Social Security disability benefits are a definite possibility for individuals with painful and debilitating skin conditions, including burns. Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluators and judges will grant disability benefits to individuals who can demonstrate the medical criteria of one of the skin conditions listed in what is known as the SSA “blue book”. Skin conditions listed here include ichthyosis, bullous disease, chronic infection of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurative, genetic photosensitive disorders, and burns. Even if the “blue book” criteria is not met, the SSA will grant disability benefits to individuals who are otherwise eligible for benefits and can show that they are unable work due to their skin issues
When evaluating a skin disorder, the SSA will looks at the onset and whether the individual has been exposed to toxins in the past or if the skin symptoms are associated with allergens, stress, or other factors. The SSA will also look at how long the condition has effected the individual and the frequency of flare-ups and overall prognosis of the condition. They will also look at how the symptoms of the condition impact the individual’s ability to function outside of a highly protective environment. In assessing the severity of the skin condition, the SSA focuses in particular on the frequency of flare-ups or the extent of skin lesions, the extent of treatment, and how the treatment effects the individual.
If the individual’s skin condition does not meet the blue book criteria, the most important factor is the relationship between the skin condition and one’s ability to work. The administration will look at the impact the individual’s symptoms, such as pain, diminish their capacity for basic work activities. The SSA will not grant disability benefits based on the individual’s statements about their symptoms alone. The SSA will need to be supplied with medical records documenting your diagnosis and symptoms.
An experienced disability attorney and law firm can assist in obtaining medical records and in crafting a persuasive legal argument in your case.