Are Seasonal Allergies Enough to Qualify for SSD?
Springtime brings lots of pleasant things: warmer weather, blooming flowers, a renewed sense of energy after the winter. But if you’re an allergy suffer, springtime means the beginning of a season of discomfort, as pollen coats the sidewalks, cars, and seemingly everything else.
In Florida, the news is particularly bleak. According to pollen.com, all of Florida is marked in red on the map. That means that there are 9.7 to 12 grains of pollen in every cubic meter of air. That’s a lot of pollen, and it’s only getting worse. In the Tampa Bay area, the common pollen-releasing offenders include juniper, oak, and nettle.
Allergies are common in the United States. Around 50 million Americans suffer from nasal allergies, and allergies are the 6th leading chronic illness. Pollen allergies, also called hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis, are among the most common. When someone suffers from hay fever or a similar outdoor allergy, their symptoms may include:
- Loss of smell
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Itchy, puffy, or red eyes
Do Seasonal Allergies Qualify for SSD?
While these symptoms can make someone feel miserable, pollen allergies do not generally lead to life-threatening reactions. In general, hay fever will also not affect a person’s ability to work. This means that while pollen allergies are a chronic condition, they will generally not qualify someone for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. While pollen allergies might seriously impact people in certain industries, like outdoor construction or landscaping, they do not usually prevent someone from doing any work. For example, someone with severe pollen allergies might be unable to work outdoors, but would be fine working in an indoor office. This is one of the main reasons why seasonal allergies do not qualify someone for SSD.
Severe Allergic Conditions
However, there are still types of allergies that may lead to an inability to perform any work. Two allergy-related conditions that might qualify someone for SSD are asthma and allergic contact dermatitis. Asthma, a chronic disease that constricts the airways in the throat, is often triggered by allergic reactions. If severe asthma attacks occur frequently and require hospitalization, it may qualify someone for SSD because it hinders their ability to work. Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin condition caused by reactions to certain substances, including chemicals in soaps and shampoos. If flare-ups of dermatitis occur frequently and restrict movements, it may qualify for SSD.
A third condition that may qualify for SSD is anaphylaxis, a severe type of allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis, generally associated with insect and food allergies, is characterized by hives, facial swelling, airway constriction, and dizziness. It can be fatal without immediate treatment. When someone with a high risk of anaphylaxis is unable to work except in highly sterile and protected environments, they may be unable to perform any kind of work, therefore qualifying them for SSD.
Enough to Qualify?
While minor or seasonal allergies can be painful and annoying, but for the most part, they are not going to qualify someone for SSD. Unless someone has a risk of anaphylaxis or a severe allergy-related condition, they are usually going to have to suffer through work until the pollen count finally drops outside.
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