Nephrotic syndrome can be a very frustrating condition to live with. While not all of the people who develop this condition will suffer severe symptoms, those who do are usually unable to work due to the affect that the condition has on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. Because of this, these individuals are left with no income, no medical insurance and, in many cases, the daunting task of determining whether or not they should apply for Social Security Disability benefits. If you are wondering how the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews claims based on a diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome, the following information will help you understand the specifics of the condition and how they affect your eligibility for disability benefits.
Nephrotic Syndrome - Condition and Symptoms
Nephrotic syndrome is a name given to a group of symptoms that involve high levels of protein in the urine, low protein levels in the blood, high triglyceride levels, high cholesterol levels and edema. When a person develops nephrotic syndrome, it is an indication that their kidneys are not working properly. There are many conditions that can lead to nephrotic syndrome and, if not caught and treated properly, these conditions may lead to complete kidney failure. Because of this, treatment of the underlying condition is crucial to the health of an individual who is diagnosed with this disorder.
There are a number of underlying conditions that can lead to nephrotic syndrome. When the small blood vessels in the kidneys that filter waste become damaged, nephrotic syndrome will occur. Certain types of cancer, lupus, diabetes, infection and even certain medications can lead to a case of nephrotic syndrome. In some cases, the cause is never known and an underlying condition cannot be isolated.
The symptoms of nephrotic syndrome may vary depending on the underlying condition and the severity of the condition. Some of the patients who develop this condition will not experience any symptoms at all. Others may experience edema around the eyes, ankles and feet, a swollen abdomen, high blood pressure, poor appetite, foam in the toilet water after urination and weight gain related to fluid retention.
Without treatment, nephrotic system can lead to chronic kidney disease, heart disease, renal vein thrombosis, acute kidney failure and malnutrition. Individuals suffering from severe nephrotic syndrome, especially with a serious underlying illness, should apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as possible.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Nephrotic Syndrome
Nephrotic syndrome is listed as a qualifying disability under the SSA's Blue Book under Medical Listing 6.06. According to this listing, an individual must be suffering from nephrotic syndrome with anasarca and the condition must persist for at least three months despite prescribed treatments and therapy.
When filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to a diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome, you must be able to prove that your diagnosis includes a description of how severe your edema is, including any ascites, pleural effusion or pericardial effusion. You must also include medical records that detail your serum albumin levels. If your case of nephrotic syndrome is caused by an underlying disabling condition, the SSA will also evaluate whether or not that condition qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits.
When filing your Social Security Disability application, make sure you include enough medical documentation to prove that your condition meets all of the SSA's published guidelines. You must also include all treatment histories and how your condition responded to prescribed treatments. If you do not have enough medical evidence to prove that your condition meets the specific requirements of Medical Listing 6.06, you will likely be denied benefits during the initial stage of the disability application process.
Nephrotic Syndrome and Your Social Security Disability Case
Because nephrotic syndrome is covered under the SSA's Medical Listings, you should be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits as long as you have medical documentation proving that you meet the established guidelines. If, however, you do not have enough medical evidence or your specific case of nephrotic syndrome does not meet the SSA's Blue Book guidelines, you will likely be denied Social Security Disability benefits. This does not mean, however, that you will not be able to obtain benefits in the future. You will, however, have to pursue the disability appeal process in order to do so.
If you are applying for disability benefits, you should consult with a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate prior to beginning the process. Your attorney will help you understand the process and he or she will assist you in gathering the evidence that will be needed to win your disability claim. Statistics show that applicants who are represented by a qualified attorney or advocate are much more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who choose to represent themselves.