Individuals who have become disabled by kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if they meet the other basic qualifications. The kidneys function as filters that work to remove harmful toxins and other waste products from the blood, but when they fail, the body cannot survive for very long without a kidney transplant, or dialysis treatment.
According to the American Kidney Fund, diabetes is the most common cause of ESRD, with high blood pressure being the second most common cause of ESRD. Other factors that contribute to kidney failure include the following:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and IgA nephropathy
- Genetic diseases (diseases you are born with), such as polycystic kidney disease
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Urinary tract problems
Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits with kidney disease
Kidney disease is listed in the Social Security Administration (SSA) “Blue Book,” or impairment listings for Social Security Disability benefits under Genitourinary Disorders, which includes chronic kidney disease (CKD), and other disorders including chronic glomerulonephritis, hypertensive nephropathy and diabetic nephropathy.
The SSA wants to see medical evidence that documents the signs, symptoms and laboratory findings of your CKD. They want to see lab test results that document your level of kidney function, the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which is an estimate of the kidney’s filtering capacity, and a kidney or bone biopsy pathology report.
The symptoms of chronic kidney disease
Depending on the exact type of kidney disease, those afflicted can present with various symptoms such as:
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Muscle paralysis
- Swelling of the legs, hands and feet
- Loss of appetite
- Either too much or not enough urine
- Trouble sleeping
Individual who have ESRD are unable to perform any type of physical work while they are on dialysis treatment. After having a kidney transplant, they will have to wait a year until they can resume working again. You will have to provide evidence to the SSA that you have been following the treatments prescribed by your doctor.
Because CKD is a progressive disease, the symptoms start off slowly and then worsen over time. The SSA will evaluate your work history and your medical records and whether or not they show that your impairment will keep you from being able to work. If you are going to have a kidney transplant, you may be able to qualify for SSD benefits while you are recovering from the surgery and unable to work.
Working with a Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorney from Larry Pitt & Associates will help make sure that you are presenting the strongest case possible the first time when you file a claim for SSD benefits. While this might be your first time applying for Social Security Disability benefits and working with the SSA, an experienced Philadelphia SSD lawyer can save you time and effort and you improve your chances of getting approved with an application that has been prepared by a professional. If you are facing Reconsideration or a hearing, an SSD attorney will help prepare a compelling case on your behalf and prepare you to appear before the judge.
If you are suffering from kidney failure or end-stage renal disease and you want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you may need the help of an experienced Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates. You are invited to fill out our contact form or call 888.PITT.LAW to schedule an appointment at any of our office locations serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties to find out more about how we can help you today.