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Blood disorders and SSA Disability Benefits

Can I get SSDI or SSI for a Blood Disorder?

Blood disorders can include a variety of diseases and conditions which affect the claimant’s red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. Each of these components is critical to the function of a claimant’s body. For example, red blood cells are necessary to carry oxygen throughout the body and white blood cells fight infection.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="152" caption="Sickle cells characterize sickle cell anemia, an autosomal recessive genetic disorder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]Sickle cells characterize sickle cell anemia, ...[/caption]

Common conditions which can cause blood disorders can include anemia, hemophilia, anemia caused by chronic disease (such as kidney disease), pernicious anemia (B12 deficiency), malaria, sickle cell anemia, autoimmune hemolytic anemia and aplastic anemia. Each of these conditions can cause serious side effects such as fatigue, fever, lack of energy, chills, organ damage and nerve damage. Without proper functioning of the claimant’s blood cells a claimant may have to seek medical intervention which can include blood transfusions or high doses of iron or B12.

Winning SSDI or SSI for a Blood Disorder


The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two methods for determining if a claimant is disabled and qualifies for SSDI or SSI benefits. First, the SSA will evaluate the claimant’s condition and determine if it meets or exceeds a condition on the SSA Listing of Impairments (this list is also called the Blue Book and has all of the symptoms and conditions that the SSA considers automatically disabling).

Claimants who do not have a condition which meets or exceeds a listing must prove that their conditions and symptoms are so severe that it does not leave them with enough residual capacity to work. This determination is done through a “medical vocational allowance.”

Meeting a Listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments for Blood Disorders


There is a listing for blood disorders found in listing 7.00 Hematological Disorders. Conditions listed in this section include chronic anemia, sickle cell, Chronic thrombocytopenia, Hereditary telangiectasia, coagulation defects(hemophiliaor a similardisorder), Polycythemiavera, myelofibrosis (myeloproliferativesyndrome),  and plastic anemias with bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.

Generally, the SSA will evaluate blood disorders based on the reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.  The SSA would expect that the blood condition would be persistent, which means it has lasted more than three years. Evidence of the condition can include x-ray imaging, computerized axial tomography (CAT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with or without contrast material, myelography, and radionuclear bone scans.

Claimants who have not received the proper medical treatment for their condition or who have no medical evidence to support the SSI or SSDI claim that they have a severe health condition will have difficulty winning SSDI or SSI.

Proving Disability for a Blood Disorder through a medical vocational allowance


If your condition does not meet or exceed a listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments you may want to seek legal assistance from a disability lawyer. It can be very difficult for claimants to prove that they do not have the capacity to work any type of job, especially for younger claimants.

Through the medical vocational allowance process you must show, through great medical evidence, that your capacity to work has been completely diminished. Keep in mind, claimants who have other conditions such as a severe kidney disorder which has caused the blood disorder can also evaluate whether their symptoms meet another listing for kidney disorders under section 6.00 Genitourinary Impairments.
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