There is no specific listing for Lyme disease in the blue book published by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This blue book lists the impairments used in determining disability benefits. However, it’s possible to receive benefits for Lyme disease if the Lyme Disease Diagnosis on a Tabletsymptoms meet the requirements of another impairment.

But if you can’t match your symptoms to an impairment listing in the blue book, you may still be eligible for benefits. The SSA will also use a tool called the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) to determine your level of employability.

If your Lyme disease affects your ability to work, the SSA will use the RFC to consider the limitations of your condition and the severity of your impairment. It’s possible for there to be serious medical issues related to Lyme disease that interfere with your ability to perform at your job.

How the RFC Is Used to Determine Disability Benefits

Many people with Lyme disease suffer debilitating symptoms that negatively impact their lives.  Even without a matching impairment in the blue book, the SSA may grant disability benefits if:

  • Your Lyme disease has been formally diagnosed and has severely impacted your ability to perform your current job.
  • You have had the condition for at least a year.  
  • Your condition interferes with your ability to do all types of work.

The SSA looks at the ways Lyme disease has negatively affected your ability to work and compares your RFC to the requirements of current, former, and less demanding jobs. So, it’s important that all of your limitations are considered in your RFC. To ensure that the SSA has this information, the detail in your medical records is critical. These records need to include the diagnosis, the prognosis, and specific descriptions of your functional limitations due to Lyme disease.   

If you have debilitating symptoms from Lyme disease, and the limitations caused by this condition make it impossible for you to work, contact us at 402-933-5405 to discuss your situation. We can help determine if you’re eligible for Social Security benefits.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska