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Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits from Psoriasis?


August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, sponsored by the non-profit National Psoriasis Foundation. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin by killing healthy cells, which typically results in white, flaky skin that is often itchy.

However, in more severe cases, psoriasis can lead to psoriatic arthritis. Depending on the affected areas, this can make it difficult to flex certain joints, walk, or even work. This means people who are most affected by psoriasis and other chronic skin diseases may be less able or unable to work for a living.

Those who can’t work often turn to Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) to help provide a livable income, but they may be discouraged to find that psoriasis isn’t on the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s listing of impairments. Fortunately, these patients still have options.

Though not listed specifically, people affected by chronic skin conditions like psoriasis can be eligible for disability benefits. It just requires a little bit of digging into the details of the SSA’s guidelines.

Getting Psoriasis Disability Benefits Under RFC


Because the SSA doesn’t specifically list psoriasis or other skin conditions on its official list of qualified diseases, not everyone who suffers from the disease will be eligible for benefits. However, many people qualify for disability even when the condition they suffer from the most isn’t on the listing of impairments. For example, those with severe psoriasis symptoms may be able to build their case using their residual functional capacity (RFC). If their RFC is limited enough, they may be eligible for disability benefits.

Determining RFC

The SSA will assess your medical history and other relevant tests and forms to determine the most you can do despite your limitations or restrictions. A person’s ability is typically defined by one of the following terms:

  • Sedentary Work: Mostly sitting, sedentary work. Requires walking and standing.
  • Light Work: Frequent standing and sitting, some light lifting required.
  • Medium Work: Frequent lifting, pushing, or pulling loads up to 50 pounds.
  • Heavy Work: Often requires lifting up to 100 pounds and carrying 50.
  • Very Heavy Work: Can include lifting more than 100 pounds and carrying more than 50.

The SSA may also evaluate whether your skin condition is likely to cause limitations in the use of your hands or produce flare-ups that would result in excessive absenteeism.

The completeness, accuracy, and recency of your medical records contribute to how confidently the SSA can determine what your RFC is. That’s why it’s important to invest as much time as possible preparing your Social Security disability application.

Help from an Indiana Disability Attorney

We know how debilitating chronic diseases can be, and the complications surrounding applying and getting approved for Social Security disability benefits are nearly as draining as the disease itself. That’s why our experienced Social Security disability attorneys are here: to help you get the benefits you need.

Hensley Legal Group’s lawyers will take care of gathering all the relevant medical records, compiling them in the correct way, and following up with your application as it moves through the SSA. We can notify you of approaching deadlines and communicate with the government on your behalf. Take the first step by calling us or contacting us online to see if we can serve you. Don’t worry: Your conversation with us is free of charge.