Kidney Failure and Social Security Disability
Kidney failure, also known as renal failure, is a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition. The symptoms caused by this condition can be painful and debilitating, interfering with an individual's quality of life and ability to perform gainful work activity. When a person suffering from kidney failure is unable to work due to the condition, the financial ramifications can be devastating. A lack of income can leave one wondering how the bills will be paid and unpaid medical expenses only add to the financial stress. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits may offset some of the financial burden caused by kidney failure. If you are suffering from kidney failure and would like to apply for disability benefits, the following information can help you file your Social Security Disability claim.
Kidney Failure - Condition and Symptoms
Your kidneys play a major role in the functioning of your body. They assist your body by getting rid of waste and filtering your blood. Your kidneys are also responsible for balancing electrolytes and stimulating the production of your red blood cells. If your kidneys fail, your body will be unable to produce enough red blood cells, which can result in a variety of medical complications. Kidney failure can also result in the body's inability to filter the blood, which leads to an increase in chemicals and toxins circulating through the bloodstream.
There are two types of kidney failure, including acute kidney failure and chronic kidney failure. In cases of acute kidney failure the condition develops over a shorter period of time, sometimes in as little as a few days. In cases of chronic kidney failure, the condition progresses over a period of years.
Individuals who suffer from kidney failure often experience fatigue, nausea, a loss of appetite, blood loss, itching, breathlessness, weakness and edema. In some cases of kidney failure, individuals will experience little to no symptoms at all. In other cases, a person may experience extreme fatigue, muscle soreness and cramping, abnormal heart rhythms and a variety of other debilitating symptoms.
The causes of kidney failure can vary greatly. The most common causes of kidney failure include diabetes, high blood pressure and glomerulonephritis. Currently there are no cures for kidney failure. While there are treatment methods available, such as dialysis, the preferred method of treatment is a kidney transplant. Unfortunately a kidney transplant is not guaranteed to work and if the body rejects the new kidney, it can result in death.
In order to diagnose kidney failure your doctor will order blood tests, which will check for your glomerular filtration rate (also known as GFR). As kidney failure progresses, your GFR will decrease. If you are diagnosed with kidney failure and are unable to work due to the condition, you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Kidney Failure
Filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to kidney failure is usually a straightforward process and can be less complicated than filing for disability due to other conditions. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a listing of impairments that it refers to when an applicant files a Social Security Disability claim. Kidney failure is covered under Section 6 of this listing of impairments. Most of the individuals who suffer from kidney failure will fall into the categories defined within this section.
Even though kidney failure is a qualifying condition for disability benefits, it does not mean that a diagnosis in and of itself is enough to qualify you for disability. Your medical records will need to document your kidney failure as well as the impact the condition has had on your ability to work. Proper medical care and complete medical records will be crucial to the success of your Social Security Disability application.
Kidney Failure and Your Social Security Disability Case
Those who are diagnosed with kidney failure spend an extensive amount of time undergoing treatment and combating the symptoms of the condition. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to earn a substantial income when living with kidney failure.
When applying for Social Security Disability benefits due to kidney failure it is important to understand that approximately 70 percent of Social Security Disability applications are denied at the initial stage of the disability application process. If your medical records are complete and your kidney failure prevents you from being able to work, your application for disability benefits may fall into the 30 percent of initial applications that are approved.
When filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to kidney failure you may want to hire a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate to help you with your application. Your disability lawyer will be able to gather the necessary medical evidence to support your Social Security Disability claim. If you have already filed an application for disability and have been denied, a Social Security Disability attorney can increase your chances of a successful appeal.
- Do You Qualify?
- Application Process
- Medical Conditions
- Disability Resources