How to Qualify for Disability
Benefits with Sarcoidosis
By the Outreach Team
at Disability Benefits Help
Sarcoidosis is a rare disorder
present in around 4 of every 10,000 Americans. While little is
know about the cause of the disease, its symptoms can have
drastic effects on the body’s lungs and other organs, making it
increasingly difficult to function from day to day.
If your sarcoidosis leaves you
unable to work reliably or accomplish daily tasks, then Social
Security disability benefits may be right for you. Both Social
Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) were created to help disabled Americans in need,
and your case could be the next to qualify for monthly financial
The first step of applying for
disability benefits is learning about the different programs
Depending on your work history and income, there are two
potential disability programs that applicants can qualify for:
SSDI or SSI. Applicants typically qualify for just one of these
programs, but it is also possible to
qualify for both.
disability insurance is for workers whose disability
prevents them from continuing their work. In order to
qualify, applicants must have contributed enough money to
Social Security in their working years. These contributions,
called “credits”, can be earned up to four times per year.
The older a person is the more credits are required of them
to qualify. For example, a 31-year-old would require 20
credits (5 full year of work) in order to qualify, while a
52-year-old would require 30 credits (7.5 years of work). If
approved, applicants receive monthly benefits as well as
Income is for applicants that either a) have no history of
working, b) have very low income, or c) are under 18. This
is because SSI does not require credits in order to qualify.
Instead, it requires applicants to make under a certain
amount of money each month to qualify as financially
in-need. Single applicants are required to make under
$735/month, while couples are required to make under
$1,103/month. However, because all income earned from
working is halved when counted toward this total (and some
forms of income aren’t counted at all) it is common for SSI
recipients to technically make more than this amount per
month. If approved, applicants receive monthly benefits as
well as Medicaid coverage.
For both SSDI and SSI, it is
necessary to meet certain medical requirements for eligibility.
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews
applications, their goal is to classify an applicant as “totally
and permanently disabled” to deem them eligible for benefits.
This criteria is met when an applicant’s disorder is a) severe
enough to hinder them on a regular basis, and b) expected to
last more than 12 months or result in death.
The best way to get an idea of your
eligibility is by consulting the “Blue Book”. This book (which
is available in entirety online) lists all SSA-approved
disabilities, as well as the symptoms necessary to qualify.
While sarcoidosis does not have a specific listing, you can
qualify for benefits due to its symptoms.
For example, if your sarcoidosis
results in long-term problems with lung function, you may
qualify under section 3.02: “Chronic respiratory disorders”.
Qualification under this category is determined by the
applicant’s scores on a variety of lung tests in regard to
their particular age, sex, and height. A low-enough score on
just one of the following tests (or a certain combination of
each) is enough to qualify you medically for disability
FEV test (measures the
forced expiratory volume of the lungs)
FVC test (measures forced
DLCO test (measures the
diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide)
ABG test (measures arterial
SpO2 test (measures the
percentage of oxygen saturation in the blood)
Beyond lung function, you may
be able to qualify for other symptoms, such as
Because the requirements are
typically unique to each patient, the best way to gauge your
qualification is to consult a physician who can complete these
tests for you. However, any additional medical documents you can
provide (medication lists, hospitalization history, therapy
session notes, physician testimonies) are also helpful when
demonstrating the severity of your sarcoidosis.
Starting the Application
SSDI applications are
available at any time on the SSA’s
main website. You can also find available a variety of FAQs,
helpful tips, and income/credit calculators to assist you
throughout the process. If you need help at any point with the
application, you can always call your local Social Security
office for questions or to schedule an in-person application
SSI applications are
currently unavailable online. However, the
for Disability Benefits can help you to start the process
and forward important information to your in-person application.
An application appointment can then be made by contacting your
local Social Security office.
article was written by the Outreach Team at Disability Benefits
Help. They provide information about disability benefits and the
application process. To learn more, please visit their website
http://www.disability-benefits-help.org or by contacting
them at firstname.lastname@example.org.