If you cannot work because of your hemophilia symptoms or complications, you might qualify to draw disability benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The team from Berger and Green can help you fight for Social Security Disability for hemophilia. Our disability lawyers can review your paperwork before you apply, or handle your appeal if the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your initial claim. Call our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 to get started with a free review.
Getting Disability Based on a Hemophilia Diagnosis and Symptoms
The SSA publishes a listing of qualifying impairments, known as the Blue Book. This listing of impairments includes the criteria you must meet under each diagnosis. If you have hemophilia or another blood clotting disorder, you might be able to qualify based on the criteria listed in Section 7.08 of the Blue Book.
It is important to note that simply having a hemophilia diagnosis is not enough to get benefits. Most people with hemophilia can continue to work with the proper treatment. Instead, you will need medical records and other medical evidence that proves you qualify under the SSA’s guidelines.
The proof you can use to substantiate your claim includes:
- Laboratory testing that confirms your diagnosis; and
- Proof of your treatment and the outcome; and
- Past therapies and why they did not work; and
- A history of frequent hospitalizations related to your hemophilia.
If you do not meet the criteria in Section 7.08, you could possibly qualify under Section 7.18. This section can offer benefits if your treatments generally keep your hemophilia from causing major bleeding issues, but you have other complications. To qualify under this impairment listing, you must have:
- Complications like pain, joint dysfunction, anemia, fatigue, or other limiting complications; and
- Problems handling activities of daily living on your own; or
- Issues maintaining social relationships; or
- Trouble completing tasks because of symptoms of your condition.
If you believe you meet these qualifications, we recommend discussing your condition and need for disability with your doctor. They can ensure you have the necessary evidence in your medical record before you apply.
Getting Benefits If You Do Not Meet an Impairment Listing for Hemophilia
If you do not meet a Blue Book listing, but your condition prevents you from working, you might still be able to get disability based on your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). Your RFC is an evaluation that determines the most you can do despite your impairments.
There are three ways the Office of Disability Determination Services can arrive at an RFC for you. They can:
- Evaluate your abilities based on your claim and the supporting evidence; or
- Ask your doctor to evaluate you based on their knowledge of your case and your medical records; or
- Ask you to see another doctor who will evaluate you based on an examination.
If your RFC shows you cannot work your current job, or any other job you might qualify for, you will likely get approved for benefits.
Understanding a Technical Denial of Disability Benefits for Hemophilia
In addition to meeting the criteria related to your hemophilia, you also have to meet certain technical qualifications to get SSDI or SSI benefits. Your local field office checks to see if you meet these criteria before forwarding your claim to the Office of Disability Determination Services. If you do not meet a technical requirement, you will receive a technical denial.
The most common reasons we see people receive this type of denial include:
- An incomplete or incorrect application; or
- Not having enough work credits for the requirements for SSDI; or
- Not meeting the income or asset requirements for SSI.
We can help you file an application and make sure it is correct and complete. If the SSA denied your claim because of a technical qualification, we can help you understand what went wrong and handle your appeal.
We Can Handle Your Disability Appeal After a Denial
We understand how frustrating a denial can be, and we know any delay in getting benefits can be disheartening and stressful. However, it is important to remember that many people who later successfully get disability and back benefits had to go through the appeals process.
If you receive a denial notice, you have 60 days to file an appeal and request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. If you give us a call before this deadline passes, we can handle the appeals process for you. We know what to expect, and how to guide you through each step. We will:
- Request your appeals hearing; and
- Investigate why the SSA denied your claim; and
- Gather evidence to support you getting the benefits you need; and
- Build a strong case on your behalf; and
- Handle all communication with the Administrative Law Judge; and
- Present your case in your appeals hearing; and
- Fight for the benefits you need and deserve; and
- Argue a case for full back pay and retroactive benefits.
We can often get disability for our clients during this hearing by convincing the Administrative Law Judge to overturn the denial. If this is possible in your case, you will begin to receive monthly benefits and usually you will also receive back benefits after the hearing. If not, there are other options we can discuss pursuing.
Talk to an Attorney About Getting Disability for Hemophilia in Pittsburgh
At Berger and Green, our team of disability attorneys can help you understand why the SSA denied your claim, and help you fight for the benefits you need. We will review your application for free, and we might be able to handle the appeals process on your behalf.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 to speak with a member of our Pittsburgh team.