Information from the Disability Benefits Center
On any given day there are around 75,000 people waiting for an organ to become available because they need a transplant in order to survive and be healthy. Unfortunately, the supply of donor organs is very low and only a fraction of those people will ever get the organ donation they need. While waiting for an organ donation and after the transplant surgery it can be impossible for someone to work. Social Security disability benefits can help defray the costs of living while you are waiting for an organ and after the transplant surgery.
Automatic Benefits for Transplant Patients
If you had an organ transplant you automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, you still need to file a claim for benefits and submit medical documentation of your condition. There are listings for several different organ transplants in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book and you will need to submit medical evidence showing you meet one of those listings to get your disability benefits. Medical documentation includes things like a doctor’s diagnosis of organ failure, test results, and proof that you are on the official organ transplant registry. Once you have submitted your claim and all of the relevant medical proof of your condition your application will be expedited, and you will start receiving benefits quickly.
One Year of Benefits
After an organ transplant surgery, you will automatically be able to receive Social Security disability benefits for one year. That will provide money that you can use for living expenses while you are recovering from surgery and while doctors assess whether or not the surgery was effective. Don’t wait to file a claim for disability benefits. You can apply for disability benefits as soon as you are placed on the official transplant list. It’s strongly recommended that you fill out a claim for disability benefits as soon as you can in order to get the process started because it can take awhile until you are approved for benefits.
After One Year
If you still are not well enough to work after one year of benefits past the initial surgery you can reapply for Social Security disability benefits, but you will have to show documentation that you meet one of the Blue Book listing requirements. Each year after the first year you can still receive disability benefits, but you will need to requalify each year.
Starting the Application Process
If you are in organ failure and need to have an organ transplant you should apply for Social Security disability benefits right away. You can apply online, or you can apply in person at a Social Security Administration office close to you. If you can’t leave the hospital you can have a friend or family member, or a patient advocate fill out the application for you. You may need to sign a waiver to authorize the release of your medical records to them so that they can gather your medical documentation for you and submit that with the claim to form to prove that you really do meet the listing requirements.
Work History: https://www.disabilitybenefitscenter.org/blog/how-work-history-affects-disability-application
SSA Blue Book: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm
The Importance of Having a Doctor: https://www.disabilitybenefitscenter.org/faq/forms-doctor-fills-out
Disability Claim: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/disability.html
Nearest SSA Office: https://www.disabilitybenefitscenter.org/state-social-security-disability