August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month

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Allsup offers guidance on Social Security Disability Insurance to those with the disease; encourages participation in photo contest and walks.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes psoriasis as a potentially disabling condition and uses a five-step process to determine if the condition qualifies for SSDI benefits

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) estimates that as many as 7.5 million Americans have the condition, making it the most common autoimmune disease in the country. Although common, psoriasis remains a mystery. August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month, offering the opportunity to educate the public and dispel myths associated with the often debilitating disease. Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation, offers guidance to those with psoriasis who have questions about the SSDI application process.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that manifests on the skin, occurring when the immune system sends out impaired signals that expedite the growth cycle of skin cells. The most common form of the disease, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches covered with an accumulation of white dead skin cells. There is no cure and symptoms can be severe.

According to the NPF, psoriasis is associated with an elevated risk for other serious, chronic and life-threatening conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. As many as 30 percent of people with psoriasis will be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory arthritis that causes pain and swelling of the joints and tendons. When combined with emotional and social aspects, the physical restrictions and pain of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can prove disabling, according to the NPF, which strives to increase understanding of the disease’s serious impact.

“The National Psoriasis Foundation hosts the awareness month every August,” said Noe Baker, National Psoriasis Foundation PR Manager. “It’s intended to raises awareness about the disease and to educate the public. We also want to dispel the common myth that psoriasis is contagious.”

To celebrate Psoriasis Awareness Month this year, the NPF is hosting a Life with Psoriasis Photo Contest. If you have psoriasis or love someone who does, submit a photo that depicts your life with psoriasis and its challenges, breakthroughs, realizations and triumphs. Visit http://www.psoriasisawarenessmonth.org to learn about the contest.

NPF also hosts the annual Walk to Cure Psoriasis, which will take place in 21 cities spanning the country. Find a walk near you at http://www.psoriasis.org/walk.

“Walk to Cure Psoriasis has raised more than $5 million for research projects to find a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis,” Baker said. “It’s a great way to help raise funds for research and truly make a difference for those affected by these diseases.”

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes psoriasis as a potentially disabling condition and uses a five-step process to determine if the condition qualifies for SSDI benefits:

  • Determine if the person is “working,” according to the SSA’s definition. Earning more than $1,010 a month is enough to be disqualified from receiving SSDI benefits.
  • Find that the disability must be severe enough to significantly limit one’s ability to perform basic work activities, like walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling. Severe cases of psoriasis may cause affected skin to split open and bleed. Patients with psoriasis on the soles of the feet often have limited mobility. For patients with psoriasis on the palms of the hands, simple manual tasks are often impossible and/or extremely painful. Patients with psoriatic arthritis typically also find it hard to sleep, sit, stand or walk for long periods.
  • To be found disabled, extensive skin lesions that persist for at least three months despite continuing treatment must accompany the psoriasis.
  • The SSA denies benefits if it finds that a person can perform his or her past work despite the skin disorder.
  • Review age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine what work, if any, the person can perform. If unable to perform other work, then a finding of disabled is warranted.

To determine if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, call the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276 for a free SSDI eligibility evaluation. For more information about the National Psoriasis Foundation, visit http://www.psoriasis.org.

Register for the Allsup True Help® Disability Web Expo at WebExpo.Allsup.com.

ABOUT ALLSUP
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.

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Tai Venuti
Allsup
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