Some medical conditions are minor, while others are life-threatening or at least life-altering. For example, Michaela’s parents learned of her sickle cell disease when she was three years old. Throughout her childhood, Michaela suffered from pain crises, fatigue, serious infections, and insomnia. Though she attempted to enter the workforce, the symptoms of her sickle cell disease made it difficult to hold down a job. Eventually, she began to explore Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. She just didn’t know if sickle cell disease would qualify for SSDI benefits.
What Is Sickle Cell Disease?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sickle cell disease is:
“… a group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. People with this disorder have atypical hemoglobin molecules called hemoglobin S, which can distort red blood cells into a sickle, or crescent, shape.”
The disease primarily affects people whose ancestors came from Africa, Mediterranean countries, the Arabian peninsula, India, and certain regions in South America, Central American, and parts of the Caribbean. It is probably most commonly associated with African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
How Does It Affect a Person’s Ability to Work?
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of sickle cell disease include:
- Episodes of Pain, which may sometimes require hospitalization;
- Swelling of hands and feet;
- Frequent infections;
- Delayed growth; and
- Vision problems.
Symptoms may come and go, with varying levels of discomfort. Hospitalization is not uncommon. People with sickle cell disease may find it difficult to work due to the symptoms and treatment of the disease.
What Does SSDI Say About Sickle Cell Disease?
A quick review of the SSA’s list of impairments shows that sickle cell disease is listed under Section 7, Hematological Disorders. This section lists various diseases related to blood cells.
It is possible to prove you have a hematological disorder like sickle cell disease. You’ll need medical records, lab reports, and a diagnosis from a physician.
Get the Benefits You Deserve When You Need Them
Whether sickle cell disease qualifies for SSDI benefits is based on how the disease affects your ability to work. Some people with sickle cell may lead fairly normal lives, while others suffer from debilitating pain crises and other serious conditions. Talk to a disability lawyer if you feel you can no longer work.
At The Law Offices of Martin Taller, your case gets the attention and care of experienced Social Security Disability attorneys. Call us at 714-385-8100 to set up a free consultation. Though our office is conveniently located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.