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What Blood and Circulation Disorders Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Being diagnosed with a blood or circulatory system disorder is typically a life-altering event that can impact your ability to engage in daily routines and even prohibit you from continuing to work. If you are struggling with a blood or circulation disorder that has hindered your ability to work, now is the time to consider applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. You are not alone in this struggle. For example, public data indicates that close to ten percent of all SSA disability benefit recipients are struggling with a blood or circulatory disease.

Types of Blood and Circulatory Disorders That Generally Qualify for Disability Benefits

When reviewing a disability benefits application, SSA personnel rely on a “Blue Book” that details the types of disorders deemed eligible for benefits. When it comes to blood and circulatory disorders, there is Section 7.00, which breaks down and details various hematological disorders. Here is an overview of the most common blood and circulation disorders cited by disability benefit applicants.

Chronic Anemia

Anemia is one of the most common blood disorders in the United States. Fortunately, anemia is generally considered to be treatable and most people are able to continue working, even if they are diagnosed with this disorder. However, when someone is struggling with chronic anemia and their condition has not materially improved, even after treatment, then they could qualify for disability benefits.

Aplastic Anemia

If you were diagnosed with aplastic anemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant, you are automatically deemed eligible to receive disability benefits for 12 months following the bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

Complications Stemming from Anemia

The SSA’s Blue Book no longer includes simple anemia as a disorder sufficient to warrant the award of disability benefits. Nevertheless, if you are struggling with chronic complications due to your anemia, including shortness of breath and fatigue, there is a possibility you could still qualify for disability benefits. Eligibility would be based on meeting the standards set forth in Section 7.18 of the Blue Book.

Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia

If you are diagnosed with sickle cell anemia or thalassemia, you could qualify for disability benefits if you meet one of the following prerequisites:

  • You had at least six documented painful thrombotic crises over the course of a 12 month period;
  • You suffered from at least three periods of extended hospital stays over the course of a 12 month period;
  • You have been diagnosed with chronic severe anemia and your hemoglobin measurements have hit 7.0 g/dL or less, at least three times over the course of a 12 month period; or
  • You suffered from a beta-thalassemia major requiring life-long RBC transfusions at least once over the course of a six week period.

Hemophilia and Variations

If you are diagnosed with hemophilia or another type of coagulation disorder like thrombocytopenia or telangiectasia, you could be eligible for disability benefits. For context, these blood disorders share similar characteristics, including the fact that someone with this type of blood disorder is unable to properly form blood clots.

To qualify for disability benefits based on hemophilia, thrombocytopenia or telangiectasia, you need to meet the following prerequisites:

  • You struggled with complications stemming from the disorder that required hospitalization at least three times over the course of a 12 month period;
  • Each hospitalization must have lasted at least 48 hours or longer; and
  • Each hospitalization must have occurred at least 30 days apart.

Polycythemia Vera

Polycythemia Vera is a type of blood disorder that triggers your body to make an excess of blood cells, which can put you at heightened risk of suffering chronic heart failure. This condition may enable you to qualify for disability benefits. Though, it is likely that the SSA will request you undergo a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) to determine if you are able to engage in any work that you have done previously.

What To Do If Your Condition Is Not Listed in the SSA Blue Book

If you have a blood or circulation disorder that does not meet the specific requirements set forth in the SSA’s Blue Book, do not give up hope. You could still qualify for disability benefits based on a limited capacity to engage in work activities. This means that if your disorder was not specifically listed in the Blue Book, the SSA claims examiner retains the authority to potentially award benefits based on an assessment of your remaining functional capacity if any. For example, if you are struggling with persistent and chronic fatigue, or you are forced to endure multiple bleeding episodes on a daily or weekly basis, you could be eligible for disability benefits.

When reviewing a disability benefits application based on a blood or circulation disorder, the SSA utilizes a sequential review procedure to determine whether you qualify for benefits. For example, all of your medical records will need to be compiled and submitted to the SSA. Once submitted, the SSA will review the records and assess whether your blood or circulatory disorder is sufficiently severe to qualify for benefits.

In order to be deemed sufficiently severe, your blood or circulatory disorder must be impacting you to the point that you are limited from engaging in even simple work tasks. The severity of your disorder can be based on different factors, including:

  • Your inability to walk or move
  • Your inability to stand for a prolonged period of time
  • Your ability to holder or move objects
  • Your ability to engage in tasks within an office environment

When To Apply for Disability Benefits

No matter what type of blood or circulatory disorder you are struggling with, it is important to understand that if you have become permanently disabled, you need to take action and apply for disability benefits through the SSA.

Curious About Your Eligibility for Disability Benefits? Take Action

If you are suffering from a blood or circulation disorder that has impacted your ability to work, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits. To get a better idea of your viability for such benefits, fill out the free evaluation form on this page.

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