Do you suffer from myelofibrosis? If so, you probably feel constantly exhausted. You may feel that even the simple tasks of day-to-day life are daunting. You may feel as if you are plagued by chronic pain. These issues alone can be overwhelming. On top of all that you are struggling with each day, one thing you should not have to worry about is whether or not you’ll be able to qualify for the disability benefits you need. At London Disability, we are committed to helping you navigate the complex legal maze of applying for disability benefits so that you can focus on what’s most important – your health and well-being.
To qualify for Social Security disability benefits for myelofibrosis, you must first be able to establish, through medical proof, that you have the condition. In addition to establishing that you have the condition, you must also be able to prove one of the following:
- Additional complications stemming from bone marrow failure that require a minimum of three hospitalizations within a one-year time period occurring at least 30 days apart. Each hospitalization must be of at least 48 hours in length, which may include time spent in the hospital emergency room immediately prior to the hospitalization; OR
- Myeloproliferative syndromes or aplastic anemias that require lifelong red blood cell transfusions once every six weeks or more in order to prolong and maintain life.
To effectively establish your claim and prove that you indeed meet the requirements, the Social Security Administration has indicated which tests they feel are acceptable in proving the claim, including:
- Peripheral blood smears and bone marrow aspiration; or
- A bone marrow biopsy.
Typically, a peripheral blood smear alone will not qualify. A positive result on one or more of these tests will significantly bolster your chances of effectively proving your claim.
If you are unable to meet these criteria, don’t panic. There may still be a way to establish your entitlement to benefits. The Social Security Administration allows for the use of something called the Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process. This process is sequential, which means that if at any step a claimant is determined to be either disabled or not disabled, the evaluation ends. The five steps are as follows:
- Step One: Are you substantially and gainfully employed. If you are currently regularly working and receiving payment for that work, the answer to this question is “yes”, and you will not qualify for disability benefits. If the answer to this question is “no”, however, you will move on to step two of the evaluation.
- Step Two: Do you have a severe, medically determinable impairment? This is essentially a two-part question. First, you must establish whether or not your condition is severe, and renders you unable to do basic activities, and second, you must establish that the impairment will last for at least 12 months, or may result in death. If the answer to either of these questions is “no” then your claim will likely be denied. If, however, the answer is yes, the evaluation moves on to step three.
- Step Three: Does your condition fall within the definition of impairment as set forth in the SSA Listing of Impairments? If the answer to this question is “yes” then you will likely qualify for disability benefits. If the answer is “no” however, you will move on to step four.
- Step Four: Are you able to perform that type of work that you used to perform? If there was a job you performed for money in the past that you are still able to do, the SSA will likely not find that you are disabled. If the answer to this question is “no”, then you will proceed to step five.
- Step Five: Is there any other work that you are able to perform? If the answer to this question is “yes” then you will likely not be considered disabled. If the answer is no, you may qualify for disability according to vocational factors.
If you are able to use this process effectively to establish that your medical problem has prevented you from being able to hold employment for at least a one-year period, you may still qualify for benefits. One of the most important keys to successfully navigating this process is having a knowledgeable and experienced disability advocate on your side who understands the process and can help you present your proof in a persuasive way.
At London Disability, we understand that applying for disability benefits can seem like a complex and overwhelming process. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. We specialize in guiding clients through the disability process with personal, professional service every step of the way. If you believe you have a valid myelofibrosis disability case, you have enough to handle simply trying to care for your health. Let us handle the legal matters. We’re here for you. Call us at (877)978-3136, or visit our website at www.londondisability.com to get started seeking the disability benefits you need and deserve today.