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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children is a medical condition that affects the kidneys and their ability to filter waste products and excess fluid from the blood. CKD is a long term condition that can progress over time and lead to kidney failure. If your child has kidney failure, it means their kidneys can no longer function properly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no exact count of how many children have chronic kidney disease in the United States. However, based on the available data, about 1 in 650 children in the United States have end stage renal disease (ESRD), which is the most severe form of kidney disease.

Furthermore, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) reports that CKD is becoming more common among children.

Chronic kidney disease. Doctor shows medical term on a sign/board


There are several different causes of chronic kidney disease in children. These include congenital disorders, inherited conditions, autoimmune diseases, infections, and even taking certain medications. Diagnosis of CKD in children typically involves blood and urine tests to measure kidney function. Additionally, imaging tests such as ultrasound or an MRI can assess the structure of the kidneys. A biopsy can also examine a sample of kidney tissue.

There are several congenital disorders that can cause chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children, but one of the most common is congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT).


CAKUT stands for congenital anomalies of the kidneys and urinary tract. The name refers to a group of developmental disorders that affect the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra, and can lead to impaired kidney function and CKD. These anomalies can include malformations of the kidneys. For example, your child could have cystic kidney disease or abnormalities of the urinary tract, such as ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ obstruction) or posterior urethral valves.

CAKUT can be diagnosed before birth with an ultrasound or after birth with tests such as ultrasound or MRI. Treatment for CAKUT and CKD depends on the specific anomaly and severity of the condition. However, treatment may include medications, surgery, and a kidney transplant.

It is important to note that while CAKUT is a common cause of CKD in children, not all children with CAKUT will develop CKD, and not all cases of CKD in children are caused by CAKUT. 


The symptoms of chronic kidney disease in children can vary depending on the stage and cause of the disease. In some cases, children with early stage CKD may not exhibit any noticeable symptoms. However, in some children, symptoms may be present.

Some of the most common symptoms of chronic kidney disease in children include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling of the face, feet, or ankles
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Blood in the urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Growth failure or delayed growth
  • Bone pain or weakness
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • Shortness of breath

It is important to note that these symptoms can also belong to other medical conditions. Therefore, you should talk to a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Early detection and treatment of CKD can help prevent further damage to the kidneys and improve the overall health of children with the disease.


Growth failure is a common problem in children with chronic kidney disease. Children with growth failure grow at a slower rate and are shorter than many children of the same age. This is because the kidneys play an important role in a child’s growth.

Growth failure in children with CKD is due to a combination of factors, including:

  1. Malnutrition: Children with CKD may have decreased appetite, nausea, and vomiting, which leads to inadequate calorie intake. The kidneys play an important role in regulating the body’s metabolism. And,  CKD can cause changes in nutrient and electrolyte balance that contribute to malnutrition.
  2. Hormonal imbalances: The kidneys are also responsible for producing a hormone called erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells. Children with CKD may have reduced levels of erythropoietin, leading to anemia, which contributes to growth failure. Additionally, the kidneys also play a role in producing vitamin D, which is important for bone growth and development. CKD can cause a deficiency in vitamin D, leading to impaired bone growth.
  3. Acidosis: CKD can cause an imbalance in the body’s acid base balance, leading to metabolic acidosis. Acidosis can cause muscle wasting and loss of appetite. These conditions can cause growth failure.
  4. Medications: Children with CKD may require medications such as steroids or immunosuppressants to manage their condition. These medications can also contribute to growth failure by reducing appetite and suppressing growth hormone production.

Overall, the combination of malnutrition, hormonal imbalances, acidosis, and medication side effects can lead to growth failure in children with CKD.


In order to meet SSA’s listing for growth failure, you child with CKD must be able to prove the following:

106.08 Growth failure due to any chronic renal disease (see 106.00C5), with:

A. Serum creatinine of 2 mg/dL or greater, documented at least two times within a consecutive 12 month period with at least 60 days between measurements.


B. Growth failure as required in 1 or 2:

1. For children from birth to attainment of age 2, three weight-for length measurements that are:

a. Within a consecutive 12 month period; and

b. At least 60 days apart; and

c. Less than the third percentile on the appropriate weight-for-length table under 105.08B1; or

2. For children age 2 to attainment of age 18, three BMI-for-age measurements that are:

a. Within a consecutive 12 month period; and

b. At least 60 days apart; and

c. Less than the third percentile on the appropriate weight-for-length table under 105.08B2.


Under SSA listing 106.09, a child can win SSI benefits if they have complications chronic kidney disease. Complications include severe medical problems that occur from CKD, like a stroke or acute kidney failure requiring dialysis. Additionally, the SSA is looking for three 48 hour visits to the hospital in a 12 month period, due to medical issues due to CKD. The following outlines listing 106.09.

106.09 Complications of chronic kidney disease requiring at least three hospitalizations within a consecutive 12 month period and occurring at least 30 days apart. Each hospital stay must last at least 48 hours, including hours in a hospital emergency department immediately before the hospitalization.

  • Complications of CKD. The hospitalizations in 106.09 may be for different complications of CKD. Examples of complications from CKD that may result in hospitalization include stroke, congestive heart failure, hypertensive crisis, or acute kidney failure requiring a short course of hemodialysis.
  • If the CKD complication occurs during a hospital stay that was initially for a co-occurring condition, the SSA will look at it under their rules for medical equivalence. The SSA will review concurrent conditions, including those that result in hospitalizations, under the listings for the affected body system or under the rules for medical equivalence.


If your child receives a kidney transplant, the SSA will find them to be disabled under listing 106.04 for 1 year from the date of transplant. After that, the SSA will evaluate the child’s residual impairments by considering their post transplant function, rejection episodes, complications in other body systems, and any adverse effects related to ongoing treatment.

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), which manages the organ transplant system in the United States, there were 1,914 children (under the age of 18) on the waiting list for a kidney transplant as of April 2023.

In terms of the number of children who receive a kidney transplant each year, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) reports that almost 600 children receive a kidney transplant each year in the United States.

It’s important to note that the number of children who need a kidney transplant can vary from year to year. Also, there are many factors that can impact the availability of organs for transplant. The wait time for a kidney transplant also varies depending on factors such as blood type, immune system compatibility, and availability of donor organs.


Kidney transplants in children are generally successful. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), the one year survival rate for pediatric kidney transplants in the United States is over 95%, and the five-year survival rate is around 85%.

The success of a kidney transplant in a child depends on several factors. For example, it includes the child’s health, the age of the child at the time of the transplant, the cause of the kidney disease, and how well the child’s body accepts the transplanted kidney.

It is important to note that kidney transplants in children require ongoing medical care and monitoring. It also requires the use of immunosuppressive medications to prevent the body from rejecting the donated kidney. Children who receive a kidney transplant may also need to make lifestyle changes. For example, they may need to follow a special diet to help keep the new kidney working properly.


You do not need to apply for SSI benefits for your child by yourself. You can always call our law firm and we will help you win SSI benefits. There is no charge to call us. We can help you file your SSI application. Also, we can help you appeal every SSA denial. For example, our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back. If you don’t send it back, the SSA will not process your SSI application. Sign it and send it back as soon as you can.


If you need help filing for childhood SSI benefits, then reach out to Cannon Disability Law. Taking the first step by calling us. All you need to do is reach out to our legal team.

Additionally, we offer a free review of your case. What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. At that point, we will look at the merits of your case for free and let you know if you have a chance to win benefits.

In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. We are experts at what we do and we will put our knowledge to work for you. We help clients win benefits in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California. Find out more about your benefits and how to apply in your state here:

No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team. Hire the best Social Security legal team with no money down. Also, there will be no attorney fee unless we win your case. Contact us today. We will do our best to help you win SSI benefits for your child’s medical conditions.


The SSA has capped attorney fees in Social Security cases, including childhood SSI cases, at 25% of your past due or back benefit or $7200, which ever amount is less. This is the most your attorney can charge you if your case is won at the hearing level or below.

For example, if your attorney wins your child’s SSI case and your back benefit is $10,000, then the attorney fee will be 25% of the back benefit, or $2500. In such a case, you would not pay the $7200 cap. Instead, the attorney fee is 25% of the back benefit, which is less than the cap. This is what happens in most childhood SSI cases.

In another example, if you attorney wins your SSI case and your back benefit is $100,000, the attorney fee is not $25,000, which is 25% of the back benefit. Instead, the attorney fee would be $7200. Because $7200 is the most your attorney can charge you after winning your case at the hearing level or below. That is true even if 25% is higher than the $7200 cap.

Additionally, your attorney can only charge an attorney fee if they win your case. In other words, if you do not win your SSI benefits, then you do not pay an attorney fee. So, if you don’t get SSI benefits, then your attorney doesn’t get paid. Obviously, your attorney has a good reason to win your case. This type of attorney fee is a contingency fee.  Because payment depends on you winning your benefits. Learn more here about attorney fees.


It isn’t easy to get SSI benefits for chronic kidney disease and the application process can be frustrating. But, having an attorney throughout the appeal process is worth it. It is our belief that when you have a law firm with experience handling your child’s SSI case, the SSA makes sure that they follow their own procedures. Additionally, when you have an attorney with legal experience, they will have access to Social Security’s decisions. They can also submit medical evidence that may be missing from your case.

The main risk factors for having kidney disease as an adult are diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Another risk factor is a family history of kidney failure. For adults, the SSA evaluates chronic kidney disease under listing 6.00, which you can read about here. Similarly, if you have end stage renal disease as an adult, then you have a presumptive disability. Learn more about presumptive disability benefits for end stage renal disease here.

There is evidence that hiring an attorney with the proper experience raises your chances of winning your SSDI and SSI benefits by 30%. It is also smart to hire an attorney to help you at your hearing. After all, you and your child are the star witnesses in court. If you hire an attorney with experience, they can prepare you to testify at your hearing. Learn more about how to prepare for your hearing here.


In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in SSI benefits for our clients. If you want to win SSI benefits, then you need to hire an attorney with the experience to win your case. Also, you need a lawyer to show the SSA that your child should be paid SSI benefits. We can do that. Contact us today.

If you want to learn more about Cannon Disability’s lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers has worked for over twenty one years with our law firm’s clients. She can help you with your Medicare plan. She has also won thousands of SSI cases. Dianna Cannon has been helping clients win SSI benefits for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSDI benefits. We are legal experts. You can trust us to help you win SSI benefits.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. If you win SSI benefits, then you also get Medicaid benefits. Also, we help our clients with their Medicare benefits. Our experts can help you apply for SSI benefits using the SSA’s website.

Likewise, if you need an appeal, we can help you do that too. There are also many forms you will need to fill out. But, don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, then we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms here.

Call us for a free review of your SSI case today. We can help you if you have a child with chronic kidney disease or other severe medical condition. If you have questions or concerns about filing for childhood SSI benefits, call Cannon Disability Law. We can help.

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