Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits If I Have Epstein – Barr Virus?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t always make it easy for those with Epstein-Barr to get the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income benefits they deserve. Many claims are denied because SSA says:
(1) You won’t be disabled for at least a year,
(2) Your Epstein-Barr isn’t severe,
(3) You can return to the lightest job you held in the 15 years before you became disabled, or
(4) There is other work you can do in the mythical national economy based on your age, education, transferable skills and your residual functional capacity.
Not all cases of Epstein-Barr are severe enough to make you eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, but Nancy Cavey has successfully represented many SSA applicants with Epstein-Barr. She works to overcome the claims denial by working closely with you and your physician to show that your:
- limitations are too great for you to work at your old job or any other job in the national economy in view of your age, education and transferable work skills.
She offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your Social Security disability claim.
What Is Epstein-Barr?
Epstein-Barr virus, one of the most common human viruses, is a member of the herpes family. In the United States, 95% of all adults have been exposed to the virus, which is known to cause mono.
What Are The Symptoms of Epstein-Barr?
The symptoms of an acute mono infection include:
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph modes
- Enlarged spleen and/or liver
- Swelling around the eyes
- Skin rashes.
The infection causes a general feeling of illness; those with acute mono will experience extreme fatigue and exhaustion.
Those who have serious complications of Epstein-Barr can have:
- Nerve damage
- Behavioral abnormalities
- Swollen lymph nodes.
Because of the nature of the diseases and symptoms, many with Epstein-Barr will be treated by a neurologist and should undergo neuropsychological testing to objectively document these cognitive problems.
Epstein-Barr and The Listing of Impairments
There is no listing for Epstein-Barr in the SSA’s “Listing of Impairments.” SSA determines your entitlement to benefits based on medical and vocational criteria at Steps 4 and 5.
Before that, SSA will review your medical records to make sure you meet the disability duration requirement that your disability last, or be expected to last, at least 12 months. Many cases of Epstein-Barr are short-lived and recovery can be as short as three months. If SSA thinks you won’t meet the disability duration requirement, your claim will be denied.
SSA will review your medical records and also look for the following:
- A specific diagnosis based on lab work,
- A history of your symptoms,
- Findings on physical examination that are consistent with an Epstein-Barr diagnosis,
- Results of treatment and any side effects, and
- Any complications from the Epstein-Barr.
When Your Epstein-Barr Makes It Impossible to Work
To win your claim, you will have to prove that you:
- Can’t return to the lightest job you held in the 15 years before you became disabled (PRW), and
- There isn’t any other work you can do in the mythical national economy based on your age, education, transferable skills and your residual functional capacity (RFC).
SSA or, ultimately an Administrative Law Judge, will answer those questions by determining your residual functional capacity. Your RFC is what you can do despite your Epstein-Barr.
Residual Functional Capacity For Epstein-Barr
The SSA will review your medical records at the Initial Application and Reconsideration stage of the claims process and determine your functional capacity to perform sedentary, light, medium and heavy work.
SSA medical consultants often opine that a Social Security Disability applicant can do light and sedentary work, and that will result in a claims denial. The lower your RFC the more likely that you can’t return to the lightest job you held in the last 15 years or perform other work. SSA doesn’t tell applicants or physicians about the existence and importance of properly completed Epstein-Barr RFC forms that will explain, in view of your fatigue and symptoms:
- How far you can walk,
- How long you can stand and sit at one time and for an eight-hour day,
- How much and how often you can lift, stoop, squat, bend during an eight- hour day,
- Whether you have problems with concentration or pace,
- Whether you have good days and bad days and how many days per month you would miss from work, and
- Whether you have psychological problems like depression or anxiety that would interfere with your ability to work.
This is not an exhaustive list of all of the questions on an Epstein-Barr RFC form. But you can see that having an explanation of what you can do physically, cognitively and emotionally is key to winning your case.
Many SSA cases are lost because the applicant did not obtain an RFC or the right RFC form, or because their treating physician didn’t properly complete the RFC form. That is one of the many reasons you should have an experienced Social Security attorney like Nancy L. Cavey represent you in your claim.
How Your Residual Functional Capacity Is Used At A Social Security Hearing
Many claims are denied both at the Initial Application and Request For Reconsideration stages of the claims process.
At the hearing stage, the Administrative Law Judge will determine your RFC and give hypotheticals to the vocational evaluator (VE) who will testify at your hearing. The judge will ask the VE to take into consideration your RFC, as determined by the judge, your age, education and prior work experience in determining:
- Whether you can return to the lightest job you held in the last 15 years,
- Whether there is other work you can do or could learn to do.
It is crucial that you are represented at a hearing to make sure the right questions are asked of the VE.
How Do I Get The Social Security Disability Benefits I Deserve Because of Epstein-Barr?
Epstein-Barr can interfere with your daily activities and with your ability to work. If you no longer can work or your doctor has told you to apply for Social Security disability, you should hire Nancy Cavey to help you:
- File your initial Social Security Disability application. The application process is confusing and designed so you make mistakes that can result in a delay or even a denial of your benefits.
- Appeal a wrongful denial of your Social Security disability application or Request for Reconsideration.
- File an Application for Hearing and represent you at the hearing with the Administrative Law Judge who will decide if you get benefits. She will have your physician, if possible, complete the right RFC(s), prepare you for the hearing, prepare a hearing brief, and be prepared to cross-examine the VE.
The SSA is in the business of denying claims and will use any reason to deny your benefits. The odds of getting your Social Security benefits are greater when you are represented by an experienced Social Security Disability attorney like Ms. Cavey.
Contact Social Security Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live in Florida
You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today! Ms. Cavey can explain the Five-Step Sequential Evaluation process used in every claim, the claims process and how to get your disability benefit for Epstein-Barr. Call today for a free consultation at 727-894-3188.