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  • Stephanie O. Joy, Esq., Joy Disability

Blog: Autoimmune disorders can be very disabling

Autoimmune disorders often take a long time to discovered and a diagnosis can be frustratingly elusive. However, the effects of an autoimmune disease on the body and a person’s ability to function normally can be severe.

Autoimmune diseases count as medical impairments by the SSA

Some Autoimmune disorders are not visible to others. As a result, many people who are not well-informed with regard to these often-disabling conditions view them with skepticism. What they may be unaware of unless it hits closer to home is that these often-painful conditions can become extremely disabling to a person’s ability to function.

An autoimmune disorder can be disabling enough at some point to render a person to be unable to work full time. When that unfortunate event occurs, the person may meet the the legal definition of disabled under the Social Security Act and be able to tap into their earned Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

What an autoimmune disease is

Autoimmune means that the body’s immune system whose job is to fight viruses and other bodily invaders, instead attacks the very body that is the subject of its protections. However, the assault on the body that takes place can take many forms.

Even within a particular autoimmune disorder, the symptoms can vary as can the extent of damage. Generally, however, substantial inflammation occurs that eventually causes damage to joints, muscles, skin nerves, or other body parts.

Examples of autoimmune diseases

There are many, many autoimmune diseases affecting people worldwide. Examples of some autoimmune disorders include the following:

  • Lupus

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn’s

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • Type 1 Diabetes

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Addison’s Disease

  • Graves’ Disease

  • Hashimoto’s Disease

  • Myasthenia Gravis

  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)

The consensus among researchers is that autoimmune disorders may have a genetic component. However, that component may lay dormant until something in the environment, like a virus, or a person’s own hormonal changes can trigger the effects of the disorder.

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