Blood transfusions are fairly common in the United States. Each year approximately 5 million Americans need a blood transfusion. The FDA has the vital role of ensuring patients who receive a blood transfusion are protected by multiple overlapping safeguards including donor screening, blood testing, quarantine, and donor deferral lists. There are many reasons an individual may require a blood transfusion including surgery, illness, or serious injury. Some of the more severe reasons to have a blood transfusion include chronic anemia or a bleeding disorder. If you require a blood transfusion for a severe illness you may qualify for disability benefits.
The most common blood disorder is hemophilia. This is a hereditary condition. If you have hemophilia, you may bleed for a longer time than others after an injury, thus requiring a blood transfusion. If you have at least three blood transfusions within 5 months you will most likely qualify for disability. Another common blood disorder is anemia. Anemia is a condition where the amount of hemoglobin in the blood is below the normal level, or there are fewer red blood cells than normal. If you suffer from chronic anemia and require one or more blood transfusions every two months you will most likely qualify for disability.
When determining if your blood disorder qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits it is important to determine the impact of your condition upon your ability to work. The Social Security Administration analyzes your disability application using a five-step process. The first step is determining if you are earning over the allowable amount per month. This is characterized by substantial gainful activity. SSA allows you to work and still apply for disability benefits as long as your gross earnings per month are less than SGA. While SGA changes every year, for the year 2017 that amount is $1,170. If you are found to be earning less than $1,170 per month then SSA will next determine if you suffer from a severe condition. A condition is deemed severe is if plays more than a minimal impact upon your ability to work. This threshold is generally low. SSA will then decide if you meet one of their social security listings. Meeting a listing is very difficult and not a threshold most people will meet. For that reason, I will move onto the next step which more than likely involves your claim.
The fourth step in the process is where SSA determines what functional impacts your condition poses upon your ability to work. One major impact to consider when suffering from a blood disorder is how often you require blood transfusions. Most employers will allow one absence per month, totaling 12 days per year. If you require additional absences you may be found unemployable due to a required accommodation. Another consideration is your non-exertional limitations such as fatigue, nausea and dizziness. These factors can affect your ability to maintain attention and concentration at the job. Typically, if you are found to be off-task more than 15% of the workday you will be found unemployable.
These are just a few considerations SSA will use to determine if you are eligible for SSD benefits. Blood disorders requiring transfusions are not your run-of-the-mill disability cases. They are quite unique in fact. I recommend seeking the advice of an experienced social security disability attorney so they may discuss the intricacies of the program with you and fight the social security administration to obtain your benefits.
If you suffer from a blood disorder you are probably not able to maintain employment. If you have paid Social Security taxes within the last five years you should call me at the LaBovick Law Group so we can apply for benefits today.