Thalassemia is a hematological condition that causes the body to destroy red blood cells faster than it can produce new ones. It is a hereditary condition caused by genetic mutations.
There are different types of thalassemia depending on the genes affected. If symptoms are severe enough, thalassemia may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Symptoms of thalassemia
According to the Mayo Clinic, thalassemia can cause anemia, which is a lack of iron in the blood. Anemia can result in weakness and fatigue.
Thalassemia can cause other symptoms as well, such as dark urine or abdominal swelling. The skin may become pale or take on a yellowish hue. Children with thalassemia may not grow as quickly as their peers. Thalassemia can cause deformities of the facial bones.
Because thalassemia is a genetic condition, it is present from birth. Symptoms typically show up sometime within the first two years of life if they are not present from birth.
Criteria for qualifying for SSDI
Symptoms of thalassemia can range from mild to severe. Severe forms may qualify for SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration describes the criteria that a person has to meet to qualify for SSDI with thalassemia.
Hemoglobin is the ingredient in red blood cells that allows them to carry oxygen. If three hemoglobin measurements over the span of 12 months, with at least 30 days between testing, show seven grams per deciliter or less of hemoglobin, the patient can qualify for SSDI. A person can also qualify if complications of thalassemia require at least three hospitalizations, 30 days apart, in a 12-month period or multiple painful vaso-occlusive crises requiring narcotic medication. A person with thalassemia who requires ongoing transfusions to stay alive can also qualify.
A person only has to meet one of these criteria to qualify for SSDI for thalassemia.