While burns may heal more quickly than other injuries, the resulting scar tissue can create functional limitations that last a lifetime. For severe burn patients who can no longer work, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Disability benefits program might offer a way to provide for your family and pay off those huge medical bills.
I Have Severe Burns: Can I Get Disability Benefits?
Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is harder than it sounds. The complicated application requires extensive medical documentation to back up your claim. Burn victims must establish the nature of their injuries and how they limit everyday body function. Without proper evidence, your Disability application may end up in the rejection pile along with 70 percent of all the other applications the SSA receives. Talking to a Disability lawyer with severe burns experience can make the process easier and improve your chances of receiving Disability benefits for severe burns.
What Symptoms Are Included on the Severe Burns List of Complications?
Scars that restrict body function typically result from third-degree burns. Third-degree burn injuries destroy nerve endings and affect the skin as well as the underlying flesh and bone. The injuries can cause a myriad of health complications including:
- thick, crusty skin that cuts off blood flow to other parts of the body
- kidney damage
- muscle tissue damage
- discolored leathery scar tissue that impedes body function
How Do I Qualify for Disability Benefits for My Severe Burns?
The SSA evaluates your medical eligibility for SSDI based on two listings in their Blue Book of qualifying disorders. You need to meet the requirements for injuries that are being treated through surgery or those that are not:
- Surgical Burn Management Injuries – For extensive burns that require surgery to restore or repair body function, you must provide evidence that your doctor expects the healing process to take more than a year. This may include medical records and statements from your doctor. If approved for SSDI, your case is reevaluated once body function returns.
- Untreated Burn Injuries – Burns that are not surgically managed qualify for Disability benefits if your injuries resulted in debilitating skin lesions or reduced body function that are expected to last more than 12 months. The SSA requires medical documentation stating the severity and frequency of your symptoms, the limitations they cause, and any side effects from treatments.
Can I Qualify for Disability for Severe Burns If My Injuries Don’t Meet the Blue Book Listings?
If your burn injuries prevent you from working but do not meet the listed requirements, you may still qualify for SSDI payments. In these cases, the SSA uses a residual functional capacity assessment to judge your ability to complete basic job functions. Difficulty lifting and carrying items, bending, walking, or sitting make positions that require these common tasks near impossible.
How Do I Get Help With My Disability Benefits Claim for Severe Burns?
At Disability Help Group in Arizona, our dedicated team of Social Security lawyers handles severe burns cases and other Disability claims. Let us ease the stress of a complicated application process and improve your chances of approval by keeping track of deadlines and gathering all of the necessary evidence. We offer a free initial consultation and contingency fee agreement, so you pay nothing unless the SSA approves your benefits. Reach out to our Phoenix, Mesa, or Tucson office today by calling (888) 939-4692 or submitting our online contact form.