I’ve had a lung transplant. Am I eligible for Social Security disability?

A lung transplant is a big deal. You consented to the procedure because you hoped it would improve the quality of your life. However, you are also consenting to at least several days in the intensive care unit and a one to three week hospital stay. After that you will require close medical monitoring, lifelong immunosuppressant medications, and a lifetime care plan. You may be unable to work.

And You May Qualify for Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration recognizes that a lung transplant can be disabling. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 3.11 of the Blue Book Listing of Impairments:

  • You are considered disabled for three years beginning on the date of your transplant surgery. It is important to note that you may be considered disabled before you have transplant surgery if you qualify because of your respiratory disorder or in another way. If you were found eligible prior to surgery, then this will not impact the three year period during which you will be considered disabled after surgery.
  • After the three year period, your residual impairments will be evaluated to determine if you remain disabled. According to Section 3.00M, the Social Security Administration will consider “the adequacy of your post-transplant function, the frequency and severity of any rejection episodes you have, complications in other body systems, and adverse treatment effects.”

Additionally, you may be found eligible in another way. Even if you do not meet the requirements of Section 3.11, you may be eligible for benefits if you meet another listing in the Listing of Impairments, if your condition is equal in severity to a listing in the Listing of Impairments, or if you lack the functional capacity to work.

Take the Necessary Steps to Protect Your Disability Benefits

Even though Section 3.11 is clear about the terms of eligibility after a lung transplant, you must still provide a compelling application for disability benefits together with all supporting medical documentation to the Social Security Administration. Our board certified attorneys can help you do that. For more information, please start a live chat with us now or download a free copy of our report, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law