For the first time in 30 years, the rules for evaluating hematological disorders for Social Security disability have changed. The previous rules, which went into effect in December of 1985, were replaced with new rules on May 18, 2015.
An Overview of the 2015 Changes to the Hematological Disorders Listing
The changes to Section 7.00 of the Social Security Listing of Impairments were described in the Federal Register in November 2013. At that time, the Social Security Administration announced that they were proposing to change the rules and that they were accepting comments from the public. The comment period ended in January 2014 and the rule went into effect in May 2015. Some of the changes made include:
- Revising and expanding the introductory text of Section 7.00. This includes an explanation of what kinds of disorders may be evaluated pursuant to this section and what evidence is required for a disability determination pursuant to this section.
- Making the adult and childhood hematological listings more consistent.
- Adding criteria about disability based on functional limitations to the adult hematological disorders listing.
- Making all categories within this listing broad so that more types of hematological disorders are included. For example, the specific listing for sickle cell anemia was removed and instead included in the broader category of hemolytic anemias.
- Changing Section 7.08 which deals with transfusion criteria for spontaneous hemorrhage. The previous listing did not reflect the current standard of care.
- Updating Section 7.17 which deals with bone marrow and stem cell transplants. The previous listing discussed these treatments only for aplastic anemia. However, now other hematological conditions such as sickle cell anemia may be treated with bone marrow or stem cell transplants.
If you have a blood disorder and you are considering filing for Social Security disability, it is important to make sure that you are filing pursuant to the current Listing of Impairments and that your application has the information and documentation that the Social Security Administration requires as of May 18, 2015. If you need help with your application, please start a free live chat with us today.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.