Understanding Dermatitis and Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits

When thinking about Social Security disability benefits, many people overlook skin conditions as a cause for an individual’s inability to work. Unfortunately, dermatitis can cause severe symptoms that dramatically impact daily life for those suffering from this condition. The financial burden that results from an inability to work can cause great strain on a family. If your physician diagnosed you with dermatitis, consider learning more about your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.

Dermatitis diagnosis with syringe and stethoscopeWhat Is Dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a general term that is used to describe any type of inflammation of the skin. Examples of conditions that fall into this category include the following:

  • Atopic dermatitis. Also known as eczema, which has an unknown cause.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis. Typically appearing on the face, upper chest, scalp, or back.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis. Caused by direct contact with an allergen.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis. Caused by regular contact with an irritating substance.
  • Neurodermatitis. Caused by repeated scratching.
  • Perioral dermatitis. Caused by misuse of topical corticosteroids or other unknown causes.

Most of these conditions are not life-threatening. However, their symptoms can be severe enough that they interfere with an individual’s ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. When dermatitis affects an individual’s ability to work, he or she may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits Due to Dermatitis

If you are suffering from dermatitis, you may be entitled to financial benefits from the Social Security Administration as a result of your disability. Consider taking the following steps if you want to file a claim:

  1. Contact a knowledgeable attorney who can assist you through the claim process. If you live in or near Dallas or Houston, the team at Morgan & Weisbrod is happy to assist you.
  2. Assess whether you meet the guidelines for a successful claim as outlined by the Social Security Administration. Dermatitis is listed in Section 8.05 of the Blue Book Listing of Impairments.
  3. Gather medical documentation from your physician. This includes a copy of your complete medical record. Your record should show your diagnosis, the extent of the lesions, and the history of any treatments you have undergone.
  4. Prepare yourself for the fact that you may need to file an appeal if your initial application for benefits is denied. You may have to provide further evidence that your condition interferes with your ability to work.

Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability?

When assessing whether you might be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, consider the following:

  1. Were you diagnosed with dermatitis by a licensed physician?
  2. Are your skin lesions extensive?
  3. Does your skin condition affect both arms or hands, both legs or feet, or one arm and one leg?
  4. Is this effect severe enough to make it impossible to work or walk from one place to another?
  5. Have you undergone treatment for dermatitis for at least three months?
  6. Are your dermatitis flare-ups frequent?
  7. Have you responded poorly to treatment for your dermatitis?

When reviewing your claim, the Social Security Administration will consider how your combination of symptoms effects your ability to perform the daily activities that would be expected of you at a job site. The answers to the above questions will be factored into that consideration. Before filing your claim, gather all of your medical records from your physician and talk to an experienced Social Security disability lawyer who will fight hard to get you the benefits you deserve.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law