Skin conditions can be painfully disabling to those who pursue medical treatment with little to no success.

Eczema – clinically known as atopic dermatitis – is one of these conditions that is characterized by inflamed or irritated skin. It causes itching in the affected area, and the skin that is affected looks scaly, dry and thickened. It may also include skin lesions in the form of small blisters.

The condition can occur anywhere on the body, but is most commonly present on the hands, feet, back of the knees, and face.

While there is no cure for eczema, it does not actually harm other parts of the body. Having the condition does not mean your skin is simply dirty, dry or infected. It means you’ve got a painful skin condition that should be treated by a medical professional. When creams, medications and other forms of treatment have little to no effect on your condition, then you should consider applying for SSI benefits.

A woman scratches her back in a spot that is red and inflamed.

Causes of Eczema

The basic causes of eczema include:

  • Your immune system – If you have eczema, your immune system is overreacting to certain irritants or allergens, and this overreaction can lead to inflammation of your skin.
  • Genetics – You’re more likely to have eczema if there’s a history of dermatitis in your family. You’re also at higher risk if there’s a family history of hay fever or asthma or strong reactions to allergens such as pet dander, pollen, or foods that trigger allergic reactions.
  • The environment – Exposure to things such as tobacco smoke, other air pollutants, harsh soaps, certain fabrics, and low humidity (dry air) can lead to dry and itchy skin.
  • Stress – A high-stress level characterized by things such as depression, irritability, mood swings, or a short temper, can cause or worsen cases of eczema.

Is Eczema a Disability?

The answer to this question is yes, under certain conditions. It’s estimated that up to 15 million Americans suffer from some form of eczema, and while many are able to manage their condition, in some cases eczema may be so severe that you can qualify for either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

If your case of eczema prevents you from working, the Social Security Administration (SSA) might grant you social security disability benefits automatically, provided you meet the requirements the SSA sets forth in the Skin Disorders section of the SSA Blue Book.

When the type of eczema you have and how it affects your daily activities doesn’t quite meet the requirements, then you’ll want to enlist the help of a social security disability lawyer to help you with your application. If it comes to this, your social security disability attorney will even represent you in a disability hearing before an administrative law judge.

Consideration For Your Disability Claim

In evaluating your claim for benefits, the SSA will consider how extensive your lesions are, the parts of the body they affect, the severity of your symptoms, how often your flare ups occur, how you respond to treatment, and finally and most importantly, how your combination of symptoms affects your ability to work.

To support your claim for SSA disability benefits, it is essential that you remain under a physician’s care, and that you document all treatment, including your response or your lack of response to all care. In order to qualify for benefits, your condition must be so severe that it has hindered you from working for at least three months, despite being under medical care during that time.

Finally, as a general rule, to qualify for benefits with eczema, your condition needs to affect both arms or hands, or both legs or feet, or one arm and one leg so severely that you’re not able to work or walk or stand for several hours a day.

Applying for SSA Disability in San Francisco – Legal Assistance is Highly Recommended

While getting SSA disability benefits for eczema is not common, it is possible with the right documentation. To apply for benefits, you can go to your local SSA office, apply by phone at 800-772-1213, or apply online.

While you can, of course, apply on your own, the vast majority of initial claims are rejected by the SSA, and the appeals process can be long and arduous.
To increase your chances of success, expert legal assistance is highly recommended, and attorney Patrick Kelly can provide the guidance and support you need to secure disability benefits.

Patrick Kelly has years of experience in disability law. Since 1976, he has been providing assistance with SSA disability applications as well as practicing as an SSI and SSDI appeals attorney in Oakland and throughout the bay area.

There is no charge for your initial consultation, and you’re encouraged not to go it alone. Instead, to increase your chances of qualifying for disability benefits, contact the law office of Patrick Kelly for a free consultation and let an expert disability attorney go to work for you.

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