Will skin disorders qualify for SSD benefits?

Skin disorders are often more than cosmetic. They can be a source of extreme discomfort, sometimes to the extent that it affects one's ability to work. When they become this severe, such impairments can also be economically debilitating for those who suffer from them. In cases where an individual is unable to work, they may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to help offset some of the financial hardships and lost wages from being out of work.

The SSDI program is a trust into which all workers in the United State have contributed over their work careers. In order to qualify for SSDI Benefits, a worker's skin disorder must be supported by medical records and meet certain government guidelines that have been established by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Many specific disorders fall within the guidelines, but to qualify for SSD benefits, medical evidence must demonstrate that the disorder meets certain thresholds.

The SSA is the ultimate arbiter of benefits determinations. In deciding whether SSDI benefits can be paid for a skin disorder, SSA will look at the nature of the disorder. To assess the disorder, its severity will be taken into consideration, as well as its responsiveness to treatment, how it is treated, whether it is acute or chronic, and whether it is a disease, such as dermatitis, or an injury, like a burn.

Most importantly, the SSA will examine how the skin disorder affects function. For example, whether it affects the mobility of joints, how often the disorder flares up, and the severity of associated pain. Not all disorder, unfortunately, will qualify for SSD benefits. Maladies that affect the palms of one's hands or the soles of one's feet, as well as burns and disorders that inhibit full range of motion in joints are the types of skin disorders for which SSD claimants are most typically successful.

Source: SSA.gov, "8.00 Skin Disorders - Adult," accessed on Feb. 26, 2018

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