Psoriasis and Social Security Disability Benefits
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the lives of nearly 7.5 million people in the United States alone. At first glance, psoriasis may only appear to be a surface-level, dermatological issue. However, in severe cases, the symptoms of psoriasis can prove debilitating — limiting a person’s ability to socialize and complete common, everyday tasks.
If you are currently living with severe symptoms of psoriasis, then it’s important to understand your options for seeking Social Security Disability benefits.
Living With Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of this autoimmune disease. It is characterized by scaly-white patches of red and inflamed skin. Oftentimes, those suffering from psoriasis are able to live relatively normal lives and do not need Social Security Disability benefits. However, when these symptoms are particularly severe, patients may experience extensive physical and psychological limitations.
In addition to affecting a person’s skin, some patients experience pain and swelling in their joints and tendons — known as psoriatic arthritis. Severe physical pain can prove distracting, and it can limit a person’s ability to complete physical tasks and regular motions.
Because psoriasis is a highly visible condition, physical pain and discomfort are often coupled with feelings of depression and anxiety. Many psoriasis patients report to experiencing social anxiety and intense feelings of shame. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 50 percent of psoriasis patients also suffer from depression.
Those living with psoriasis all experience the condition differently. However, when these symptoms begin to limit your ability to find and maintain employment, then it may be time to consider your options for filing a Social Security Disability claim.
Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits
Because psoriasis can pose significant limitations on a person’s ability to work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes psoriasis as a potentially disabling condition. In certain cases, those who experience severe symptoms of psoriasis can qualify for long-term and permanent Social Security Disability benefits.
As with any debilitating condition, a person with psoriasis must meet certain criteria before the SSA will grant their claim. In addition to meeting general eligibility criteria, the claimant must also meet psoriasis-related criteria.
First, the patient must demonstrate that they have extensive skin lesions that limit their ability to work. To be considered extensive, the lesions must appear on multiple areas of the body. Furthermore, these lesions must be present on the skin for over three months to be considered a disabling condition. Finally, the patient must demonstrate that their condition has not improved after receiving continuous medical treatment for their symptoms.
Increasing Your Chances of Approval
Just because the SSA recognizes psoriasis as a potentially disabling condition, that does not mean they will approve every psoriasis claim that comes their way. To improve your chances of having your psoriasis claim approved, you must receive thorough medical treatment and seek the help of an experienced attorney.
To successfully meet criteria, you must seek treatment for your condition before filing your Social Security Disability benefits claim. You will be asked to provide documentation of the severity and treatment of your psoriasis symptoms. Moreover, the treatments you receive must be approved as an appropriate treatment for psoriasis by the SSA. If you fail to seek appropriate treatment, then your claim will likely be denied — even if you do meet the other criteria.
Because many Social Security Disability claims go unapproved, it’s essential that you seek the guidance of an experienced attorney before proceeding with your claim. A qualified attorney can guide you through the filing process and help you gather all the necessary documentation. Contact Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law to schedule a consultation with a qualified Social Security Disability benefits attorney.