Chronic Kidney Disease and Social Security Disability Insurance
- Determine if an individual is "working (engaging in substantial gainful activity)" according to the SSA definition. Earning more than $1,040 a month as an employee is enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits.
- Conclude the chronic kidney disease disability must be severe enough to significantly limit one's ability to perform basic work activities needed to do most jobs. For example:
- Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling
- Seeing, hearing and speaking
- Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
- Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations
- Dealing with changes in a routine work setting
- Chronic kidney disease is listed under the category of impairments known as the Genitourinary System - Medical Listing 6.00. The following criteria have been established indicative of the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity, i.e., if one has a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease and one of the following, a finding of disabled under the Social Security Act is warranted:
- Renal dysfunction is characterized by impairment of renal function, due to any chronic renal disease that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, such as chronic glomerulonephritis, hypertensive renal vascular disease, diabetic nephropathy, chronic obstructive uropathy and hereditary nephropathies.
- Other considerations evaluated with chronic kidney disease include chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, kidney transplantation (warrants a finding of disabled for 12 months following surgery and then further evaluation occurs), persistent elevation of serum creatinine to 4 mg per deciliter (100 ml) or greater, or reduction of creatinine clearance to 20 ml per minute or less, over at least three months, with one of the following:
- Renal osteodystropy manifested by severe bone pain and appropriate medically acceptable imaging demonstrating abnormalities such as osteitis fibrosa, significant osteoporosis, osteomalacia, or pathologic fractures, or;
- Persistent motor or sensory neuropathy; or
- Persistent fluid overload syndrome with:
- Diastolic hypertension greater than or equal to diastolic blood pressure of 110 mm Hg; or
- Persistent signs of vascular congestion despite prescribed therapy; or
- Persistent anorexia with weight loss determined by body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.0, calculated on at least two evaluations at least 30 days apart within a consecutive six-month period (medical listing 5.00G2).
- Medical evidence establishing the clinical diagnosis of nephrotic syndrome also is considered and must include a description of the extent of edema, including pretibial, periorbital or presacral edema, persisting for at least three months despite prescribed therapy with:
- Serum albumin of 3.0 g per dL (100ml) or less and proteinuria of 3.5 g or greater per 24 hours; or
- Proteinuria of 10.0 or greater per 24 hours.
- Other medical evidence should describe any ascites, pleural effusion or pericardial effusion, as well as a report if a renal biopsy has been performed.
- Effects of treatment are considered by type of therapy, response to therapy, side effects of therapy and effects of any post-therapeutic residuals.
- Explore the ability of an individual to perform work they have done in the past despite their chronic kidney disease. If the SSA finds that a person can do his or her past work, benefits are denied. If the person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.
- Review age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the person can perform. To determine chronic kidney disease disability, the SSA enlists medical-vocational rules, which vary according to age.
Request a no-cost, no obligation disability evaluation to determine your eligibility for Social Security disability.