Porphyria is caused by genetic abnormalities and can pass from parents to children. Sufferers of this disorder have deficient cells. Their cells fail to make heme, a component of hemoglobin that gives blood its red color and helps red blood cells carry oxygen. The body makes heme in the bone marrow and liver. The process of heme production includes several steps. Enzymes control these steps.
There are two categories of Porphyria: hepatic and erythropoietic. Hepatic Porphyria is caused by issues in the liver. This may cause symptoms of abdominal pain and problems with the central nervous system. Meanwhile, Erythropoietic Porphyria is caused by problems in red blood cells.
Porphyriais further divided into subtypes. Those subtypes that affect the nervous system can include ALAD Porphyria, Acute Intermittent Porphyria, Hereditary Coproporphyria, and Variegate Porphyria.
Cutaneous Porphyrias include Congenital Erythropoietic Porphyria, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, Hepatoerythropoietic Porphyria, Hereditary Coproporphyria, Variegate Porphyria, and Erythropoietic Protoporphyria.
Certain environmental factors, such as stress, can trigger the symptoms of Porphyria disease. When a person consumes drugs and alcohol, the symptoms may be aggravated. Some of the symptoms observed during intense Porphyrias are anxiety, diarrhea, stomach aches, fever, liver problems, difficulty breathing, constipation, and more. There are certain psychological symptoms attached to this condition as well. These may include changes in personality and hallucinations. Seizures and paralyzes are among the most intense symptoms of Porphyrias. Claimants suffering from Porphyrias endure skin disorders that cause fragile skin, pigmentation issues and blisters.
Porphyria can be diagnosed through blood, urine and stool tests that should be performed upon first noticing symptoms of the disease. However, diagnosing this medical condition is not easy, as many symptoms are shared by other disorders. Thus, drawing inferences based on these tests is a complex process. Although there are numerous tests available to assess these conditions, the results may vary. Some laboratories are simply less reliable.
As mentioned, there are several types of Porphyrias. The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets listing impairments based on these types. If the claimant meets or exceeds the listing, then that individual may be eligible for benefits. The disease can be evaluated under 8.0 Skin Disorders, Section 8.07 Genetic Photosensitive Disorders.
If the claimant has extensive skin lesions, has been suffering from the condition for a continuous period of at least 12 months, and is unable to work outside for a continuous period of at least 12 months, then that claimant likely meets the SSA criteria. Other acute Porphyrias cause seizures or paralysis which may meet or exceed the listing of the SSA.
The SSA must also determine if the claimant fulfills the non-medical requirements of SSI or SSDI. In other words, the claimant should have earned sufficient work credits in addition to the other requirements. For supplement security income, the claimant should be aged, disabled and not able to perform any kind of work for a continuous period of 12 months. They should also meet the income and resource limitations of the supplement security income program.
In case the claimant does not meet or exceed the SSA listing, he or she will need sufficient evidence to show that there is no residual capacity to work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will review all medical records, through the medical vocational allowance process, and all work history records. This will help to determine whether the claimant is able to continue the current job, the previous job or retrain for a new job. This is all factored in with one’s age, education, work history, and health condition.
If you have been diagnosed with Porphyria disease, and it has significantly affected your life, then you may be eligible to avail benefits from your previously paid Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security income. These benefits can help toward paying medical treatment bills or other expenses.
In case the claimant does not meet the conditions as per the listing, he/she may need to prove an inability to perform any sort of physical work. This medical vocational allowance process requires the SSA to review the medical records and previous work history of the claimant in order to assess whether the claimant is in a position to work in the present job, any of the previous jobs or re-train for a new job, as per the claimant’s age and other eligibility factors.
At Chermol & Fishman LLC, Philadelphia Disability Lawyers will help you to obtain the SSD and SSI benefits you deserve. If you have been diagnosed with Porphyria and the condition renders you unable to perform any type of work, you may be eligible for benefits. We use insider knowledge and powerful perspectives to help you gain the financial assistance you need.