Chronic anemia can have very variable effects. A sudden loss of red blood cells can have a severe impact on your health and ability to work normally. Every a chronic anemia sufferer has the right to apply for a social security disability benefit if it is thought that the condition is serious enough and employment is not possible because of the disability.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses every disability benefit application against its own criteria. Many initial applications are rejected at the outset. However, if you have chronic anemia, don’t give up after an initial benefit denial.
There are four further steps that can be taken to appeal the SSA’s decision. In many cases, a negative decision can be reversed at any of the following steps:
- request for a reconsideration;
- hearing overseen by an administrative law judge;
- appeals court review;
- federal district court hearing.
The Initial Application for a Disability Benefit for Chronic Anemia
Much depends on an assessment of just how serious your chronic anemia is and how the severity of the anemia has impacted on your ability to work. The SSA’s Blue Book listing 7.18, which provides the criteria for hematological disorders is the primary description which is used to determine eligibility for a benefit. Much depends on the medical evidence you present, results of tests and scans and whether your anemia is likely to respond to treatment or whether you need, for example, ongoing blood transfusions to replace lost red blood cells.
If the criteria are not likely to be met initially, you can have a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment completed by a physician. This is a series of physical tests of what you are able to do, such as stand up, lift and hold weights. The results of the assessment can help to make you eligible for a benefit.
In Case of a Denial
Around 50% of SSD benefit applications are rejected initially by the SSA. Rejection may be due to an appraisal of your condition as not being severe enough, but just as likely is that there was insufficient evidence presented to convince the SSA’s Disability Determination Services assessors that your condition was serious enough to justify a benefit being granted.
The Appeals Process For Chronic Anemia
The good news is that these negative decisions can often be reversed by persevering through the four-step appeal process. This is sequential and in most cases it is not necessary to go through each of the four stages before a benefit decision s made in your favor.
One factor that can make the whole process easier to navigate and therefore improve your chances of obtaining a benefit is to use a disability lawyer to help with an appeal.
The four stages of an appeal are as follows:
Request the SSA to reconsider a denied claim. The assessors will re-examine the evidence presented and look at new evidence if available.
If this fails, request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). The judge is not a medical expert but will examine all the evidence presented on both sides and ask questions about your condition and the reasons for claiming that it has made you unable to work. The ALJ then makes an independent decision either to uphold the original denied claim or reverse it in your favor.
Failing this stage, there are two further steps you can take. The first is to take your case to an appeals council for a review of the decisions to date. The final step is to take the claim to a federal district court.
Get Help With The Application Process
Fortunately, a Social Security disability attorney may be able to help you with the application process for disability benefits with chronic anemia. To get connected with an independent, participating disability attorney who subscribes to the website, fill out the Free Case Evaluation above.