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Hematological conditions that qualify for Social Security

Karns & Kerrison

One of the most confusing aspects about Social Security disability is understanding which conditions will qualify. While the Rhode Island Department of Human Services Office has stated that the disability must be severe enough to last for at least 12 months, there are several conditions that people may not realize can count as a disability. One of those includes disorders affecting the body’s hematological functions.

According to the Social Security Administration, there are several different types of disorders of the hematological system that may qualify, but each much meet certain standards to be considered truly disabling. Limitations must make it difficult to complete work-related tasks, accomplish daily living activities or maintain an acceptable level of social function.

Aplastic anemia, myelofibrosis, granulocytopenia and other forms of bone marrow failure can count as a disability, but must require continued treatment. If a person requires RBC transfusions every six weeks for the rest of his or her life, this can qualify. If someone is hospitalized for at least 48 hours, three different times in one year for issues related to bone marrow failure, he or she can also qualify for disability.

Other diseases, including thalassemia and sickle cell, count as a disability if the patient must permanently submit to RBC infusions every six weeks, is hospitalized for more than 48 hours or has dangerously low hemoglobin measurements at least three times in one year, or requires intramuscular or intravenous treatments for painful episodes six or more times in one year. All hospitalizations for every hematological condition must occur no less than 30 days apart to qualify as a separate event.


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