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Skin Disorders and SSDI Disability for Adults

Skin disorders, we have all had them, whether it’s that first pimple or dermatitis. But if you have a serious skin disorder that is so severe that you are unable to maintain employment you may be wondering if you have any options for wage replacement.

The good news is that the Social Security Administration does have two disability programs which provide wage compensation for individuals who are not able to work. To win benefits under SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) you must prove that your skin condition is severe, it is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months and it will not allow you to perform substantial gainful activity. Each of these programs has additional requirements to qualify.

How does the SSA determine if your skin condition is severe enough for disability benefits?

The SSA has two ways to determine if you are disabled. First the SSA will determine if your condition meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments. If it does not, the SSA will determine if your condition leaves you with enough residual capacity to work.

Meeting a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Skin Disorders

The SSA does have a listing for skin disorders under 8.00 Skin Disorders. This listing specifically addresses Ichthyosis, Bullous disease, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, and Hidradenitis Suppurativa. If your condition is not specifically among those listed you will have to prove that your condition “meets or exceeds” a listing.

When evaluating a skin disorder the SSA will require information about “the onset, duration, frequency of flare-ups, prognosis, the location, size, and appearance of lesions.” They will also want information about whether you have been exposed to allergens, irritants or toxins. Medical evidence will be needed to support your claims which can include blood tests or biopsies.

The severity of your condition will be determined by the extent of your skin lesions and how often you experience flare-ups. The SSA will review how a skin lesion may interfere with your range of motion, your ability to ambulate or to perform fine motor skills with your hands.

Pain will also be considered as well as how often you must get treatment and how your treatment may affect your ability to perform work.

Winning SSDI or SSI through a medical vocational allowance

Many disability applicants will not have a condition which meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA listing of Impairments. Additionally, many SSDI or SSI applicants may have multiple conditions, none of which meets a listing, but considered together in their totality do not leave the claimant with the ability to work. These claimants may have a more difficult time winning SSDI or SSI, but it is possible through what the SSA terms a medical vocational allowance.

Through a medical vocational allowance a claimant can provide medical evidence to support their claim that they cannot work. Talk to a SSDI or SSI disability lawyer if you have questions about how to win benefits.
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