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Dyshidrotic Dermatitis and SSA Disability Benefits

Dyshidrotic Dermatitis is an uncommon type of eczema. It most commonly manifests on the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and on the toes and fingers. Medical doctors originally believed it was caused by bad sweating, which is how the condition derived its name.
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Dyshidrotic Dermatitis exhibits with tiny bumps which crack, itch and thicken. The condition is generally worse at night and in warm weather. Factors which can contribute to this condition can include stress, smoking, use of oral contraception, aspirin, and the existence of other skin conditions. Other common names can include pompholyx, vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis and even housewife’s eczema.

Common Treatments for Dyshidrotic Dermatitis

There are a variety of treatments which can reduce the symptoms and discomfort of Dyshidrotic eczema including antibiotics, topical or oral corticosteroids, injections, and avoiding triggers such as allergens and stress.

Winning SSDI or SSI for Dyshidrotic Dermatitis

Prior to awarding SSI or SSDI for any severe disabling health condition the Social Security Administration (SSA) will expect that you have seen the proper medical doctor and you are following their treatment plan.

The SSA also does not award any type of short-term or partial SSI or SSDI disability benefits so your condition will have to be so severe that it eliminates your ability to work. This will be very difficult to prove with a skin disorder.

How does the SSA make a disability determination?

The SSA has two methods they use to determine if a claimant is disabled and cannot work. First they will determine if their condition and corresponding symptoms are listed on the SSA Listing of Impairments or Blue Book. This is a list, maintained by the SSA, identifies conditions and symptoms the SSA considers automatically disabling.

Claimants whose condition is not on the SSA Listing of Impairments may be able to prove through a medical vocational allowance that they do not have the residual capacity to work. This process will evaluate the claimant’s “residual functional capacity” to work based on the claimant’s age, education, work history and health condition.

Meeting a Listing on the SSA Blue Book for Dyshidrotic Dermatitis and winning SSDI or SSI

The SSA does have a listing for skin disorders under 8.00 Skin Disorders. Dyshidrotic Dermatitis would be evaluated under this listing and specifically Section 8.05 Dermatitis which, according to the SSA, must include a skin condition which is so severe it will exhibit with “extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.”

Winning SSDI or SSI for Dyshidrotic Dermatitis through a medical vocational allowance

If your condition does not meet a listing, as mentioned above, you may be able to prove you cannot work through a medical vocational allowance. Winning through a medical vocational allowance will be very difficult and your medical records should clearly state your work limitations:

The SSA will want medical information about the onset, duration, frequency of flare-ups, and prognosis of your skin disorder; the location, size, and appearance of lesions; and, when applicable, history of exposure to toxins, allergens, or irritants, familial incidence, seasonal variation, stress factors, and your ability to function outside of a highly protective environment.
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