How to Apply for Disability Benefits With Kidney Disease

If you have kidney disease and it is severe enough to prevent you from working, you may be able to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). You will need to show that the symptoms of your kidney disease are severe enough and match the criteria established by the SSA. You should follow the steps below to help you with your disability benefits application.

Step 1: Determine How Kidney Disease Limits You

The SSA will need to assess how your kidney disease symptoms limit you in both your daily life and in your ability to earn a living. The main criterion for work is that your symptoms mean you are unable to work for at least the next 12 months despite any treatment you may be receiving. The SSA’s disability examiners will want to know whether you can do any other job other than the one you have been active in up to now, i.e., whether your kidney disease symptoms allow you to earn a living in another way even if they prevent you from doing the same job.

The examiners will also want to know how your symptoms affect how you go about your everyday life, e.g., whether you are unable to do household chores, look after yourself, care for family, etc.

Step 2: Consult the Blue Book for Kidney Disease

The SSA uses its Blue Book to assess symptoms of impairments and disease. Kidney disease is listed under Section 6.00: Genitourinary Diseases. There are several subsections which give details of symptoms and medical evidence required for eligibility to be established. These briefly are:

  • 6.03: Chronic kidney disease, with chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis;
  • 6.04: Chronic kidney disease, with kidney transplant. Consider under a disability for 1 year following the transplant; thereafter, evaluate the residual impairment;
  • 6.05: Chronic kidney disease, with impairment of kidney function; and
  • 6.06: Nephrotic syndrome.

To be able to establish your inability to work, you may also need a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment carried out by your doctor. The RFC form (a.k.a., the RFC assessment) determines what you are able and not able to do and how this affects your ability to continue working.

Step 3: Gather Required Documents

You will need sufficient documentation to support your application. This documentation is in addition to your completed disability benefits application form, which you can download off the SSA website. The main documents you will need to supply alongside your application are as follows:

  • all medical evidence as detailed above;
  • proof of United States citizenship;
  • tax information to show how many work credits you have accumulated over the lifetime of your employment; the number of credits you need depend on how old you are;
  • employment history which together with tax information determines whether you are eligible for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) scheme;
  • proof of income and assets to help establish whether you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if you do not have enough work credits.

Step 4: Speak With a Disability Attorney

Applying for disability benefits can be a challenging and frustrating experience. Many applications are initially rejected by the SSA and applicants may then have to file an appeal. A disability attorney can help you at any stage of a disability benefits application.

Take the Free Case Evaluation on this page to speak with an attorney today!

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