Are allergies considered a disability?
Before, we may have thought of a disability as a physical ailment. Something that was inhibiting or needed special attention. Over the last decade, the US has included more conditions in its list of disabilities. People who qualify as having a disability can access certain benefits.
One of these conditions includes severe allergies.
So, yes having an allergy on the list of disabilities. However, there are certain rules and standards it must abide by to receive these benefits.
By the end of this article, you’ll learn more about allergies as a disabling condition and the help you can get.
Allergies are a Disability
The US considers allergies a disability under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Allergies can significantly affect day-to-day activities. These activities include breathing, working, attending school, and eating.
In 2008, lawmakers revised the act to include more conditions. Included in this new group of disabilities were allergies. With their inclusion, workplaces, schools, and other such places must accommodate these added conditions.
In the past, the ADA didn’t include conditions with remedies or treatment. For example, one can remedy an allergic reaction with medication or an EpiPen.
The ADA and Disability Protection
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal civil rights law published in 1990. The act allows individuals with disabilities the right to ask for changes to accommodate their disability. This makes it possible for people with disabilities to experience places and services as someone without a disability would.
Under the ADA, there are protections for people with disabilities including:
- Services and programs that receive federal funding cannot discriminate based on disability
- Establishments must provide accommodations for people with disabilities
- Accommodations must benefit people with disabilities to easily access establishments and such
- Establishments such as restaurants, schools, medical clinics, stores, daycares, and more must comply
If a person is a victim of discrimination, they can contact the US Department of Labor and other agencies. These agencies look into claims and enforce the laws determined by the ADA.
Federal agencies that can help include:
- US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- US Department of Transportation
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB)
Does an Allergy Disability Qualify for Social Security Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits to those with disabilities who meet qualifications. This is to help those who cannot work due to their disability with finances.
Currently, the SSA doesn’t give benefits to those with severe allergies. They do acknowledge impairments associated with allergies, though. These include asthma, COPD, skin conditions like dermatitis, and autoimmune diseases like lupus.
So, you may qualify for SSD benefits if you experience these related conditions.
If you suffer from allergies, there are two ways you may qualify for benefits.
- Experience associated conditions covered by SSN benefits
- Medically prove your allergies limit your ability to work due to the possibility of anaphylaxis
There are certain rules about allergy-associated conditions in the eyes of SSN benefits.
For example, if you have dermatitis with allergies, then it needs to be severe. A case is severe if a person has skin lesions present for at least three months – despite treatment from a doctor.
What should you do if your allergies inhibit you from working?
You may qualify for a medical-vocational allowance. In this case, the SSA will perform a residual functional capacity analysis. This is to assess whether there is a job you can do in a safe manner.
The examiner analyzes your education, work experience, skills, medical records, and history of anaphylaxis. If this analysis finds that working in any job you are qualified for is too dangerous, then you are eligible for SSD benefits.
Living with Allergies
Allergies can improve a lot with the right treatment. It is important to seek medical treatment and have regular follow-ups.
If you have a history of anaphylaxis, it’s best to wear a bracelet indicating the allergen. Always have an emergency kit with prescribed medication available to you.
New allergies can appear over time. Re-testing for allergies may help identify new allergens. Ask your doctor about food allergy and sensitivity tests.
Living with healthy habits such as a good diet, sleep routine, exercise, and stress management can help manage severe allergies. Check out this article for answers to the most common questions on allergies.