Pancreas Transplant and Disability Benefits: What You Need to Know
Pancreas transplants are normally done when a person has been suffering from serious renal complications due to type I diabetes and also requires a new kidney. Pancreas-only transplants are also performed on a small number of people who have experienced severe metabolic complications that do not respond to other treatment approaches.
If your health has deteriorated to the point that you require a pancreas transplant, it’s likely that you’ve been too disabled to work for a while. Money worries combined with loss of health insurance and a steadily debilitating condition soon become overwhelming.
The good news is that having a pancreas transplant makes you eligible for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits, which provide a much-needed cash flow as you recover.
Medically Qualifying with a Pancreas Transplant
Pancreas transplants are not specifically referenced in the Blue Book, which is a catalog of disabling conditions that the SSA uses to determine an applicant’s eligibility for benefits. However, if you have an organ transplant the SSA will automatically consider you disabled for 12 months from the transplant date. After that date, it will reassess your eligibility using criteria like the following:
- How well you are able to function after the transplant
- Any rejection episodes that may have occurred
- Recurring infections related to your original condition
- Any negative reactions to treatment
When you apply for benefits, your application needs to include the following medical information and documentation from your doctor:
- Test results that confirm your diagnosis
- Record of treatments you have received, along with their results and impact on your prognosis
- Records of any hospitalization due to condition-related complications
- Evidence of any post-transplant problems, such as organ rejection
Your doctor will also complete a residual functional capacity (RFC) form, which enables the SSA to determine how much of an impact your original condition and transplant have had on your ability to function and earn a living.
When you have a medical complication requiring a pancreas transplant, you will probably qualify for a compassionate allowance, which expedites consideration and approval of your disability benefits. Once you application is approved, you will also qualify for Medicare right away, instead of having to wait for two years.
Getting Help with Your Pancreas Transplant Claim
When you apply for SSA disability benefits, you may be denied at first. This happens to approximately 70% of all applicants, even those with conditions specifically referenced in the Blue Book. You will have to file a request reconsideration and even file an appeal. To minimize the risk of going through delays and hassle, you should hire a Social Security Disability Attorney to assist you in submitting your claim.
Your attorney will help you complete the following essential steps:
- Filling out the application correctly
- Acquiring the necessary medical records
- Submit the completed application package according to correct protocols
- Represent you at the appeal if you are denied the first time
Having a Social Security Disability Attorney on your side greatly improves your chances of getting the benefits you need in a timely manner, easing your financial stresses so you can focus on moving forward.