Although a lung transplant can be life-saving, it is a major surgery that can affect your ability to work for several years, if not for the rest of your life. Because of this, those who have undergone a lung transplant, or who will be having a transplant surgery soon, may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
For help getting the benefits you need, do not hesitate to contact our trusted team of Phoenix disability attorneys for a free consultation. We are well-versed in the many requirements of applying for disability and can guide you through every step.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
To be eligible for disability benefits, you must be able to provide documented proof that you meet the Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of disabled. This requires that your medical condition prevents you from working for at least one year or will result in your death.
To determine if an individual meets this requirement, the SSA maintains a Blue Book of impairment listings, which outlines the criteria that must be met for each condition that qualifies for benefits.
Lung transplants are covered in listing 3.11, which is very simple and straightforward. According to the listing, the SSA will consider a claimant to be disabled for three years after the date of the transplant.
Once a claimant reaches the three-year mark, he or she may qualify for continuing benefits based on his or her residual impairments. To evaluate if an individual qualifies for continuing benefits, the SSA will consider:
- Post-transplant function
- The frequency and severity of any rejection episodes
- Complications experienced in other body systems
- Any adverse treatment effects
In many situations, individuals who require a lung transplant will qualify for disability benefits prior to the date of their transplant. Even if this occurs and your disability onset date is before your surgery date, all claims involving a transplant are evaluated by the SSA at the three-year mark following the transplant date.
Residual Functional Capacity
Although receiving benefits for a lung transplant through the Blue Book listing is fairly simple, there is also another path to approval for benefits. Those who do not meet the requirements of the Blue Book may still be able to qualify for benefits if they can prove that their condition is disabling and prevents them from maintaining any type of work.
To do this, you will have to undergo a residual functional capacity assessment through which the SSA will be able to determine how disabling your condition is.
The assessment will be completed by your treating physician and will show how residual impairments from your transplant affect your daily life, including your ability to sit for periods of time, lift certain amounts of weight, socially interact with others and function independently, among other things.
If the SSA concludes that your impairment restricts you from being able to do any type of work, you will be approved for disability benefits.
Get Help with Your Disability Claim
Obtaining disability benefits can be a difficult process. Often, those who medically qualify for benefits are denied when they first apply because of mistakes in their application or missing information about their impairment.
Our attorneys can help you make sure your application is complete, accurate and submitted on time. We will help you gather all of the information needed to prove your case and will guide you through the complicated claims process.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact Dayes Law Firm PC today to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and do not charge for handling your claim unless you recover benefits.