Millions of individuals across the globe are dreading with the anticipation of an extremely important opportunity; the chance to live. Due to severe injuries and diseases, critical damage to vital organs in the human body forces people to need a transplant to continue living. 1 Organ donor has the ability to save the lives of up to 50 people with their donation.
Due to the number of people needing an organ drastically exceeding the number of viable donor organs available, most transplant centers have a waiting list. Sadly, this waitlist is extensive, and as a result, some people wait years with crippling disabilities and life-threatening conditions. When someone is given a new organ, it genuinely is the start of a new life for these patients. An organ transplant is extremely taxing for the body, which goes farther than just the surgery. The body’s immune system’s primary function is to recognize and reject foreign substances that invade the body, a defense against germs, diseases, and practically any threat to your livelihood. Unfortunately, if this response is activated after an organ transplant, the results could be life-threatening as the body needs this new organ to function properly. Organ donors are closely evaluated to determine a potential match with recipients to reduce the chance of organ rejection. Even if the organ donor and recipient have the same blood type and share other factors, the body could still reject the new organ. If this occurs, the person will be given drugs to suppress their immune system for the rest of their lives, making them highly susceptible to infections, which may be life-threatening.
When someone undergoes surgery for an organ transplant, it may take months and sometimes years before recovery is completed, as the body needs to adjust to the new organ and time to determine of their previous life-threatening condition improves. The Social Security Administration helps those receiving an organ since they cannot complete normal activities and keep their jobs. The following organ transplants are recognized by the SSA in the manual of impairments or Blue Book as a condition that automatically qualifies someone for disability for at least 12 months after the date of the surgery:
- Heart transplant
- Lung transplant
- Kidney transplant
- Liver transplant
- Bone marrow/stem cell transplant
Recipients of an organ transplant qualify for SSDI benefits for the 12 months after they receive their new organ. Once 12 months are up, their case will be evaluated, and the SSA will determine if their condition still meets the criteria of disabled. Organ transplants are a major life moment for millions of people who face the end of their lives without it.
Even though undergoing an organ transplant certainly qualifies you for SSDI benefits, it never hurts to speak with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to make sure your medical records and other accompanying documents accurately reflect your disabling condition.