Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits for Chronic Anemia?

Getting Social Security disability benefits for chronic anemiaIt is estimated that 3.4 million Americans are affected by chronic anemia. If you have anemia, you have a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin in your red blood cells has dropped below normal. Because of this, your cells aren’t getting enough oxygen. Chronic anemia is most often a result of other long-term health conditions that affect the body’s ability to make red blood cells. These health conditions include cancer, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders and inflammatory diseases, or long-term infections.

The main symptoms of chronic anemia are weakness, fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath and fast heartbeat. To treat anemia, most doctors will focus on treating the condition that caused the anemia rather than treating it separately.

Though anemia is very common, it is usually treatable and seldom a sole reason for receiving disability benefits.

How Your Chronic Anemia Can Qualify You for Social Security Disability Benefits

In 2015, the Social Security Administration actually removed its listing for chronic anemia and introduced a new listing that can apply to any adult blood disorder: Listing 7.18. Having documentation of low hemoglobin levels is necessary to show that the symptoms and limitations required by the listing have a physiological cause.

An applicant can also meet the requirements of a listing for an impairment caused by anemia. Anemia combined with other conditions can affect a person’s ability to work. When the SSA reviews an application citing anemia, they will look for two things: (1) how severe is the anemia, and (2) what are the underlying conditions.

The best way to successfully obtain disability benefits with anemia is to match a listing for an underlying condition. Underlying conditions of anemia include cancer, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, and inflammatory diseases, or long-term infections. If an applicant cannot match a listing for a related medical conditions, then they would need to try to meet the SSA’s Listing 7.05 for Hemolytic Anemias. However, anemia must be very severe to meet this listing. An applicant must be in and out of the hospital often, have lengthy hospital stays, require pain medications, or require life-long blood transfusions.

Let Our Social Security Attorneys Handle Your Disability Benefits Claim

Disability listings are complicated and require a level of documentation and interpretation that only experienced attorneys understand. The Social Security disability attorneys at Keller & Keller can work with you to obtain the proper medical evidence and records from your doctors. Our attorneys stand by our clients every step of the way and we don’t get paid until we successfully obtain benefits for our clients.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller
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