When your kidneys are not filtering properly, water and waste products build up in your body and you begin to experience troublesome symptoms and complications, including severe fatigue, weight loss, and chronic pain. These complications are often serious and may make it difficult to continue with your job and everyday activities. If your impairments make it impossible to continue working and you meet other criteria, you may be eligible to draw disability benefits.
The lawyers at Berger and Green understand how hard it can be to live with renal failure or another severe kidney disorder. We can help you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or any other government benefits you qualify for based on your work history, income, and medical condition.
Our legal team knows how challenging it can be to receive approval for these programs, but we can give you the best shot at acceptance. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) already denied your initial application, we can guide you through the appeals process. We understand how to get Social Security Disability (SSD) for genitourinary disorders in Pittsburgh and can help you navigate the process. Call our office today at 412-661-1400 or contact us online to schedule your free claim review.
Does My Condition Meet the Criteria for Benefits?
The SSA only pays out to people who suffer from total disability for a year or more. They publish their qualifying criteria in the Blue Book—a listing of impairments sorted by the affected body system and condition. The criteria for chronic kidney disease and other renal disorders are in Section 6.00 – Genitourinary Disorders.
Some of the disorders covered in this section include:
- Nephrotic syndrome;
- Chronic glomerulonephritis;
- Hypertensive nephropathy;
- Chronic obstructive uropathy; and
- Hereditary nephropathies.
Depending on your condition and the treatments you receive, the qualification criteria you must meet may differ. For example, if you receive ongoing dialysis for chronic kidney disease and you need this treatment for 12 straight months or if doctors expect your condition to last for a full year, you may be eligible for benefits.
We can help you understand your eligibility based on your specific diagnosis and impairments. Then, we can help you file your claim so you can begin drawing the benefits you deserve.
What If I Do Not Meet the Criteria in the Impairment Listings?
If you do not meet the criteria outlined in the Blue Book, do not panic. You may still qualify for benefits based on your residual functional capacity (RFC). An RFC is a statement of your abilities from the SSA. To reach this conclusion, the SSA evaluates your medical records, test results, and other evidence. Sometimes, they may ask you to see a specific doctor to ensure they get a full picture of your impairments.
Your RFC outlines the tasks you are capable of doing, for how long, and how often. In most cases, your ability to work must be very limited to qualify for benefits. If you can work your previous job, another job you qualify to hold, or adjust to other work, you may not receive approval for disability.
How Do I Prove My Impairments to the SSA?
The SSA needs to see evidence of your condition and how it affects your life. We provide them with the contact information they need and they request your records and other documentation from your doctors and treating physicians. The claims examiner working your case will want to see proof of your symptoms and laboratory findings to back up your diagnosis.
This should include laboratory findings to show your kidney function, such as serum creatinine or serum albumin levels. They may also want to see tests showing your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which shows how well your kidneys are filtering waste. If your condition calls for a kidney or bone biopsy for diagnosis or staging, they will also use the results from this testing to better understand your condition.
They will also look at treatment notes from your doctor and other documentation about your care. This will help them understand the specifics of your treatment, such as your dialysis regimen or when you underwent a kidney transplant.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me Get SSD Benefits for My Genitourinary Disorder?
Many people apply for SSD benefits on their own. However, the SSA denies many initial claims for benefits. The disability lawyers at Berger and Green can give you the best chance at getting approved the first time—and we can fight for your approval and back pay through the appeals process if you do receive a denial for your claim.
With decades of experience handling claims for government benefits for our clients, we know how to help you identify all the programs that may offer benefits based on your qualifications.
If your genitourinary disorder will likely impair your ability to work for a year or more and you have the required number of work credits based on your age, you could be eligible for SSDI. The SSI program does not have a work credit requirement, but there is an income limit. Your family must have very limited assets as well. We can help you determine if you qualify for these programs and help you as you apply.
Sometimes, people come to us after they already applied and received a denial letter. In this situation, we can help you. We need to get to work quickly, evaluating your denial and requesting an appeal hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. You do not want to try to navigate this process alone. Call us and let us handle your appeal.
How Can I Talk to a Disability Attorney at Berger and Green?
Berger and Green offers free case evaluations, helping you understand the eligibility requirements for disability benefits and the claim filing process. We can answer any questions you have about the process and evaluate your claim before you file. Call our Pittsburgh office 412-661-1400 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.