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April is Donate Life Month

In April of each year, an entire month of local, regional, and national activities take place to help encourage Americans to sign up as organ, eye, and tissue donors. The month also helps celebrate and remember those who have saved lives through donation.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), as of July 2019 there were more than 113,000 people on the waiting list for organ donations in the U.S. alone.

Why An Awareness Month For Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation?

The HRSA reports that more than 20 people die every day in the U.S. waiting for a transplant. Every 10 minutes another person is added onto the transplant waiting list. While 95 percent of adults say they support organ donation, only 58 percent actually sign up to be a donor. Only 1 of every 3 people who die have a death that allows for organ donation.

Through Donate Life Month, there are educational awareness programs that encourage people to sign up as donors, and to make people aware of the need for donors. The month also promotes awareness of transplant successes, and how a transplant can save a life and affect an entire family. As an example, there were 36,528 transplants performed in the U.S. during 2018.

How Someone With An Organ Transplant Can Qualify For Disability Benefits

If you are waiting for an organ transplant, or if you have undergone an organ transplant, you may be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Organ transplants are placed in four impairment categories, including cardiovascular system, genito-urinary system, digestive system, and respiratory system.

As an example, someone who has undergone a lung transplant would be eligible for disability benefits for a year after surgery.

If you undergo a kidney transplant, you will receive disability benefits for 12 months following the surgery. After that, if you are still disabled you will be evaluated by your kidney functioning. Your claim will be reviewed using a listing that applies to kidney disease and if your condition meets the criteria.

Hard medical evidence is a necessity to have a claim approved, so you should prepare a detailed listing of all your medical providers, their addresses and contact details, and the approximate dates of service.

If you are still disabled a year after the transplant, but your condition doesn’t meet the criteria of a listing, you can use a medical vocational allowance, which takes your work history, skills, educational background, age, medical conditions, restrictions and limitations into consideration.

A residual functional capacity (RFC) form will be able to detail your restrictions and limitations so the SSA can determine what kind of work you can do if you can work at all.

Getting A Disability Claim For Organ Transplant Underway

If you need an organ transplant, or if you have undergone one, you can start your claim for disability benefits online at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213 and speaking with a representative. You can also schedule an appointment at your SSA field office.

A Social Security Disability attorney can help you get your claim on the right track and improve your chances of having your claim approved.