Social Security Disability for Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Social Security Disability for Hidradenitis suppurativa
By Kimberly BishopJuly 24, 2018

This post discusses if you can receive Social Security Disability for Hidradenitis Suppurativa . The Bishop Law Firm represents Social Security Disability clients in North Carolina and we do not get paid unless we win your case. Call us, ( 919 615-3095 ), for a free case review.

Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

There are two main types of disability benefits that SSA offers: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is based on the credits from the work that 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 type of benefit (also read Overview of the Disability Process ).

What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa ?

Hidradenitis Suppurativa or Acne inversa is a skin condition that causes small painful lesions under the skin in places where the skin rubs together (armpits, thighs, groin and anus - apocrine or sweat glands ). These recurrent abscesses can break open and cause tunnels (sinus tracks) under the skin in the affected area. The result can be odorous, itching, painful and inflamed pustules. Fortunately, Hidradenitis Suppurativa is not life threatening but it can cause chronic pain, scarring and depression in a patient.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa usually starts between the ages of 20 and 29 and in some individuals it worsens with age. Being a woman or having a relative with Hidradenitis Suppurativa increases your chances of having it. Infection and thick scars are frequent complications (Via Mayo Clinic ).

Treatment for Severe Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Treatment depends on the severity of the flare of hs lesions. A warm compress, NSAIDS, steroids, hormone therapy and topicals can be used. Accutane can also be prescribed but there is conflicting information about its usage.

If these methods fail, biologic injections (like Humira or Adalimumab and Remicade) can be given. Surgery may also be needed but even with surgery the skin lesions may come back again (Via WebMD ). Deroofing (including of the sinus tract ), excision and liquid nitrogen are all surgical options.

Can I get disability for Hidradenitis Suppurativa ?

The most important factor in receiving Social Security Disability benefits is the severity of your illness. Simply being diagnosed with Hidradenitis Suppurativa (or any other condition ) is not enough to be found disabled. You must show that your severe hs is preventing you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

The Social Security Administration can evaluate your Hidradenitis Suppurativa in a few different ways: Listing 8.06 Hidradenitis Suppurativa , the Grids (Medical Vocational Guidelines) or on the combination of your impairments.

Listing 8.06 requires extensive skin lesions that last for at least 3 months despite following medical treatment . Unfortunately, an outbreak for hs patients can last for years or a few months. If your hs lesions have lasted more than 3 months even though you are following medical treatment , you may meet this listing.

The Medical Vocational Guidelines (SSA Grid Rules) may offer help for those over 50 years of age with lesions that affect their ability to walk or stand. Aprocrine glands occur in parts of the body that feel friction when the body moves. Friction can cause lesions and may prevent you from moving without pain .

According to the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation , metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease , and thyroid disease can occur with Hidradenitis . In addition, there seems to be a relationship between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), especially Crohn's Disease , and Hidradenitis Suppurativa . Pyoderma gangrenosum can also co-occur with hs. The combination of your hs symptoms and your other impairments may prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

Plainly speaking, you need to have skin lesions that are not responding to medication or that are recurring at a rate that is making your daily life difficult to be approved for disability . Unfortunately, in my clients with this skin disorder , even surgery on the affected area does not always work and can make the disorder worse. But for others, their lesions are controlled with continuing treatment .

In my hearings with a hs patient, I may ask:

  1. Where do you have skin lesions? Tracks? What percentage of your body is covered by lesions currently? Is this normal for you?
  2. Do you have pain, odor and itching? Can your loved ones smell the lesions?
  3. Anything that makes lesions better? Worse? Does your clothing make your HS worse? Do you have to change clothing frequently?
  4. What medications and therapies have you and your doctor's tried? Did any of those therapies work?
  5. Have you had any surgery for your HS? Was this surgery effective?

If burning, pain , itching, odor, other symptoms or treatment side effects are stopping you from working, apply for Social Security Disability for Hidradenitis Suppurativa as soon as possible. Delay may cause you to lose benefits!

The Bishop Law Firm represents Social Security Disability clients in Raleigh , Cary , Durham , Fayetteville , Rocky Mount , Wilson , Smithfield , Louisburg , Chapel Hill , Roanoke Rapids , and surrounding areas in North Carolina. We do not get paid unless we win your case so call us today, (919) 615-3095 !


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