Disability Benefits for Hidradenitis

Disability Benefits for Hidradenitis

Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) causes painful acne-like cysts and abscesses filled with pus causing infection and unsightly drainage of pus. Usually, these cysts appear in the armpits, groin, or inner thighs. Painful lumps and sores appear more frequently on these areas of the body because they are more prone to friction during movement of the body. 

Health sometimes does not improve even after a series of treatments with antibiotics, corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, surgeries for draining, and skin grafting. The person may not be able to perform activities of daily living or maintain gainful employment due to the pain and discomfort caused by the condition. 

If you are experiencing a severe, uncontrolled form of hidradenitis that prevents you from working, you may want to consider filing a claim for disability benefits and get monetary benefits for your ailment.

What Is Hidradenitis?

Hidradenitis is more than just a cosmetic inconvenience.  It is a chronic skin condition where painful bumps under the skin and in the hair roots near the sweat glands occur. As previously stated, these lumps appear in places where rubbing occurs frequently, such as in the armpits, groin, buttocks, or inner thighs. 

Pea to marble size lumps that occur on the body can sometimes become infected, causing pockets to form under the skin that get filled with pus. When the lumps break open, the sores smell bad and cause significant pain, making moving about difficult. Scars and slow healing are other factors that affect the normal functioning of a person with this condition.

Medical interventions can often ease the condition using antibiotics, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressants. Sometimes surgery is conducted to drain the pus. In extremely severe cases, skin grafting is required to remove damaged and infected skin.

Despite treatment, the person’s condition may not improve or could recur frequently. The Social Security Administration (SSA) helps these people by providing disability benefits if the condition satisfies medical listing criteria.

Since the person suffering from this condition cannot move their arms freely and may not walk effectively, it can be difficult for them to carry out routine work. Moreover, HS limits their ability to carry out work because they cannot sit or stand for long hours. 

When To See a Doctor

Early detection of hidradenitis suppurativa is key to getting effective treatment. Failure to obtain medical treatment can not only cause further discomfort and a worsening of the condition, but can also prevent medical documentation that will be necessary to obtain disability benefits.

Contact a qualified medical doctor or dermatologist if your condition:

  • Is excessively painful
  • Fails to improve in after a few weeks
  • Recurs shortly after treatment
  • Appears in multiple locations
  • Flares-up often

Eligibility for Getting Hidradenitis Disability Benefits

Suppose someone is suffering from severe health issues despite attempting all treatment options for this disease. In that case, they would likely be considered a disabled person by the Social Security Administration. If the individual can provide sufficient medical documentation that meets the conditions set forth by the SSA, they may be eligible for the SSDI or SSI benefits.

  • To benefit from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the person should produce documents completed by medical practitioners that include a diagnosis of the condition and how long the person has suffered from it.

In addition, SSDI eligibility requires that you have earned qualifying work credits based on a sufficient history of qualifying employment. Work credits are earned by making payroll tax contributions during prior employment to the Social Security fund. Those who qualify for SSDI may be entitled to Medicare, as well. 

  • If someone does not have prior employment or has not earned sufficient work credits, they may alternatively qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is based on financial need. Benefits for Hidradenitis Suppurativa disability begin the month following the date the SSA has approved disability benefits. 

Medicaid is also provided but benefits vary from state to state. SSI also has certain asset caps. Regardless of which benefit applies, those experiencing financial need due to disability can get SSDI and SSI.

You should not forget that the rules for SSDI Over 50 are different. So, if you are applying under this category, make sure you understand the special eligibility criteria before filing the claim.

Is Hidradenitis Suppurativa Considered a Disability?

HS is a chronic, inflammatory disease. In most cases, recurrent lesions develop in the armpit, groin, vulva, or anal region. In some cases, HS affects the breast area, scalp, or other areas of the body. 

Symptoms usually become apparent during puberty or early adulthood. HS can affect someone for many years with periods of temporary improvement and worsening of symptoms. Flare-ups can be triggered by menstruation, weight gain, stress, hormonal changes, heat, and perspiration. Itching or discomfort may precede the condition.

People with HS may not be able to work. Under such circumstances, they may wish to file a claim. You should keep these points in mind when applying for disability benefits:

  • You should have medical records showing how long you have suffered from the condition
  • You may want to capture photographs of the skin lesions appearing on the armpits, groin, or other parts of the body
  • Functional limitations may make a person unable to work extended hours, impair their ability to lift items, and unable to sit or stand continuously for long periods of time
  • Despite several admissions to the hospital due to severe symptoms or related infections like cellulitis, the person’s condition fails to improve, or even worsens, making it difficult to lead a normal everyday life

Can You Get Disability for Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Someone who is ill with HS for twelve months or longer, despite attempting all possible treatment options, may be entitled to disability benefits if they submit a complete and accurate application that includes sufficient diagnostic reports and other details from a medical practitioner to SSA. 

If the person was not working before and has not earned enough credits, SSI may be available. Hidradenitis Suppurativa disability benefits are difficult to obtain because it is crucial you provide sufficient evidence to meet SSA’s criteria. Failure to submit relevant medical documentation that speaks directly to the criteria could result in a denial. 

Hidradenitis suppurativa is evaluated under section 8.06 of the SSA’s Blue Book. The SSA requires medical evidence demonstrating extensive skin lesions involving both axillae, both inguinal areas or the perineum that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.

People diagnosed with this condition do not necessarily become disabled. It depends upon various factors like:

  • Treatments taken since the onset of the disease
  • Time period they have been suffering
  • The severity of the condition
  • Areas where the lumps appear
  • Their employment or work status, including current or prior monthly income
  • Other financial assets and resources
  • State of residence
  • Ability to perform alternative jobs or vocation

Under such circumstances, someone with HS may wish to apply for Social Security disability benefits. If the medical criteria required by SSA are fulfilled, they may be eligible for benefits from SSA. 

You Should Consult an Experienced Lawyer

The legal professionals at Khattar Law, PC can ease the application or Appeal Process. We have handled numerous cases and have extensive knowledge about disability law. Our legal team can analyze your case and help you obtain benefits for disabling conditions caused by Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

HS impacts people differently. Hence, our disability attorneys will study the particulars of your case and do everything possible to help you obtain maximum possible benefits.