Published on November 29, 2016
1. How to Get Disability for Sickle Cell Disease If you have sickle cell anemia, you may be entitled to disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Non-cancerous hemolytic anemias are disorders characterized by premature destruction of red blood cells, and can be acquired or congenital, like sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and hereditary spherocytosis. You will need the following documentation to show evidence of your sickle cell disorder: A laboratory signed by the doctor and showing evidence of the disorder. If the lab test itself is not signed, you need to have a doctor’s signed letter or report stating that you have sickle cell disorder. If a lab test is not present, SSA requires a diagnosis report from the physician stating that he/she ran the appropriate test(s), according to standard clinical practice, to diagnose your disorder.
2. Symptoms of sickle cell disease can vary from mild to severe, sometimes requiring hospitalization. Many people with sickle cell disease live with chronic bone pain, but can also have either chronic or sudden pain, called “sickle cell crisis”, that can occur anywhere in the body. Other symptoms are dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and leg ulcers that do not heal. SSA considers pain, severe fatigue, and malaise, among other symptoms. The SSA will look at how sickle cell impacts your ability to function, and will also look at complications stemming from the disease. The will assess your ability to “function independently, appropriately, effectively, and on a sustained basis in a work setting.” You must have drastic physical and/or mental limitations in one of these areas: activities of daily living, social functioning, or deficiencies in concentration. The limitations can be caused by the disease itself, symptoms, or treatment and side effects. Complications of the disease include osteomyelitis, painful vaso-occlusive crisis, lung infections, pulmonary hypertension, chronic heart failure, gallbladder disease and gall stones, stroke, and liver or kidney failure. Complications must generally occur an average of three times a year, and last 2 weeks or more. SSA will also consider “episodic events” that have occurred in a 12-month period, hospitalizations for up to three different complications, hours of emergency treatment, and treatments in a comprehensive sickle cell disease center. If you don’t already have medical care, look to the Cleveland Clinic, and also consider seeking assistance from the American Sickle Cell Anemia Association, a United Way agency and non-profit organization based in Cleveland to raise awareness about the condition. Article Source: https://medium.com/@dlmllc/how-to-get-disability-for-sickle-cell-disease- 6d9938d8d787