March 23, 2017
March is National Kidney Month, and The Advocator Group is proud to help raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys, to highlight various threats to their health, and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. We created an infographic to celebrate National Kidney Month, and also wanted to use this opportunity to teach you a bit about kidney disease and SSDI.
Kidney disease is one of the many reasons why American workers of all ages and genders may find themselves applying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) follows strict guidelines in their evaluation of all SSDI claims, and in order for your kidney disease to be considered a disability by the SSA, at least one of the following must apply to you:
- You have chronic kidney disease and need dialysis.
- You have chronic kidney disease and have had a kidney transplant within the last year.
- You have chronic kidney disease with reduced kidney function, and at least one of the following:
- Renal osteodystrophy: a bone disease caused by failing kidneys (leads to severe bone pain and abnormalities).
- Peripheral neuropathy: a nerve disease that causes pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in various parts of the body from toxins the kidneys couldn’t filter out.
- Fluid overload syndrome: a condition where water and salt are retained in the body and causes abnormally large blood vessels with high blood pressure, swelling of the skin, or a BMI of 18.0 or less from weight loss.
- Nephrotic syndrome (when protein is lost in urine), shown in testing twice in one year, with swelling of the skin for at least 90 days.
- You have chronic kidney disease and the complications have resulted in at least three hospitalizations in one year.
- They must occur 30 or more days apart and must last 48 hours, including hours in a hospital emergency department immediately before the hospitalization.
These criteria in no way guarantee that you will or will not be approved for SSDI benefits. These qualification help determine if the SSA will declare your kidney disease to be a disability—not necessarily if your condition has rendered you unable to work. You can still qualify for disability benefits if your kidney disease and treatments keep you from working. When you apply for SSDI, the SSA will evaluate your ability to complete a variety of activities, along with how long you have been/are expected to be impaired from completing them. These activities include, but are not limited to, the following: standing; sitting; walking; lifting weight; and performing other day-to-day activities (cooking, cleaning, driving, etc.). Ultimately, if the SSA decides that your kidney disease and treatments prevent you from working at even a sedentary job, then you meet the medical criteria to qualify for disability benefits.
SSDI can be a life-changing temporary, or permanent, form of assistance that men and women of all ages and backgrounds depend on during difficult times. It is our honor and privilege at The Advocator Group to provide expert advice and assistance to these individuals and their families. We are here to help you learn more and find answers to questions you may have about the impact that various health conditions are making on your, or a loved one’s, ability to work.
Nothing in this post is intended as advice or a suggestion to elect or not elect to claim benefits of any kind, including Social Security benefits, nor is it intended as financial advice in any way. The decision to claim benefits is a personal one that is contingent upon each individual’s unique circumstances.