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Sickle Cell Disease and Social Security Disability

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Aug 08, 2013 | 0 Comments

Sickle Cell Disease and Social Security Disability

Misshapen red blood cells are the classic representation of Sickle Cell Disease. The red blood cells have abnormal hemoglobin that changes the shape of the cells from disks to look like crescents or sickles. The sickle shaped cells are not flexible and tend to stick together, clogging small blood vessels. These clumps can cause great pain and can lead to swollen joints preventing individuals from performing daily tasks, as well as even working. Causes Sickle cell disease is caused by a genetic mutation. For an individual to suffer from sickle cell they must receive the sickle cell gene from both parents. If a person receives the sickle cell mutation from only one parent, then that person is a carrier of the sickle cell trait, but will not suffer from the disease itself. The Center for Disease Control states that aside from sickle cell anemia, there are other instances of sickle cell disease in which an individual has the sickle cell trait from one parent and a different type of abnormal hemoglobin from the other parent. Sickle cell disease is diagnosed through a blood test that is commonly administered to newborns. Symptoms Sickle cell can cause a variety of problems. When sickle cells stick together and clog blood vessels that can cause pain in the area. The most common areas people with sickle cell disease feel pain are in the hands, feet, belly, back, or chest. Another symptom of sickle cell disease is anemia. The sickled red blood cells do not carry as much oxygen as regular disk shaped cells and there tend to be fewer red blood cells altogether. Anemia can make a person feel tired or dizzy. They can have a fast heart rate and difficulty breathing as well. The common treatment for anemia is a blood transfusion. Complications People with sickle cell anemia tend to have frequent infections. For young children with sickle cell, it is common for doctors to prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infections. “This can begin at 2 months of age and continue until the child is at least 5 years of age.” Other complications that tend to arise are stroke, blindness, organ damage, skin ulcers, and gallstones. Individuals can also suffer acute chest syndrome, which includes “symptoms of chest pain, coughing, difficulty breathing, and fever.” There is also the possibility of a splenic sequestration wherein “a large number of sickle cells get trapped in the spleen and cause it to suddenly get large.” Social Security Disability Requirements Those with sickle cell disease must show the following to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD): Must have at least 3 documented painful (thrombotic) crises during the 5 months before applying for SSD; or Required to have had at least 3 hospitalizations (beyond emergency care) during the 12 months before applying for SSD; or Have chronic, severe anemia with a persistent hematocrit of 26 percent or less; or Suffer from an impairment as a result of sickle cell disease that is evaluated under the criteria for the affected body system. Information from the Social Security Administration Due to the very specific requirements needed to prove disability due to sickle cell disease for SSD benefits, it is helpful to have an attorney assist in assuring all the paperwork and medical records are in order when applying. If you are considering applying for disability benefits in Georgia, you should contact our experienced attorney. See Related Posts: Intellectual Disability Replaces Mental Retardation Worrying to the Point of Disability Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Lead to Disability

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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