If you require a pancreas transplant, it is likely you are unable to work. You might not be able to return to your job for as long as a year while your recover. If your condition prevents you from earning a living, you may qualify for disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
At Berger and Green, our disability lawyers have experience helping our clients get Social Security Disability for pancreas transplants. We will look at your claim before you file it or navigate the appeals process if you received a denial from the Social Security Administration (SSA). If another person caused your accident and impairment, our personal injury team might be able to hold the negligent party responsible and collect compensation through a civil suit.
Qualifying for Disability Based on Your Pancreas Transplant
In general, you could qualify for benefits for up to a year after almost any organ transplant. While the SSA’s Blue Book does not have an impairment listing for pancreas transplants, many transplant recipients qualify under the Section 6.00 listing for kidney transplants.
While most people who receive an organ transplant do qualify for disability benefits, you still need to ensure your medical records provide the SSA with clear evidence of your condition and your need for this transplant. Talk to your doctor and ask if your records include:
- Clinical testing to confirm your diagnosis; or
- Records of previous attempts to treat your condition and if they worked; or
- Records of any hospital stays because of your condition; or
- Scans or lab work that confirm the need for a transplant; or
- Records of any signs of rejection, infections, or other complications post-transplant.
One year after your transplant, the SSA will reassess your impairment and abilities to determine if you still meet the criteria to receive benefits. This assessment will include a consideration of:
- Any continuing symptoms of your underlying condition, such as diabetes; and
- Your ability to perform tasks related to work and daily functioning; and
- Any signs of rejection of the new organ or organs; and
- Any recurring infections; and
- Any reactions to medications or other treatment; and
- Any other complications you experienced.
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Getting Disability If Your Symptoms Do Not Meet an Impairment Listing
If you cannot work but do not qualify to get or keep disability benefits under a Blue Book listing, you could still get approved based on your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). Your RFC evaluates:
- The type of work you can do; and
- How long you can work; and
- How often you can work.
If the SSA finds you cannot work your previous job or another job you qualify for because of your condition, you might receive disability benefits.
Your RFC relies on information from your application and your medical records, in addition to:
- An evaluation by a doctor from Disability Determination Services of your abilities based on the information you submit; or
- An evaluation from your doctor based on their knowledge of your condition and your medical records; or
- A third-party evaluation of your abilities based on an examination.
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Meeting the Technical Qualifications for Disability Benefits
While you must prove to the SSA that you suffer from a qualifying impairment, you must also meet the technical requirements of your disability program. If you fail to meet any of the technical qualifications for benefits, your application will receive a technical denial early on in the application process.
The SSDI and SSI programs have different technical requirements. In addition to filling out your application completely and correctly, you must meet specific criteria to get SSDI benefits. To qualify, you need:
- The required number of work credits for your age; and
- A recent work history.
To get SSI, you need:
- A low household income; and
- Few personal assets.
Our disability team can review your information and your application before you file it. We can offer our advice on whether or not you meet the technical requirements for disability benefits.
Appealing a Denial of Your Disability Benefits
Many people who apply for benefits receive a denial notice. Only a relatively small percentage receive approval based on an initial application. Everyone else will either need to file an appeal or apply again at a later time.
If you believe you qualify for benefits because you need a pancreas transplant, have one scheduled, or recently had one, we encourage you to call us without delay. You have 60 days after receiving your denial notice to request an appeals hearing.
When you work with the attorneys at Berger and Green, we will:
- Schedule your appeals hearing with an Administrative Law Judge in Pittsburgh; and
- Determine why the SSA denied your claim and explain what to expect from the appeals process; and
- Gather more evidence to support your claim, when necessary; and
- Represent you to the Administrative Law Judge at your hearing; and
- Present a strong case for overturning your denial.
Often, we are able to help our clients get approved for benefits during the hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. This means they begin receiving monthly benefits soon after this hearing. Many also receive disability back benefits, which cover the time between when they applied and when the Administrative Law Judge approved their application.
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Talk to a Pittsburgh Disability Attorney About Your Pancreas Transplant
The Pittsburgh disability lawyers at Berger and Green can help you fight for the benefits you need. We offer free case evaluations, and we can help you present a strong case for approval during the appeals process.
Call our office today at 412-661-1400 for your complimentary consultation.