Psoriasis is a serious, chronic inflammatory disease that affects an estimated 7.5 million people in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). While the condition primarily affects the skin and joints, it can also contribute to the development of other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, suicidal depression, and lymphoma.
When your psoriasis and/or other related conditions is severe enough that it impairs your ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Getting Social Security disability for psoriasis in Raleigh can be challenging, though. For a free one-on-one consultation with a psoriasis disability lawyer in Raleigh, call Lunn & Forro at 888-966-6566.
What are the medical criteria I must meet to obtain disability benefits for psoriasis?
Some people can control their psoriasis with treatments such as topical ointments, oral medication, and phototherapy. But many others continue to suffer from itchy, burning, and painful lesions that make it difficult to function, despite treatment.
When your psoriasis is severe, you may qualify for disability benefits. For instance, if you have lesions on your feet that make walking difficult or painful lesions on your knuckles and fingers that make it hard to use your hands, the SSA may consider you disabled.
The SSA listed psoriasis as a qualifying impairment in Section 8.05. The listing provides that the SSA will consider your psoriasis a disability when you have “extensive skin lesions that persist for at least three months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.”
Section 8.00 of the listing of impairments even has a definition of “Extensive skin lesions” that the SSA will consider when evaluating your disability. A patient is said to have extensive skin lesions if they involve multiple or critical body sites, leading to serious limitations. For example:
- Skin lesions that affect joint mobility and your ability to use more than one extremity.
- Skin lesions on both palms that affect your fine and gross motor movements.
- Skin lesions on soles of both feet, the perineum, or the groin, affecting your ability to walk.
The examiner who reviews your application will evaluate your medical evidence and determine if your lesions are such that you cannot work. If they are, the SSA may consider you disabled.
What other criteria do I need to meet to qualify for benefits?
We can break down criteria for Social Security disability benefits into three areas:
As aforementioned, you either have to have a condition listed in the SSA’s listing of impairments, or another condition or combination of conditions that prevents you from working. A doctor must expect your condition to last a year or more or result in death.
Your condition must impair work-related activities to the point where you cannot work at your old job or cannot adjust to any new work.
Work History or Financial Requirements
There are also either work credit or income threshold requirements you must meet, depending on the type of disability benefit you are applying for.
If you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must have worked long and recently enough to have earned adequate work credits.
You may alternatively pursue Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify for this type of disability benefit, you must have limited income and limited resources.
What if the SSA denies my application for disability benefits?
Psoriasis and other skin disorder cases are not always easy to prove. If the SSA thinks that your condition is not severe enough or that your lesions are not totally limiting your capacity to work, it may deny your benefits.
Fortunately, you have the right to appeal the decision if they deny your application. There are multiple levels of appeals you can use:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal Court review
Each level of appeal provides you with an opportunity to present additional evidence that supports your case. Our attorneys can help. We have dedicated our careers to helping Raleigh residents through the entire claims process, including all four levels of appeal. You are welcome to peruse some of our case results and client testimonials to see how we have been able to help.
Contact our office today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation meeting with one of our lawyers. We will gladly answer any questions about Social Security disability benefits and help you pursue the benefits you are entitled to. Call 888-966-6566 to get started.