Blood disorders are relatively rare, yet millions of people in the U.S. carry the genes for conditions like hemoglobinopathies or abnormal bleeding and clotting. These conditions are hereditary and lifelong. Other blood disorders include cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, and problems that can be acquired by lifestyle issues, like anemia. Blood disorders are categorized as hematological disorders, and are identified by abnormalities in the function or structure of the blood cells or a blood clotting malfunction.
People with severe blood disorders who are not able to work for 12 months or longer mat qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). Here is a list of blood disorders recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Anemia affects the red blood cells ability to absorb and process nutrients or oxygen. To qualify for SSD, a person with chronic anemia must have persistent hemocrit of 30% or less lasting for a minimum of three months with documented medical proof from more than one examination; as well as, requiring an average of at least one blood transfusion every two months.
Sickle Cell Disease, or One of its Variants
Sickle cell is a hereditary form of anemia that is both life-threatening and incurable. To qualify for SSD, applicants with sickle cell disease must have medically documented proof of painful (thrombotic) crises at least three times over the five months prior to the date a decision is made on their claim; or have required an extended stay in a hospital three times or more over the 12 months prior to the date a decision is made on their claim Another qualifying factor is persistent hematocrit of less than 26%.
This condition results in a decrease in the blood platelets count. Qualifying for SSD requires applicants to have medically documented proof of persistent low platelet counts (below 40,000/cubic millimeter) with spontaneous hemorrhage requiring transfusion on at least one occasion in the five months prior to the date a decision is made on their claim; or intracranial (brain) bleeding within 12 months prior to the date a decision is made on their claim.
An inherited capillary disorder that causes abnormal dilation. To qualify for SSD with this condition, applicants must have three medically documented instances of hemorrhage that required transfusions in the five months prior to the date a decision is made on their claim.
Blood clotting conditions, like hemophilia, are passed through families and produce abnormal blood clotting functions. To qualify for SSD with this condition, applicants must have at least three medically documented instances of spontaneous hemorrhage that required transfusions in the five month period prior to the date a decision is made on their claim.
Polycythemia Vera with Erythrocytosis, Splenomegaly, and Leukocytosis, or Thrombocytosis
These terms refer to abnormal production of blood components, like cells or platelets that can also result in enlargement of the spleen. These various conditions are evaluated based on the specific body system affected by the conditions.
A bone marrow disorder, myelofibrosis causes the bone marrow to become fibrotic. This condition is evaluated using the same criteria as chronic anemia, and may be further demonstrated by recurrent systemic bacterial infections that occurred a minimum of three times during the past five months before a decision is rendered on the claim; or medically documented evidence of intractable bone pain with osteosclerosis.
Decreased amount of granulocytes in the blood. To qualify for SSD, applicants should be able to produce documentation of absolute neutrophil counts persistently below 1,000 cells/cubic millimeter, plus evidence of systemic bacterial infections that occurred a minimum of three times in the five previous months.
This condition is a bone marrow disorder that occurs when the marrow is unable to reproduce red bloods cells. Aplastic anemias treated by bone marrow or stem cell transplant are qualified for SSD for one year after surgery and then the case is re-evaluated to assess continuing need.
For more information on blood disorders that may qualify you for Social Security benefits, contact the Allen Stewart Law Firm today.