If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, you are not alone. About 50 million Americans, or about 20% of the population, do too. More women than men have these disorders. Some estimate that up to 75% of sufferers are women.
Immune System Disorders Under the SSA
Immune system disorders make up one major heading in the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability website’s “Listing of Impairments.” They break these disorders down into three categories: autoimmune disorders, immune deficiency disorders and HIV infection. This article deals with the first.
Anyone who suffers from an autoimmune disorder knows just how debilitating it can be. This group of disorders can range from mild to severe and easily cause the sufferer to lose his or her ability to keep working at a New England job.
Organs and Tissue Affect By Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders are all caused by the dysfunction of the immune response. The body’s immune system actually turns against the body, attacking and destroying healthy body tissue. Many organs and/or tissue types may be involved, including:
- The thyroid or pancreas
- Connective tissues
- Blood vessels
- Joints and muscles
- Red blood cells
Common Autoimmune DisordersThere are over 80 different types of autoimmune disorders, which are also sometimes referred to as rheumatic diseases, connective tissue disorders or collagen vascular disorders. Although the list of autoimmune disorders is long, some of the most well known are:
- Addison’s disease
- Graves’ disease
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Type I diabetes
There is no known cause for what makes the immune system attack healthy cells. One theory maintains that certain drugs, bacteria or viruses may play a role in a person who is genetically more likely to get sick, but it remains impossible to predict.
Symptoms of an Autoimmune Disorder
Symptoms of an autoimmune disorder include fever, aching, dizziness and fatigue. Because these are symptomatic of many conditions, only a doctor can make a true diagnosis and even then it is not easy.
What we do know is that, while many want to keep working with an autoimmune disorder, at some point this may become impossible. If you suffer from one or more of these disorders, you may qualify and want to apply for SSA disability benefits.
Receiving Benefits for Your Autoimmune Disease
The Massachusetts experts at Keefe Disability Law have helped many people like you to deal with the SSA. We can handle every step of the process, beginning with submitting your application. If you live in the New England area, give us a call toll free at 888-904-6847 to schedule a free case evaluation.