I received a heart transplant 11 months ago and have had a few complications with the medication. I’ve had SSDI for my heart transplant for a year, but the benefits run out soon. What can I do?

Getting a heart transplant is a major procedure. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes how important it is that you make a full recovery, which is why it automatically approves heart transplant recipients to receive Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) for the first year. Now that your first year is coming to an end, you must reapply by showing the SSA how the complications will stop you from being able to return to work.

Complications Due to Medication After a Heart Transplant

In the first year following a heart transplant, you are placed on certain medications to help your new organ adapt to your body. These medications are essential to your recovery, but they can sometimes lead to other health problems. Some of the most common health problems may qualify you to receive SSDI under other disability listings:

  • Kidney damage (Listing 6.02)
  • Thin bones, which may cause bone fractures (Listing 1.06 and 1.07)
  • High blood pressure (Listing 4.02 or 4.04)
  • Diabetes (Listing 9.00)
  • Cancer, especially skin cancer or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (listing 13.03 or 13.05)


To know if you qualify to receive benefits after your first year of having a heart transplant, you must determine if you are eligible. By looking at each of these listings and talking to a Social Security disability lawyer in Massachusetts, you will know whether you are able to apply to extend how long you receive SSDI benefits.

If you found this helpful, we encourage you to share it with anyone else that you know who recently received a heart transplant.

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer