Genetic Photosensitivity Disorders – Condition and Symptoms
There are several types of genetic photosensitivity disorders which can potentially be disabling. The Social Security Administration, for purposes of awarding benefits, puts them into two categories: Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) and everything else.
Xeroderma pigmentosum is a genetic photosensitivity disorder which tends to strike early in life, generally right from birth. Like other forms of photosensitivity disorders, it causes a person to be unable to heal from damage caused by the sun’s rays or other ultraviolet light. In some cases, those who suffer from this condition are not allowed to have any exposure to sunlight at all.
If people who have xeroderma pigmentosum or other photosensitivity disorders are exposed to sunlight, they risk conditions as serious as skin cancer. In extreme cases, people who have this disorder need to spend their entire lives avoiding the sunlight.
There are numerous other sorts of photosensitivity disorders, whose affects range from inconvenient to debilitating. Milder genetic photosensitivity disorders can be coped with by avoiding exposing your skin when the sun is out and using sunscreen, whereas some of the more severe types of photosensitivity disorders require you to avoid not only sunlight but also ultraviolet light of all kinds, including the light from fluorescent bulbs.
Symptoms of photosensitivity disorders include everything from being easily sunburned and having a compromised ability to heal from sunburns to actual skin lesions caused by exposure to sun or other ultraviolet light. Depending on the severity of symptoms, sufferers may need to wear special protective clothing and glasses in addition to utilizing special sunscreen which blocks broad spectrum opaque UV light.
Often, people with photosensitivity disorders also suffer mental or neurological problems as well as secondary physical problems and disorders with their other body systems, especially their eyes.
Filing for Disability Benefits with Genetic Photosensitivity Disorders
If your child is diagnosed with xenoderma pigmentosum, he or she will be considered disabled from birth. All you need to do to establish his or her qualifications for disability benefits is to prove that they do in fact have xenoderma pigmentosum.
The specifics of qualifying for disability benefits with xenoderma pigmentosum are covered in Sections 8.00 E 1 and 8.07 of the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, which lists qualifying conditions for disability programs.
If you or your child suffers from xenoderma pigmentosum, by definition, you qualify for Social Security disability benefits because you are unable to be exposed to sunlight or fluorescent lighting, making you incapable of performing in typical work environments. Because this is a genetic disorder which is with the people who have it from birth, the SSA recognizes that those who have this condition have been disabled their entire lives and back pay will be figured from the date of birth after disability benefits have been approved.
You will need to provide the SSA with the results of all of the pertinent lab and clinical tests which were used in diagnosing xeroderma pigmentosum. If you don’t have access to these records, the SSA will usually accept documentation from an acceptable medical source stating that the tests were conducted and that xenoderma pigmentosum has been diagnosed.
For other types of genetic photosensitivity disorders, the SSA will consider the extent and severity of the skin lesions caused by exposure to sun and ultraviolet light. In order to qualify for disability benefits, you will need to show that your symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from safely being able to work and that your symptoms have lasted or are expected to last at least 12 months.
As with XP, you will need to provide the results of lab or clinical tests which show that you have a photosensitivity disorder or documentation from an acceptable medical source attesting to the fact that such tests have been conducted and that you do in fact have a genetic photosensitivity disorder.
Generally speaking, you will need to show that the lesions caused from exposure to sunlight stop you from being able to use at least two major limbs, stop you from ambulating, or present a significant danger of causing skin cancer or other serious skin disease. General information on how the Social Security Administration judges skin conditions can be found in Section 8.00 of the Blue Book.
Your Genetic Photosensitivity Disorders Disability Case
Even if your condition clearly qualifies you for disability benefits, it’s a good idea to have a Social Security disability lawyer review your claim. Not only can they give you quality advice regarding how to proceed with your case, but they can help make sure that everything is filed correctly to avoid any delays in receiving your benefits.
Even under ideal circumstances, most disability claims take six months or more to be approved. Often, claimants are denied disability because of mistakes in filing the disability claim rather than a lack of qualifying conditions. Having a professional disability lawyer file your claim for you can help ensure that you aren’t kept waiting longer than necessary.
To have a Social Security disability attorney review your claim, simply fill out the request for a free evaluation included on this page. Regardless of what stage of the claims or appeals process you find yourself in, a disability lawyer can help you get your claim approved.