Petition Closed
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives and 3 others

Social Security: Declare Chronic Lyme Disease patients eligible for disability insurance

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Lyme Disease is caused by a bacterial infection resulting from the bite of a tick that is very small and often escapes detection. While Lyme Disease can be overcome in its earlier stages, chronic Lyme Disease is not so easy a foe to beat. The bacterial organisms infest the brain of the afflicted and cause symptoms that have made Lyme Disease very hard to diagnose as these symptoms mimic those of Multiple Sclerosis and even some kinds of cancer.

"Neurological complications," continues the NINDS, "most often occur in the second stage of Lyme disease, with numbness, pain, weakness, Bell's palsy (paralysis of the facial muscles), visual disturbances, and meningitis symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, and severe headache. Other problems, which may not appear until weeks, months, or years after a tick bite, include decreased concentration, irritability, memory and sleep disorders, and nerve damage in the arms and legs."

I have personally witnessed the effects of long-term chronic Lyme Disease and the patient in question was clinically blind for hours, was paralyzed and unable to rise from bed, so tired that he has fallen asleep at the wheel and the affliction has also begun to torment him with wracking pain in his joints as, when the bacterial organisms begin to die as a result of aggressive treatment, they release toxins into whatever space they occupy, deadly toxins that cause horrible head pain and debilitating joint pain.

With reams of medical evidence supporting the legitimacy and severity of this disease it seems inevitable that our Federal Government would have made patients of CHRONIC Lyme Disease eligible for Social Security Benefits just like sufferers of other serious diseases are, yet this has still NOT happened. This petition's goal is to compel the Federal Government to consider Chronic Lyme Disease as a disability insurance-eligible illness.

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
President of the United States
and 1 other
Commissioner, Social Security Administration Jo Anne Barnhart
According to criteria and guidelines set forth by The Social Security Administration and the Federal Government, an individual must meet the disability guidelines, primarily the inability to work at a substantial level (which means the inability to work at a SGA - Substantial Gainful Activity). According to your own guidelines, In 2012, SGA is $1010 per month (non-blind) and $1690 (blind). Additionally, the disability must have lasted or be expected to last for at least a year (12 months) or result in death. Chronic Lyme disease has been shown, due to its insidious nature of mimicking other like diseases, to result in a painful and prolonged death. Yet, despite meeting every criteria set forth by this administration, Chronic Lyme disease patients cannot collect social security disability insurance.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Lyme Disease is caused by a bacterial infection resulting from the bite of a tick that is very small and often escapes detection. While Lyme Disease can be overcome in its earlier stages, chronic Lyme Disease is not so easy a foe to beat. The bacterial organisms infest the brain of the afflicted and cause symptoms that have made Lyme Disease very hard to diagnose as these symptoms mimic those of Multiple Sclerosis and even some kinds of cancer.

"Neurological complications," continues the NINDS, "most often occur in the second stage of Lyme disease, with numbness, pain, weakness, Bell's palsy (paralysis of the facial muscles), visual disturbances, and meningitis symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, and severe headache. Other problems, which may not appear until weeks, months, or years after a tick bite, include decreased concentration, irritability, memory and sleep disorders, and nerve damage in the arms and legs."

Such is the sad case of David Mann, a chronic Lyme disease sufferer who, like so many other Americans stricken by this terrible illness, cannot maintain a full-time work schedule due to temporary paralysis, temporary blindness, severe pain in the organs and joints, nausea, brain swelling and fever. He, like so many others, tries to survive on an inadequate income that has caused him to become vastly in debt.

With reams of medical evidence supporting the legitimacy and severity of this disease it seems inevitable that our Federal Government would have made patients of CHRONIC Lyme Disease eligible for Social Security Benefits just like the sufferers of other serious diseases are, yet this has still NOT happened. We feel that the time has come to acknowledge Lyme disease as a legitimate chronic illness whose patients are eligible for social security disability insurance. In light of the new, undetectable strain of Lyme disease emerging it seems even more ridiculous that our Social Security Administration continues to ignore it. Please right a grievous wrong and give these people a fighting chance, please. My most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your time and attention.