If you have a medical condition that causes a serious skin disorder, you may be unable to perform typical daily tasks. Maintaining gainful employment may be difficult, if not impossible. Concerns about medical expenses can make an already stressful condition even more challenging. You may be able to obtain monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits that would help you cope with your skin disorder.
SSDI benefits could provide you with medical and financial support. When you’re ready to apply for these benefits, the attorneys at Disability Advocates Group are here to help. We will guide you through every step of the process, from submitting your application to navigating the appeals process. Don’t delay. Contact the Los Angeles disability attorneys at Disability Advocates Group to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.
The Process of Applying for Disability Benefits
You may qualify for SSDI benefits if your skin condition meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. To qualify for benefits, you’ll need to submit evidence that your condition is expected to persist for at least a year. If you meet this definition of a disability, you may be eligible for benefits, but you will need to submit a thorough application that includes an overwhelming amount of paperwork. A disability attorney can help you submit a complete application or pursue a successful appeal.
Skin Conditions That May Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits
Our skin covers our entire body and consists of the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. Healthy skin is an important part of a person’s overall health. Skin disorders can be painful and debilitating, making it impossible or nearly impossible for the person to continue working. The Social Security Administration uses a policy book called the “Blue Book” to determine which conditions are eligible for Social Security benefits. According to the Blue Book, the following conditions are considered potentially disabling:
- Skin lesions
- Severe burns
- Severe dermatitis
- Mucous membrane infections
- Bullous disease
- Hidradenitis suppurativa
- Chronic skin infections
- Genetic photosensitivity
You may qualify for benefits if you’ve been diagnosed with one of these skin conditions. However, you are not guaranteed benefits simply because your current medical condition is listed in the Blue Book. You must establish that your skin condition is severe enough to prevent you from full-time employment.
Proving the Severity of Your Skin Impairment
There are several different ways you can prove the severity of your condition. When submitting your application, your attorney can help you include medical records and dermatology test results. You can also include proof that you were exposed to hazardous substances or toxins, such as biopsy results.
The claims examiner reviewing your application will decide based on your supporting documentation, including your treatment plan, prognosis, and other factors that may help the examiner define the extent of your current medical condition. The examiner will consider the following factors:
- Treatment responses
- Extent of lesions
- Regularity of flare-ups
- Frequency of treatment
- Pain levels
- Recurrences of symptoms
Suppose your specific medical condition doesn’t match or meet the conditions outlined in the Blue Book. In that case, you may still be eligible for disability benefits if you prove your impairment leaves you unable to participate in full-time work. You and your attorney can work to provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) with test results, such as biopsy results, that support the seriousness of your condition. You should also provide evidence that details the onset and length of your illness. Your application should include records that state the prognosis of your condition, its intensity, and the seriousness of any flare-ups.
For example, if your skin condition results in lesions, you should provide evidence of their number, scale, location, and presence. It’s essential that you follow your doctor’s orders and take all prescribed medication. Doing so will help you demonstrate that you are working with medical professionals to treat your condition, but the condition still renders you unable to work. An attorney can work with you to include evidence of your physical disabilities and specific examples of how your skin condition affects you daily, increasing the likelihood that your application will be approved.
Types of Social Security Benefits for Skin Conditions
Proving that your skin condition is severe enough to be eligible for benefits is only part of the process. You’ll also need to determine which benefit program is best for you. The attorneys at Disability Advocates Group are prepared to help you determine a strategy for obtaining benefits. There are three main ways applicants can obtain Social Security benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are awarded to workers who cannot work because of medical conditions. If your disability is serious enough to prevent you from working and you previously worked long enough to acquire enough work credits, your current disability could make you eligible. You’ll also need to show that you worked recently enough and paid enough into the SSDI program.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are awarded to individuals who are disabled and can demonstrate their financial need. To qualify for these benefits, you’ll need to prove you have a very low income and virtually no assets. Some applicants may be eligible for concurring SSDI and SSI benefits. If you qualify for both programs, the attorneys at Disability Advocates Group can help you determine whether you may be eligible for one or both of these programs. If you’re considering returning to work, even part-time, an attorney can help you understand how doing so could negatively affect any concurrent benefits for which you may be eligible.
Contact a Los Angeles-area Disability Attorney
If your serious skin condition or other medical condition prevents you from working, you may be entitled to Social Security benefits. Disability Advocates Group can help you gather the necessary medical evidence to show you are eligible for benefits. If your appeal is denied, or any other issues may affect your case, we will continue advocating for you and pursuing the benefits you need and deserve. Contact Disability Advocates Group to arrange a free consultation.