need to be able to show severe fatigue, fever, malaise and weight loss with the involvement of two body systems with at least one reaching the level of moderate severity. Of course, it is up to the Social Security Judge to decide whether or not "moderate severity has been reached.

In my most recent case, I had a young woman Ms. Sample. She had worked five years at Capital One as a finance clerk before having to leave work due to lupus. She was still only 25 years old and it often difficult to obtain disability for such a young person since every occupation in the national economy has to be ruled out. Ms. Sample could only get around by means of a walker, cane and a scooter. We were able to show she had (1) significant joint involvement and (2) respiratory involvement with at least a level of moderate severity through reports from her lupus doctor and her pulmonologist along with the requisite fatigue, fever, malaise, and weight loss. Thus, we demonstrated the "moderate severity" had been reached with regard to both her breathing and her joint problems. Thus, if you have lupus or know of someone with lupus, you should have his or her case evaluated by an experienced Social Security Lawyer for an assessment under 14.02 of the Impairment Listings. He or she may be entitled to disability benefits. In Virginia, you can review my article: Finding the Number One Social Security Disability Lawyer in Virginia to find an experienced lawyer.

Reference: Jerry Lutkenhaus is a practitioner of Social Security Disability law in the Richmond, Virginia area for over 30 years. He was given an "AV" rating by Martindale Hubbell in 2003. Lexis Nexis listed him in the 2005 Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys. For more information, see and You can call Jerry Lutkenhaus now at 804-358-4766 for a free consultation about your disability case.

Related Information:

  1. Jonathan Ginsberg (May 25, 2010). Lupus - Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits

Information from our Lupus: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment section - (Full List).

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