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Chronic Skin Diseases and Social Security Disability

Chronic Skin Diseases can be very painful and frustrating conditions. While each case of Chronic Skin Disease is unique to the individual suffering from it, some people who suffer from severe forms of Chronic Skin Disease are often unable to work due to the condition. Unable to earn an income, these individuals often face significant financial hardships. These financial difficulties can be worsened by the mounting medical bills caused by the disability. In some situations, Social Security Disability benefits can offset the financial suffering experienced by individuals who live with Chronic Skin Disease. If you have been diagnosed with a Chronic Skin Disease and are wondering if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, there are some important things you need to know. First and foremost, you need to understand how your condition affects your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. The following information can help.

Chronic Skin Diseases - Condition and Symptoms

Skin infections are not uncommon and there are a variety of fungus, viruses and bacteria that can cause them. However, in certain situations, skin infections do not go away or they go away for a short period of time only to come back time and time again. In these cases, the condition is referred to as Chronic Skin Disease.

There are a number of conditions that are categorized as Chronic Skin Diseases. Many viral infections (such as herpes) fall into the Chronic Skin Disease category. Chicken pox may also become a Chronic Skin Disease, reoccurring as shingles many years after the initial chicken pox outbreak. Cellulitis, folliculitis, impetigo and erysipelas may also result in chronic skin infections.

When a person is suffering from a Chronic Skin Disease, the symptoms of the condition will vary based on the source of the disease. Some patients with Chronic Skin Disease may suffer only mild rashes. Others may experience severe lesions and infections that result in life-threatening complications.

When diagnosing a Chronic Skin Disease your doctor may run a variety of tests in addition to a complete physical exam. Tests conducted may include a biopsy as well as various blood tests. Some Chronic Skin Diseases require an “exclusionary” approach to diagnosis, ruling out other conditions before diagnosing the actual condition a patient is suffering from.

Treatments for Chronic Skin Disease will vary depending on the cause of a patient's specific condition. Chronic Skin Diseases caused by bacterial infections may be treated with antibiotics. Anti-fungal creams can be used to treat fungal skin diseases. While skin diseases caused by viral infections will disappear when the virus dies off, anti-viral medications may be prescribed in cases of Chronic Skin Disease that are cause by viral infections.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Chronic Skin Diseases

The Social Security Administration (SSA)'s listing of impairments actually does include a specific entry for Chronic Skin Diseases. These conditions are covered under Section 8.04 of the SSA's published guidelines. It is important to understand, however, that a diagnosis of a Chronic Skin Disease is not enough in and of itself to qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. In addition to a diagnosis, your specific case of Chronic Skin Disease will also need to meet the guidelines set forth by Section 8.04 of the SSA's impairment listings. You will also need to prove that your condition prevents you from performing any work activity in order to qualify for disability benefits.

In order to prove your case for Social Security Disability due to Chronic Skin Disease, you will need medical records showing that you suffer from multiple areas of lesions or that your lesions cover critical parts of your body. You will also need to prove that your lesions interfere with your ability to move freely, that you suffer frequent flare-ups and that prescribed treatment has not been effective in treating your Chronic Skin Disease.

When submitting your claim for Social Security Disability benefits, make sure your medical records include information about the frequency and duration of your skin disease flare-ups and that you include lab reports confirming the diagnosis of your condition. Also make sure all treatments you have undergone are documented, as well as the outcomes of those treatments.

Chronic Skin Diseases and Your Social Security Disability Case

Depending on the severity of your Chronic Skin Disease, your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits may or may not be approved by the SSA. Chances are, unless your Chronic Skin Disease is very severe and you have extensive medical documentation, you will not be approved during the initial stage of the application process. This does not mean, however, that you will not be able to obtain Social Security Disability benefits.

It is important to understand that only 30 percent of applications are approved by the SSA at the initial stage of the application process. The remaining 70 percent of applicants must go on to file an appeal in order to receive the disability benefits they need. If you are one of these individuals, you should consider retaining the services of a Social Security Disability attorney.

While only 30 percent of initial disability applications are approved, two-thirds of appeals are approved at the hearing stage of the Social Security Disability appeal process. Statistics show that your chances of receiving a favorable decision at this stage of the appeal process are significantly higher with proper legal representation. If you have been denied disability benefits with a Chronic Skin Disease, you should contact a Social Security Disability attorney as soon as possible in order to successfully appeal the decision. A consultation with an attorney prior to filing for disability benefits will increase your chances of being approved at the initial stage as well.