Suffering from recurring blood clots or a blood clotting disorder can force you to change your daily routine to accommodate your symptoms and limitations. This can make holding a job and earning a living difficult, if not impossible. If you were diagnosed with a severe blood clot or thrombotic disorder and are unable to work or engage in substantial gainful activity, you may qualify for monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. Here's what you need to know about getting SSDI benefits for blood clots, including how working with Keefe Disability Law's exceptional Boston attorneys when applying may increase your chances for approval.
Understanding Clotting, Thrombosis, and Embolism
Clotting is an important life-saving mechanism that helps prevent the body from losing too much blood. When you get cut, the platelets, proteins, and cells in your blood stick together, forming gel-like clumps or blood clots at the site of the injury. These clots restrict blood flow to the area to prevent excessive bleeding, then naturally dissolve as the injury heals. This coagulation is an essential step in the hemostasis and wound healing processes.
Unfortunately, though clotting is an essential function, like other natural processes, it can occasionally go awry. Rather than forming in response to an external injury, blood clots sometimes develop deep in the veins and arteries in the legs, arms, and groin, where they're both unnecessary and unable to resolve on their own. Also known as thrombi, these clots can break free and travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body – often with disabling or even deadly consequences.
Embolisms occur when a blood clot gets stuck in a narrow passageway while traversing the circulatory system. Instead of helping an injury heal, a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prevents blood from reaching the vital organs. The results of an embolism can vary based on the clot's location. Clots that make it to the brain, heart, or lungs can be life-threatening, causing stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism.
SSDI Eligibility for Blood Clots
Though blood clots affect as many as 900,000 Americans each year, not everyone who suffers a clot is eligible for SSDI. For example, if your doctor identified and treated a blood clot, but the condition didn't prevent you from working for a year or longer, you won't qualify for Social Security disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is more likely to consider you for benefits if you have recurrent DVTs, a blood clot disorder, or a qualifying condition for which blood clots are a characteristic symptom. Being 50 or older can also work to your advantage, as the SSA is less likely to invest in retraining older workforce members.
Meeting a Listing
The SSA Blue Book Listing of Impairments, which lists qualifying conditions and medical criteria for approval, addresses hematological diseases (blood disorders) in Section 7.08. Chronic Venous Insufficiency, a related disorder, is covered in Section 4.11. Meeting the criteria for a qualifying condition is the easiest way to gain approval for benefits.
Equaling a Listing
Don't meet the criteria for a listed condition? You may still qualify for SSDI if you can show that the effects of your illness are equally disabling. This involves completing a detailed assessment of the symptoms of your disorder, the limitations you have as a result, and what – if any – work you can do despite them.
Important Medical Evidence
Medical documentation is key when applying for SSDI. Examples include:
- Blood tests, specifically D-dimer test, platelets, and blood clotting factors
- Venous ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, circulatory test results
- Emergency room progress notes and reports
- Records for inpatient hospitalizations
- Exam records and notes from your doctor
- Notes for other healthcare providers
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If you are looking to apply for Social Security disability, you need to speak with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.