The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes a wide range of skin conditions as potentially debilitating disorders that can warrant government benefits. If a skin condition causes significant pain or discomfort to an individual, it may ultimately prevent the person from working. These include chronic skin diseases such as dermatitis, and forms of skin cancer, like basal cell carcinomas. If you or a loved one is experiencing a debilitating disorder, a knowledgeable attorney can discuss your options with you. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our disability benefits attorneys have an extensive familiarity with the SSDI application process and have helped claimants throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island ascertain whether a particular condition might qualify them for government assistance.Skin Disorders and the SSA Impairment Listings
Since some skin disorders are likely to result in debilitating conditions, the SSA has identified these in their Listings, which set forth key symptoms or requirements that must be met in order to establish a disability. These include dermatitis, photosensitivity disorders, ichthyosis, burns, and bullous disease. If you are suffering from one of these disorders, it may be easier for you to establish a SSDI claim if you can meet the necessary requirements for the Listing.
Additionally, although the SSA does not set forth specific entries for conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, they often qualify for disability under the dermatitis listing. This could be an option if you have obtained a professional diagnosis of your skin condition and have “extensive skin lesions” that have lasted for at least three months and are nonresponsive to treatment. It should be noted, however, that although the dermatitis listing is broad and covers a wide range of skin disorders, it does not apply to common skin lesions. The SSA has determined that common skin lesions are never disabling unless there are additional limiting circumstances.
In order to establish that you have a skin disorder that prevents you from working, the SSA will require extensive detail on the nature of your disorder. This often includes:
- The location of the skin condition on your body
- The size and extent of the condition
- The appearance and nature of any skin lesions you have
- Family history or any known explanation for the skin condition
- A list of known stressors or triggers that exacerbate the condition
- A detailed description of how the condition limits your ability to function
In addition, these claims must be supported by medical records, such as the statements of a dermatologist or lab results. Applicants should also expect to establish that they have attempted to receive treatment for the condition and that medical care has not been able to resolve the problem. To show that your skin disorder has been nonresponsive to treatment, many impairment Listings require that the applicant has been experiencing problems from the skin condition, such as persistent lesions, for at least three months or more.
If you cannot meet the requirements of a particular Listing, you should not give up hope that you may be able to receive SSDI. Benefits can still be available through the RFC (residual functioning capacity) evaluation process, although the standard to meet is more challenging. An RFC evaluation requires the applicant to show that he or she is unable to perform not only his or her current or most recent job, but also any form of work available anywhere in the United States. While this task may seem daunting, it is not impossible to achieve with the assistance of a skilled attorney. You would need to make sure that you collect ample documentation of your condition from medical providers as well as testimony from acquaintances and family members about its impact on you. Your attorney may suggest enlisting a vocational expert as well to testify that you would be unable to hold any type of job.Seek Advice from a Social Security Attorney in Massachusetts
Applying for SSDI benefits on the basis of a disabling skin condition can be a complicated process. Each Listing imposes specific requirements on applicants, and some skin conditions may not fit within any clearly defined Listing. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our Social Security lawyers are here to assist individuals throughout Massachusetts in their applications for SSDI. With over two decades of experience helping others seek disability benefits, we can help you develop a strong claim based on your specific symptoms and work details. We represent individuals in Boston and the Merrimack River area as well as across Plymouth, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk Counties. For more information, contact us at (800) 367-0871 or online.