An allergy is a pathological overreaction to substances, situations, or physical states that are without comparable effect on the average individual. Allergic reactions can cause coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, and in severe cases known as anaphylaxis, individuals suffer breathing difficulty, low blood pressure, and even death. According to the CDC, allergies are common in the U.S, with about one quarter of adults having a seasonal allergy. Typically, though, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not consider allergies to be a severe impairment, as they have no more than a minimal impact on one’s ability to maintain a job.
However, in extreme cases, allergies can be so pronounced as to affect multiple body systems and impact activities of daily living. Severe allergies could even contribute to an inability to maintain work when considered in conjunction with other related impairments such as dermatitis, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and autoimmune disorders such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. Severe allergies exacerbate preexisting breathing disorders or skin disorders, causing the body to kick into overdrive with an exaggerated response.
To evaluate your residual functional capacity, SSA will access your medical records and assess the severity of your condition. SSA will consider environmental work restrictions such as exposure to weather conditions, extreme heat, extreme cold, wetness or humidity. They will also consider atmospheric conditions such as exposure to fumes, noxious odors, dusts, mists, gases, and poor ventilation – anything that affects the respiratory system, eyes, or skin. If your residual functional capacity shows a need to work in a highly restrictive environment and you are unable to work any job for which you are qualified, then you will be found disabled under a medical vocational allowance.
Consulting an attorney or qualified disability advocate will greatly increase your chances of being approved for benefits with SSA, as they present evidence and arguments toward an approval.