Is Psoriasis a Disability? Understanding Your Rights and Benefits

In the United States, psoriasis is considered a disability if it interferes with an individual’s ability to perform necessary daily activities. Each person’s situation is unique and should be evaluated on an individual basis to determine eligibility for disability benefits.

What is Psoriasis?

Most people with psoriasis experience a red, flaky, and itchy patch of skin in an area on their body. In severe cases, these patches can cover large areas of the body, resulting in pain, embarrassment, and decreased quality of life. But what exactly is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that appears when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells. As a result, the cells quickly pile up on the surface of the skin, forming raised clusters of inflamed lesions. This buildup causes painful redness and scaling which can lead to physical discomfort and insecurity.

There is much debate about whether or not psoriasis qualifies as a disability under the definitions set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Advocates claim that since psoriasis hinders individuals from functioning normally in society – such as work, education, and everyday activities – it should be classified as a disability despite its appearance-based nature. Opposers argue that while psoriasis may cause some degree of distress to its sufferers, it does not impede important life functions like other disabilities do.

This debate has created a grey area in which those suffering from psoriasis must self-advocate for legal protection under any applicable disability laws. The extent of the protections granted varies greatly between states and individuals. To determine if you or someone you know is eligible for benefits related to psoriasis, it is important to understand the condition itself. With this in mind, we will now explore understanding the condition in the following section.

Understanding the Condition

Psoriasis is a medical condition caused by an abnormality of the immune system, in which the body has an inaccurate inflammatory response that can trigger cells to grow and multiply quickly. Commonly characterized by raised red patches of skin covered with silvery scales, it is caused by a buildup of plaque in affected areas. Psoriasis presents differently for everyone and can be mild, moderate or severe, affecting different parts of the body such as the scalp, elbows, palms, and soles of feet. The condition is often recurrent and symptoms usually last from several weeks to months before going away. Its cause is still unknown and there currently isn’t any cure available.

The severity and chronicity of psoriasis vary widely between individuals, and it is possible for some people to live largely unaffected while others may truly suffer debilitating effects of their condition. This has sparked debate over whether psoriasis should be considered a disability as well as potential associated rights or benefits for those affected by it. On one side, proponents argue that psoriasis causes enough physical discomfort and impairment that necessitates access to additional aid or care. On the other side opponents argue that its effects are too variable from person to person to categorize it as a disability.

This debate leads into the next section: Is Psoriasis a Disability? An understanding of how it affects individuals and their rights can help shape how this debate may progress.

Is Psoriasis a Disability?

The question of whether psoriasis constitutes a disability or not continues to be debated. In some cases, it can be considered a disability, while in others it may not be. Because psoriasis varies greatly in severity from person to person, the classification of psoriasis as a disability does not always pressure an individual with psoriasis. On the other hand, individuals who have severe, lifelong psoriasis would likely be classified as having a disability and be entitled to certain rights and benefits.

On one side of the debate, advocates for disabilities point out that living with severe psoriasis can interfere with everyday activities and cause uncomfortable symptoms. Psoriasis is often difficult to manage because of its persistent nature and can cause stress due to treatment costs or feelings of embarrassment or isolation. As a result, those affected by psoriasis would need assistance to cope with their condition in order to participate fully in life activities.

On the other side of the debate are those who argue that psoriasis should not be regarded as a disability at all, citing its varying degrees of severity as proof that it cannot be classified as a single disability. Some may even argue that individuals with mild cases of psoriasis do not actually suffer from any debilitating effects on their daily lives and therefore should not receive any benefits associated with a disability classification.

Ultimately, whether or not psoriasis is considered a disability falls on an individual basis depending on factors such as the severity and impact of symptoms, existing treatment methods, and overall ability to function day-to-day life. To understand what rights and benefits are available based on this classification, it’s important to understand how psoriasis is classified as a disability. This will be discussed further in the next section regarding The Classification of Psoriasis.

The Classification of Psoriasis

The classification of psoriasis is a contentious issue, as some healthcare professionals classify it as a disability while others do not. The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations defines psoriasis as a “chronic, immune-mediated disorder” which has the potential to become disabling. As such, those suffering from psoriasis may qualify for certain kinds of assistance or financial benefits in the form of disability payments if sufficient criteria is met.

There are various arguments with regards to the classification of psoriasis. On one hand, one could argue that the severe symptoms experienced by those with psoriasis could cause them to fall into the category of disabled individuals who need compensation or assistance. For example, many people with psoriasis suffer from painful and persistent joint inflammation, making everyday activities difficult to perform without help. Furthermore, those suffering with psoriasis often experience stigma and bullying due to the visible signs of their condition.

On the other hand, it could be argued that since psoriasis is not considered life-threatening or degenerative, it should not always be classified as a disability. Some consider its symptoms more like an annoyance than an actual impairment as they can usually be managed through lifestyle changes and treatments such as topical creams. Additionally, there is some evidence that shows that people with psoriasis have similar physical capabilities and life expectancy as those without the condition.

At the end of the day, it is important to recognize that everyone’s experience with psoriasis is unique and can differ significantly even among people with similar diagnoses. As such, each individual case should receive reasonable consideration when deliberating on whether or not it should be classified as a disability. With this in mind, we will now take a look at legal protection for people with psoriasis including available rights and benefits they may be entitled to.

Legal Protection for People with Psoriasis

It is important for people with psoriasis to be aware of their rights when it comes to legal protection. People with psoriasis may be protected from discrimination under federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, state and local government services, transportation, and telecommunications.

In addition to ADA protections, individual states may also have laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability including psoriasis. Furthermore, under certain circumstances due to lawsuits filed by groups representing those with physical impairments caused by psoriasis, businesses are required to make reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of people with psoriasis. For example, in retail stores, businesses may need to make changes such as providing wheelchair access or providing staff with training about interacting respectfully with customers who present physical signs of psoriasis.

People with psoriasis should also be aware of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from employment in a year if an employee has a serious health condition that requires medical treatment or due to certain conditions related to having a family member who has a serious health condition. Although psoriasis itself is not covered under FMLA, individuals might qualify under FMLA if they experience a serious flare-up requiring medical treatment or need to often take time off work due to recurrent symptoms associated with their psoriasis.

Such legal protections can provide much needed support for people living with psoriasis by providing more job security and making it easier to access the care they need without sacrificing their livelihoods. It is essential for people with psoriasis to stay informed about their rights and understand how current legislation offers them protection from discrimination due to their condition.

To get a better picture of how psoriatic disease affects everyday life and impact working capabilities, it is important to look at the impacts of this chronic skin disorder on daily life. The following section will explore these impacts further.

Impacts of Psoriasis on Daily Life

The cumulative effect of psoriasis is often more than just physical. The physical effects can disrupt many daily functions and the emotional impacts of psoriasis are significant, making it difficult to enjoy life as much as one who doesn’t have the condition.

Due to the visible nature of psoriasis, sufferers may feel embarrassed and ashamed, particularly if they break out with flares regularly in visible areas. This embarrassment and subsequent shame can lead to social isolation, low self-esteem, and feelings of depression and anxiety. Even if a person’s psoriasis is well-controlled with medication or other treatments, these psychological impacts can be long lasting.

On the other hand, some individuals find that having a chronic condition actually brings them strength and friendship. A strong network of family and friends, support groups, counselors and therapists plus valuable information on the web can all be incredibly helpful in managing the impacts of psoriasis on both the mind and body. For those who do not have access to support systems, religious organizations or advocacy centers provide meaningful assistance to help individuals cope with the condition’s emotional aspects.

Psoriasis also has an impact on financial standing. From medical costs to job loss as a result of flare-ups or emotional distress, this skin condition can greatly reduce quality of life experienced by those who have it in more ways than simply physical discomfort or appearance. All these elements must be taken into account when evaluating whether psoriasis should be considered a disability and what benefits individuals should receive for their specific circumstances.

In summary, from emotional disturbances such as depression to financial constraints due to medical bills or job loss, psoriasis can severely disrupt day-to-day life for sufferers as well as bring people strength through strong support networks. Treatments for this condition play an important role in addressing some of these impacts; therefore, the next section will explore treatments available for managing symptoms of psoriasis.

Treatments for Psoriasis

The primary goal of psoriasis treatment is to improve the overall quality of life, reduce symptom severity, and prevent flares from occurring. Treatments range from topical creams to oral medications and light therapy. A combination of treatments is often needed for optimal results.

Topical therapies are generally the first-line treatments for mild to moderate psoriasis. These include over-the-counter ointments, such as salicylic acid and coal tar, as well as prescription topical corticosteroids and retinoids. Topical therapies can offer significant relief, but they may need to be applied several times a day, if symptoms don’t improve with time.

For those who have more severe psoriasis or have not responded to topical treatments, phototherapy may be recommended. This is a light therapy that exposes the skin to specific wavelengths of light (UV), which can help reduce inflammation and slow the growth of skin cells. Phototherapy is typically done in a doctor’s office or at home with a light box or laser. While this therapy can be quite effective, it does carry some risks including burning, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer in certain people.

There are also several systemic medications that treat psoriasis by targeting specific pathways of immune activation in the body. These drugs include biologics such as adalimumab and etanercept, as well as traditional oral medications like methotrexate or cyclosporine. Traditional oral medications can cause serious side effects and should only be used when other treatments have failed or can’t be tolerated. Biologics target specific proteins involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and are generally safe and effective for many patients, but can be very expensive and often require continued injections every few weeks to maintain results.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for psoriasis; the best approach varies depending on individual factors such as age, lifestyle, comorbidities, and severity of disease. It’s important for people with psoriasis to work with their healthcare provider to find the best method(s) of treatment for their needs. Although there is no cure for psoriasis, its symptoms can usually be managed effectively with proper medical care and lifestyle modifications.

Before beginning any new treatment plan it is important to consider how much money you are willing to spend on treatment given that some treatments are costly with insurance coverage uncertain; weigh any possible side effects versus potential benefits; discuss other options if available; and factor in convenience or acceptability within your own personal preferences or lifestyle choices when deciding which treatment plan might make the most sense for you personally.

With so many options available today, it’s encouraging that many people with psoriasis are now able to control their symptoms effectively by working with their healthcare provider to choose the most appropriate treatment regimen based on individual factors unique to each person’s case. With this in mind, it is clear that understanding your rights and benefits regarding disability status associated with psoriasis will ultimately depend entirely on a person’s individual circumstances and needs.

Conclusion: Having examined treatments for psoriasis at length allowing readers an understanding of both sides of the argument when considering potential therapies, it is time now to look at what conclusion one might draw about differentiating between a disability vs non-disability status associated with those living with this condition


It is clear that psoriasis does qualify as a disability in the United States, and individuals with this condition do have certain rights and benefits. Individuals are legally protected from discrimination due to their disabilities and should not feel ashamed of speaking up against mistreatment because of psoriasis. The Americans with Disabilities Act provides protection for people with disabilities, including those who suffer from psoriasis.

In addition, individuals with psoriasis may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income after being evaluated by the Social Security Administration and obtaining medical records that demonstrate how their psoriasis impacts their ability to work. Additionally, there are numerous organizations that provide support and services to those living with psoriasis in the United States.

The bottom line is that while it can be difficult to manage psoriasis, individuals can take comfort in knowing that there are legal protections in place to ensure they receive fair treatment and necessary resources. Psoriasis may certainly qualify as a disability and individuals should make sure they understand their rights when applying for benefits or reacting to any kind of discrimination in the workplace.

Most Common Questions

Does psoriasis prevent someone from being able to work?

The answer to whether psoriasis prevents someone from being able to work is that it depends. Depending on the severity of the psoriasis, individuals with this condition may experience issues such as fatigue, joint pain, skin discomfort and limitations in mobility which could potentially prevent them from performing certain job duties or working in particular settings. Those who suffer from more severe forms of psoriasis may find it difficult to work at all, depending on their situation. However, for many people with the condition, there are ways to manage the symptoms, allowing them to continue their employment. With an individualized treatment plan and supportive employer, those with psoriasis can often lead successful careers without any disruption.

Are there any legal protections in place for people with psoriasis?

Yes, there are legal protections in place for people with psoriasis. Many courts have recognized psoriasis as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights laws. People with psoriasis may qualify for reasonable accommodations at work, such as flexible scheduling or ergonomic workplace adjustments. They may also be entitled to unemployment benefits if they cannot work due to the severity of their condition. Additionally, people with psoriasis can access employment nondiscrimination protection under state and federal law; employers cannot make hiring and firing decisions based on any employee’s health condition. Lastly, people with psoriasis can seek accommodations in housing, public accommodations, and various government services provided they meet certain criteria.

How can psoriasis affect someone’s daily life?

Psoriasis can have a major impact on someone’s day-to-day life, affecting everything from self-esteem to physical comfort. Psoriasis can be itchy, painful, and even disabling depending on the severity of the condition. Everyday activities such as dressing, washing, or exercising can become increasingly difficult due to skin dryness, itching, and painful patches. There may also be mental health struggles that come along with living with psoriasis, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, social isolation and embarrassment. Issues like these can lead to decreased work performance and productivity, which can cause further financial strain on an individual if they are unable to work. Additionally, stress often triggers psoriasis flares in some individuals, making everyday stresses more difficult to cope with. Ultimately, psoriasis can affect all aspects of an individual’s daily life from physical comfort to emotional well-being.

Leave a Comment