Many people live with some kind of blood illness. Also called hematological disorders, these diseases can disrupt the normal functioning of the circulatory system and have a wide range of causes and symptoms.
While it is possible to manage hematological disease symptoms, they may still severely impact daily functioning, making it impossible to earn a living. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration provides disability benefits to blood disease patients if their ailments produce any of the following health problems.
Blood clotting complications
Disorders of thrombosis and hemostasis interfere with blood clotting. People with hemophilia and thrombocytopenia suffer uncontrolled bleeding requiring treatments such as clotting factor infusions or platelet transfusions. If the complications demand at least three hospitalizations a year, the SSA may grant disability benefits.
Blood transfusions and treatments
Disorders of bone marrow failure impair the ability of the blood marrow to produce enough healthy blood cells. Myelodysplastic syndromes, aplastic anemia and myelofibrosis often lead to severe anemia, serious infections and excessive bleeding. If bone marrow failure requires at least three hospitalizations annually for transfusions or to treat complications, the SSA might approve disability.
Other hematological symptoms
People can also qualify for disability benefits if their hematological disorder causes significant functional limitations. Symptoms like chronic severe fatigue, pain, malaise and difficulty concentrating can seriously interfere with the ability to work. By reviewing medical records and evaluations, the SSA determines the severity of impairment when a disorder does not meet a listing.
According to the CDC, three million people in the United States suffer from some kind of anemia alone, so many individuals deal with some kind of hematological disorder. While not everyone afflicted with a blood illness qualifies for disability benefits, the SSA recognizes these diseases often greatly impact health, functioning and employability.