August 2014 is Psoriasis Awareness month, and a good time to consider how Americans suffering from Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis who are unable to work may be considered in applying for social security disability benefits. Most of us are familiar with current TV ads for a Psoriatic Arthritis ‘biologic’ medication featuring well-known professional golfer Phil Michelson, who has Psoriatic Arthritis. Biologics are genetically-engineered medications made from proteins that treat psoriatic arthritis by blocking inflammation triggers within the body. Biologics tend to have less of an overall impact on the immune system than some other psoriatic arthritis treatments (such as methotrexate), resulting in less side effects. Examples of biologics include Remicade, Enbrel, and Humra.

I remember a TV advertisement for a medication (this dates me, I know) to combat “the heartbreak of Psoriasis”. When I saw this ad, being a kid and knowing no one with Psoriasis, I found the suggestion that those suffering from what I mistakenly thought to be a minor skin problem were experiencing ‘heartbreak” to be a bit melodramatic.
While that over-the-counter medication is long gone, undoubtedly eclipsed by todays more effective prescription biologic medications, the ‘heartbreak’ of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis indeed continues. The National Foundation reports that Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the nation, affecting approximately 7.5 million Americans. I now know what I did not know as a kid: that the skin lesions of psoriasis can be the manifestation of a systemic autoimmune disorder. The skin lesions, as anyone with psoriasis knows, can be painful, unrelentingly itch and tender, and can easier crack open and bleed with activity. 10 to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop the inflammation of the joints typical of an inflammatory arthritis, usually between the ages of 30 and 50.

Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis can support a claim for social security disability if the symptoms are severe and impact the ability to work. These symptoms include chronic fatigue, malaise, and involuntary weight loss, as well as limitations of activities of daily living, maintaining social functioning, and completing tasks in a timely manner due to deficiencies in concentration, persistence, or pace.

If you live in Dallas Fort Worth, as well as North and East Texas, and are unable to work because of Psoriasis or Psoriatic, please know I am available to you for a free consultation. Call me at 214-219-7288.