Glomerulonephritis, when the filters in your kidneys (glomeruli) are inflamed to the point that they cannot perform their intended function of cleaning the blood, can be debilitating and make it impossible to support yourself and your family. Fortunately, chronic glomerulonephritis may entitle you to Social Security disability benefits. For help getting Social Security disability for chronic glomerulonephritis in Pittsburgh, call Berger and Green today at 412-661-1400.
How does glomerulonephritis occur?
- Chronic kidney disease, which can progress to the point at which dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary
- Acute kidney failure
- Nephrotic syndrome
- High blood pressure, which can result from kidney damage and from the waste the kidneys is no longer filtering out of the bloodstream
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What does the Blue Book require for CG to be a medical disability?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a Listing of Impairments that it deems potentially disabling. Each condition listed has severity criteria that claimants must meet to qualify for benefits.
There is no specific listing for CG. However, CG is one of multiple disorders that can cause chronic kidney disease. The SSA has three different impairment standards for chronic kidney disease. They include:
- Being on chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis; or
- Chronic kidney disease with a transplant (the SSA will consider you disabled for a year after the transplant); or
- Having impaired kidney function with BOTH reduced glomerular function proven by multiple lab tests over a one year period, AND one of the following: documented bone abnormalities, peripheral neuropathy, documented fluid overload syndrome, or ongoing anorexia as measured by multiple calculations performed over a one year period.
The SSA can also evaluate you under its listing for nephrotic syndrome. To qualify, you must provide documentation (multiple lab tests over a one-year period) that establish a sufficiently high level of proteinuria by itself, or by a combination of abnormal levels of serum albumen AND proteinuria AND urine total-protein-to-creatinine ratios. You must also prove you experienced anasarca for at least 90 days, while undergoing the appropriate prescribed anasarca treatment.
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Are there any other ways I can qualify for Social Security disability?
You have several other options to qualify. If your CG resulted from lupus or diabetes, the SSA can evaluate you under either of those conditions. If your CG caused any complications listed above, the SSA may consider you disabled if your complications required “at least three hospitalizations (lasting 48 hours each) within a consecutive 12-month period” that occurred at least 30 days apart.
If none of the complications or original conditions apply to your situation, you might also be able to qualify if your CG is severe enough that it keeps you from going back to your previous job or adjusting to any other type of work.
To determine your eligibility, the SSA will consult your residual functional capacity, determined by your doctor. Your residual functional capacity, or RFC, is the basic work functions (e.g., sitting, standing, following instructions, etc.) you can still perform despite your condition.
What types of medical proof will the SSA accept for CG?
The SSA will evaluate evidence that establishes the type and severity of your kidney disease. This medical evidence can include:
- Lab tests measuring serum albumen, serum creatinine, protein in the urine, and other important levels
- Treatment records
- Reports from clinical examinations
- Pathology reports from kidney or bone biopsies
- Findings from eGFR testing (estimated glomerular filtration rate)
- Imaging studies
- Hospital and physician records
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Is having a medical disability enough to get disability benefits?
No, it is not sufficient. You must also meet the SSA’s non-medical requirements.
In addition to having a severe medical condition, you must:
- Be unable to perform any kind of work; AND
- Currently be earning less than $1,170 per month, which is the earnings limit for Social Security disability. If you earn more than this amount, the SSA will make a finding that you are not disabled.
You must also either have earned enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or you must have very low income and little assets to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
What if the SSA does not approve my application?
The SSA denies the vast majority of initial claims for disability benefits, even to people who have serious medical issues. Most people who are successful in getting the disability benefits they deserve had to go through levels of appeals. This is not something you want to try on your own, especially if you are too sick to work. You should be able to focus on your health and wellness, and leave fighting battles to the legal professionals.
The Social Security disability lawyers at Berger and Green will guide you through the claims process and fight to get you the benefits you deserve. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for your free, no-obligation consultation.