Millions of people in the United States are affected by blood disorders such as sickle cell disease, anemia, thrombosis and hemophilia. Some hematological problems can be so severe that they prevent a person from working and earning a living. When that happens, you may qualify to receive regular benefits from for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is a federal program that provides financial aid to those who meet the SSDI disability criteria.
If you have not been able to work for at least 12 months or your diagnosis shows that you will not be able to work for that period of time, you may apply for SSDI benefits.
What Criteria Does the Social Security Administration (SSA) Use to Evaluate a Hematological Condition?
The first thing the SSA will do is to check whether your condition matches a listing in the Blue Book. The Blue Book contains a list of medical conditions compiled by the SSA that easily qualify for SSDI benefits. It’s pretty simple. If your condition matches a listing, the SSA will approve benefits. The medical conditions for hematological disorders are listed under Section 7.00 of the Blue Book. To make their determination, the SSA will review laboratory diagnostics, treatment you have received, the response to treatment, any side effects experienced due to treatment as well as the extent of physical and mental limitations.
What Kind of Documentation Is Required?
The SSA will need a laboratory report of a definitive test that verifies a hematological disorder. This document needs to be signed by a physician. If it is not signed by a physician, the SSA will need a report from a physician stating you have the disorder in addition to the laboratory findings. If you don’t have a laboratory report, you may submit a report from the physician stating that you have the hematological disorder which has been verified by appropriate definitive laboratory tests or any other method consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge and clinical practice.
The SSA will look at the full history of your hematological disorder from the day you were first diagnosed to the treatments you have had and your response to them Therefore, it is extremely important to provide detailed information on your application form.
What Happens When Your Hematological Disorder Does Not Meet a Blue Book Listing?
When your hematological disorder does not match a listing under Section 7.00 in the Blue Book or any other listing, the SSA will assess whether your condition is comparable to a Blue Book listing. They will evaluate your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) which measures the extent of your disability, particularly for work-related activities such as sitting, walking, being able to follow instructions, etc. The SSA will also consider your age, education, and work experience to determine whether your skills can be transferred to any other job.
You can be approved for SSDI benefits through a medical vocational allowance when your disability prevents you from returning to work for at least 12 months or engaging in any substantial gainful employment for that period of time.
What Kind of Hematological Conditions Qualify for SSDI Benefits?
Here’s a list of hematological conditions that qualify for SSDI benefits. However, you need not meet an exact listing to qualify as long as you can show the severity and duration of your condition prevent you from working for at least 12 months.
- Hemolytic Anemias:, congenital or acquired, includes diseases such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia and their variants, and hereditary spherocytosis. Diagnosis is generally based on hemoglobin electrophoresis or analysis of the contents of the RBC (enzymes) and membrane.
- Disorders of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, congenital or acquired, including disorders that affect both clotting (hypercoagulation) and bleeding ((inadequate blood clotting). Examples include Protein C or protein S deficiency and Factor V Leiden, Hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, and thrombocytopenia. Diagnosis is based on evaluation of plasma clotting-factor proteins (factors) and platelets.
- Disorders of Bone Marrow Failure, congenital or acquired, includes disorders that does not make enough healthy RBCs, platelets, or granulocytes (specialized types of white blood cells). These include disorders such as myelodysplastic syndromes, aplastic anemia, granulocytopenia, and myelofibrosis. Diagnosis is based on peripheral blood smears and bone marrow aspiration or bone marrow biopsy, but not peripheral blood smears alone.
- Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplantation: From the date you have your transplant, the SSA will consider you disabled for at least 12 months, even longer if you have any complications.
Is There a Faster Way to Process SSDI Benefits?
If you have a severe or terminal medical condition, the SSA will automatically expedite your claim so that you start receiving benefits as soon as possible. There is no special application form for this. Submit the standard SSDI forms and if your medical condition is listed on the Compassionate Allowance (CAL) program, the SSA will fast track the process.
Apply for SSDI Benefits Today
Find out if you are eligible for SSDI benefits today by requesting a free disability evaluation. If you have not been able to work because of a medical condition, or your disability is projected to last at least 12 months, fill out the form on the right and you’ll know if you qualify to apply for SSDI benefits. Disability United works with advocates specialized in SSDI matters. If you qualify for benefits, we can connect you to an advocate in your area who can help you through the process and increase your chances of getting your SSDI claim approved.
Let us help you get the benefits you deserve. Start by filling out our form as well as receiving a free disability evaluation.