If you or someone you know has a skin disorder, you may have a disability that meets the criteria established by the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Listing of Impairments (the “Listings”). The listed disorders are only examples of skin disorders that Social Security considers sufficiently severe to prevent an individual from performing substantial gainful activity.
As mentioned, the Listing of Impairments lists impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is work that earns income above a certain monthly threshold. In 2017, the amount is $1,170 for non-blind disabled applicants and $1,950 for blind applicants.
The SSA uses the listings to evaluate skin disorders that may result from hereditary, congenital, or acquired pathological processes. The types of impairments covered by these listings are Ichthyosis, bullous diseases, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, genetic photosensitivity disorders, and burns.
If a claimant does not have continuing treatment as prescribed for most of these listings, if treatment has not lasted for at least 3 months, or if a claimant does not have extensive skin lesions that have persisted for at least 3 months, the impairment cannot meet the requirements of the skin disorder listings.
But the listings are only examples of common skin disorders that Social Security (“SSA”) considers sufficiently severe to prevent a claimant for disability benefits from engaging in any gainful activity. The SSA may also find that a claimant disabled because the impairment(s) meets the requirements of a listing in another body system or medically equals the severity of a listing.
Despite the impairment not meeting the criteria of any of the listings of skin disorders, the process to determine the presence of a disability continues. In this circumstance, as well as if a claimant has not received ongoing treatment or does not have an ongoing relationship with the medical community despite the existence of a severe impairment(s), or if the skin lesions have not persisted for at least 3 months but treatment is ongoing as prescribed, there is always the possibility that Social Security may still find a claimant disabled at a later step of the process when it assesses residual functional capacity at the fourth and, if necessary, the fifth step of the sequential evaluation process.
Certain durational requirements apply to these listings. For example, a skin disorder resulting in extensive skin lesions must persist for a certain period of time in order to meet the durational requirement, which is three months. For all of the skin disorder listings except genetic photosensitivity disorders and burns, Social Security will find that the impairment meets the duration requirement if a skin disorder results in extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing prescribed treatment.
The term “persist” refers to a longitudinal clinical record shows that, with few exceptions, the skin lesions have been at the level of severity specified in the listing. For xeroderma pigmentosum, Social Security presumes that a claimant meets the duration requirement since the individual is considered disabled from birth. For other genetic photosensitivity disorders and burns, the SSA considers all of the relevant medical and other information in a case record to determine whether a skin disorder satisfies the duration requirement.
Every application for social security benefits requires the consideration of a substantial list of issues over the life of a case. It’s one matter to apply for and receive benefits, but it’s another to understand what happens after this occurs over the long road ahead. The Sullivan Law Office provides assistance in ensuring that all applicants and recipients receive all of the benefits to which they are entitled in all types of disability cases. These include Social Security Disability, long-term disability, short-term disability, state retirement and workers’ compensation. Contact the Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.