Sickle cell anemia is widespread, and misunderstood. The fact that it is an inherited disease makes it very difficult for any family with a history of this disorder. We respect the ordeal you or someone you might know are going through with disease, and we want you to know that we are able to help you. Even though Sickle cell is usually treatable and not disabling, we have nevertheless represented many people with this condition in their claim for Social Security Disability, and we know what it takes to get a favorable outcome.
Sickle cell anemia is defined by the U.S. Library of Medicine as a disease where the red blood cells to lose their circular shape, and instead turn into something like a crescent. When this happens, not as much oxygen can be passed along through the red blood cells, and they can even break apart, which disrupts many of the body’s essential functions. Though it is passed down in families, it’s now understood that both parents have to have the gene that causes it, which is called Hemoglobin S. Although doctors know the causes of this condition, it is unsure how they might be able to stop it, although it is treatable.
Patients with sickle cell anemia experience episodes of pain. This pain is very generalized, as it can affect the bones, muscles, kidneys, or even the central nervous system. These episodes vary on how long they last for, from hours to days. Also, some patients experience a painful episode like this once in a while, but some can experience them more frequently. Significant fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of breath, fever, rapid heart rate, or skin ulcers are just a few of the other symptoms that someone with this condition might have.
In some cases, treating sickle cell is a difficult task. Treatment needs to be consistent. Controlling symptoms and ingesting the right amount of folic acid are the main goals. However, we have seen cases involving clients needing their gallbladder removed, and a few where kidney transplants were necessary, because of the damage sickle cell can inflict on the digestive and urinary systems of the body.
Social Security evaluates disability cases essentially in one of two ways: either by comparing the claimant’s medical condition to a medical condition described in the “medical listing of impairments”, or in the commonsense way of evaluating the overall effect of the claimant’s symptoms on their ability to work.
Social Security defines “work” as an eight hour a day, five-day week endeavor. As in most Social Security Disability claims, the judge’s decision boils down to whether or not he or she believes that you can perform the basic functions of work (sitting, standing, walking, lifting, concentrating, interacting appropriately with people encountered in the workplace, etc.). The fact that a claimant can only perform these basic functions sporadically, but not consistently, is the basis for the large majority of successful Social Security Disability claims.
As you may well know, sickle cell anemia is a tragic, unfortunate disease. The most important thing is to take care of yourself, but the reason we’re offering help is because sometimes people can’t do everything on their own. We understand, and highly respect this concept, because we’ve seen the good that we’ve done for so many clients over the years, and hearing about our old clients’ success stories always makes us appreciate what we do on a whole other level. This article is obviously not going to answer all of your questions, but there is always a phone number you can call to get a hold of us. We’re friendly, honest people and we can give you honest answers.