• Christopher Le

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits with Kidney Disease

Qualifying for Social Security Disability with Kidney Disease

If you've been diagnosed with kidney disease, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly financial aid for people who are disabled and unable to work anymore. Having kidney disease does not always qualify for benefits, but if you are out of work for a year or more due to your kidney disease, you certainly may qualify for disability benefits.


Medically Qualifying with Kidney Disease aka Blue Book Listing

The SSA utilizes whats called a Blue Book. The Blue Book lists certain conditions that will automatically qualify someone for disability benefits. The Blue Book outlines exactly what symptoms or test results you’ll need to qualify with kidney disease. There are three listings for people with kidney disease:

  1. Chronic kidney disease with chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. If your ongoing dialysis has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year, you’ll qualify for disability benefits.

  2. Chronis kidney disease with kidney transplant. You’ll be considered disabled for one full year after the transplant—after 12 months, the SSA will review your claim and determine if you still need aid. Keep in mind that you won’t “automatically” meet a kidney disease listing if you’re on the transplant list, but you will definitely meet another disability listing and still qualify.

  3. Chronic kidney disease with impairment of kidney function. This listing is complicated and requires specific medical tests, but is as follows:

Two laboratory findings of one of the following:

  • Serum creatinine of 4 mg/dL or greater, OR

  • Cretinine clearance of 20 ml/min or less, OR

  • Estimated eGFR of 20 ml/min/1.73m2 or less

In addition to one of the above test results, you must also prove one of the following:

  • Severe bone pain and abnormalities such as osteitis fibrosa or osteomalacia

  • Peripheral neuropathy

  • Fluid overload syndrome with high blood pressure or vascular congestion

  • Weight loss with a BMI of 18.0 or less


How Quickly Can I Get On Medicare with End Stage Renal Disease

Unfortunately, there is a 24-month waiting period for almost all individuals who qualify for disability benefits before they’re enrolled onto Medicare. This means that the moment SSA finds you disabled, you will have to wait another 24 months to get Medicare coverage. This makes it extremely difficult many disability recipients to receive affordable healthcare especially if they dont have a spouse that can put them on their insurance in the mean time as they wait for Medicare to kick in. The good news is that for those with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), the wait is usually a lot shorter. ESRD is one of two conditions that could “bypass or skip” the 24-month waiting period and are enrolled onto Medicare immediately. If you have ESRD and apply for disability benefits, you should also enroll onto Medicare at the same time as your application approval. This helps to expedite the process of obtaining Medicare.


Starting Your Application With A Lawyer

Its best to hire an attorney to file your social security disability claim. Remember, a lawyer only gets paid when he wins and gets you approved. They can help to expedite your case. Most cases can take up to 6 months for approval, but those with ESRD are approved a lot quicker usually.

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