Kidney Transplant and Disability Benefits: What You Need to Know
Kidney failure, which is also known as Stage Five Kidney Failure or renal disease, is a debilitating condition characterized by decreased urine output, fluid retention, fatigue and, in worst case scenarios, chest pain, seizures, and coma. One of the most effective treatments is a kidney transplant.
If you have reached the stage where a kidney transplant becomes necessary, chances are that you have been unable to work for a long time. This situation alone can have a serious impact on your well-being, as financial worries are a major stressor. Fortunately, having a kidney transplant makes you eligible for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits, which will provide you with an income as you recover.
Medically Qualifying with a Kidney Transplant
Kidney transplants are referenced in the Blue Book, a list of disabling conditions that the SSA uses to determine an applicant’s eligibility for benefits. Listing 6:05--Chronic Kidney Disease With Kidney Transplant states that the SSA will consider you disabled for 12 months from the date of your transplant. After that, it will reassess your condition by considering the following:
- Your level of functionality after the transplant
- Any kidney rejection episodes you may have experienced
- Renal infection frequency
- Complications in other areas of your body
- Any negative effects caused by immunosuppressants and corticosteroid treatment
When you apply for disability benefits, your doctor must include the following information and documentation:
- Tests and laboratory findings that confirm your diagnosis of kidney failure
- All treatments you have received, as well as their results
- Records of hospitalization due to kidney failure
- Evidence of any post-transplant complications
Your doctor will also fill out a residual functional capacity (RFC) form, which allows the SSA to assess how much of an impact chronic kidney failure and your transplant have had on your ability to function.
Those with kidney failure requiring a transplant usually qualify for a compassionate allowance, which enables your disability claim to be approved in a matter of weeks instead of months. Additionally, you will be able to qualify for Medicare assistance as soon as your application is approved, instead of waiting for two years like many Social Security Disability beneficiaries do.
Getting Help with Your Kidney Transplant Claim
Many people who apply for SSA disability benefits are denied at first, even if they have a Blue Book listed condition. Hiring a Social Security disability attorney will provide you with the professional insights and support that maximize your chance at approval. He or she can:
- Ensure that your claim is properly filled out and includes the required supporting documentation
- Submit the claim according to approved process
- Represent you if an appeal becomes necessary
Working with a Social Security disability attorney increases the likelihood that you will receive the benefits you need when you need them. Once the SSA approves your claim, your attorney will ensure that the disability payments arrive on time and as scheduled, removing your financial worries so you can focus on your recovery.