If you or someone you know has a genitourinary disorder resulting from certain conditions including, but not limited to, a kidney transplant, dialysis, or even anorexia, you may have a disability that meets the criteria established by the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Listing of Impairments (the “Listings”). The Listing of Impairments lists impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is work that earns income above a certain threshold per month. In 2017, this is $1,170 for non-blind disabled applicants and $1,950 for blind applicants.
Social Security considers various factors in evaluating a genitourinary disorder. Dialysis, kidney transplants, bone disorders are just a few of these factors. The following is a brief summary:
Chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis is a treatment for CKD that uses artificial means to remove toxic metabolic byproducts from the blood. Hemodialysis uses an artificial kidney machine to clean waste products from the blood while peritoneal dialysis uses a dialyzing solution that is introduced into and removed from the abdomen either on a continuous or intermittent basis.
Ongoing dialysis must have lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. Social Security will accept a report from an acceptable medical source that describes the CKD and current dialysis, as well as indicating that such dialysis will be ongoing.
If undergoing chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, a CKD may meet the SSA’s definition of disability before the start of dialysis. The onset of disability is determined based on the facts contained in a claimant’s case record.
For claimants who have had a kidney or bone biopsy, Social Security requires a copy of the pathology report or statement from an acceptable medical source describing the results and verifying that a biopsy was performed.
If a claimant has received a kidney transplant, Social Security will consider him or her to be disabled under the chronic kidney disease category for 1 year from the date of transplant. Then the SSA will evaluate any residual impairments taking into account post-transplant function, episodes of rejection, complications in other body systems, and any adverse effects of ongoing treatment.
The CKD for claimants with transplants must meet Social Security’s definition of disability prior to the transplant. The onset of any disability will be determined by the facts in a clamant’s case record.
The condition of renal osteodystrophy is a bone degeneration resulting from chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD), which occurs when the kidneys are unable to maintain the necessary levels of minerals, hormones, and vitamins required for bone structure and function. “Severe bone pain” is defined as frequent or intractable (resistant to treatment) bone pain that interferes with physical activity or mental functioning.
The disorder of peripheral neuropathy results from kidneys which inadequately filter toxic substances from the blood, potentially adversely affecting nerve tissue. The resulting neuropathy may affect peripheral motor or sensory nerves, or both, resulting in pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. The peripheral neuropathy must be a severe impairment and have lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
The condition of fluid overload syndrome results from excess sodium and water retention in the body due to CKD results in vascular congestion. Social Security requires a description of a physical examination that shows signs and symptoms of vascular congestion, congestive heart failure, pleural effusion (excess fluid in the chest), ascites (excess fluid in the abdomen), hypertension, fatigue, shortness of breath, or peripheral edema.
Anasarca is a generalized massive edema or swelling. Social Security requires a description of the extent of edema, including pretibial (in front of the tibia), periorbital (around the eyes), or presacral (in front of the sacrum) edema, ascites, pleural effusion, or pericardial effusion.
Anorexia is a familiar condition involving diminished appetite and weight loss which is often a frequent sign of CKD. The SSA utilizes a body mass index (BMI), which is measured by the ratio of measured weight to the square of measured height, to determine the severity of weight loss.
Examples of complications from CKD that may result in hospitalization include stroke, congestive heart failure, hypertensive crisis, or acute kidney failure requiring a short course of hemodialysis. If the CKD complication occurs during a hospitalization that was initially for a co-occurring condition, Social Security evaluates it under its rules for determining medical equivalence.
Hiring a qualified disability lawyer ensures the proper evaluation of your disability matter. To improve your chances of meeting all of the requirements for the allowance of a claim (and avoiding the denial of benefits), retain the services of a qualified Kentucky Social Security Disability attorney. Contact the Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.