Facts about Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Filing for Disability
These selected pages answer some of the most basic, but also some of the most important, questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim for disability benefits.
Facts about the condition
1. Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a non-contagious inflammatory skin disease, which generally manifests as painful abscesses, boils or cysts near sweat glands. Inflammation occurs when these sweat glands are blocked, although the cause for the blockage is unknown. Common locations for breakouts to occur are the groin area, armpits, between buttocks and under breasts.
2. Hidradenitis Suppurativa affects nearly one percent of the world's population. Often those suffering from Hidradenitis Suppurativa go years before being diagnosed, delaying a doctor's visit out of shame due to the sensitive areas affected by the disease.
3. Hidradenitis Suppurativa is actually a very severe form of acne, and is also called acne inversa. 'Inversa' refers to the inverse areas of the body, or areas where skin frequently rubs together.
4. Hidradenitis Suppurativa often affects those who are overweight or obese more harshly, as this increases friction where skin rubs together. Those suffering from Hidradenitis Suppurativa often find relief in wearing loose-fitting clothing to reduce friction.
5. Inflammations caused by Hidradenitis Suppurativa can eventually progress into lesions that drain foul-smelling pus and leave open wounds that are slow to heal. Abscesses can become nearly nine inches in circumference'roughly the size of a baseball.
6. While there is currently no cure for Hidradenitis Suppurativa, inflammation can be controlled through various treatments, including antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and careful washing. However, nearly one-fourth of those suffering from Hidradenitis Suppurativa have been unable to find a treatment effective in relieving pain and irritation.
7. The most severe cases of Hidradenitis Suppurativa can be treated with surgery, in which all of the affected skin in removed, and healthy skin is grafted in its place. However, this surgery will not prevent the inflammations from occurring in other areas of the body.
8. Women and those between the ages of 13 and 40 are more likely to develop Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
Qualifying for disability benefits with this condition
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records.
This includes whatever statements and treatment notes that may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis). It also includes discharge summaries from hospital stays, reports of imaging studies (such as xrays, MRIs, and CT scans) and lab panels (i.e. bloodwork) as well as reports from physical therapy.
In many disability claims, it may also include the results of a report issued by an independent physician who examines you at the request of the Social Security Administration.
Qualifying for SSD or SSI benefits will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. In the case of adults, your work history information will allow a disability examiner (examiners make decisions at the initial claim and reconsideration appeal levels, but not at the hearing level where a judges decides the outcome of the case) to A) classify your past work, B) determine the physical and mental demands of your past work, C) decide if you can go back to a past job, and D) whether or not you have the ability to switch to some type of other work.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
There are several reasons but here are just two:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant's disability attorney or disability representative will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge.
Note: it is not enough for a doctor to simply state that their patient is disabled. To satisy Social Security's requirements, the physician must list in what ways and to what extent the individual is functionally limited. For this reason, many representatives and attorneys request that the physician fill out and sign a specialized medical source statement that captures the correct information. Solid Supporting statements from physicians easily make the difference between winning or losing a disability case at the hearing level.
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. This is because at the initial levels of the disability system, a disability examiner decides the case without meeting the claimant. The examiner may contact the claimant to gather information on activities of daily living and with regard to medical treatment or past jobs, but usually nothing more. At the hearing level, however, presenting an argument for approval based on medical evidence that has been obtained and submitted is exactly what happens.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability in North Carolina
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI
Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Related Body System Impairments:
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI with Crohn's Disease
Facts about Crohn's Disease and Filing for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI and Filing based on Lupus
Polychondritis and Filing for Disability
Bursitis and Filing for Disability
Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease and Filing for Disability
Costochondritis and Filing for Disability
Ankylosing Spondylitis and Filing for Disability
Polymyositis and Filing for Disability
Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Filing for Disability
Behcet's disease and Filing for Disability
Lupus, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
If you apply for disability in Nevada
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Nevada