If you have the Epstein-Barr virus and as a result cannot work, you could qualify for disability insurance benefits.
Epstein-Barr is one of the most common viruses – it’s actually unusual not to have it. 95% of all people carry the virus but only a small percentage of those who contract the virus will show any symptoms at all. The Social Security Administration does not list Epstein-Barr as a condition that will automatically qualify for benefits and because there is no listing for Epstein-Barr, applicants will have to prove that their condition prevents them from doing any work. Most disability claims are proven this way rather than through meeting a listing.
Because Epstein-Barr is so common, it can be difficult to study scientifically due to lack of a control.
In most people, the virus is contracted in early childhood and remains inactive. However, in some cases the virus may weaken the immune system and causes complications. Most people contract the virus in their early childhood and only experience minor flu-like symptoms. However, if the disease occurs later in life, it is more likely to cause more serious complications. Epstein-Barr has been correlated to multiple sclerosis, lymphoma, hepatitis, and various blood disorders. Epstein-Barr is most commonly associated with mononucleosis.
Mononucleosis is common among teenagers and is transmitted by saliva.
These characteristics have earned it the nickname “the kissing disease”. Mononucleosis is caused by late exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus. Most children exposed to Epstein-Barr fight off the infection easily with no symptoms. However, adults and teenagers experience symptoms in 35%-50% of cases. Symptoms of mononucleosis include fever, sore throat and fatigue. Treatment for mononucleosis is simple- rest and hydration is usually sufficient. Mononucleosis is rarely serious and most individuals recover in two to four weeks.
Because it does not usually result in serious or long-lasting illness, disability claims for Epstein-Barr virus are rare.
The complications created by Epstein-Barr can be disabling. The virus has been linked to certain cancers as well as multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s nervous system. This can lead to weakness and difficult-to-manage pain. These symptoms could easily prevent someone from working.
Additionally, at one time, it was believed that Epstein-Barr was a factor in chronic fatigue syndrome.
If you are applying for disability with chronic fatigue syndrome as the basis, you may be tested for your Epstein-Barr antigen levels. Even though current medical research suggests the two conditions are unrelated, the Social Security Administration will view Epstein-Barr as evidence for Chronic Fatigue.