Every March, we pay special attention to the kidney, an organ vital to a healthy life. Social Security wants to help spread the word about the importance of kidney health and about what you should do if you think you or a loved one has a kidney-related disability.
Kidney disease prevents your kidneys from cleansing your blood to their full potential. Did you know that one out of three Americans is currently at high risk for developing kidney disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, and most of them don’t even know it.
Ebie is a prime example. Ebie was an emergency room worker with an active life at work, home, and in his community. He had no idea he’d developed a kidney condition until one day he felt ill while driving to work and had to call a coworker for help.
Our Faces and Facts of Disability website features Ebie’s story. He says people who receive Social Security disability benefits “can provide for themselves better and have a high quality of life.” As Ebie explains, many people with kidney diseases can greatly increase their quality of life with Social Security benefits. You can learn more about Ebie’s story at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityfacts.
If a kidney disease such as end-stage renal disease (known as ESRD) requires chronic dialysis and prevents you from working, Social Security may be able to help you. If you’re undergoing dialysis, have had a kidney transplant, have persistent low creatinine clearance levels, or have persistent high serum creatinine levels, you may qualify for disability and/or Medicare benefits. You can find more information about eligibility based on kidney disease and the benefits available to you by reading our publications, Disability Benefits and Medicare, both available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
Listed as one of Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance conditions, kidney cancer is another condition that may qualify you for disability and Medicare benefits. The Compassionate Allowances program assists in cases where a person’s medical condition is so severe it obviously meets Social Security’s disability standards—allowing quick processing of the disability application and payment of benefits. You can find more information about Compassionate Allowances by visiting our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.
Drink plenty of water, go for checkups, and if you think you may have a kidney disease, take action right away! As Ebie says, “quality of life is everything.”
If you think you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits based on a kidney disease, please don’t wait. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityssi, where you can apply for benefits online.