According to the Mayo Clinic, Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) is chronic inflammation and deep lesions of the skin, particularly in sensitive areas of the armpits and groin. Possible causes may involve a combination of genetics, hormones, and other factors. HS may impact 1-2% of the population, but absolute numbers are uncertain.
Given how relatively rare this medical condition is, Social Security disability attorneys who understand this condition can get Social Security Disability benefits for their clients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
How does Social Security Disability evaluate Hidradenitis Suppurativa? Social Security must identify the diagnosis to evaluate it. Successful Social Security disability attorneys need to point this diagnosis out to Social Security. Medical records are not always consistent. A typical history is ongoing primary care treatment for recurring boils that require in-office intervention. Of concern, historical medical record histories may initially fail to diagnose HS until the lesions have persisted in various forms and locations on the body for a few years. There are possible reasons for this medical oversight. More about this below.
Credibility usually high for Social Security benefits clients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Clients have typically worked with developing symptoms for over ten years or more before succumbing to the progressive lesions and pain that persists despite surgical intervention.
Social Security reviews Hidradenitis Suppurativa claims under a special definition of disability called a listing. The “listing” for Hidradenitis Suppurativa is:
Hidradenitis suppurativa, with extensive skin lesions involving both axillae, both inguinal areas or the perineum that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.
How do experienced Social Security disability attorneys get approvals at Social Security hearings for clients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa? They pay attention to the timing of the diagnosis. The chronicity of the HS lesions may not fully manifest to physicians initially – particularly if clients see different primary care physicians from appointment to appointment or change facilities from time to time. Over time, however, the diagnosis of HS should relate back to previous care for the symptoms. Good Social Security disability attorneys get retrospective input from treating physicians.
Good attorneys must anticipate and address deficiencies in the early medical evidence of HS. This may stem from where the lesions are. Clients may attempt to suffer alone through periods of HS lesions in private areas of their bodies. Despite the Social Security Administration’s assumptions to the contrary, it is not always easy to establish care for personally sensitive problems. Good attorneys know this and put delays in care into context.
Good attorneys also argue to administrative law judges that delays in diagnosis have more to do with practical than medical factors. Reporting the full constellation of symptoms right away cannot be expected because the chronic nature of the “commonplace” boils is not always apparent to clients, let alone physicians.
What should your Social Security Disability attorney know about Hidradenitis Suppurativa? Judges and medical experts are, on a whole, unfamiliar with HD. In judges’ defense, they may not see these issues raised in many cases. Medical experts (ME’s) at hearings, however, rarely if ever have a background in dermatology. So, they may not be as familiar (and miss) Hidradenitis Suppurativa because it is a condition that may not normally arise in other specialty areas.
What must your Social Security disability attorney do at your Social Security hearing? He or she must raise the issue of Listing 8.06 and argue that the diagnosis, duration, location, impact, and daily care of your HD impedes full-time employment. Additional legal documentation, as well, can win claims. For help with your Social Security benefits claim, get professional legal advice from an experienced Social Security Disability law firm.