Qualifying For Social Security Disability With Kidney Disease

Kidney disease, also referred to as kidney failure or end-stage renal disease, will qualify for disability benefits if the condition is severe.  The severity of the condition will be assessed under Social Security’s five step sequential evaluation process.  After determining severity and assessing the claimant’s level of current work activity, Social Security examines kidney disease under the listing for genitourinary impairments at Listing 6.00.   These listings include:

6.02 Impairment of renal function, due to any chronic renal disease that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. With:

A.Chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (see 6.00E1).


B. Kidney transplantation. Consider under a disability for 12 months following surgery; thereafter, evaluate the residual impairment (see 6.00E2).


C. Persistent elevation of serum creatinine to 4 mg per deciliter (dL)(100 ml) or greater or reduction of creatinine clearance to 20 ml per minute or less, over at least 3 months, with one of the following:

1. Renal osteodystrophy (see 6.00E3) manifested by severe bone pain and appropriate medically acceptable imaging demonstrating abnormalities such as osteitis fibrosa, significant osteoporosis, osteomalacia, or pathologic fractures; or

2. Persistent motor or sensory neuropathy (see 6.00E4); or

3. Persistent fluid overload syndrome with:

a. Diastolic hypertension greater than or equal to diastolic blood pressure of 110 mm Hg; or

b. Persistent signs of vascular congestion despite prescribed therapy (see 6.00B5); or

4. Persistent anorexia with weight loss determined by body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.0, calculated on at least two evaluations at least 30 days apart within a consecutive 6-month period (see 5.00G2).

6.06 Nephrotic syndrome, with anasarca, persisting for at least 3 months despite prescribed therapy (see 6.00E5). With:

A. Serum albumin of 3.0 g per dL (100 ml) or less and proteinuria of 3.5 g or greater per 24 hours.


B. Proteinuria of 10.0 g or greater per 24 hours.

To satisfy these listings, the claimant must provide documentation including medical records, treatment notes, opinions of treating physicians and laboratory results to substantiate their conditions and limitations.  If the claimant is in dialysis, all documentation regarding the dialysis should be provided.

If you do not meet or equal the listings described above, you can still qualify for disability benefits under the Medical-Vocational allowance.  See our other post for a discussion on the Medical-Vocational allowance.