Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia can cause severe medical complications. Unfortunately many of the people suffering from these conditions are unable to work due to their disability. The financial stress caused by this lack of income is often compounded by medical bills that are incurred due to the condition. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits can often offset the financial burdens created by this situation. If you suffer from coagulation defects or hemophilia and have been wondering whether or not you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, the following information can help you understand the application process and how your condition affects your eligibility for disability benefits.
Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia - Condition and Symptoms
Individuals who suffer from Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia experience issues with blood clotting and excessive bleeding. The agents in your blood responsible for coagulation, known as the plasma proteins, interact with chemicals in the blood to form the material known as fibrin. This material is what causes bleeding to stop when a person becomes injured. If a person's body does not create enough fibrin or if any of the materials that create the fibrin are missing, a person can suffer from excessive bleeding that does not stop on its own.
There are a number of factors that may contribute to Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia including vitamin deficiencies, medications, genetic disorders and illnesses. Hemophilia is the most common coagulation defect. The severity of a coagulation defect can vary from individual to individual, with severe cases sometimes becoming life-threatening.
Patients who suffer from coagulation defects will often experience excessive bleeding. If they sustain an injury it can be very difficult to get the bleeding to stop. Something as simple as a minor scrape can result in substantial blood loss. Oftentimes individuals who suffer from coagulation defects will experience severe menstrual bleeding, frequent nose bleeds and bleeding of the gums and mouth. In severe cases, coagulation defects can lead to joint damage, bleeding of the muscles, arthritis symptoms, retinal bleeding, blindness, hemorrhaging and even death.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of a coagulation defect, your doctor will perform a physical examination and blood work to diagnose the condition. Oftentimes a primary care physician will refer a patient to a hematologist in order to confirm the diagnosis and to detect the underlying cause of the condition.
Some cases of a coagulation defect might be cured, such as those caused by Vitamin K deficiencies. In other cases, the underlying cause may be treated. Sometimes plasma transfusions, platelet transfusions and/or factor replacements may be considered to treat a coagulation defect or hemophilia condition.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits due to a coagulation defect or hemophilia, the Social Security Disability examiner reviewing your case will reference a published listing of impairment guidelines referred to as the SSA “Blue Book”. Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia are included in the Blue Book's listing of impairments under Section 7.08.
If you are diagnosed with a coagulation defect such as hemophilia, the diagnosis itself will not qualify you for disability benefits. Your specific case will need to meet certain guidelines that are set forth by Section 7.08 of the SSA's impairment listings.
According to the SSA's guidelines, in order to qualify for disability benefits due to Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia your condition must have resulted in spontaneous hemorrhaging that required a blood transfusion at least three times within the five months prior to the date the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews your disability claim. It is also important to note that the listing that covers Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia refers to cases that are caused by genetics and not cases caused by underlying medical conditions. If your coagulation defect or hemophilia is caused by an underlying medical condition and not a genetic condition, you will want to document the underlying cause of your coagulation defect in order to increase your chances of an approval of benefits.
If your coagulation defect does not fall under the guidelines published by the SSA you may still be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits but you will need to prove that your condition prevents you from performing gainful work activity. This can be done by providing the SSA with detailed medical evidence and statements from your treating physicians.
Coagulation Defects and Hemophilia and Your Social Security Disability Case
If your coagulation defect or hemophilia condition meets each of the published Social Security impairment guidelines you may be approved for benefits in the initial stage of the Social Security Disability application process and benefits may be awarded in just three to four months. If your case does not meet all of the published Social Security Disability guidelines you will likely need to file an appeal in order to obtain Social Security Disability benefits.
The Social Security appeal process can be complicated and overwhelming and can take more than a year to complete. In order to increase your chance of receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you should consider the services of a Social Security attorney. A disability attorney can represent you during the disability appeal process and can increase your chances of receiving a favorable disability determination.