If you have contracted Lyme disease and it has impacted your ability to work, you may need to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. SSDI is a government program that provides benefits to qualified individuals who can no longer work. Because most applications are initially turned down, you can improve your chances of getting approved for social security disability benefits by working with an SSDI lawyer.
What Is Lyme Disease?
Humans contract Lyme disease through the bite of a deer tick. The tick needs to be attached to the body for 24 hours before they can transmit the disease. Those who live in tick-infested areas should be diligent for checking the body for ticks on a regular basis.
Some of the common symptoms of Lyme disease that appear within a few days or a month of the tick bite include:
- A rash at the site that has a bull’s eye appearance and feels warm to the touch
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Other symptoms that may develop in the days or months after the tick bite include:
- Rashes on other parts of the body
- Facial palsy where one side of the face droops
- Neck stiffness
- Tingling or numbness in the extremities
- Irregular heartbeat
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Arthritis or swelling of the joints
If you develop severe inflammatory arthritis because of Lyme disease, you might be unable to work. Some people have such limited movement or deformity in their joints or spine that it is difficult for them to move.
If Lyme disease is left untreated, meningitis, Bell’s palsy, and fibromyalgia can result. These conditions can create additional impairments that affect your ability to work.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?
The best type of doctor to see if you suspect you have Lyme disease is an infectious disease specialist because Lyme disease can be tricky to diagnose. Tick bites can transmit other diseases in addition to Lyme disease.
If you have been outdoors in a known tick area or if you removed a tick from your body and are showing symptoms, your doctor will probably order blood tests to help determine if you have Lyme disease. One of the tests is known as an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test, which tests your body’s immune system and the antibodies it creates to fight off Lyme disease. In addition to ELISA, your doctor will need to order a Western blot test. This test will compare certain proteins in your blood compared to other people who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease.
What Should I Know About Applying for SSDI if I Have Lyme Disease?
To make a strong case for your disability, you will need to provide your complete medical history, including the diagnosis of and treatment for Lyme disease. Be sure to document your medical symptoms and how they have impacted your ability to work. Your doctor should also provide an outlook on your condition and how it will impact your ability to work.
The Social Security Administration will require complete and accurate medical evidence for your condition in order to determine your eligibility.
Do You Need a NC Social Security Disability Lawyer?
When you are unable to work, Social Security disability benefits can provide financial support for you and your family. Because so many initial claims for Social Security disability benefits are denied, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of the SSDI application process.
You will have a better chance of getting your initial claim approved if you are working with an experienced attorney. If Social Security denies your claim, your attorney can help you with an appeal.
North Carolina residents who need a Social Security disability lawyer should turn to Vance Jennings at Brent Adams & Associates. He has completed a specialty certification with the North Carolina State Bar, which makes him uniquely qualified. Call our office today at 919.781.7590 to schedule a consultation.