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Being an autoimmune disease, sarcoidosis can affect almost any organ in the body. Granulomas or small clumps of abnormal tissue develop and cause damage to the organs where they appear. The symptoms which the granulomas and inflammation cause depend largely on what organ is affected. There is a wide spectrum of the degree of severity of symptoms caused by sarcoidosis.
While the Social Security Administration does not have a specific disability listing for evaluating sarcoidosis, you could be found disabled based upon the organ or body system which has been affected.
Most commonly, sarcoidosis affects the lungs. In this case, the administration will look to see if your impairment would meet the criteria for Chronic Pulmonary Insufficiency. To prove this, you would need to have up-to-date pulmonary function testing which shows that your lungs are not functioning optimally. Similarly, if sarcoidosis has caused bacterial or fungal infections in the lungs known as mycotic infections, you would have to show that your lung function is diminished as a result of these infections. This would again be shown in pulmonary function tests.
Sarcoidosis can also affect the skin and cause a condition known as ichthyosis. It is described in the listing of impairments as various skin disorders which are manifested by dry, cracked, and scaly skin. To prove that the sarcoidosis related ichthyosis is disabling, you need to show that the skin condition persists despite treatment for at least three months.
Some claimants also suffer from cardiac and vision symptoms. If you are affected in these areas, your impairment would be evaluated under the vision and cardiac listing of impairments.
It is more likely that your specific set of symptoms does not clearly meet or equal the symptoms and parameters in the listing of impairments. If that is the case, the SSA will determine your “residual functional capacity” or RFC. That is your ability to function despite the limitations imposed on you by your condition. For example, if your sarcoidosis affects your lungs, you might be limited to work environments which do have dust or fumes. Further, your lung impairment might prevent you from being able to walk long distances. This is just one example.
As stated, every case is different. For a free consultation about your sarcoidosis, please call, Nash Disability Law at 312-561-3546.