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Determining the Severity of Your Skin Disorder for Disability Consideration


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1/22/2015
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You’ve had skin issues your entire life. When you were little, you had eczema. In high school, you had severe acne issues. Starting in college, you developed psoriasis, and over the past few months, you’ve been experiencing horrible cracking, bleeding, and sores that come out of nowhere. Although you’ve usually been able to ignore your issues and push through, these recent issues are too painful to ignore. They’ve even caused you to miss a few days of work. 

After several appointments with your doctor and dermatologist, you discovered that you had a type of genetic skin disorder called ichthyosis. You were given several different types of topical and oral medications, but your doctors suggested that until the cracks heal and the skin gets better you shouldn’t perform any unnecessary movements that may exacerbate the condition.

So what are you supposed to do about work? Since it was medically diagnosed and your doctors encouraged you to rest, do your condition’s symptoms qualify you for disability?

Common Skin Disorder Symptoms

In order to qualify for disability, you must be able to prove that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from making a livable wage. Depending on your condition, this can be extremely easy (cardiac conditions) or extremely difficult (skin conditions).

Approximately one-third of Americans suffer from some sort of skin condition, and according to a Centers for Disease Control study, more than 20,000 people a year are hospitalized due to skin conditions. As a result of these facts, the Social Security Administration (SSA) concedes that skin disorders can be debilitating enough to require disability approval. However, approval is based on severity and whether or not your symptoms relate to approved conditions within the SSA blue book.  

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Severe redness or bruising of the skin or mucus membranes
  • Rashes that last more than three months
  • Skin pain
  • Large scaly patches of skin
  • Long-term itchy and flaky skin
  • Cracks or spontaneous cuts in the skin that produce blood or fluid
  • Blisters on the arms, legs or torso
  • Skin lesions or ulcers
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Changes in skin appearance (discolorations, birthmarks change shape, etc.)

If you have been experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible for treatment. If diagnosed with a severe skin condition that will keep you from working for an extended period of time, you may qualify for disability. Contact an experienced lawyer to see if your condition is covered under the SSA blue book listings.

Share Your Concerns

Given the potential pain and suffering involved with certain skin disorders, do you think it’s fair that a panel of non-sufferers are determining your eligibility based on someone else’s previous determinations? Do you think the blue book system is efficient, or biased? Let us know your thoughts by leaving your opinions and concerns in the comment section. You can also like us on Facebook to speak with other like-minded readers, or to get more information and periodic legal advice dealing with disability claims.

Please, also make sure that your family and friends are aware of disabling skin disorder symptoms before it’s too late. Remember, they may be entitled to disability benefits. Don’t let them suffer in silence. Share this page with them via Facebook or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about their disability claims. We’re here to help!



Category: I Need to Apply

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law

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