Law Office of Jennifer Zorrilla

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Obtaining SSD benefits for chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease afflicts many people in southern California. If the disease seriously interferes with the patient’s ability to perform the ordinary functions of his or her employment, the patient may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

The Social Security Administration includes many different types of kidney disorders under the term “chronic kidney disease.” According to the federal regulations promulgated by the SSA, the term includes chronic glomerulonephritis, hypertensive nephropathy, diabetic nephropathy, chronic obstructive uropathy and hereditary nephropathies. A reduction in the filtering capacity of the kidneys is perhaps the most important indicator of kidney disease. Physicians use the patient’s glomerular filtration rate to determine the filtering capacity of the kidneys. Kidney disease can often be diagnosed using blood and urine tests. An applicant for SSD benefits based upon chronic kidney disease must submit evidence of impaired filtering for a period of at least 90 days. Once diagnosed, the medical and employment evidence must demonstrate that the impairment of kidney function has caused the applicant to become disabled.

A course of kidney dialysis (the mechanical removal of the body’s waste products from the blood stream) that has lasted or is expected to last for 12 months may also qualify for SSD benefits. The SSA treats recipients of kidney transplants as disabled for the first 12 months following the transplant; thereafter, the finding of continuing disability will rest upon testing of actual kidney function. The SSA will also consider other genitourinary conditions in evaluating a claim for SSDI benefits.

Anyone contemplating filing a claim for SSD benefits based upon chronic kidney disease may benefit from consulting with a lawyer who handles such cases. A knowledgeable attorney can help assemble employment and medical records and provide an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining benefits.

Source: Social Security Administration, “6.00 Genitourinary Disorders,” accessed on Jan. 16, 2017

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