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Can I claim disability for Lyme disease?

You and your family may have had a lovely summer, spending time in the beautiful North Carolina outdoors. However, if you soon found yourself experiencing aches and pains, fever and a strange rash, you may have treated the symptoms as if you had the flu. When your home remedies did not help you get any better, you may have gone to an urgent care facility or your family doctor.

The diagnosis of Lyme disease may have come as a shock. However, before reaching their conclusion, doctors, like you, may have assumed you had the flu, allowing the infection, spread through the bite of a tick, to progress even further. In fact, if your condition is now chronic, you may find it is impossible to do many of the daily tasks you used to, including going to work. Could you be eligible for disability benefits for Lyme disease?

Lyme disease and the SSA

Lyme disease is the rare result of the bite of the tiny deer tick, only the size of a poppy seed. Victims of these bites may not discover the tick until enough time has passed for the infection to begin. The characteristic bull's-eye rash may have alerted your doctor to the possibility of Lyme disease, but you may have undergone a series of scans, blood work, X-rays and other tests to confirm the diagnosis. The results of these tests and other medical records will be vital to your application for Social Security Disability benefits.

You will not find Lyme disease on the list of approved conditions for disability. However, if you can prove your disability through your medical records and a strong statement from your doctor, the SSA may find that satisfactory for approving you for benefits. Additionally, untreated or delayed treatment for Lyme disease can lead to serious, chronic medical conditions, including damage to your heart, joints or nervous system. You may now have other conditions, such as Bell's palsy, meningitis or fibromyalgia. Diagnoses of these conditions may improve your chances for approval.

Using every advantage

Two additional factors may help you qualify for financial assistance through the SSA. First, if your doctor has experience treating Lyme disease, he or she will be more likely to provide a qualified and convincing statement of your condition and prognosis. Secondly, having a skilled and knowledgeable attorney on your side can benefit you by providing guidance and advice throughout the disability application process.

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