If you suffer from a blood disorder, such as hemophilia, anemia, or sickle cell anemia, your symptoms may prevent you from working. You may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for your hematological disorder.
Obtaining benefits for a blood disorder can be a challenging process, and many first-time applications are denied. At Disability Advocates Group, our attorneys are prepared to help you submit an application for SSDI benefits. We will represent you every step of the way and will help you appeal your case if your application is denied. We represent clients throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Does My Blood Disorder Qualify Me for Social Security Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines whether an applicant has a medical disease, disorder, or ailment severe enough to prevent him or her from working. Thankfully, the SSA does recognize many common hematological disorders. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be entitled to benefits.
Chronic anemia is a blood disorder that occurs when a person doesn’t have enough iron in his or her blood. Receiving a diagnosis of anemia doesn’t automatically qualify a person for benefits. However, if a person can prove chronic anemia affects his or her ability to work, they may qualify for benefits. Similarly, aplastic anemia, which affects the bone marrow and red blood cells, may make a person eligible for benefits if it limits his or her ability to work.
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia can cause varying degrees of pain and other debilitating symptoms. There are several types of sickle cell anemia. Applicants must provide evidence they’ve experienced three or more medical crises in the past five months or three or more medical crises requiring hospitalization in the past year.
Severely anemic applicants with a hematocrit under 26 percent may also be eligible. Some applicants may not meet the requirements under the Blue Book’s sickle cell anemia listing but may still be eligible under another Blue Book listing.
Myelofibrosis is a blood disorder that causes a person’s bone marrow to produce excess tissue and can cause other health complications. Applicants with myelofibrosis must either have chronic anemia or recurring bacterial infections. Qualifying under the bacterial infection section requires the applicant to prove he or she has had at least three infections in the past five months or bone pain caused by osteosclerosis.
Polycythemia vera is listed as a hematological disorder in the Blue Book, but case examiners always evaluate it using other Blue Book sections. If you have been diagnosed with polycythemia vera, an attorney can help you determine which section of the Blue Book addresses the bodily system affected by your symptoms.
Chronic thrombocytopenia is a condition that often results in a decreased or low blood platelet count. To qualify for benefits, an applicant will need to provide evidence that his or her platelet count is consistently measuring under 40,000 per cubic millimeter. The applicant also needs to prove he or she has had intracranial bleeding within the past year or that he or she has experienced bleeding severe enough to require a blood transfusion within the past five months.
Coagulation disorders can be a symptom of hematological conditions, with hemophilia being the most common. Thalassemia is a genetic form of anemia that mainly affects people of Mediterranean descent. Many individuals have this disorder and do not have symptoms, while others suffer severe symptoms and need frequent blood transfusions.
Hemophilia and several similar coagulation disorders are specifically listed in the Blue Book. Applicants with a coagulation disorder must prove they’ve had at least three episodes of spontaneous bleeding requiring blood transfusions within the last five months.
Other Blood Conditions Eligible for Disability Benefits
In addition to anemia, several other blood conditions make a person eligible for disability benefits, including the following:
- Low blood platelets can prevent a person’s blood from forming clots, resulting in severe bleeding
- Abnormal increases in either white or red blood cells can lead to debilitating symptoms
- Granulocytopenia is a blood disorder caused by a lack of specific types of white blood cells that can harm a person’s immune system
What If My Blood Disorder Isn’t Listed in the Blue Book?
The SSA uses a “Blue Book” to determine which medical conditions are eligible for benefits. However, even if your diagnosis isn’t listed in the Blue Book, you may still qualify for benefits.
Generally speaking, when an applicant has a medical diagnosis not listed in the Blue Book, the SSA examiner will carefully compare the applicant’s unique conditions to those listed in the Blue Book. The examiner will evaluate whether your disabling conditions meet the same general requirements as a similar condition and how your symptoms prevent you from performing meaningful work.
Applying for SSDI Benefits
The Social Security Administration denies most first-time applications for SSDI benefits. Reasons for denials vary, but many applications are denied because they do not include enough evidence of the severity of the applicant’s medical condition. When you work with Disability Advocates Group, you can rest assured that we will gather medical evidence and supporting documentation showing that your condition prevents you from working.
For those with blood disorders, submitting a laboratory report of a definitive test that establishes their hematological disorder and is signed by a medical doctor is crucial. We can also work with your medical doctor to write a report showing the specific ways in which your disorder limits your ability to work and engage in day-to-day activities.
The Benefits of Speaking to a Skilled Disability Attorney
If you are uncertain whether you’re eligible for benefits, it’s important for you to reach out to an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Disability Advocates Group will carefully review your case during a complimentary case evaluation and advise you whether you have a claim for compensation. If you or your loved one are unable to work due to a blood disorder, don’t hesitate to contact Disability Advocates Group to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.