As one of the most complex medical procedures, a bone marrow transplant typically attempts to mitigate cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. The transplantation of healthy bone marrow cells also reverses the damage caused by chemotherapy treatments.
Long-term side effects of a bone marrow transplant include permanent bone and/or lung damage, as well as the development of another type of cancer. The result is anyone that undergoes a bone marrow transplant can lose a significant amount of time at work.
How do bone marrow transplant patients pay for medical bills and recoup lost wages? The answer is found within a federal program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Overview of SSDI
Run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), SSDI pays recipients for having to deal with a total disability, not a partial or short-term disability. The SSA reviews applications to determine whether they meet the requirements established by the federal agency for the approval of financial help. After the initial review, the SSA sends SSDI applications to your state’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) office for a more detailed investigation.
The investigation decides whether the evidence submitted substantiates a physical disability claim. Evidence includes documentation of a diagnosis, as well as interviews with the health care professionals that participated in diagnosing and treating the symptoms of a bone marrow transplant.
Qualifying for SSDI means you cannot work at any job, in any capacity. The SSA refers to a guide called the Blue Book to determine whether the symptoms associated with a bone marrow transplant qualify an applicant to receive financial benefits. SSDI benefits increase every time the SSA makes cost of living adjustments, which usually occurs on an annual basis. Widows or widowers of SSDI recipients that qualify for benefits can receive financial help as soon as they turn 60 years old.
What Happens to Medicare Eligibility?
As one of the best known federally managed social safety net programs, Medicare provides health care services for Americans that are at least 65 years old. Americans that receive SSDI benefits at the time they turn 65 years old must wait two years to become eligible for Medicare health care coverage.
The two-year waiting period does not mean an SSDI recipient cannot gain health care coverage outside of Medicare. Federal law allows Americans that receive SSDI benefits to enroll in a health care plan administered by a former employer until they are eligible for Medicare health insurance coverage.
Getting Back to Work
The SSA established the SSDI benefits program to help disabled workers pay medical bills and common daily expenses. In addition to providing benefits, the SSA also encourages disabled workers to return to their jobs by running two programs: Ticket to Work and Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS).
Both federally run work transition programs help SSDI recipients save money for job searches, as well as offer resources that update job skills. The ultimate goal of the two work transition programs is to move disabled workers off the SSDI program into a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Request a Free Case Evaluation
Facing the prospects of not working for a year or more can trigger an incredible amount of stress and anxiety. Remove stress and anxiety from your life by requesting a free case evaluation. A state licensed Social Security attorney reviews your evaluation to determine how you can boost your chances of getting an SSDI application approved by the SSA.