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By Diana Wade
Disability Advocate 

Can Chronic Anemia qualify for Social Security Disability?

Ask the Advocate


February 1, 2020

Individuals who suffer from Chronic Anemia face symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath and fainting spells. It is not surprising that many of the people who live with Chronic Anemia are unable to work due to the condition. If you are suffering from Chronic Anemia and are unable to work, the following information can help you understand how your condition affects your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits.

Chronic Anemia occurs when an individual’s red blood cell count is chronically low. This can result in a reduction of the amount of hemoglobin that circulates in the blood. Chronic Anemia itself is not an actual disease, but is often a symptom of a variety of other medical conditions. Inflammation, infection and malignancy may result in a case of Chronic Anemia. Chronic Anemia may also be caused by something as simple as not having enough iron in one’s diet.

The symptoms of Chronic Anemia can be quite severe. Some of the people who suffer from the condition will experience severe fatigue and weakness. Others may have frequent fainting spells. In severe cases Chronic Anemia can lead to heart palpitations and even cardiac arrest.

Many cases of Chronic Anemia can be treated. The course of treatment will depend on the cause of the Chronic Anemia. If an individual is suffering from Chronic Anemia due to a lack of iron in the diet, iron supplements may be administered. If, however, the underlying cause is more severe, treatment may be more complicated and may or may not be effective.

If your doctor suspects that you are suffering from Chronic Anemia he or she may run a variety of tests. A complete blood count will be ordered to measure your hematocrit and hemoglobin levels. A reticulocyte count and serum ferritin and serum iron tests may also be conducted.

When testing for Chronic Anemia your doctor will also likely test for underlying conditions that may be contributing to the condition. If you will be filing for Social Security Disability benefits due to your Chronic Anemia condition, your case will be stronger if an underlying condition that meets the SSA’s impairment guidelines is also diagnosed.

When filing a Social Security Disability application due to Chronic Anemia, you will need to prove that your condition is severe enough that it prevents you from being able to perform any kind of work. In most cases an individual will need to suffer from other underlying conditions in addition to the Chronic Anemia in order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Remember Social Security looks at your inability to function in the workplace.

According to the SSA’s guidelines, you must have documentation of related illnesses or ailments associated with your Chronic Anemia in order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If you do not have an underlying condition, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your anemia condition has resulted in a blood transfusion at least once every two months.

If there is no underlying condition and you have not needed blood transfusions, it may be difficult to prove that your Chronic Anemia has prevented you from being able to perform substantial gainful work activity. When visiting your doctor make sure that you discuss any limitations you are experiencing. Your doctor should make note of these limitations, which will make them a part of your medical record and may assist you in qualifying for Social Security Disability payments. This is very important in documenting your illness.

Obtaining Social Security Disability benefits due to Chronic Anemia can be a challenge. You will have to have enough medical evidence to prove that your condition completely prevents you from working.

An Accredited Disability Representative with more than 20 years experience, Diana Wade believes her clientele can be comfortable knowing that she is recognized by SSA and is a charter member of NADR. To contact Ms. Wade call (661) 821-0494, email or visit


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