Some hematological (blood or plasma related) conditions are among the most serious disabling disorders. If you have an hematological disorder, you may be wondering what conditions qualify for disability? The Social Security Administration specifically recognizes nine hematological disorders which often meet the criteria for eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. These nine are:
- Aplastic Anemias. If you suffer from aplastic anemia, your bone marrow doesn’t resupply you with red blood cells as it’s supposed to.
- Chronic Anemia. Simply having an anemic condition does not automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. You must show that it significantly affects your ability to perform work.
- Myelofibrosis. Your bone marrow produces excess tissue, which can lead to debilitating health issues.
- Coagulation Problems. Several conditions cause problems with blood coagulation. Hemophilia is the most common. These conditions cause bleeding which is difficult to control.
- Sickle Cell Anemia. There are several varieties of sickle cell, many of which can cause severe pain.
- Chronic Thrombocytopenia. This condition causes a significant drop in blood platelets.
- Abnormal Increase. Several conditions cause an unhealthy increase in either red or white blood cells. Many of these conditions are debilitating.
- Granulocytopenia. This condition causes a lack of a particular type of white blood cell, which affects the immune system.
- Blood Platelet decrease.
Additionally, you may apply for Social Security Disability on the basis of any physical or medical disability condition (including blood disorders) which leaves you completely unable to perform any of the work which you have done in the past. In order to qualify, you must also prove to the Social Security Administration that your condition prohibits you from being reasonably trained to performa different kind of work. You must also demonstrate (usually via your doctor’s statement and your medical records) that you anticipate being disabled for at least a year or that your disability is likely to end in your death. In the event that you've been diagnosed with hemophilia, a bleeding disorder, and you're not able work, you should qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
If you suspect you may have a blood condition which could lead to permanent disability, contact the Social Security Administration and inform them that you intend to file for disability. Even if you don’t actually file for disability until much later, this establishes a protected filing date for you. Down the road, should you file for disability because of your hematological condition, you may be entitled to back pay dating back to when you made your intent to file known. This can mean thousands of dollars worth of disability payments which you would have missed out on had you not made your intent known.
After you have filed intent, you should consult your doctor regarding your condition and their opinion regarding whether your condition could qualify as completely disabling. Much of the SSA’s rendering on your case will be based on your doctor’s recommendations and observations. Having your doctor’s support can have a big impact on the outcome of your claim.
You should also consider finding a Social Security Disability lawyer. You are entitled to representation by a qualified lawyer from the time you're applying for SSDI all the way to Federal Court, if necessary.
Your Disability lawyer can help you through each step of the claims and appeals process. Best of all, they are paid from a portion of your back pay, so you only pay them after you have been awarded Social Security Disability benefits, and you don’t pay out of your pocket.
If you have been diagnosed with a bleeding condition such as hemophilia and are unable to function, you might be eligible for medical payments with the Social Security.
Can You Get a Disability Benefit For a Blood Disorder?
Yes, you can get a disability benefit for a blood disorder as long as you meet the requirements in the Blue Book listing under Section 7.00 – ‘Hematological Disorders.' This section explains all the evidence you are required to obtain which supports your disability benefits claim for a blood disorder.
You will be asked to provide one of the following bits of evidence to prove you have a hematological disorder.
- A lab report compiled from test results that reveals you have a blood disorder which must be signed by a physician
- A lab report from test results that indicates you have a blood disorder but hasn’t been signed by a physician and a physician report that states you have a blood disorder
- If there is no lab report from a test, you will need to provide a physician’s report which includes a confirmation that you have a blood disorder and that this was confirmed by a relevant lab analysis or another diagnostic method.
Before being deemed eligible for disability benefits the evidence you have provided will be used to determine if you are able to work or function independently on a sustained basis in a work environment. Your symptoms will be evaluated and how often you are disabled as a result of the blood disorder. Also, the effects of the treatment will be considered including the side effects of any medication. If you are found to be unable to work for at least 12 months due to the blood disorder you will qualify for disability benefits.
Application Process for Blood Disorders
Social Security uses a step by step sequential screening procedure to decide whether you apply for disability insurance services. There is a decision-maker at each point of the disability claim. In the original application and re-examination phases, the decision-maker is the DDS Examiner in consultation with the DDS Physician. At the hearing point, the decision-maker is a judge in administrative law who also consults with a medical specialist (ME).
You cannot earn more than what Social Security considers Substantial, Gainful Activity (SGA). There are other non-medical requirements that must still be fulfilled in order for the claim to move towards the next step. No matter how serious and disabling the blood condition might be (even though it is well supported by years of medical evidence), if you do not meet the non-medical criteria, your application will not go on to the next step.
All medical data is gathered to assess if your impairments are severe. In order to be deemed severe, symptoms would limit the ability to do simple work-like tasks. Severity can take multiple types, including physical disabilities, such as restricted ability to walk, stand, move, hold objects, etc. Severity may also encompass the failure to talk, to understand, to see, to focus, to obey simple directions, to get along with co-workers, etc. If the symptoms are found to be severe, your claim will move to the next step.
The SSA uses the Blue Book to determine what conditions qualify for disability benefits. The Blue Book is made up of different listings, each with qualifying criteria. Under Listing 7.00 Hematological Disorders, blood disorders are assessed, with individual sub-sections depending on the precise disability involved. The SSA will require a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) to assess if you have the potential to do work that you have done previously.
Regardless of which blood disorder you have, if you are permanently disabled, chances are that you need to start collecting your Social Security Disability payments as soon as possible. And your best chance of being accepted for Social Security Disability lies in having a disability attorney who specializes in helping people with disability claims working with you.