This category includes various medical
disorders involving deficiency of one or more components of the
immune system. The listed disorders include systemic lupus
erythematosus; systemic vasculitis; systemic sclerosis and scleroderma;
undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue disease; inflammatory arthritis including specific disorders involving tghe spine and peripheral joints and inflammatory bowel disease; Sjogren's syndrome; and other immune deficiency disorders including HIV.
Individuls who have been diagnosed with one of the listed disorders are not automatically eligible for disability benefits. To be awarded benefits, they must either present clinical evidence that their disorders have progressed to a very severe level; or they must be able to prove that the symptoms they experience impose functional restrictions that effectively preclude them from working.
The symptoms of immune system disorders are highly
variable. Pain and fatigue are quite common, as are anxiety
and depression. These
can have a significant impact on an individual's stamina, as
well as on his or her ability to perform the mental functions
of competitive work. Many people whose immune system
disorders have not yet progressed to a severe level are nonetheless
to qualify for disability benefits based on the limitations imposed
by their symptoms.
Additionally, the treatment of immune system disorders
frequently involves administration of high dosages of medications
produce significant side effects. Careful documentation
of these side effects can sometimes make the difference between
winning and losing in cases involving these disorders.