A Chicago Social Security attorney can help

Skin is the body’s largest organ, in terms of both surface area and weight. Although some skin conditions are merely cosmetic nuisances, a Chicago Social Security attorney may see people with serious ailments that result in pain, limited mobility or other conditions that prevent them from working. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits may be available to help people who suffer from these types of conditions.

General criteria

The Social Security Administration has a general set of criteria when it comes to disabling skin conditions. To determine whether a skin condition meets this criteria, a claims examiner may take several factors into account. These include:

  • The location, size and severity of lesions. Generally, lesions must interfere with joint motion, restricting the movement of at least two extremities, impeding fine and gross hand movements or limiting ability to walk.
  • The frequency of flare-ups. The examiner will also weigh the severity of flare-ups, the duration between flare-ups and the individual’s ability to work during remissions.
  • The other symptoms. Pain and physical limitations are the primary symptoms considered.
  • The effects of treatment. The examiner may consider the type and duration of treatment, its efficacy and any side effects.

An examiner may consider whether a skin condition is inherited, stress-based or due to past exposure to irritants, which could range from allergens to toxins. The examiner will also weigh whether the victim requires a carefully protected environment to maintain health and safety.

The SSA requires a professional diagnosis of the skin condition. This diagnosis should be supported with laboratory findings, such as blood tests or biopsy results, or other objective medical evidence.

Qualifying conditions

The SSA directly recognizes several skin disorders as disabling. The SSA establishes severity criteria for several specific conditions, including ichthyosis, bullous disease, dermatitis and hidradenitis suppurativa. The SSA also establishes criteria for more general conditions, such as photosensitivity disorders and persistent skin or mucus membrane infections. People who meet these criteria may qualify for SSD benefits without direct evaluations of their ability to work.

The SSA evaluates numerous skin conditions based on their effects on other body systems. These conditions include burns, tuberous sclerosis, autoimmune disorders and conditions that affect ability to see, hear, speak or eat. Additionally, malignant skin tumors are evaluated as neoplastic diseases rather than skin conditions.

If the SSA does not directly recognize a skin condition as disabling, the victim may still qualify for benefits. The SSA claims examiner must consider the specific limitations the condition imposes, along with the applicant’s education, work history and transferrable skills.