Kidney Failure Disability Benefits

If you have been diagnosed with kidney failure and anticipate being unable to work for at least 12 months or longer, applying for Social Security Disability benefits can provide crucial financial support. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the application process effectively:

How to Apply for Kidney Disease Disability Benefits

Step 1. Evaluate Your Eligibility

Before starting the application process, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria set by the Social Security Administration (SSA):

  • Medical Eligibility: Your kidney failure must be severe enough to prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA). This typically involves ongoing dialysis, being on a kidney transplant list, or meeting specific criteria outlined in the SSA’s Blue Book under Section 6.00.
  • Work Requirements: You must have earned enough work credits through previous employment covered by Social Security. Work credits are based on your annual earnings and vary depending on your age at the time of disability.

Step 2. Gather Medical Records & Supporting Documents

Collect detailed medical records including reports, lab results, treatment histories, and doctor's notes.  Document any hospitalizations, surgeries, or dialysis treatments you've undergone.

Statements from healthcare providers outlining the severity of your condition and its impact on your ability to work are crucial. A disability lawyer can assist in gathering these documents and guiding you through this process. For more information on gathering medical evidence, visit Medical Evidence and Seeking Treatment Can Strengthen Your Claim.

Step 3. Complete & Submit Application

Obtain disability application forms from the SSA through their website or local office. Fill out these forms thoroughly and accurately, providing detailed information about your medical history, symptoms, and functional limitations. 

A disability lawyer can assist in ensuring the application is prepared for the best chance of approval. Keep copies of all submitted documents for your records. For assistance with paperwork, visit Attorney Help with Paperwork.

Step 4. Follow up & Application Tracking

Stay in contact with your disability lawyer and the SSA to track the status of your application. 

Be prepared to provide additional information or attend a disability evaluation if requested to support your claim. Check your application status and learn more about tracking it at Determine Status of Social Security Disability Claim.

Step 5. Appeal if Necessary

If your initial application is denied, consult with your disability lawyer to file an appeal. Provide any additional evidence or documentation required during the appeals process to strengthen your claim. Appeals often result in approvals, so don’t be discouraged by the initial denial. 

Explore more about appealing and tips for a successful appeal at Kidney Disease Appeals, Appeal Immediately, and Filing an Appeal Tips.

Connect With a Disability Lawyer

When you have been diagnosed with kidney failure, all of your time and energy should be spent on treatments and trying to feel your best. For most people it will become impossible to work full-time while combating this debilitating disorder.

Unfortunately, applying for disability benefits may require substantially more time and energy than a person may have while undergoing daily treatments for kidney failure. 

In such cases, contacting a qualified disability lawyer or advocate may provide you with invaluable assistance with every step of the Social Security Disability application process. 

A disability lawyer will ensure all the correct documents and evidence is collected to get you the best chance for approval of benefits. Take our free disability evaluation to see if you qualify for disability. 

Kidney Disease Disability Benefits FAQ’s

What Stages of Kidney Disease Qualify for Benefits?

The real answer: Any stage of kidney disease can qualify for benefits.  If your kidney failure causes you to be out of work for at least 12 months, you may qualify for disability benefits as long as you meet the medical criteria. 

There are five stages of kidney disease or kidney failure. The accepted measure for kidney functioning is Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), and this determines how well your kidneys are cleaning your bloodstream. Most people who receive disability benefits for kidney disease fall into stage 5.

  • Stage 1 – Kidney functioning is at more than 90 percent, meaning that you have normal or high functioning kidneys.
  • Stage 2 – At this stage, kidney functioning is from 60 to 89 percent and there is mildly decreased functioning of the kidneys.
  • Stage 3 – At this point, kidney functioning ranges from 30 to 59 percent of its normal level and you experience mild to moderately decreased functioning of the kidneys.
  • Stage 4 – You have severely decreased functioning with your kidneys at 15 to 29 percent.
  • Stage 5 – Kidney failure is in full force with kidney functioning now at less than 15 percent its normal level.

Is Having Only One Kidney Considered a Disability?

Yes, having one kidney can be considered a disability so long as you meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book listing section 6.00 which outlines the eligibility requirements for disability benefits for someone who only has one kidney.

How Much Money Can You Receive From Kidney Failure Benefits?

You can earn up to $3,882 per month in disability with kidney failure. Often though, the average disability payment in 2024 is about $1,500.

How much your disability with kidney failure will be worth depends on the specifics of your case and how long you have worked. A disability lawyer will be able to help you determine how much you can earn in disability with kidney failure.

Additional Resources

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!