Unfortunately for those who are afflicted, scleroderma is a disease that not only affects the autoimmune system, but is also chronic, meaning it does not go away. The disease works by causing the body’s immune system to work against itself by hardening the connective tissue. This can prevent the body’s organs from functioning normally. One of the earliest signs of the condition for some people is the development of Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Obtaining Disability Benefits When You Suffer From Raynaud’s Phenomenon
When the fingers suddenly become very sensitive to cold and change color with cold or emotional stress, this is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon. There are two types of Raynaud’s phenomenon:
- Primary Raynaud’s. If someone has primary Raynaud’s, they have the condition but do not have scleroderma or another autoimmune disorder.
- Secondary Raynaud’s. With secondary Raynaud’s, sufferers have also developed scleroderma. While only a portion of those suffering from Raynaud’s phenomenon will develop scleroderma, nearly all of those diagnosed with scleroderma have symptoms of Raynaud’s.
While Raynaud’s phenomenon does not have its own listing for disability benefits under the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, it is included as part of other listings, including scleroderma. When a person has secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon, it is generally judged based on the scleroderma that is causing it. Typically, you must show that your Raynaud’s meets the following criteria:
- It has caused gangrene in two or more extremities.
- It has resulted in severe ulcerations on the toes or fingers which make it impossible to perform fine or gross motor movements effectively.
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