Chronic granulocytopenia can result in a significant impairment to an individual's immune system. Things that many of us take for granted, like going to the grocery store or visiting a child's school, can result in serious illness for the individuals who suffer from this condition. As a result, it is almost impossible for many of the people who develop chronic granulocytopenia to maintain full-time work activity. The resulting lack of income can put an individual under serious financial stress. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to help. The following information will help you understand what chronic granulocytopenia is and how the Social Security Administration reviews claims based on a diagnosis of this condition.
Chronic Granulocytopenia Condition and Symptoms
Granulocytopenia results from a reduced number of granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the blood. These blood cells are responsible for protecting the body from illness and infection. There are three types of granulocytes that the body produces, including: neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils. When an individual develops chronic granulocytopenia, the body does not produce these granulocytes as it should.
When an individual suffers from granulocytopenia, the immune system does not work properly, leaving the body unprotected from illness and infection. This leaves the patient at risk of chronic infection and ulcerative lesions that can become more serious in nature and difficult to overcome. While there are different factors that can increase an individual's chances of developing this condition, the risks are most severe in patients who have undergone chemotherapy, other drug therapies and certain infections.
While the exact symptoms of chronic granulocytopenia vary from individual to individual, the most common symptom is chronic illness and infection due to the body's inability to protect itself from harmful bacteria and viruses. It is harder for these individuals to recover from these illnesses and infections due to the disruption of the immune system that is caused by the disorder.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Chronic Granulocytopenia
Oftentimes individuals who are suffering from chronic granulocytopenia are also suffering from an underlying condition, such as cancer that has resulted in a need for chemotherapy. Regardless of the cause of the chronic granulocytopenia, the Social Security Administration does recognize the disorder as a disabling condition in its Blue Book of Medical Listings.
Chronic Granulocytopenia is specifically addressed under Section 7.15 of the SSA's Medial Listings. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income under these guidelines, an individual must be suffering from chronic granulocytopenia that has resulted in absolute neutrophil counts that are repeatedly below 1,000 cells/cubic millimeter and there must be documented recurrent systemic bacterial infections occurring at least 3 times during the 5 months prior to the adjudication of the applicant's disability claim.
If your specific case of chronic granulocytopenia meets these exact guidelines, you will likely be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits during the initial stage of the Social Security Disability claim process, but you will need to furnish the SSA with medical evidence proving that your condition does indeed meet these published guidelines. This means supplying the Social Security Administration with a complete copy of your medical records when submitting your claim for disability benefits. These medical records should document your neutrophil counts and the number of systemic bacterial infections you have suffered over the past five months.
If your case of chronic granulocytopenia does not meet the specific disability guidelines set forth by the SSA, but still prevents you from performing substantial gainful work activity, you may still be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, chances are that your initial claim will be denied and you will have to pursue your case through the disability appeal process.
Chronic Granulocytopenia and Your Social Security Disability Case
Because chronic granulocytopenia is included in the SSA's published Medical Listings, your chances of being awarded benefits are significantly higher than most if your condition meets the criteria set forth by the SSA's published guidelines. If, however, there is any question as to whether or not your case of chronic granulocytopenia meets these guidelines or if you do not meet the guidelines but are still unable to work, you will need to pursue a disability appeal.
When appealing the SSA's decision to deny your Social Security Disability benefits, it is in your best interests to consult with a qualified Social Security Disability advocate or attorney. These professionals can help you gather the evidence that will be needed to prove your case to the Social Security Administration and they will be able to represent you properly before an administrative law judge at your disability hearing. Although you are technically allowed to manage your disability appeal yourself, your chances of receiving a favorable outcome are significantly increased with the services of a disability attorney or advocate.
To learn more about filing for SSD benefits with chronic granulocytopenia or to learn more about working with a Social Security Disability lawyer, fill out the form for a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.