I have sickle cell disease. Is Social Security disability something I should pursue?

Maybe. Not everyone with sickle cell disease will qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a specific criterion in the Listing of Impairments for sickle cell disease.

If you suffer from sickle cell disease or one of its variants then, according to Section 7.05 of the SSA’s Listing of Impairments, you may qualify for Social Security disability if one of the following is true:

  • You had documented painful thrombotic crises at least three times in the five months before applying.​
  • You required extended hospitalization (not just emergency care) at least three times in the 12 months before applying.
  • You have chronic severe anemia with a persistent hematocrit of 26 percent or less.
  • Your impairment qualifies you under a different criterion related to the affected body system.

Of course, you may also qualify in other ways. For example, if you can prove that your medical condition prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activities or if you can prove that your sickle disease is medically equal to that of another listing then you may also qualify for Social Security disability.

The path to Social Security disability benefits is not always a straight one. It can be confusing, it can be difficult, and it can be frustrating. However, you don’t have to do it alone. You have the right to get help. If you have questions about the Social Security disability eligibility process or about what you should do to protect your rights, please start a live chat with us today.

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