Hidradenitis Suppurativa Disability

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How to Get Disability Benefits for Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS)

Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is a debilitating and chronic skin illness that is often characterized by large sores. The condition also may cause lumps or boils that form on the buttocks, in the groin region, or in the armpits.

Health care professionals are not certain as to what causes HS. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the condition can cause bacteria to breed inside hair follicles, which results in swelling, abscesses, and pain. 

What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) disability may occur for those who have this serious skin condition that creates painful bumps below the skin’s surface. These bumps can be filled with pus and most frequently occur in the hair follicles that are close to sweat glands. The pus-filled bumps can also arise where an individual’s clothing often rubs against their skin. Some of the most common sites where people experience symptoms of HS include the armpits, buttocks, and thighs.

Most Common Causes of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

  • HS occurs when the ducts get blocked and it often affects pores. 
  • When the ducts get blocked, then a plug may build up in the blocked areas. This can lead to inflammation within the duct, swelling, irritation, and oozing. 
  • The hair follicle and the oil duct can begin to expand sideways below the skin. 
  • After that, the sufferer may develop painful bumps. 
  • In some cases, this condition can be hereditary and lead to painful swellings that can become large and hot to the touch. 
  • This condition might be related to hormones that are released during puberty. In women, HS symptoms may be worse at certain points in the menstrual cycle. 
  • Stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD can be some of the factors that may worsen the symptoms related to the condition. 
  • The walls of the pores or follicles present near the sweat glands may become weakened and rupture. Anything that rubs against that area can make the swollen ducts break easily. Therefore, friction is one of the biggest issues in this type of skin disease. This can also cause dermatitis. 

Stages of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

The three stages of HS are described as follows:

Stage 1: In this stage, an individual may experience some boils. However, there are generally no tunnels under the skin and the person will have minimal scarring. 

Stage 2: This stage usually involves recurrent boils that create small sinuses below the skin. Scarring is also a common symptom during the second stage of HS. The presence of these symptoms in different areas of the body might cause various complications.

Stage 3: In this stage, there are large areas that are affected. There are multiple interconnected tunnels, extensive draining, and likely scarring.

Is Hidradenitis Suppurativa a Disability?

Facts About Construction WorkersYes, HS can be classified as a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you can meet all of the medical and other requirements as stated in the Blue Book. There is no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa disability and it is estimated that approximately 1% to 4% of the population around the world lives with this illness. Some people suffer from reduced quality of life, while others may face difficulty in doing any work. 

The pain and embarrassment owing to this condition might prove to be challenging for people who want to seek employment. Therefore, when you are not able to engage in any work-related tasks, you should consider applying for the Social Security disability benefits that you need.

In the United States, there are two types of federal disability programs, namely Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify for either of these two programs, an individual must be able to show that their disability is affecting their ability to work. The SSDI eligibility is based on the number of work credits that an individual has earned and the severity of their disability. SSI eligibility is generally based on evidence of limited financial resources, age, and disability.

Can You Get Disability for Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

There are specific conditions listed in the Blue Book of the SSA that an individual who has HS must meet to be eligible to qualify for disability benefits. The Blue Book is a manual that lists many of the conditions that can often lead to permanent or long-term disability. However, if you are still able to work despite having a listed condition, then you probably would not be able to qualify for any SSA-sponsored disability benefits.

Along with being unable to work and qualifying medically, an individual must also be unable to switch jobs to keep working. The SSA will consider all of the person’s relevant capabilities and work history. To qualify for SSDI, in addition to showing medical records that document your diagnosis, you must also be able to demonstrate that you also have one or more of the following limitations:

  • Severe skin lesions involving axillae under both underarms 
  • Inguinal areas involved in both sides of the groin  
  • Skin lesions that have been occurring for at least three months, despite seeking and undergoing medical treatment 
  • Lesions that occur in the perineum, which is the area that connects the genitals and anus 

Along with meeting all of the SSA eligibility criteria, the HS must also prevent you from participating in any gainful employment. This can be either in a traditional field or qualification based on work experience, skills, education, within the scope of the limitations that the illness is imposing.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Get Hidradenitis Suppurativa Benefits?

The SSA has identified HS as a potentially disabling illness. When someone is suffering from severe HS and the symptoms prevent them from working to earn a living for 12 months or more, then Hidradenitis Suppurativa may qualify as a disability.

If you are unable to work because of HS, you should seek guidance from disability lawyers in Florida who can guide you on how to secure the benefits you deserve.


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