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Lead Poisoning and SSA Disability Benefits

Lead poisoning can occur in claimants who have a high level of lead in their body. This condition is also known as plumbism, colica, pictonum, or saturnism and can lead to harmful conditions such as seizures, learning impairments, abdominal pain, anemia, coma and under the most severe conditions, death.

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Children exposed to high levels of lead on their toys, in paints, or dust can have permanent developmental delays which make it difficult for them to learn to read, write, or concentrate. Children who have suffered severe lead poisoning may suffer the consequences for the remainder of their life, eventually affecting their ability to perform substantial gainful activity or work.

Common Symptoms of Lead Poisoning


Unfortunately, most claimants who suffer from lead poisoning will not know they have been poisoned until the levels of lead in their body is very high. Generally, the poisoning occurs over an extended period of time and can eventually negatively impact the claimant’s major organs including their urinary system, digestive system and their central nervous system.

What kind of symptoms can you experience if you have lead poisoning? Common systems include fatigue, headaches, muscle weakness, cramping, vomiting and diarrhea. If the lead poisoning affects your nervous system you may also experience a coma, seizures, headaches, loss of coordination and paralysis. If the lead has damaged your kidneys you might suffer from liver damage or severe dysfunction of your immune system.

Winning SSDI or SSI for Lead Poisoning


The Social Security Administration will award Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to claimants who can prove that their condition either meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments (also known as the Blue Book this list outlines all of the conditions and symptoms the SSA considers automatically disabling) or through a medical vocational allowance.

Meeting a Listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Lead Poisoning


Although there is not a listing for lead poisoning on the SSA Listing of Impairments this does not mean that if you have a severe condition such as paralysis or seizures due to lead poisoning that you could not meet a listing and win SSDI or SSI.

For instance, if one of your symptoms is paralysis you might be able to prove that your condition is as severe as another condition under the Listing 11.00 Neurological. What if you have severe seizures? You may be able to meet the Listing under 11.00 Neurological, Section 11.02 Epilepsy- convulsive epilepsy,(grand mal or psychomotor) or 11.03 Epilepsy - 11.03 Epilepsy - nonconvulsive epilepsy (petit mal, psychomotor,or focal).

Although these listings can be a bit confusing, it may be possible to have your doctor review them and verify that you have sufficient medical evidence to meet one of these listings.

Winning SSDI or SSI through a medical vocational allowance


Claimants who do not meet a listing may still qualify for SSDI or SSI for lead poisoning, but they will have to prove that their condition is so severe that they do not have the residual functional capacity to work.

In the medical vocational allowance process the SSA will evaluate the skill level of the claimant’s past work, current job, and the claimant’s ability to retrain for new work before making a disability determination. Younger claimants who do not meet a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments generally have a more difficult time proving that they cannot retrain for some type of new work.
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