Hemophilia disorders are genetic disorders that affect the body’s ability to cause blood clotting and coagulation – processes that stop bleeding when blood vessels are broken. Those with hemophilia have to be careful to avoid situations in which they could be cut because they have a difficult time stopping bleeding once it starts.
Those with hemophilia don’t necessarily bleed more severely than others, but they tend to bleed much longer because the blood does not effectively clot and stop the bleeding. People with severe hemophilia can bleed for several days – or even weeks – from cuts and scrapes that would be considered minor for those without the disorder.
Hemophilia is classified as either Type A or Type B, depending on the degree of clotting deficiency. The condition occurs more frequently in men than in women.
The main symptom for hemophiliacs is excessive bleeding, both internal and external. Moderate to severe hemophilia often causes internal bleeding into the body’s joints, which in turn causes joint disfigurement and damage. Other symptoms include frequent, large bruises and swelling in the joints.
There is currently no cure for hemophilia. It can be treated by factor replacement infusions, which medically add the blood factors that aid in clotting and coagulation. Depending on the type and severity of hemophilia, infusions may be given regularly or as needed. Special exercises can also help prevent some effects of hemophilia.
How to Qualify Medically for SSD With Hemophilia
The Social Security Administration uses the guidelines in Section 7.08 of the Blue Book to determine whether you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits based on hemophilia and other coagulation defects. The basic guidelines are:
- Your condition must be verified by lab testing. Medical evidence of the therapy and treatments you are receiving alone is not enough to qualify for disability, and
- Your hemophilia must involve spontaneous hemorrhaging serious enough to require a transfusion as least three times during the previous five months.
If your hemophilia does not meet the guidelines laid out in the Blue Book for hemophilia, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Rather, it means that you need to be able to prove that your condition - whether hemophilia alone or combined with other conditions you may have – makes it unreasonable to expect you to perform any kind of work for which you would be qualified or could be trained.
There are several factors that come into play when the Social Security Administration considers whether you are capable of continuing to work. Your medical condition is considered, but it isn’t the only factor.
The SSA will also consider what types of work you have done in the past (especially the past 15 years). It is often more challenging for those who have performed light or sedentary work to prove that they are physically unable to continue working than those who have only done heavy work. The SSA will also consider your age and level of education to help determine whether you could reasonably be trained and adjust to doing other kinds of work than you have done in the past.
Your Hemophilia Social Security Disability Case
Your chances of being approved for Social Security disability benefits improve dramatically when represented by a Social Security disability attorney. Lawyers who are familiar with the Social Security system know what the SSA needs to see before they will approve your claim and they know how to best present the evidence of your disability.
Consider contacting a Social Security lawyer today, even if your disability claim has already been turned down. A Social Security disability attorney can walk you through your next steps to give your claim its best chance of approval in the appeals process.