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More on hematological disorders and Social Security

When Georgia residents suffer from illnesses or disabilities, it can affect virtually every area of their lives. From the individual's ability to continue working to the individual's ability to engage in basic daily activities, it seems as though there is no area left untouched by a serious illness or injury..

While this situation can be disheartening, it can also help support a person's claim for Social Security disability benefits. This is because the Social Security Administration requires a person's disability or illness to have certain effects in order to qualify the individual for benefits.

For instance, last week, this blog discussed the agency's evaluation of claims from those suffering from blood disease. Once a person proves that he or she indeed has a blood disease, the agency considers a variety of information to determine the impact of a person's hematological disorder on his or her ability to function independently and effectively. This includes consideration of the person's symptoms, the frequency and duration of the complications from the disorder, periods of remission and the functional impact of treatment.

The federal regulations require that a person's hematological disorder result in a marked level of limitation in their activities of daily living, social functioning or difficulties in completing tasks due to difficulty in concentration, persistence or pace. The "marked" limitation requirement means that the symptoms have to seriously interfere with the person's ability to function.

While the agency does not look at a specific number of daily activities that are affected, it will consider the nature and overall degree of interference on the person's functioning. Accordingly, a person can have a marked limitation even if only one activity or function is impaired, and the person does not need to be totally prevented from performing an activity to have a marked limitation. In other words, the person does not need to be confined to bed in order to satisfy this requirement.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability evaluation under Social Security," accessed on Jan. 2, 2016

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