SSDI and Kidney Failure
Any kind of kidney disease can be painful, cause serious complications, and require great deals of money to treat. This can make many patients unable to work and earn the income that they are used to. Because of this, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits that can be used to deliver needed financial resources.
The SSA Blue Book lists conditions that may make someone eligible for disability benefits. It also goes into the symptoms and test results required for the condition to be a disability. Meeting or exceeding at least one criteria is typically needed to qualify for benefits. The Blue Book puts kidney failure under Genitourinary Disorders in Section 6.00.
Chronic Kidney Disease
For your kidney disease to be considered a disability, one of the statements below must be true:
- Your kidney disease is chronic and requires the use of dialysis
- You have chronic kidney disease and have had a kidney transplant in the last year
- Your chronic kidney disease has led to at least three hospital visits in the last year
- Your kidney disease results in reduced kidney function that causes any of the things below
- Renal osteodystrophy
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Fluid overload syndrome
- Anorexia with weight loss by a BMI of 18 or less
Another situation that might make you capable of getting disability benefits for kidney failure is known as nephrotic syndrome. Essentially, this means that protein is being lost during urination. There are specific requirements for this syndrome to be approved for benefits. The syndrome needs to have been seen twice in tests in the same year but at least three months apart. It also must have resulted in skin swelling for 90 days or longer.
Several different complications can occur from kidney disease. Those who have not had a kidney transplant and are not undergoing dialysis need to prove a few other things. Either you must have low serum creatinine levels over 90 days, a clearance level of 20ml or lower per minute, or one of the following complications:
- Chronic fluid overload syndrome accompanied by anorexia, diastolic hypertension, or vascular congestion
- Sensory or motor nephropathy
- Renal osteodystrophy
The SSA uses a particular set of medical guidelines, called the Blue Book, to determine whether a person‘s case qualified them for disability benefits. In some cases, even though you have kidney disease, the SSA will decide you can still work and should not receive benefits.
However, if the condition does make it impossible to work, the SSA will ask for a residual functional capacity form. A doctor fills out and submits the form to ensure the information you filled out in your application is accurate. As the doctor knows about your condition and takes care of the treatments, they also understand what you are capable of and what you aren‘t.
An individual who has had a kidney transplant will automatically get 12 months of disability. However, once that time is up, Social Security will decide whether the person continues to be eligible based on residual impairments. When it comes to a kidney transplant, the following items are considered:
- Systemic infections
- Kidney rejection situations
- Side effects of corticosteroid treatment
- Renal infection treatment
The SSA will also consider whether a person no longer has signs, symptoms, and lab findings showing kidney failure when deciding whether to approve or reject an application for benefits.
Even when kidney disease doesn‘t meet all the listing requirements, functional limitations play a part in deciding on benefits. This involves looking at symptoms and whether they preclude someone from working.