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Renal Agenesis- Can I get SSA Disability Benefits?

Most individuals have two kidneys which develop in utero when the metanephric buds begin to develop into the kidneys. The kidney develop first near the urinary bladder and move up towards their permanent location in the rear of the abdominal cavity. What happens if a baby fails to develop both of their kidneys? The result can be condition known as renal agenesis.
Frontal section through the kidney

Renal agenesis can occur due to a variety of reasons such as insufficient blood flow or chromosomal abnormalities. The disorder is also more prevalent if one of the parents also has a kidney malformation. It is estimated that this condition occurs in one out of every 550 births each year.

Renal agenesis has also been linked to birth defects, increased kidney infection, high blood pressure and kidney failure. Renal agenesis may cause the one active kidney to become enlarged as it works to remove wastes from the blood, create urine and maintain the claimant’s blood pressure.

Winning SSDI or SSI benefits for Renal Agenesis

The Social Security Administration has two methods to determine whether a claimant qualifies for SSDI or SSI benefits: determine if their impairment is listed on the SSA Listing of Impairments or through a medical vocational allowance.

The SSA listing of impairments is a listing of all the conditions and symptoms the SSA considers automatically disabling. Having a condition which is listed will not be sufficient to win benefits. Claimants must also have symptoms which are evident and documented which “meet or exceed” the appropriate listing. Claimant’s conditions must also be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months.

Meeting a Listing for Renal Agenesis

Kidney conditions are evaluated under 6.00 Genitourinary Impairments, 6.02 Impairments of renal function which can be used to evaluate any chronic renal disease which has lasted or can be expected to last for 12 continuous months. The SSA is looking for chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis or kidney transplantation which is considered a disability for 12 months following surgery.

With these conditions the SSA is evaluating whether the claimant has a need for dialysis, has just had a kidney transplanted or has high creatine levels. If a claimant has high creatine levels the SSA also expects that they will have several of the following - persistent fluid overload with high blood pressure, persistent signs of vascular congestion and persistent anorexia.

Winning benefits through a medical vocational allowance

Claimants who do not have a condition which meets or exceeds a listing may still be able to prove that their renal agenesis is so severe that they are unable to work. If the claimant has other severe disorders (for example high blood pressure) than all the disorders will be considered in their entirety and the SSA will determine if they have the residual capacity to work their current job, past jobs or retrain for new work.

Keep in mind, the older the claimant the greater chance they will have to prove that they may not be able to retrain for new work. This can be especially true for claimants who are 55 years or older who have never performed sedentary work but who are no longer able to do heavy work.
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