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The Law Offices of Martin Taller
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Call to speak to us now
714-450-6689
Free consultations. Se Habla Español

Can sickle-cell anemia qualify for SSD benefits?

One of the most difficult aspects of having an illness that prevents one from working, in addition to actually suffering from that condition, is that simply being disabled does not mean one qualifies for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Being approved for benefits has a lot to do with the medical requirements, whether they are met and what information is gathered from those medical records.

One example of such a condition is a blood disease known as sickle-cell anemia. It is known as such because the body starts creating crescent shaped blood cells that are stuck in vessels and can block blood flow.

As they break down more regularly than normal blood cells, they can also cause a decrease in red blood cells. As a result, people afflicted with the disease can suffer from fatigue, rapid heart beat, chest pain, difficulty catching breath, frequent urination or bad eyesight. Complications include kidney failure, hypertension, malfunctioning spleen and a stroke. However, as mentioned above, not everyone with sickle-cell anemia will qualify for SSD benefits -- to qualify California residents must meet the SSD's definition of the disease or show that the illness prevents them from returning to work for one year.

For automatic approval, one must show that they have anemia and that either they have painful blood clots in their vessels at least three times in the last five months; have been hospitalized beyond that of emergency care at least three times in the last 12 months; their anemia is severe and chronic; or their impairment coincides with others that are listed. Doctor's notes in this case must be very detailed, including evidence of the crises -- the symptoms suffered, severity, length and frequency of the crisis. It would be beneficial if it also included the functional limitations posed by the disease.

This post is for general information only -- it is not intended to provide any legal information. Those who are disabled due to their blood disease or workplace illness may want to consider consulting an experienced attorney for guidance in understanding the medical requirements of their case.

Source: disability-benefits-help.org, "Social Security Benefits for Sickle Cell Anemia," Accessed Sept. 15, 2017

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