Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
Facts about Polycystic Kidney Disease and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1. Polycystic kidney disease causes cysts, which are non cancerous fluid-filled sacs, to develop inside the kidneys. Cysts can develop anywhere inside the body, but the kidneys are the most affected.
2. Polycystic kidney disease can exist for a long time before any symptoms occur. When they do occur, symptoms may be high blood pressure, back and side pain, headache, swollen abdomen, frequent urination that may have blood in it, kidney stones, kidney infections and kidney failure.
3. A healthy kidney weighs about a third of a pound, but a kidney with a number of cysts can weigh up to 30 pounds.
4. Polycystic kidney disease is hereditary and three specific genetic defects have been identified. There are two types of polycystic kidney disease, where the condition is caused by either a dominant or recessive genetic defect.
5. When dominate, the condition develops and shows symptoms when an adult is in their 30s, although in some cases children have been known to develop the disorder. Most cases, about 90 percent, are autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).
6. When recessive, the condition is called autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) and causes symptoms to typically appear in infancy.
7. In very few cases, polycystic kidney disease occurs from spontaneous gene mutation in an individual, rather than being passed through family genetics.
8. Managing blood pressure levels is an important part of keeping polycystic kidney disease from leading to other serious health problems. Heart problems and aneurysm are two complications from high blood pressure.
9. Loss of kidney function and high blood pressure exacerbate one another. When the kidneys become increasing damaged and work less effectively, blood pressure rises. High blood pressure also increases the risk for kidney failure.
10. Those with polycystic kidney disease may also experience liver cysts, colon problems and chronic pain. Treatment is aimed at controlling the condition to prevent these conditions, and also at alleviating pain.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews