Can I Get Social Security Disability or SSI for End Stage Renal Disease?

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Question

My doctor says I have ERSD and I'll eventually need a kidney transplant. I'll have to stop working. At what stage will this qualify for me disability benefits?

Answer

End stage renal disease, or ERSD, is kidney disease that has progressed to the point where a patient is likely to die without proper treatment. ESRD is typically caused by uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, glomerulonephritis, and polycystic kidney disease. 

Once end stage renal disease is diagnosed, physicians treat the underlying cause in an effort to slow the progression of the disease. Eventually, most patients with end stage renal disease will have to have a renal replacement treatment in order to survive. Currently, there are two replacement therapy treatment options: dialysis to cleanse the blood (peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis) or a kidney transplant.

Although dialysis may prolong an individual's life indefinitely, it severely limits an individual's quality of life. Currently, the most successful treatment for end state renal disease is a kidney transplant but as with any surgery, there is always a risk of surgical complications. 

Generally speaking, an individual who is receiving frequent dialysis, is on an organ transplant list, or who has received a kidney transplant will have no difficulty being approved for Social Security disability or SSI benefits based on disability. For more information, see our article on getting disability benefits for kidney disease.

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