- Is your child suffering with painful skin lesions?
- Does he constantly have itchy or flaky rashes over his body?
- Are you frequently taking him to see a pediatric dermatologist for treatment?
- Are you fed up with seeing him go to bed miserable because you can’t afford all the treatments?
Fortunately, you may have options.
Depending on the severity of the condition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes childhood skin disorders as cause for disability. This means that if your child is having difficulty functioning on a day-to-day basis as a result of his condition and you’re finding it difficult to pay for treatment you could be entitled to government assistance. However, in order to qualify, your child’s condition must be evaluated by an SSA panel to determine the severity and need for assistance.
Conditions for Determining Skin Disorder Severity and Benefit Approval
The SSA recommends that before filling out an application, you and your disability attorney should determine the severity of your child’s skin disorder. Understanding how the SSA assesses skin conditions can help you decide whether the application is even necessary. The SSA establishes severity based on the following criteria:
- Extent of skin lesions. Lesions covering multiple areas of the body or developing in sensitive body areas that result in a very serious limitation of movement or function may qualify.
- Flare-up frequency. In general, the skin condition must be present for a 12-month period; however, since it is common for severe skin disorders to flare up and recede, the following will be taken into consideration:
- How often flare-ups occur within a 12-month span
- Seriousness of flare-ups
- Functionality between flare-ups
- Treatment. An assessment will be made of the effectiveness of medication, therapy, surgery, and any other form of treatment your child receives. Skin disorders frequently respond to treatment; in these cases disability may not be required. However, response to treatment can vary widely, with some impairments becoming resistant to treatment. In addition, some treatments can have side effects that could actually result in worse limitations than the condition itself.
- Symptoms. Severe pain, physical and emotional problems, and function limitations will be taken into consideration.
Is This Assessment Fair?
Let us know how you feel about disability guidelines and the approval process. Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comment section, or tell us your personal stories about filing. If you have been turned down by the SSA for your child’s severe skin disorder, call us to see if we can help you re-apply so that your child gets the benefits he deserves.