Obtaining Social Security Disability for burns may be possible. If you are filing for disability for any reason, you will need to meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) requirements for that condition. In this case, burns have to meet specific levels of severity in order for you to be considered for this type of benefit. The process is complex and is generally one that will take some time.
How Can You Qualify for Disability Benefits for Burns?
For those who have soft tissue burns, these benefits may be available. You will need to show to SSA that you are disabled due to the burns. They must be severe enough to meet or equal all of the requirements in the evaluation process. If your burns are not considered severe enough, SSA then needs to determine what your residual functional capacity is to determine what type of work you can still do and to determine if you qualify for any benefits at all.
Social Security Soft Tissue Burn Injuries
Disability benefits may be available to those who have burns of a severe nature to the lower or upper extremities, face, head, or the trunk of the body. Click here for more information about various types of burns. This may include damage such as:
- Nerve damage
- Tendons and ligament damage
- Arteries and vein damage
- Lymphatic system damage
- Skin damage
In some situations, you may need to have surgery to restore as much function as possible. This may include repairs to the vascular system, reattachment of ligaments as well as grafts for other conditions. In many cases, you would have had these surgeries already – the surgeries themselves help SSA to see just how significant your limitations are.
SSA evaluates burns by determining if your condition meets a list of predominant features that create the impairment. Generally, the degree of the burn, the amount and type of damage it creates, and the length of time you will be unable to work figure into this process.
Understanding Listing 1.08
In most cases, you will need to meet Listing 1.08’s requirements to qualify for SSA Disability. This applies to anyone who is getting help from a surgeon to treat extensive soft tissue burns and injuries. If the injuries are not healed but you are not under the care of a surgeon, you will not qualify. In short, you must have medical evidence showing a specific treatment plan from your doctor – this needs to be very specific and outlined by your doctor. It also needs to indicate that you have some type of missing “major function” such as loss of vision, speech, mastication, digestion, hearing or other types of major limitations.
Once your treatment is stabilized, the SSA will then determine what your residual limitations are based on stated limitations and levels. Lab findings, symptoms, and other indications of problems need to be specifically spelled out there. The SSA.gov site offers more information on these qualifications.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
If you think you qualify for these benefits, you have several options for applying. You can work with an attorney through the process (he or she can also help you to gain all of the necessary documentation from your doctor to show your limitations.)
You can also apply for the benefits yourself. The Social Security Administration makes this application process very straightforward. You can visit a local SSA office in your region or you can do so online at SSA.gov/disabilityssi. In either case, you will need to work through an application process that looks at all components of your limitations including your ability to work, your limitations, your short term and long term limitations, and much more.