This list of conditions which may qualify one to receive Social Security disability benefits is not intended to be authoritarian in nature and is provided only for your information. This information may not be the latest rulings provided by the SSA. Detailed information can be obtained from the Social Security Administration's website where this information was obtained. You may also fill out the form on this page for a FREE claim evaluation.
Hematology is the study of blood and related entities. Hematological disorders are blood problems and include, but are not limited to anemia, sickle cell disease and coagulation defects. A Chronic hematological problem as defined by the Social Security Administration is an illness that is persistent for at least three months verifiable by lab reports and/or appropriate medical imaging. Consistent treatment and documentation of the problem may be your key to successfully winning Social Security disability benefits if you suffer from a blood disorder.
If you suffer from chronic anemia, the SSA will desire documentation reflecting your ability to adjust to the anemia. In their opinion, most people are able to live adequately with low levels of red blood cells and, therefore, would not qualify for Social Security disability benefits. According to the SSA website hematocrit should remain at 30% or less (26% for sickle cell anemia) and you should have received blood transfusions on average at least once every two months. However, if the above criteria is not met, the SSA will still consider providing Social Security disability benefits if the factor causing the anemia qualifies for disability.
Thrombocytopenia, or low blood platelet counts, must be documented repeatedly and the platelet count must be below 40,000/cubic millimeter. When applying for disability benefits for thrombocytopenia be prepared to document at least one spontaneous hemorrhage requiring a blood transfusion within the last five months or intracranial bleeding within twelve months. The SSA makes a note on their website that simply receiving treatment or medications for thrombocytopenia does not mean you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
Hereditary telangiectasia is also known as HHT (hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia) or Osler-Weber-Rendu disease or syndrome. Hereditary telangiectasia can result in bleeding of the nose, digestive tract, brain or other areas. According to Wikipedia hereditary telangiectasia affects one in 5,000 people.
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits due to hereditary telangiectasia the SSA will want documentation of at least three hemorrhages requiring blood transfusions within the last five months.
Most people would think of hemophilia or "free-bleeders" right away when considering anti-coagulation problems. The SSA simply requires proof of three blood transfusions during the five month period prior to adjudication of your claim and your claim for disability benefits due to spontaneous hemorrhage could be approved.
Sickle cell disease can be extremely painful and debilitating. Some people have likened it to living on pins and needles because they are never sure when the next crisis will suddenly occur. Unfortunately sickle cell affects young and old alike.
To qualify for disability benefits, you must provide documentation of at least three painful thrombotic crisis in the past five months or have been hospitalized (a visit to the emergency room does not count) at least three times in the past year or if the sickle cell disease causes chronic anemia as defined above.
Once again, the SSA has provided a loophole for those who do not quite meet the criteria for Social Security disability benefits for sickle cell. If the sickle cell disease affects other body systems causing disability for that system, then you can still be considered for benefits.
The SSA has a list of other hematological diseases they will consider when reviewing claims for Social Security disability benefits. These diseases include, but are not limited to, "polycythemia vera (with erythrocytosis, splenomegaly, and leukocytosis or thrombocytosis), Myelofibrosis (myeloproliferative syndrome), Chronic granulocytopenia (due to any cause) and Aplastic anemias with bone marrow or stem cell transplantation." Except for transplantation, the other hematological diseases require documentation of a persistent problem that makes you functionally debilitated. Bone marrow transplant patients may qualify for Social Security disability benefits for a period of twelve months after the transplant with a review to follow for possibly extending the benefits.
It is important that your hematological disorder be persistent, meaning it has been documented by lab work or other methods to have existed for at least three months. Some hematological diseases require documentation of treatments that may have been given up to one year prior. As with some other impairments, blood problems can be caused by multiple conditions. Each problem by itself may not be adequate for you to obtain Social Security disability benefits, but a combination of problems may be more than enough for you to receive your Social Security disability payments.
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