Chronic Granulocytopenia- Conditions and Symptoms
Chronic granulocytopenia is a condition in which the body does not produce enough granulocytes. Granulocytes are white blood cells that help the body to fight off infections. When there is a low concentration of these white blood cells, the body is particularly prone to suffer infections.
Granulocytopenia is a blood disorder, but it is also classified as an immunodeficiency disorder. It can be have any of a number of causes, and some of the causes of granulocytopenia are as yet unknown. Often, disorders affecting the bone marrow will cause granulocytopenia, as blood cells (including granulocytes) are formed inside the bone marrow. Chronic granulocytopenia is simply granulocytopenia that has been occurring over a prolonged period of time.
When the bone marrow is defective for one reason or another, it often causes less production of granulocytes. Additionally, the granulocytes that are produced may be released from the bone marrow before they are fully developed, hindering their ability to fight disease or other infections.
There are not any symptoms specifically related to granulocytopenia itself. The symptoms suffered stem from the infections that the body can’t fight off. These can cause any number of complications.
Granulocytopenia is more difficult to treat than many blood disorders because the granulocytes are short lived, even when they are healthy. A typical healthy granulocyte cell lives only six to ten hours. Because of this, blood transfusion is not a feasible way to help people with granulocytopenia. The transfusion would only be beneficial for a few hours before needing to be performed again.
The inability to fight off infections can affect the lives of individuals suffering with chronic granulocytopenia in a number of ways. Their only real recourse from the disease is to avoid situations in which they could become infected. Because otherwise minor infections become quite serious conditions when the body can’t fend them off, those who suffer from this condition need to exercise a great deal of caution regarding where they go and what/whom they are around.
Filing for Disability with a Chronic Granulocytopenia Diagnosis
Chronic granulocytopenia meets the criteria for a listing in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. The listing can be found in Section 7.15. As long as you meet the listed criteria for the condition, you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. These criteria include:
- Multiple neutrophil counts (neutrophil are the most common form of granulocyte) below 1,000 cells per cubic mm.
- Recurring infections. You must have had no fewer than 3 bacterial infections in the five months before disability benefits are approved.
You will need to have thorough medical documentation showing your diagnosis, as well as the results of several lab tests. You will want to continue to be in a physician’s care while you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, as this is the best way to prove that you have had the infections you claim to have had.
If you have granulocytopenia, but it is not severe enough to meet the listing criteria, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if the effects of your condition are deemed to have a significant impact on your ability to continue to perform work. Proving that you are disabled to the extent that you can no longer produce any kind of meaningful work can be an uphill climb, but most approved claims are accepted by showing that your functional capacity has been compromised to the point that you can no longer be expected to continue working.
You will want to make sure that your doctor fills out all Social Security Disability forms in terms of how your condition affects your ability to carry out day to day activities, especially noting any restrictions on being around certain substances and other people. Often, doctors will fill out medical reports in medical terms that have little to no bearing on your disability claim. If you have a disability lawyer working with you, they can help make sure that your doctor’s reports contain the kind of information the SSA needs to approve your claim.
Your Chronic Granulocytopenia Disability Case
There are two things every disability claimant with chronic granulocytopenia should have. The first is a good doctor who has experience working with immunodeficiency conditions. The second is an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer who knows how to best present your claim to the Social Security Administration.
Studies routinely show that your chances of having your claim eventually approved rise dramatically if you are represented by competent legal counsel. Whereas over two thirds of initial claims are denied, those which are presented by an attorney have a 50% higher chance of approval. The differences become even more dramatic in the appeals process.
All told, nearly 90% of all claims represented by a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate are ultimately approved. Before you take another step in the disability claims or appeals process, fill out your request for a free evaluation by a disability attorney today.