Eczema or dermatitis occurs when the skin becomes irritated. It is estimated that approximately 3 % of the adult population may suffer from this condition. This condition is generally not dangerous, although it causes discomfort in a claimant due to itchy, swollen skin. It can affect the knees, wrist, hands or feet of claimants making the skin appear scaly, dry and red.
The cause of eczema is unknown, but it is thought there is a genetic component to the condition and families who have a history or asthma or other allergic reactions may be more susceptible to the condition. Other factors which contribute to eczema include diseases, stress or respiratory infections. This condition is not contagious, and although it can look strange, it should not pose a risk to other workers.
Winning SSDI or SSI for Eczema
Claimants can win SSI or SSDI by either meeting or exceeding a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments (a listing of all the conditions and symptoms the SSA considers automatically disabling) or by proving that they are unable to work through a medical vocational allowance.
Meeting a Listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Eczema and winning SSI or SSDI
Severe skin conditions are listed on the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments under 8.00 Skin Disorders. There are several different types of skin disorders which have listings: Ichthyosis, Bullous disease, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, Hidradenitis Suppurativa, burns and Genetic photosensitivity disorders.
Eczema is most often evaluated under 8.05 Dermatitis. This listing states the condition must have “extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.” The SSA includes psoriasis, dyshidrosis, atopic dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis, and allergic contact dermatitis as conditions that may meet the listing.
Claimants who have eczema and hope to meet the listing must be seeing a medical doctor and following their prescribed treatment plan. Some of the most aggressive treatments for eczema may include steroids or immunosuppressant medicines, such as ciclosporin or methotrexate or light treatment (phototherapy). These treatments must be supervised in the proper medical facilities and may have long-term negative side-effects.
Winning SSDI or SSI benefits through a medical vocational allowance for Eczema
Claimants can also win SSI or SSDI by proving that they do not have the residual capacity to work. Claimants whose condition does not meet a listing may benefits from legal assistance. Disability lawyers can review the claimant’s medical history and medical evidence to develop an argument that their eczema does not allow them to continue to work their old job, current job or retrain for new work.
Claimants also should list all the disabling conditions they have which they believe lowers their ability to work. For instance, if you have eczema in addition to other serious medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe heart conditions these conditions will be considered in their entirety to determine if you have the residual ability to continue to work.
The most important thing for all claimants with a severe skin condition is to see the doctor and make sure you have done everything you can to properly treat the condition.
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