More than 661,000 Americans suffer from kidney failure. Kidney failure is usually caused by chronic kidney disease. When kidney functioning falls below 25 percent, serious difficulties may develop. When a person has kidney functioning of less than 10 to 15 percent, treatment will be required. The treatment options include dialysis, which cleanses the body and the blood, or a kidney transplant.
If you are the caregiver of a loved one who is unable to work because of kidney failure, they may be eligible to qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA oversees two separate disability programs, and your loved one may be eligible for benefits through either one or both programs.
How Your Loved One Can Medically Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
The SSA medical guide, which is referred to as the Blue Book, is used to determine if an individual meets the medical qualifications needed to receive disability benefits. To be approved using the standard medical approach, the claimant must be able to match the criteria of a listing.
Kidney failure can be assessed using Section 6.02, which requires that the claimant undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant OR serum creatinine levels from a three-month period are above 4 mg per deciliter or at a clearance level of 20 ml or lower per minute and the individual suffers from one of the complications that follow– sensory or motor nephropathy, renal osteodystrophy, or chronic fluid overload syndrome.
If the patient cannot meet the details of that listing, then he or she may qualify using Section 6.06 for nephrotic syndrome, or Section 6.04 which is for those who have undergone a kidney transplant. Two kidney conditions qualify through the Compassionate Allowance Listings (CAL). If you can provide medical records showing heptorenal syndrome or nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, then the claimant will have their claim expedited and start receiving benefits as fast as possible.
Becoming a Designated Payee
A caregiver of a disabled individual who cannot work because of kidney failure may serve as their designated payee for their disability checks. The SSA sends payments electronically, so you would need to arrange access to the claimant’s bank account.
Disability benefits can be used to cover living expenses such as rent, utilities, and groceries as well as medical costs. Keep all the receipts so you can prove that the claimant benefited from the funds if the SSA ever does an inquiry into the claim.
How To Get Your Loved One’s Disability Application Underway
If you are the caregiver of a disabled person who suffers from kidney failure, there are different ways to get their claim for Social Security Disability benefits underway. Remember, the more documentation that you can provide to support your claim, the more likely you are to have a successful claim and the claimant’s case is much more likely to proceed on track.
A Social Security disability attorney can help you gather the medical documents and other necessary items to support your loved one’s claim. You can then continue to provide the care to your loved one while a lawyer works on the claim with you. To get in touch with an attorney that takes helps those applying in your area, complete the Free Case Evaluation found on this page today!