Atticus offers free, high-quality disability advice for Americans who can't work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience, and have helped over 10,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.
Lupus can be debilitating, with chronic pain and fatigue that can make it difficult to work. If this sounds like your experience, you may be able to get disability for lupus.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies lupus as an inflammatory disorder that can qualify for disability benefits. Before you can start receiving payments, you’ll need to prove that your lupus is severe enough to limit your ability to work.
We’ll explain when lupus makes you eligible for disability benefits, which benefits to apply for, and how to apply if you qualify.
Lupus is considered a disability when it meets certain criteria. Though lupus can be fatiguing no matter how many symptoms you experience, the SSA does require proof of specific, serious symptoms before your lupus can qualify for disability benefits.
For the SSA, lupus falls under the much broader category of inflammatory disorders. To determine whether or not your lupus meets the SSA’s standards, they’ll first need proof that you experience (at least some of) the following symptoms:
Unfortunately, experiencing any one of these symptoms may not be enough to qualify for disability. According to the SSA, when and how you experience these symptoms is just as important as the symptoms themselves.
The SSA uses the following criteria to determine whether or not someone’s lupus is severe enough to require disability:
If you answer “yes” to some or all of the following questions, you likely qualify for benefits:
There are four major types of lupus. Some types of lupus are more common than others, and they can all impact different body systems. Any of them can qualify for benefits if they make it hard for you to work, and will last at least a year.
The four types of lupus that commonly qualify are:
Learn more about conditions that qualify for disability benefits.
If your lupus meets the SSA’s criteria and you have medically-acceptable proof, you can apply for disability as soon as you’re ready.
If you’re still not sure whether or not you qualify, take our two-minute quiz to get some confirmation. It will tell you whether or not you qualify, and it’ll help us connect you with a lawyer who can increase your odds of approval. Our services are free, and you’ll only pay your lawyer if you win your case.
SSDI vs. SSI
Applying for the right type of disability can also increase your odds of approval. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is based on your work history and taxes, while Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) is income based. Learn more about SSDI vs. SSI to pick the right Social Security program for your situation.
Even if your lupus doesn’t strictly meet the criteria, you can still apply for benefits. There’s no penalty for applying as long as you’re honest about your symptoms and how they impact your work life.
No matter how severe your lupus symptoms are, qualifying for disability is unfortunately rather difficult. Applying for the right program and working with an experienced lawyer can increase your odds of approval.
Keep in mind that only 20% of people win their disability claim on their first try. But don’t get discouraged! You can always appeal your case in front of a judge, at which point almost half of applicants like you get approved.
The average disability check for lupus and other inflammatory disorders is $1,281.43, but your actual disability check depends on your unique situation. It’s important to note that the maximum monthly SSDI benefit for lupus in 2023 is $3,627, while the maximum under SSI is $914.
These maximums are the same regardless of your condition or its severity, and apply to all disabilities—not just lupus. But there are some factors that can impact your disability check, like your personal work history and other sources of income. In some cases, you may qualify for both SSDI and SSI.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
Rheumatoid Arthritis Schizophrenia
How long has your condition made it hard to work?
At the bottom of many websites, you'll find a small disclaimer: "We are not a law firm and are not qualified to give legal advice." If you see this, run the other way. These people can't help you: they're prohibited by law from giving meaningful advice, recommending specific lawyers, or even telling you whether you need a lawyer at all.
There’s no disclaimer here: Atticus is a law firm, and we are qualified to give legal advice. We can answer your most pressing questions, make clear recommendations, and search far and wide to find the right lawyer for you.
Two important things to note: If we give you legal advice, it will be through a lawyer on our staff communicating with you directly. (Don't make important decisions about your case based solely on this or any other website.) And if we take you on as a client, it will be through a document you sign. (No attorney-client relationship arises from using this site or calling us.)
Terms | Privacy | Disclaimer