This post discusses Psoriasis and Social Security Disability. If Psoriasis is preventing you or someone you care for from working read on for how SSA will evaluate your claim.
Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
SSA offers two types of benefits for disability claimants: Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is based on the credits from the work you have done in your life while SSI is a need based program.
You must be found disabled under SSA’s Five Step Sequential Evaluation before you are entitled to either benefit. The first step is to apply for benefits online or at your local SSA office. If you are unable to work due to your Psoriasis apply for SSI and/or SSDI benefits as soon as possible. Delay may cause you to lose benefits!
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is believed to be an auto immune disorder that affects the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. Via The Mayo Clinic . There are seven types of Psoriasis: Plaque psoriasis (most common), Guttate psoriasis, Inverse psoriasis, Pustular psoriasis, Erythrodermic psoriasis (least common), nail psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. Via WebMD .
Plaque psoriasis causes dry, red skin lesions covered with silvery scales. While any part of the body can be affected, the elbows, knees and scalp are most common. Via NIH . Guttate (Latin for drop) psoriasis often develops quickly after an infection in people under 30 years old. The plaque is small, red and in the shape of a teardrop.
Inverse psoriasis forms plaque in the folds of your body (armpits, around genitalia, under breasts or on in your groin). These are sensitive body areas and treatment can be a challenge. Pustular psoriasis can be cyclical, starting with red skin and progressing to pustules and scaling. Pustular can also be broken down into three categories: Von Zumbusch (can be abrupt and life threatening), Palmoplantar psoriasis (pustulosis occur on palms and soles) and Acropustulosis (rare but can cause bone changes). Via National Psoriasis Foundation .
Erythrodermic (least common) can be life threatening and cover most of the body. Nail psoriasis – most people who have psoriasis of the nails also have skin psoriasis but a small percentage (5%) do not. Via Emedicinehealth.
Psoriatic Arthritis occurs in some people who have psoriasis. Most people develop psoriasis first but in others the joint problems appear before plaque is seen. Psoriatic arthritis symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Via The Mayo Clinic.
There is no cure for psoriasis so symptom control is the goal of treatment. Treatment includes topical medication (corticosteroids) for skin lesions, phototherapy and oral medications (immunosuppressant drugs like Methotrexate). Most people can manage their psoriasis, but for others psoriasis can be difficult to control due to the sporadic nature of the disease. In addition, medication side effects are common and can be disabling by themselves.
Is Psoriasis a disability to the Social Security Administration?
As with all Social Security Disability claims, the name of your impairment is not as important as the severity of your symptoms. If your psoriasis is causing itching, burning, pain and discomfort to the point that its stops you from working even after you have followed your doctor’s advice, you may be found disabled.
The Social Security Administration can evaluate psoriasis under Listing 8.05, Dermatitis . This listing requires extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed. Listing 14.09 Inflammatory arthritis can be used for those with Psoriatic Arthritis.
In my experience, the listings are hard to meet and most people are unable to work long before they meet them. Even if you do not meet the above listing, you may be found disabled based on the Medical Vocational Guidelines (SSA Grid Rules) if you are over 50 and your lesions have affected your ability to walk, stand and carry.
The Bishop Law Firm represents Social Security Disability clients in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Cary, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids and surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call us today for a free case review, (919) 615-3095 .
Also read Overview of the Disability Process