Tick infestations have become rampant in recent years, and the effects of a tick bite can be debilitating. Ticks bites can cause a nasty bacterial infection called Lyme disease, which can manifest a number of complications. Sufferers of the disease can have remission periods and symptoms can be inconsistent; similarly, an infected person can also experience a flare up. Because symptoms are widely varied and encompass a number of other health conditions, it can be very difficult to get properly diagnosed with Lyme disease. Thus, it is exceedingly challenging for victims to get approved for Social Security disability benefits to help with the financial burden the disease creates.
Lyme disease typically impacts people in three stages, and each stage becomes progressively worse if left untreated. Stage one can occur days or weeks within being bitten, and many experience flu-like symptoms and a feeling of malaise, which is typically written off as a common virus. In phase two, more severe symptoms appear, which start to impact muscular and neurological functions, and can occur months after the initial bite. Stage three can begin years after a bite and can cause chronic, severe symptoms such as encephalomyelitis, arthritis, and a detachment from reality. The treatment success rate of Lyme disease depends on how quickly the disease is detected, and unfortunately for victims, it is often not diagnosed and treated until it is too late and their conditions are permanent.
The Johns Hopkins Bloomburg School of Public Health states that up to half a million people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, which equates to a whopping $712 million to $1.3 billion a year in health care costs. An average patient is required to spend at least $3,000 for a diagnosis and several follow up visits and tests. This figure does not include the cost of long-term antibiotic usage or chronic treatment plans. It is critical for patients to get approved for SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to help with treatment costs, as well as to provide financial relief for their inability to maintain a work-life balance due to symptom flare ups.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) qualifications are listed in a medical guide called the Blue Book, and because of the complexities of Lyme disease, it is not considered an eligible disease for SSDI benefits. Certain symptoms of the disease can be approved for SSA benefits, including those that affect the cardiovascular or musculoskeletal systems. Mental disorders and inflammatory arthritis are also eligible for SSA benefits if proven to be severe enough.
Extensive documentation is needed over a long-time period to prove a life-impairing disability exists that can make an individual eligible for SSDI. Victims must undergo a number of evaluations to quantify symptoms and how these symptoms impair their ability to work. It is common for victims to experience up to two SSDI denials for Lyme disease, after which they are permitted to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge to repeal the former denials.
Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers Advocate for Social Security Disability Compensation
Having a skilled Baltimore Social Security disability lawyer in place is essential to ensuring a denied claim is overturned and approved for SSDI benefits. Victims often have to see a number of doctors and specialists before getting a firm diagnosis. At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, we will ensure proper documentation is on file to help eliminate years of financial suffering and frustration. If you have questions about applying for Social Security disability benefits or appealing a claim, call our Baltimore offices today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or submit an online inquiry.