What is the skin rash Shingles?
Shingles is a skin rash which can appear on any part of a claimant’s body. It is caused by a viral infection called varicella zoster virus (VZV) and most frequently manifests as a strip of blisters that covers an individual’s torso.
The virus which causes shingles may lie dormant in the body until specific triggers occur such as stress. It can also be inflamed by a low immune system or if a the claimant has conditions such as cancer. This condition is most common in claimants over the age of 60, and medical experts estimate that there may be over 1,000,000 cases of shingles each year in the United States.
Common Symptoms of Shingles
Claimants with shingles can experience severe pain. Treatment may be necessary to limit the symptoms which can include a red rash, blisters, itching, numbness, burning and pain. Other symptoms can include achiness, headaches, fatigue and fever.
If you experience shingles it is important to talk to a doctor immediately. Complications from shingles can lead to infections which can cause permanent damage and complications.
Winning SSDI or SSI Disability for Shingles
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two methods for determining disability: determine whether the claimant’s condition meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments or determine if the claimant has enough residual capacity to work (this is done through the medical vocational allowance process).
Meeting a Listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Shingles and winning SSI or SSDI
The Social Security Administration evaluates skin disorders under section 8.00 Skin Disorders. All conditions must be severe, must be expected to last 12 continuous months and not allow the claimant to perform substantial gainful activity. Although shingles can be very severe for a time, the condition general clears up within a few weeks, and the SSA is likely to determine it is not as severe as other conditions listed under section 8.00.
Winning SSDI or SSI for shingles through a medical vocational allowance
Claimants will have difficulty proving that an episode of shingles is as severe as other skin conditions listed in the SSA Listing of Impairments. The other option is to prove that it interferes with their ability to work for at least 12 continuous months.
While shingles alone will probably not keep a claimant from working for 12 months, complications from this condition may. For instance, if the claimant has severe hearing loss, vision loss, paralysis or severe nerve damage which was caused by the shingles they may be able to prove that they cannot work.
Additionally, each of these conditions may also meet their own specific listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments. For instance, severe vision loss can be evaluated under listing 2.00 Special Senses and Speech, Section 2.02.
Hiring a disability lawyer if you have been denied disability for shingles
If you have questions about SSI or SSDI benefits a disability lawyer can help. Keep in mind, it is important to list every condition that you have on your disability application and make sure you have supporting documentation to substantiate your claim. If you have shingles you also may have additional conditions which lower your ability to work.
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