Sickle cell anemia is a condition in which the ability of certain red blood cells to carry oxygen through the tissues is impaired. These red blood cells change shape and become sickle-shaped, which is where the condition gets its name from. One common symptom of this condition is chronic fatigue. However, more severely, a sickle cell anemia crisis is characterized by severe pain all over the body. Sometimes, the pain can be severe enough for the person to require hospitalization for several days.
Many patients who suffer from sickle cell anemia struggle frequently with crises, which can significantly impair a person’s ability to earn a living. A sickle cell anemia crisis is an event in which the impaired blood cells bunch together, and block the smaller blood vessels that carry blood to the various organs. This crisis can last from just a few hours to several days. There are several possible complications associated with sickle cell anemia crisis, including blindness, kidney problems, infections, neurological disorders, strokes, and other complications.
Having a diagnosis of sickle cell anemia by itself will not be sufficient to qualify you for disability benefits. You must be able to show that your sickle cell anemia prevents you from going to work or maintaining a sustainable job. If you suffer frequent crises that require hospitalization, for instance, it could provide evidence that your condition qualifies you for benefits.