A hematological disorder can affect all aspects of your life. Some people suffer from constant fatigue, while others have difficulty stopping bleeding or require regular blood transfusions. If you cannot continue working because of your blood disorder, you may qualify for disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Berger and Green can help you understand if you meet the strict qualifications for Social Security Disability (SSD) for hematological disorders in Pittsburgh. We can review your case and ensure the Social Security Administration (SSA) has access to all the information they need to approve your claim. If you already received a denial, we can represent you in your appeal. You can reach our office at 412-661-1400 to schedule a complimentary consultation.
How Does the SSA Determine If I Am Disabled?
The SSA evaluates each application for benefits based on its individual merits, checking to ensure you meet the work credits and financial rules before evaluating your health condition to see if it is serious enough to meet their definition of disabled.
They outline their criteria in a publication called the Blue Book. By looking up your diagnosis, you can learn if your current impairments qualify you for SSD benefits. The criteria for qualifying based on a blood disorder are in Section 7.00 – Hematological Disorders.
The SSA’s listings include almost any condition that can disrupt the development and function of blood cells, platelets, and factors. The exact criteria you must meet to qualify for benefits differ for each diagnosis, however. The listings include:
- Disorders of thrombosis and hemostasis; and
- Bone marrow failure.
If your blood disorder stems from lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, or another cancer, the criteria for receiving benefits is in Section 13.00. Alternatively, the SSA evaluates lymphomas related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) under Section 14.00.
The SSA’s medical criteria are strict and can be difficult to understand. If you are unsure whether or not your hematological disorder qualifies under a Blue Book listing, contact our office today. We can help you understand how these criteria apply to you.
What Is My Residual Functional Capacity?
Many people cannot return to work, but do not meet the criteria in the impairment listings for their condition. This does not mean you cannot qualify for benefits. You have one last hope: You may still qualify for benefits based on your residual functional capacity (RFC).
To determine your RFC, the SSA looks into your condition and the impairments it causes. By studying your medical records, the documentation your doctor provides, and other evidence of your abilities, they can come up with a statement of your limitations.
Your RFC will state the type of tasks you are capable of performing, for how long, and how frequently. In general, you will not qualify unless your impairments prevent you from doing most jobs you qualify for as well as any unskilled jobs.
How Can I Prove My Disability for the SSA?
When you file your claim for disability benefits, you will also submit contact information for your doctors and other care providers. This allows the SSA to review your medical records and obtain copies of your test results to determine if you qualify for benefits. Some of the items they will look for include:
- Laboratory testing showing definitive proof of your blood disorder;
- A physician’s report diagnosing your blood disorder;
- Other testing notes explaining your testing and diagnosis, if no other documentation is available;
- Appropriate laboratory testing showing current levels of blood cells, platelets, and blood-clotting factors; and
- Medical records showing your treatment and prognosis.
In some cases, the SSA may send you to see an independent physician to help them better understand your condition. While this visit can play an important role, they will not request you undergo expensive or invasive testing during this appointment. For that reason, you need to ensure your testing is up-to-date.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me Get Disability Benefits?
If your hematological disorder will most likely keep you out of work for a year or more and you have worked full- or part-time for five of the last 10 years, you may qualify for SSDI. If you have very little income and few assets, you may also qualify to draw benefits through SSI. We can explain the necessary work credits and income limits for each of these programs before you file your claim.
The disability attorneys at Berger and Green have decades of experience navigating the claims process for our clients. Our goal is to get you the full range of government benefits you need to take care of yourself and your family. We can help no matter if you need help filing a claim or appealing a denial. In fact, many people call us only after they received a letter of denial in the mail.
If the SSA denies your initial application for SSDI or SSI benefits, we can ensure you meet the qualifications and determine why they did not approve your claim. Then, we can request a hearing and present your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge. This is usually successful in gaining approval of an eligible claim. If not, we will continue to fight for the full range of benefits you deserve.
How Can I Talk to a Disability Attorney at Berger and Green?
The skilled disability attorneys at Berger and Green can help you identify any and all government benefits that might help your family make ends meet. We know SSD benefits can bring financial stability to your household and calm your money worries. We understand how important this is to your family and will fight for the money you need.
We offer complimentary consultations to discuss your impairments and how we can help you get the Social Security benefits you deserve. Call us today at 412-661-1400 or contact us online. You pay nothing out of your pocket; we collect our fees only after we secure regular benefits from your claim.