We just handled a social security disability case in Charlotte, North Carolina. It involved a diagnosis of Raynaud’s Syndrome, which can be a very debilitating disease causing the loss of use of your hands and feet. Most of the time, Raynaud’s Syndrome occurs early in life with symptoms that are relatively mild. But it can occur later in life too, often in conjunction with other diseases like arthritis, lupus or high blood pressure. Because of the mixture of different diseases, they work together to create a very difficult situation.
Symptoms of Raynaud’s Syndrome
Raynaud’s Syndrome is a problem with the blood vessels. They narrow and restrict blood flow in the hands and feet. This causes the hands or feet to turn white or blue, to get cold and become numb. As they return to normal, the color changes to red, the fingers and toes burn with a tingling sensation. Sometimes the skin is affected and breaks open, infection can set in, gangrene can develop, and amputation becomes necessary.
When these types of symptoms persist, they can significantly affect your ability to work. With numbness and tingling, it is hard to pick things up, to push or pull, to lift or carry, and to write or type. It’s hard to get dressed and drive to work. If you work with your hands or feet, this makes it difficult to do your job.
Use These Symptoms To Get Social Security Disability
One of the main criteria for getting social security disability benefits is proving that you can’t work at all in any job in the marketplace. It’s hard to prove that, but Raynaud’s Syndrome is one of those diagnoses that can help you do it because it affects your ability to use your hands and feet. There aren’t many jobs you can do when you can’t use your hands.
Proving that you can’t work with Raynaud’s Syndrome is even easier if you are over 50 years old. Expectations of a 50 year old in the workplace are different than the expectations of a 30 year old. We don’t really expect a 50 year old to be able to work heavy labor jobs, we expect them to work at a desk or in a more sedentary job. So when a 55 year old has Raynaud’s Syndrome that affects his hands and fingers, it will be difficult for him to perform the type of work that is required in a desk job. He won’t be able to type or write, so what can he do?
When you can prove that you can’t do the type of work that is expected of someone of your age, with your experience and education, then you may be able to get social security disability benefits. Even with a diagnosis like Raynaud’s Syndrome, you can expect to have to appeal some denials of benefits. It’s at the hearing level, when you get in front of a judge, where your lawyer can really make a difference to help you get benefits.