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BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT & SSD BENEFITS

DOES A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT QUALIFY FOR SSD BENEFITS?

A bone marrow transplant is one of the most complex medical procedures that a person can have. The reason you might need a bone marrow transplant is if you have cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. Doctors will transplant healthy bone marrow cells into your body in the hope that that health cells will reverse the damage caused by cancer or chemotherapy treatments. The replacement cells can either come from your own body or from a donor. The healthy cells restore your body’s ability to create the red blood cells, white blood cells, and the platelets it needs.

Long-term side effects of a bone marrow transplant include permanent bone and/or lung damage, as well as the possibility that you will develop another type of cancer. Transplants for patients with nonmalignant diseases have a much better success rate with 70% to 90 % survival with a matched sibling donor and 36% to 65% with an unrelated donors.

If you require a bone marrow transplant, then you have a severe medical condition that is going to prevent you from working. According to the SSA’s rules, once you have a bone marrow transplant, you should receive SSD benefits for at least 12 months.

Bone Marrow transplant

THE SOCIAL SECURITY REVIEW PROCESS

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays SSD benefits to those who have a severe medical condition which prevents them from working at any job for over one year or more. The SSA reviews applications to determine whether your condition meets SSA’s rules.

Qualifying for SSDI benefits means you cannot work at any job in the national economy. The SSA uses a five step review process to determine if they can pay you benefits.

There are two types of Social Security benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. You can file an application online at the Social Security’s website for either one or both. Below, you can find an explanation as to each type of benefit you can apply for:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):  

SSDI benefits are for those who can no longer work due to a severe medical condition. The amount of money you will receive from SSDI benefits is based on the taxes you paid during your working years. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough “work credits” to qualify.

A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you will need depends on how old you are when you apply. If you haven’t earned enough work credits at the time you apply, then you will only be able to file for SSI benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):  

SSI is a needs based benefit. It is for only those people with little to no income, such as children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income of those in your house, not just your income and assets.

If you have a spouse who earns more than $4000 a month, then that income will prevent you from getting SSI benefits. The same rule applies if you are living with a boyfriend and he is paying your bills. Also, the same rule applies if you are living with your mother and she is paying your bills. You cannot get SSI benefits, no matter how severe your medical condition, if you do not meet the income and asset rules for SSI.

APPLY FOR SSD BENEFITS AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOU CANNOT WORK

It is important to file for SSD benefits as soon as you think you may have a period of time off work or you don’t know when you may be able to return to work because of your medical condition.

Applying for SSD benefits is not a hard thing to do.  It can be done online at the Social Security website. Also, we can help you file your application. Learn more about SSA’s five step review process for winning SSD benefits.

You can also call Social Security to begin your application over the phone. If you are in doubt about whether you should apply, then call our office. It is free. You can talk to one of our legal experts. We will answer your questions. We can help you if you have a medical condition that prevents you from working for over 12 months.

TWO TYPES OF BONE MARROW TRANPLANTS

AUTO TRANSPLANT

An autologous bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure in which the doctor collects your own stem cells  and later reintroduces then into your body after you undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Step 1: Collecting your stem cells. This step takes several days. First, you will get medications to increase your stem cells. Then your doctor collects the stem cells through a vein in your arm or your chest. The cells will then be stored.

Step 2: Pre-transplant treatment.  You will get a high dose of chemotherapy or radiation. This step takes 5 to 10 days.

Step 3: Getting your stem cells back.  Your doctor puts the stem cells back into your bloodstream through a catheter.  It takes about 30 minutes for each dose of stem cells. You might have more than one infusion.

Step 4: Recovery. Your doctor will closely monitor your recovery and give you antibiotics to reduce infection. With healthy stem cells, your bone marrow should rebuild and normal blood cell production should be restored.

ALLOGENEIC TRANSPLANT

This type of transplant uses stem cells from a donor, who is usually a family member or can be an unrelated donor. The donor’s stem cells are transplanted after your own bone marrow has had chemotherapy or radiation. These type of transplants are more risky because using a donor’s tissue can result in rejection.

Step 1: Find a donor. A matched donor must be found before the transplant process can begin. Your HLA type will be found through blood testing. Then, your health care team will work with you to do HLA testing on potential donors in your family. If that doesn’t work, then they will search a registry of unrelated donors.

Step 2: Collecting stem cells from your donor. Your doctor will collect cells from either your donor’s blood or bone marrow. If the cells are coming from the bloodstream, your donor will get daily medication that increases white cells in their blood for a few days before the collection. Then, your doctor will collect the stem cells from their bloodstream. If the cells are coming from bone marrow, then your donor will undergo a  bone marrow harvest in the hospital.

Step 3: Pre-transplant treatment. You will get chemotherapy, with or without radiation therapy, to prepare your body to receive the donor’s cells. This step can take 5 to 7 days.

Step 4: Transplant.  Your doctor infuses the donor’s stem cells into your bloodstream through a catheter. Getting the donor cells usually takes less than an hour.

Step 5: Recovery. During your recovery, you will get antibiotics to reduce your risk of infection. Your health care team will also treat any side effects from the transplant.

SSA’s LISTING 13.28 FOR BONE MARROW OR STEM CELL TRANSPLANT

Bone marrow or stem cell transplant is done to treat a variety of cancers. The SSA requires the transplant to occur before they will look at it under their Blue Book listing. The SSA uses the following listing to award benefits after you have a bone marrow transplant.

LISTING 13.28Cancer treated by bone marrow or stem cell transplant

A. Allogeneic transplantation. Consider under a disability until at least 12 months from the date of transplantation. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairments under the criteria for the affected body system.

OR

B. Autologous transplantation. Consider under a disability until at least 12 months from the date of the first treatment under the treatment plan that includes transplantation. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairments under the criteria for the affected body system.

HOW DOES THE SSA TREAT DIFFERENT FORMS OF CANCER?

  1. Acute leukemia (including T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma) or accelerated or blast phase of CML . If you undergo bone marrow or stem cell transplant for any of these disorders, the SSA will consider you to be disabled until at least 24 months from the date of diagnosis or relapse, or at least 12 months from the date of transplant, whichever is later.
  2. 2. Lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or chronic phase of CML. If you undergo bone marrow or stem cell transplant for any of these disorders, the SSA will consider you disabled until at least 12 months from the date of transplant.
  3. 3.  Other cancers. The SSA will evaluate any other cancer treated with bone marrow or stem cell transplant under listing 13.28, regardless of whether there is another listing that addresses your cancer. The length of time the SSA will pay you benefits depends on whether you undergo allogeneic or auto transplant.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplant. If you have an allogeneic transplant, then the SSA will consider you disabled until at least 12 months from the date of transplant.

Autologous bone marrow or stem cell transplant. If you have an auto transplant, then the SSA will consider you disabled until at least 12 months from the date of the first treatment under the treatment plan that includes transplant. The first treatment usually refers to the initial therapy given to prepare you for your transplant.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT?

Each step of the bone marrow transplant process carries risks. These include:

  • Bone pain
  • Dizziness or tingling in your hands or feet
  • Side effects from chemotherapy, which include pain, fatigue and nausea
  • Bruising and excessive bleeding. Many people who undergo stem cell transplants need blood or platelet transfusions.
  • Infection. Germs that might not have made you sick in the past can cause severe illness.
  • Lung problems, including pneumonia.

MEDICAL EVIDENCE PROVING YOU CANNOT WORK

Your doctor must diagnose you using the proper lab tests and scans in order for you to have the evidence you need to win your benefits. For example, if you have cancer that requires bone marrow transplant, then you will need to prove that you carry the diagnosis. The medical record evidence in your SSD case is the single most important thing in your case. Building that medical evidence is the best thing you can do to help yourself win benefits.

Unfortunately, many people who apply for benefits do not understand this simple fact. Instead, they think they can explain their condition to a judge. Then, they think their explanation alone will win the case. However, SSA law requires the judge in your case to find evidence of cancer in your medical records. If your medical records are complete, then the judge will be able to see that you have cancer symptoms that keep you from working.

If you do not have a doctor, we can help. We have resources that can help you find a low cost or free doctor in Nevada or a free doctor in Utah. Once you find a doctor, we also have information about how to obtain your medical records for free. If you have medical insurance, then use it. Visit your doctor. Tell your doctor about your symptoms. Then, get treatment and follow your treatment plan.

WHAT SSDI BENEFIT COULD YOU RECEIVE? 

If you have had a bone marrow transplant, then you should file for SSDI benefits. The amount of money you receive will depend upon the amount of money you have earned during your working years. You can apply for SSD benefit online at the Social Security’s website.

The average SSDI monthly payment in 2022 is around $1,358. However, some people may receive more than that amount. About one in 10 people who receive Social Security benefits get more than $2,000 per month. People with spouses and children receive more money. The SSA also pays SSDI benefits to those with a spouse and children. A person with a spouse and children can expect an average monthly payment of around $2,383 in SSDI benefits.

Once again, SSD benefits are tied to your income and what you paid in taxes. As your condition gets worse, your benefits do not increase. You can only receive benefits if you have worked, paid taxes, and have sufficient quarters of coverage.

WHAT IS A FREE REVIEW OF YOUR SSD BENEFITS?

If you have a stem cell or bone marrow transplant or any other medical condition, then our law firm offers a free review of your SSD benefits. But, what does this mean?

For most people who want to become clients, it means we will talk to you about your Social Security case over the phone. We will not charge you to examine the merits of your case. Most lawyers do charge a fee to review your case. We do not.

Please understand, however, that providing a free review is not the same thing as accepting your case. We examine the merits of your case based upon the facts you give us.

Sometimes, we will request that you send us medical records or a copy of your SSA paperwork. We do this so we can understand the details of your case. Even if we ask for more information, it does not mean we accept your case or that we are your attorney.

You will know if you hire our legal team because we will send you our contract to sign. We will also send you other Social Security paperwork to fill out. Return your paperwork to us as soon as possible. If you do not sign and send the paperwork back, then we are not yet your law firm.

CAN YOU AFFORD THE ATTORNEY FEE?

We will use our skills to help you through the Social Security appeal process. It is our goal to win your SSD benefits. But, it also our goal to make filing for SSD and SSI benefits easier for you. We offer a free review of your case. There is no pressure to become a client if you call. You can simply ask questions. Even if we don’t accept your case, we will still try to help you.

It also doesn’t cost you any money to hire us. Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This means if we win, then you pay us out of your back benefits. If you do not win, then you do not pay an attorney fee. How much is the fee? It is 25% of your back benefit with a cap of $7200.

The fee cap of $7200 is set by the SSA. You never pay more than the fee cap at the hearing stage of your case. And, 25% of your back benefit is usually less than the $7200 cap. You will pay the lesser amount between the fee cap and 25% of your back benefit.

If there are costs in your case, then you pay for those costs. But the costs are usually less than $100. For example, if a doctor charges for copies of your medical records, then that is your bill to pay.

You will owe the costs in your case whether we win or lose your case. But those costs include paying the doctor or copy service for your medical records and they are usually less than $100. Your attorney fees come from your back benefit. However, you only pay an attorney fee if we win your case.

WE CAN HELP YOU WIN YOUR SSDI AND SSI BENEFITS

If you require a bone marrow transplant, then you may be wondering whether the SSA will approve your claim for SSD and SSI benefits. If so, then call our law firm. We are the only law firm helping SSD and SSI clients in Utah and Nevada with over 30 years of experience. For example, we are rated in the top three SSD lawyers in the state of Utah.

We also help clients in many other states. For example, we have clients in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are also rated in the top three SSD lawyers in the state of Nevada. Find out more about our Nevada legal experience. We also have clients in Idaho, Colorado, and California. Idaho SSD benefits and Colorado SSD benefits are available for you. Additionally, we have California SSD benefits for your information.

Over the past few decades, we have won over 100 million dollars in ongoing and past due benefits  for our clients. You can benefit from our experience. We’ll help you get your SSDI benefit and fight for the benefits the SSA owes you under the law.

If you want to learn more about our lawyers, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers can help you choose your Medicare advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSD cases. Dianna Cannon has been her clients win SSD and SSI benefits for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their benefits. We are experts. You can trust us to help you win SSD and SSI benefits for a bone marrow transplant.

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