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How does the SSA determine what qualifies as a blood disease?

A Tennessean who has a blood disease may look physically well, but most likely is experiencing the effects of his or her condition in a way that may not be readily visible. The condition may not be obvious to many people, but a person with a blood disease may be in need of Social Security disability insurance benefits. If so, he or she may wonder how the Social Security Administration will evaluate his or her condition and what evidence he or she needs to provide to obtain benefits.

The SSA evaluates a number of different types of blood disorders. For non-cancerous hematological disorders, the agency will consider how the disorder disrupts the development and functioning of a person's white blood cells, red blood cells, clotting-factor proteins and platelets. To perform this evaluation, the agency will need certain evidence of a person's condition.

A person applying for benefits must provide either a laboratory report of a definitive test establishing a hematological disorder signed by a physician, or one that is not signed by a physician but is accompanied by a report from a physician stating the patient has a hematological disorder. If a patient cannot fulfill either of these requirements, the SSA will consider a persuasive report from a physician that the hematological disorder was confirmed via laboratory analysis. To qualify as a persuasive report, there must be evidence in the report that the patient has undergone appropriate laboratory tests relevant to his or her hematological disorder and the results must be provided. Alternatively, the report can explain how the applicant's hematological disorder was diagnosed by other diagnostic methods.

The information in this post is only general in nature and does not provide legal advice for any one person's situation. If you or a loved one wants to apply for Social Security disability benefits for illness, whether for a blood disease or otherwise, you may wish to seek legal counsel to guide you through what at times can be a complicated process.

Source: ssa.gov, "7.00 Hematological Disorders - Adult", accessed Oct. 23, 2015

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