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Kidney Failure and Social Security Disability Benefits

Your kidneys are responsible for regulating water, waste and chemicals in your blood including phosphorus, calcium and sodium. They also remove potentially dangerous toxins from your blood and release hormones that help your body.

It is estimated, however, that up to 26 million American adults are at risk for kidney disease. Diabetes, a history of kidney disease and hypertension can all increase your risk.

Chronic Kidney Disease (Renal Disease)

Chronic kidney disease or renal failure can occur when high levels of water or waste build up in the blood. High blood pressure, low blood count, nerve damage and weak bones may result. Although this condition can occur over time, failure to detect and treat chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.

Chronic kidney disease can be caused by polycystic kidney disease, malformations of the kidneys at birth, lupus, obstructions in the kidneys (tumors, enlarged prostate or kidney stones) or repeated urinary infections.

Diagnosing Chronic Kidney Disease

Although chronic kidney disease may be difficult to diagnose, common symptoms can include swollen ankles, muscle cramps, difficulty sleeping, lethargy, poor concentration, dry and itchy skin, and frequent urination.

Winning SSA Disability Benefits for Chronic Kidney Disease

Claimants can win Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) first by "meeting a listing" on the Social Security Administration Listing of Impairments (also known as the Blue Book). If this is not possible, claimants may also be able to win benefits through a medical vocational allowance. In this blog we will discuss how to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income by meeting a listing.

Meeting a Listing on the SSA Blue Book for Chronic Kidney Disease

The Social Security Administration has several listings in their Listing of Impairments for serious kidney disorders. They will evaluate chronic kidney disease under listing 6.00 Genitourinary Impairments, Section 6.02 Impairment of renal function. The condition must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months.
Under this listing the Social Security Administration will evaluate whether or not you have the following conditions.

• Mandatory kidney dialysis

Due to the extreme time consuming process of dialysis (removing waste products from the blood), the SSA understands that claimants will not be able to complete a normal work day or work week if their condition is so severe they must undergo dialysis.

• Completed kidney transplant

The SSA will consider you disabled for up to 12 months following surgery and then will evaluate your residual functional capacity to work. You must have had a kidney transplant to qualify; the need for a kidney transplant is not considered automatically disabling under this listing.

• Persistent elevation of serum creatinine

To meet this listing you must have one of the following: renal osteodystrophy, persistent motor or sensory neuropathy, persistent fluid overload, persistent signs of vascular congestion, or persistent anorexia with weight loss. The SSA will assume that if your creatinine levels are too high for at least three months then your kidneys are not able to sufficiently clear waste products from your body.

• Nephrotic syndrome

This condition is caused by kidneys which are not functioning properly, causing necessary proteins to be lost in the urine. Low serum albumin levels, protein in the urine and edema must be present for at least 3 continuous months.

Hiring a disability lawyer

To automatically win benefits you will need to meet the listing outlined above and have detailed medical documentation about your condition. You medical records should include all treatments which are needed and which have been received, symptoms you are experiencing and doctor’s notes.