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March is Hemophilia Awareness Month. However, the Hemophilia Federation of America wants this awareness month not only to include hemophilia but also other bleeding disorders that may not be as well known. Von Willebrand disease is one of those conditions.

Von Willebrand disease can be genetic or it may develop later in life. Either way, it is a condition that can result in significant and prolonged bleeding because of a problem with the von Willebrand factor in the blood that is necessary for proper clotting.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability

Many people with von Willebrand disease can lead healthy lives if they take the right medications. However, sometimes the condition can’t be controlled and in those cases an individual might qualify for Social Security under one of the following provisions:

  • Coagulation defect. If a person’s von Willebrand disease causes spontaneous hemorrhage requiring transfusion at least three times during the five months prior to applying, he or she may qualify for Social Security disability.
  • Anemia. Anemia can be a complication of von Willebrand disease. If someone is anemic and meets the eligibility standard of a hematocrit of 30 percent or less with one or more blood transfusions on an average of at least once every two months, he or she may qualify.
  • The condition is medically equal to a condition in the Listing of Impairments. If someone can prove that his or her von Willebrand disease is medically equal to any listing in the Listing of Impairments then that person may qualify for Social Security disability.
  • A medical-vocational allowance. If the SSA considers an applicant’s age, health, education, and vocational history and determines that the person is unable to work in substantially gainful employment (make a minimum level of income) then the person may qualify for Social Security disability.

An individual only needs to be found eligible in one of these ways in order to receive Social Security disability benefits.

If you love someone with von Willebrand disease then we encourage you to talk to that person about whether Social Security disability may be a good option. This post may be a great way to start the conversation. Please share it with your loved one and anyone else you think might be interested.

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Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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