Renal Amyloidosis – AL Type and Social Security Disability

Submitted by Eric on

Renal amyloidosis is a very serious, often fatal, disease of the kidney. Sufferers who have been diagnosed with this disease will find they are unable to continue working and may need expensive treatment and support, especially if there is no satisfactory response to treatment.

Disability benefits applications may be fast tracked by the SSA through the compassionate allowance program if the symptoms and medical evidence matches the SSA’s criteria. Disability benefits may help the renal amyloidosis patient cope with financial uncertainty as they battle with their health.

What is Renal Amyloidosis?

Amyloid proteins are unable to be broken down by the body, so if they start to accumulate in a vital organ, their proliferation can lead to significant damage to the functional capacity of that organ. 

In renal amyloidosis –AL type, the kidney has become the site of accumulation of amyloid proteins. The build-up of amyloid proteins in the kidney seriously affects the kidney’s ability to function properly, so the patient ultimately faces the prospect of severe renal failure.

Prospects for treatment are limited, and renal amyloidosis sufferers have an average lifespan of between 2 to 3 years once the condition has been diagnosed. 

What is a Compassionate Allowance?

It can take many months before a decision is made about disability benefits payments after an application has been received by the SSA. In many cases, the application is rejected, which often means the applicant has no other recourse than to appeal the decision, a process which can take even longer.

The SSA recognizes that there are some medical conditions that are so serious that the sufferer needs financial support early on and may in fact have only a limited time left before they die. 

This is when the compassionate allowance program is used to speed up the assessment of disability benefits applications.

 In many cases, the time taken to make a decision to release benefits is reduced to weeks rather than months or in some very urgent cases, only days after receipt of the application.

The medical conditions that usually meet the criteria for disability benefits approval are stated in the Blue Book listing for AL-type renal amyloidosis, section 6.05A, 14.03 or 14.07B. These conditions include the following:

  • albuminuria (too much albumin in the urine);
  • edema (swelling in the limbs);
  • hyperlipidemia (too much fat and cholesterol in the blood;
  • hypoalbuminemia (too little albumin);
  • fatigue; 
  • low blood pressure; 
  • numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in the hands or feet; 
  • shortness of breath; 
  • unintentional weight loss.

Medical Evidence for Renal Amyloidosis

The medical evidence that the SSA will use to make a determination about a compassionate allowance for renal amyloidosis includes a combination of the following:

  • assessment of the applicant’s medical and family history; 
  • blood tests;
  • kidney biopsy
  • neuroimaging;
  • results of a physical exam showing evidence of renal involvement; 
  • urinalysis; 

Get Help With Your Renal Amyloidosis SSD Claim

Because of the severity of renal amyloidosis it may means that the sufferer who applies for disability benefits has their application fast tracked through the SSA’s compassionate allowance program. Sufferers may find that their application for disability benefits 

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