The bodies of those that suffer from chronic granulocytopenia are unable make granulocytes, which are the white blood cells that help to fight off infections. What that ultimately means is that people with this condition are incredibly prone to getting sick, and when they catch something, they have a hard time shaking it.
As you might imagine, it is not exactly easy holding down a job if you are constantly trying to fight off one illness or another. Many people just cannot do it. Thanks to the Social Security Administration, those with the worst cases of this condition should not have to – but you still need to prove that you medically qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
How exactly do you do that? There are two methods that the SSA has come up with.
The first is to match the listing for that specific disorder in the SSA’s Listings of Impairments. What is the Listings of Impairments? It is a kind of compendium of disabling conditions that the SSA recognizes. Each one is defined in the document and comes with a list of requirements that you need to meet in order to get Social Security disability benefits.
What if you do not meet the criteria? That’s where the second method comes in. Those who cannot match a listing have an alternative way of qualifying: prove that their medical impairment is just as severe as anything in the Listings. It is called proving equivalency, and unfortunately, it is not nearly as straightforward or simple as just matching a listing. You will need a smart disability lawyer with a track record of success in this area if you want to win your case.
Because of that, we are going to talk about matching the listing first.
Matching the Listing for 7.15
There are three things that the SSA requires of you in order to get Social Security disability benefits for chronic granulocytopenia. First, that you actually have the condition. It doesn’t matter how you got it, just that you have it. Second, that you repeatedly show absolute neutrophil counts under 1,000 cells/cubic millimeter. And last, that you have systemic bacterial infections that have been documented on three or more occasions in the five months leading up to adjudication.
How can you prove to the SSA that you meet these requirements? Along with other documented evidence, you should have positive results on one of the following medical tests that the SSA has approved for this condition.
- Antineutrophil antibodies
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
- Bone marrow scan
- Complete blood count
- White blood cell scan
- White cell count
- Xpert EV test for viral meningitis
When the Criteria Is Too Difficult to Meet
Never forget that the option of proving equivalency is always on the table. The path to getting benefits this way might not be as clear, but many people have found it to be a viable one.
As mentioned above, you will definitely want to work with an experienced disability lawyer. With their knowledge of how this process works, they can help you navigate these often murky waters and tell you exactly what you must do for the best chance at success.
Your ultimate goal in proving equivalency will be to use the Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process to show the Social Security Administration that your condition has prevented you from working for at least 12 months. Accomplish this, and you should ultimately be able to get the Social Security disability benefits you need.
Learn even more about the claims process by reading our Social Security Disability eBook for free and be sure to check back weekly for more information on how you can get the Social Security disability benefits that you deserve.