Does Sickle Cell Disease Qualify For Disability Benefits?
The following article gives comprehensive information as to whether Sickle Cell Disease qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits, what are the chances of a claimant getting SSD/SSI benefits and why is it important to contact disability attorney to win a disability claim for Sickle Cell Disease.
About Sickle Cell Disease And Disability Benefits
Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited hematological disorder in which there are abnormal mutations of red blood cells. This condition is also known by the name of Sickle Cell Anemia. In this condition, the red blood cells assume the shape of a sickle which prohibits them from passing through the blood vessels thus depriving various vital organs of the body of adequate blood that is required for normal functioning of organs and thus causing potentially disabling complications.
Listed Below Are The Different Types of Sickle Cell Disease:
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Sickle Beta Plus Thalassemia
- Sickle Hemoglobin C Disease
- Sickle Beta Zero Thalassemia.
In an individual with Sickle Cell Disease, the hemoglobin is of abnormal type resulting in the red blood cells to become abnormally shaped. The shape of the cells is such that it becomes difficult for them to pass through the blood vessels thus causing a blockage. When there is a blockage, the blood flow gets impaired causing significant organ damage due to severe blood and oxygen deficiency. It is because of this profound damage to the organs due to reduced flow that complications like anemia, jaundice, and gallstones are observed. Due to inadequate blood flow to vital organs severe damage can be observed in the spleen, kidneys, liver, and lung with resultant chest pain, abdominal pain, pain in the extremities, and stroke. If Sickle Cell Disease damages the spleen then the affected individual gets predisposed to frequent bacterial infections.
Hence an individual with Sickle Cell Disease is bound to have problems with standing for prolonged periods because of excessive fatigue due to anemia and jaundice. Also, with dysfunction of important vital organs like the kidneys, liver, and lungs, it becomes virtually impossible for an individual to be gainfully employed on a consistent basis in any form of employment, be it sedentary or involving only minimal stress. Thus it can be said that an individual with Sickle Cell Disease can and should apply for Social Security Disability Benefits or SSD Benefits.
Does Sickle Cell Disease Qualify For Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) utilizes a manual which has a comprehensive list of medical conditions that qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. This manual is known as the Blue Book. This list contains several medical conditions which according to SSA qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefits given the individual meets the criteria as mentioned in the manual. This manual gets upgraded from time to time and based on the list, Sickle Cell Disease is found in section 7.05 of the Blue Book under Hematological Disorders and disability benefits can be granted provided the claimant meets the specifications laid out by SSA for Sickle Cell Disease.
In order to qualify for SSD/SSI benefits for Sickle Cell Disease, first and foremost the claimant should have a confirmed documented diagnosis of Sickle Cell Disease along with at least one of the following:
- Documented painful episodes that should have occurred at least thrice during five months before disability determination
- Sickle Cell disease condition that has required prolonged hospitalization for a minimum of three times in the past year before disability determination
- Severe chronic anemia with persistent hematocrit levels of less than or equal to 26%.
- The Social Security Administration must be able to assess any impairment caused to any organ system from the Sickle Cell Disease under the criteria for affected body system.
How A Disability Attorney Can Help You Win Social Security Disability Benefits For Sickle Cell Disease?
It has been observed that majority of claimants applying for SSD benefits for Sickle Cell Disease get their claims denied initially. This is usually because most of the claimants who apply for disability due to sickle cell disease or sickle cell anemia do not have a great deal of idea about how to present their case in front of the judge at the time of hearing. That is when an experienced SSD attorney comes into picture. An SSD attorney has ample amount of experience in handling sickle cell disease related disability cases and is the best person to present the case in front of the judge in the most appropriate manner and is quite familiar with rules of Social Security Administration thus helping a claimant get disability benefits for sickle cell disease. The disability attorney also has comprehensive knowledge as to what the judge might ask during the hearing and what is the other information that needs to be put forth in front of the judge at the time of hearing to get a sickle cell disability claim. Disability attorney gets paid only after the claimant has been granted disability benefit for sickle cell disease thus the attorney does all he or she can to get the claimant SSD/SSI benefits.
How Does Social Security Administration (SSA) Assess Disability Caused By Sickle Cell Disease?
When applying for disability due to Sickle Cell Disease, the SSA will assess the documented proof of the claimant's condition. Hence, it is absolutely vital for the claimant to have documented evidence of the diagnosis of sickle cell disease made by the treating physician. There should also be documented evidence of the treatments that the claimant has gone through and how compliant has the claimant been with the treatment recommendations. There should be documentation of any hospitalizations that might have been required to treat the condition. Most importantly, there should be documented evidence of how the condition has negatively impacted the claimant's ability to remain productive at work and how the disease has impacted other organ systems of the body which makes it even worse for the claimant to work. If the claimant has the above mentioned documented proof then the chances of the claimant getting disability benefits due to Sickle Cell Disease becomes that much brighter.
Concluding Note To Improve Your Chances Of Getting Disability Benefits Due To Sickle Cell Disease
Thus, if an individual suffers from Sickle Cell Disease to an extent that it prevents him or her to be gainfully employed consistently then it is important for the individual to be in close contact with the treating physician and with the help of an experienced SSD attorney should apply for Social Security Disability Benefits for Sickle Cell Disease. Treating physicians opinion about your functional limitations caused because of Sickle Cell Disease will be very vital. If the claimant has documented proof of the condition and has proof that he or she is unable to work under any occupation at even sedentary levels for a consistent period of time due to the symptoms then the chances of the claimant qualifying for SSD benefits due to Sickle Cell Disease becomes extremely good. Remember, as stated above, disability attorney gets paid only after the claimant wins disability benefits thus the attorney does all he or she can to get the claimant the rightfully deserving SSD/SSI benefits for Sickle Cell Disease.