Filing a Kidney Failure Disability Claim
Your kidneys play a critical part in keeping your body healthy by filtering out the toxins in your blood. Your kidneys also produce the hormones that make red blood cells, activate vitamin D to develop strong bones and regulate your blood pressure.
Chronic kidney disease (CDK) is life-threatening and treatments for CDK are expensive and can last for years or for your lifetime. Long-term disability benefits are often a necessity to offset the cost of treatment, medication, or kidney transplant surgery.
Understanding Kidney Disease
Unfortunately, there is no cure for chronic kidney disease, and it will eventually lead to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or kidney failure. Once an individual reaches ESRD, there are only two choices to extend a person's life. The first is kidney dialysis and the second is a kidney transplant.
Kidney failure is degenerative and develops over time. It's very rare for a healthy individual to go into ESRD with no prior warning. The exception to this rule is if the kidney sustains damage from an injury or an illness.
Causes of Kidney Disease
If your kidney is damaged as a result of an injury or illness, doctors may be able to correct the damage with surgery. To a limited extent, your kidneys can heal themselves, but if the nephrons that filter your blood are damaged, medical intervention is necessary. Here is a list of the types of injuries or illnesses that can cause acute kidney failure.
- Rapid loss of blood
- An extreme drop in blood pressure
- Disrupted or blocked blood flow to the kidneys
- Serious burns
- Physical injury to the kidneys or surrounding tissue
- Infections such as sepsis
The following risk factors that may increase the chances you will develop kidney disease.
- Inflammation around the kidneys from autoimmune conditions
- High blood pressure
- Kidney cysts or cancer
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney stones
- Heart disease
- Drug overuse
- Recurring kidney or urinary tract infections
The most common factors that lead to chronic kidney disease are obesity, smoking, and overuse of aspirin and other pain relievers.
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
When your kidneys begin to fail, you may experience some or all of the following complications.
- Swelling due to fluid retention in your lungs and extremities
- Loss of red blood cells resulting in anemia and extreme fatigue
- Weak bones due to lack of vitamin D absorption
- Heart disease
- Damage to the central nervous system from the buildup of toxins
- Increased risk of infections due to a compromised immune system
- Complications during pregnancy
- Destruction of your kidneys
Stages of Kidney Disease
Stage 1 - Your kidneys may function normally and will continue to filter toxins from your body, but at a slightly slower rate. There are no symptoms associated with Stage 1 kidney disease.
Stage 2 - You may experience a minor loss of kidney function, but your kidneys will function in a fairly normal manner. Healthy eating and regular exercise can help manage the minor changes to your kidney functions.
Stage 3 - At this stage, your kidneys do not function fully and toxins will begin to build up in your blood. You may experience fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling, pain, or bone disease. Healthy eating and medication may prevent progression to stage 4 kidney failure, but it will not reverse the damage already done.
Stage 4 - CKD at this stage indicates severe kidney damage and dangerous levels of toxins in your blood stream. You may experience vomiting, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, and numbness in your fingers and toes. You may need dialysis or need to begin the process for a kidney transplant. And you may begin to lose red blood cells which could result in anemia, heart or bone disease.
Stage 5 - At this stage, you are in end-stage renal disease or kidney failure. Your body may stop producing urine and the build-up of toxins can cause your body to swell. Dialysis or a kidney transplant will be necessary to sustain life.
End-Stage Renal Failure and Disability Benefits
Healthcare professionals acknowledge that end-stage renal failure usually results in total disability. Dialysis procedures are required three to five times per week and may take as long as five hours to complete. Individuals may have side effects from medication and need recovery time between procedures.
One way insurance companies try to avoid paying kidney failure disability benefits is to claim that your condition as pre-existing. Denial of your benefits using this excuse, however, is a bad faith practice.
An LTD Attorney Can Help You Obtain Kidney Failure Disability Benefits
At CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC, we understand that you may be overwhelmed dealing with ESRD. We can fight for your kidney failure disability benefits so you can focus on your health. To learn more about how an Ocala FL long-term disability lawyer can help, contact us today.