The ability to go outside for work and recreation helps keep individuals healthy and productive. Unfortunately, not everyone in Pennsylvania can bear exposure to the sun. Some people are afflicted with photosensitivity disorders that make their skin very sensitive to the sun and vulnerable to developing skin problems. Because of this, some Pennsylvanians must limit their activities for the sake of their health.

Photosensitivity disorders, as defined by Healthline, are afflictions that produce hypersensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Since UV rays are generated by the sun, it can make it hard for people with a photosensitivity disorder to go outside for even a short period of time. Exposure to UV rays can lead to rashes, burns, lesions, and even skin cancer. Some photosensitivity disorders are produced by medication, while others can be caused by disease.

The Social Security Administration evaluates photosensitivity disorders in a number of ways. A person who has xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is considered disabled and eligible for benefits because XP is a lifelong disorder that produces hypersensitivity to any ultraviolet light, requiring people with the disorder to be restricted to protective environments. People with this disorder might have additional health problems, like mental or neurological disorders, or sight impairments.

Some photosensitivity disorders are mild and do not cause a person to lose substantial ability to work. The Social Security Administration will evaluate someone’s eligibility for disability by whether or not the person requires constant sheltering and protection from UV light. This means staying away from sunlight pouring through a window and needing to wear protective clothes and glasses. Another factor for disability is the extensiveness of skin lesions that a photosensitivity disorder can produce.

The limitations you have in working and providing for yourself because of an inability to tolerate ultraviolet light can be frustrating, but you are not without help in navigating life with this disability. As with other physical disorders, gathering the proper medical information to show you qualify for Social Security Disability is a crucial first step to securing your benefits.