Social Security Disability for Cellulitis
Cellulitis is a painful condition that can cause chronic health problems. If you suffer from severe cellulitis, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which provides monthly benefits to disabled workers.
In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you have to have worked enough to pay in adequate taxes to the SSA and you must have earned a sufficient number of credits. If you are approved for SSDI benefits, you may have dependents who are also eligible to receive benefits from your claim.
Cellulitis is a skin condition that results from bacterial infections. This infection will cause the deep tissues of your skin to become inflamed. It can happen by itself, but it may also accompany other skill diseases and disorders. You may suffer from short-term or acute episodes, or you may suffer chronic, persistent bouts of the painful condition. People who experience chronic cellulitis bouts may require hospitalization during serious flare-ups. The condition can be debilitating, even if hospitalization is not necessary.
The skin becomes a bright red in color and may be hot to the touch. You may have an autoimmune disorder or chronic condition that makes you more prone to getting cellulitis. As an example, some people may develop cellulitis on their feet and legs by simply coming into contact with weeds or other plants when doing yard work or gardening. Because of the severity of the condition and the dangers of it, it is important that you take the proper precautions to avoid recurring bouts of cellulitis.
You will experience inflammation, pain, skin that is warm or hot to the touch, and redness. While it can develop anywhere on your body, it is most commonly found in the face or legs. The tissues around the eyes can also become infected with orbital cellulitis, which can lead to blindness. Ludwig’s angina is a serious form of the condition that impacts the tissues of the mouth and can cause difficulty breathing because of swelling. Cellulitis can cause severe complications, such as sepsis, a serious infection of the blood stream, or spinal cord and brain involvement.
The Cost of Treating Cellulitis
CostHelper.com explains that the common skin infection can be expensive to treat. While a regular bout may start off with a visit to your primary care provider, which will result in a copay ranging from $10 to $50, you will usually be prescribed an antibiotic, which will cost anywhere from $5 to $140, depending on the brand of medication and insurance coverage.
If you have a serious infection, you may require hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics. This can result in a cost ranging from $6,000 to more than $25,000. Of course those who suffer chronic bouts of cellulitis will spend much more on treating the condition. It can be a very dangerous condition, so you should seek medical treatment as quickly as possible if you suspect a new bout of the condition.
The SSA Evaluation and Medical Qualifications
The SSA has a medical guide, known as the Blue Book, that has very specific criteria to determine if your condition meets the guidelines to be approved for SSDI benefits. There is no specific listing for cellulitis, but you can qualify for SSDI benefits by matching your cellulitis to a condition that is listed in the Blue Book.
If your medical records and documentation that you provide show your cellulitis causes disability that is equal to a listed condition, you can be approved for benefits. One of the more common conditions that is used for evaluating cellulitis is under Section 8.04, which covers chronic skin conditions, and Section 8.06 hidradenitis suppurativa, which is a chronic condition that involves lumps in the armpits or groin.
If you don’t meet the requirements of a listing in the Blue Book, you may still be eligible for benefits using the medical-vocational allowance. When applying for SSDI, you need to provide as much documentation as possible to ensure you have the information required to back up your claim.
Meeting the Criteria for Disability with a Medical-Vocational Allowance
The medical-vocational allowance takes several things into consideration when determining whether or not an individual is disabled per the SSA guidelines. Your physician will complete a residual functioning capacity (RFC), which details your limitations. As an example, if you have recurring cellulitis on your legs, you may not be able to stand more than two hours or you may not be able to walk more than 200 feet at a time. These things need to be clearly documented.
Using this approach, you need to also indicate any other medical conditions that you may have and how they impact your ability to work or perform regular daily tasks. Cellulitis is often a complication of another condition, such as hidradenitis suppurativa, skin cancer, autoimmune diseases, or HIV/AIDS. Of course all of those conditions impact your ability to perform tasks. This approach considers your work experience, transferrable skills, educational level, age, and your medical conditions.
If it is determined that you are unable to perform your past work, it must be determined that you cannot perform some other kind of work, such as light duty or sedentary work. The RFC indicates how much you can lift, how much you can carry, if you are able to grasp or reach above your head, and your ability to bend or squat. All of these things are given thorough consideration to determine if you are considered disabled.
Applying Specific Medical Tests to Your Case
Your medical documentation needs to be precise and detailed to support your claim. Provide any medical tests and results, show any kind of treatment that you have undergone and the results, plus the frequency of bouts and how they impact your ability to work. It is not uncommon for the SSA to order a medical evaluation, at their expense, with the physician of their choice. This is for information only, and is used to help determine if you are disabled.
You may be sent for a mental evaluation as well because the chronic condition that you experience can cause anxiety, stress, and depression which will impact your ability to perform work duties. The SSDI process can be a lengthy process, and you may be denied benefits twice. You can appeal those decisions. The last step is a hearing before an administrative law judge who will determine if you meet the criteria for being disabled.