Some Sepsis Sufferers May Qualify for Social Security Disability

Sepsis on a Tablet With a StethoscopeSepsis is a life-threatening emergency. The condition develops rapidly in response to various bacterial or viral infections, including COVID-19.

Since Social Security disability benefits are only available for permanent disabilities that last 12 months or longer or are likely to result in death, we often don't talk about acute conditions like sepsis. However, if you survive the initial medical emergency of sepsis, long-term effects may continue and you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Why You May Qualify for SSDI After Sepsis

Sepsis affects people in different ways, and your Social Security disability eligibility depends on your unique health situation.

Generally, you may be eligible for Social Security disability if you have a permanent disability and you have paid enough into the Social Security system.

Blue Book Eligibility for Sepsis or Sepsis Related Complications

If you seek Social Security disability benefits, you may qualify if you have a condition in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments. Some of these listings related to sepsis complications include:

  • 14.07: Immune Deficiency Disorders. If you have an infection, such as sepsis, that is resistant to treatment or requires hospitalization or intravenous treatment three or more times in 12 months, then you may qualify for disability benefits.
  • 1.05: Amputation. If sepsis resulted in an amputation described in Section 1.05, then you may qualify for disability benefits. These include having both hands amputated, one or both lower extremities amputated at or above the tarsal region with stump complications that make a prosthetic device impossible, and other specific types of amputations. 
  • 12.06: Anxiety and panic attacks. Listing 12.06(A)(1) includes anxiety disorders characterized by three or more of the following: restlessness, getting easily fatigued, trouble concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, or sleep disturbances. Listing 12.06(A)(2) includes panic disorders, including either or both of the following: (a) panic attacks followed by persistent concern or worry about further panic attacks or their consequences; or (b) disproportionate fear or anxiety about at least two different situations.
  • 6.00: Kidney problems. Kidney problems, including kidney failure, may occur because of sepsis. If you meet the conditions of any of the Section 6.00 listings, then you may qualify for disability benefits.
  • 3.00: Lung problems. Sepsis can cause lung damage. If you suffer from any respiratory problem included in the Section 3.00 listings, including respiratory failure, you may be eligible for Social Security disability.

Other problems, including different types of organ failure, may also occur and your Social Security disability lawyer will advise you about all of the applicable Blue Book listings.

Other Ways to Qualify for Sepsis or Sepsis Related Complications

You may also qualify for benefits if your disability is equal in severity to a Blue Book condition or if you can no longer work due to your condition's severity. For example, your muscle pain, joint pain, or sleep problems may not meet the exact requirements of a specific Blue Book listing, but they may prevent you from working. In these cases, your Social Security disability lawyer will complete a compelling disability application that explains how your condition is equal in severity to a Blue Book listing or otherwise prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

What You Need to Know Before Filing a Disability Application

The majority of initial Social Security disability applications are denied, and many denials occur because of application errors. You are suffering enough with long term complications of sepsis or post-sepsis syndrome. You don't need the added stress of a denied Social Security disability application that you need to appeal.

Instead, we encourage you to contact our local Social Security disability law firm. Many Social Security disability law firms serve clients throughout the country, but our practice is focused on just four states—Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. By focusing our practice, we get to know the Social Security judges in our local hearing offices and serve our local community.

If you want to apply for Social Security disability benefits, please call our Boston area disability lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You can also download a free copy of our report, The 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability.

 

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