You may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits for gastrointestinal hemorrhage if you meet the severity criteria and it keeps you from working. These criteria can be complex and difficult to meet. For help getting Social Security disability for gastrointestinal hemorrhage in Pittsburgh, call a disability lawyer at Berger and Green today: 412-661-1400.
What are the severity criteria for gastrointestinal hemorrhage?
According to the Blue Book: Section 5.02, tarry stools (melena), bloody stools (hematochezia) or vomiting blood (hematemesis) can be signs of gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
You can find the criteria for gastrointestinal hemorrhaging from any cause in Section 5.02 of the Blue Book.
Per the criteria, your gastrointestinal hemorrhaging must require blood transfusions. Within a period of six consecutive months, you must receive at least three separate transfusions of two or more units of blood. These transfusions must each be a minimum of 30 days apart.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider you disabled for a year after the last transfusion. When the year is up, the SSA will “evaluate the residual impairment(s).”
What if I do not meet the requirements for gastrointestinal hemorrhaging?
Not every medical condition will meet the criteria in the Blue Book. If you do not meet the severity criteria under Section 5.02, you may be able to recover disability benefits if you can prove your condition keeps you from performing basic work-related functions that would allow you to work.
To recover benefits through this method, your doctor might complete a questionnaire about your ability to do any work-related tasks.
Can I still receive benefits if I am able to work part-time?
Maybe. If you earn more than $1,170 per month (known as “engaging in substantial gainful activity”), you do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, no matter how serious your medical condition is.
If you are still able to engage in substantial gainful activity, even though you have a serious medical condition, the SSA will determine that you are not disabled.
And you will not qualify for benefits if the SSA determines that you are choosing to work part-time (i.e., your condition is not affecting your ability to work more hours). If the SSA determines you are unable to work at your current job or adjust to other work, you might qualify for benefits.
I meet the medical requirements and I cannot work. Do I get SSDI benefits?
Only if you have earned enough work credits. SSDI receives its funding from people who paid into the Social Security system through money taken out of their paychecks. You can earn four work credits a year. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must have paid into the system for a long enough period of time.
The amount of time you need to have paid into the system depends on your age at the time you became disabled.
Am I just out of luck if I do not have enough work credits?
Not necessarily. There is another option: Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Some people become disabled before they have worked long enough at a job that paid into the Social Security system to qualify for SSDI. Other people have not been employed at jobs that paid into the system. The SSA has an additional safety net for these individuals.
If the SSA determines you have a severe medical condition, but you do not meet the work credits requirement, you might qualify for SSI benefits. However, there are separate criteria for this. To qualify for SSI, you must have:
- Low income (less than the year’s Federal Benefit Rate)
- Limited assets (less than $2,000 per person/$3,000 per couple)
The SSA denied my claim. Do I have any options?
Yes. You can file an appeal, but you must work fast. You only have 60 days from when you receive your denial letter to begin the appeals process. In most states (though not Pennsylvania), you must request a reconsideration of the initial decision. Denials are also common at this stage, so do not give up. You have more levels of appeals you can go through. Next, you can request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). (Or in the case of states like Pennsylvania, you go directly to requesting a hearing, skipping reconsideration.)
It is easy to make a mistake in your request for reconsideration or during your hearing with the ALJ. An attorney can help you make the most of the appeals process and keep you from making a mistake that might jeopardize your entire case.
Call a Social Security disability lawyer today.
The Social Security disability lawyers at Berger and Green will evaluate your Social Security disability claim and explain the review process. We help take the worry away, and put everything into plain language. We can help the SSA collect the evidence necessary to prove your claim, and we stand by you throughout the entire process.
The SSA denies most people the first time they apply. This even happens to people with significant medical issues. Many times, the SSA denies people the disability benefits they deserve because they do not know how to properly present their claims to the SSA for benefits evaluation. As Berger and Green, we have vast experience getting people approved for disability benefits. We will fight to get you the disability benefits you deserve.
We do not charge to evaluate your claim and there is no obligation to use our services. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to see how we can help you get the benefits you need to support yourself and your family.