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Qualifying for Social Security Benefits After a Transplant

Did you know that if you received an organ transplant, you will automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits? Those on wait lists for a transplant will usually qualify for Social Security as well. These monthly financial resources will replace a portion of your lost income while you recover from your treatments and can be spent on medical costs, childcare, rent or a mortgage, and any other daily needs. It can last up to 12 months!

Medically Qualifying—After a Transplant

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses its own medical guide known as the Blue Book to evaluate applicants and deem disability benefits accordingly. If you have symptoms or test results meeting a listing found in the Blue Book, you should be approved for disability benefits.

Fortunately, the listings for any transplant is very straightforward—You will automatically medically qualify for benefits for 12 months following the procedure if you have one of the following transplants*:

  1. Bone marrow transplant

  2. Heart transplant

  3. Kidney transplant

  4. Liver transplant

  5. Stem cell transplant

*Keep in mind that if you donate a kidney, bone marrow, or stem cells, you will not qualify. These benefits only apply to the person facing organ failure.

*Lung cancer transplant recipients will qualify for a full three years after surgery.

Medically Qualifying—Before a Transplant

Thousands of people wait a year or more to receive a transplant. Fortunately, the SSA recognizes organ failure as a clearly disabling condition. There are Blue Book listings for the following forms of organ failure:

  1. Bone marrow failure

  2. Heart failure

  3. Kidney disease

  4. Liver disease

*Other conditions that may qualify include leukemia and lymphoma, but there are many other qualifying disabilities listed.

The Blue Book was written for medical professionals and requires a wealth of test results and medical evidence to qualify. If you’re on the wait list for an organ transplant you’ll almost certainly meet a listing, but you can review the Blue Book with your doctor to confirm that you’ll be approved.

Starting Your Application

The majority of applicants can complete the process online, but if you’d prefer to apply in person, you can apply at your closest Social Security office. Schedule an appointment by calling the SSA toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. Most people will have their claims processed within three to five months, but conditions that clearly warrant benefits such as an organ transplant could be approved in just a couple of weeks.

This article was provided by Disability Benefits Help, an independent organization dedicated to helping people qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you have any questions on if you’ll qualify before an organ transplant, or if you’d like more information on Social Security in general, feel free to reach out to our team at

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