Genitourinary diseases can include medical conditions within the reproductive system and the urinary system, including the kidneys. Genitourinary diseases include renal (kidney) disease, nephrotic disease, STDs, and cancers of the prostate, bladder, and reproductive organs.
However, for the purposes of determining whether you are disabled due to a genitourinary disease, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has official disability listings only for kidney-related diseases under its genitourinary disease section of the Listing of Impairments (called the "blue book"). (It used to cover urinary tract disorders under this section, but no longer does.) The SSA covers prostate and bladder cancer under its section on malignant neoplastic disease (cancer). This article discusses how Social Security considers whether disability exists for renal/kidney diseases. (See our section on getting disabililty for urinary and reproductive organ problems if your kidneys are not your issue.)
Renal disease is caused by the loss of kidney function. If the kidneys don’t work properly, you can develop a buildup of water and waste in your body. This buildup can lead to fatigue, unintentional weight loss, nausea, and eventually bone pain, high blood pressure, swelling and brain and nervous system problems. Some patients may require kidney transplants. If your condition is ongoing, it is called chronic renal disease. The causes of chronic renal disease are many, including diabetes, injury, and birth defects.
If you can show that your illness meets the requirements of an official impairment listing published in Social Security's blue book, you will be automatically approved for disability. The SSA covers genitourinary conditions in Listing 6.00. For an explanation, see our article on disability benefits for kidney disease.
If you have a genitourinary condition that is not related to the kidneys, there won't be a disability listing for it, and you'll have to hope for benefits based on a medical-vocational allowance. For more information, see our articles on medical eligibility for disability.
Many people are initially denied disability because they do not provide enough information; therefore you should provide the SSA with as much medical evidence as possible. This includes doctors’ reports, urine and blood results, a description of any treatments you have undergone and their side effects, and information about whether you are undergoing dialysis.
It is also important that you provide a complete list of every doctor you have seen for treatment of your renal/urinary impairment and hospitals or clinics you have visited.