If determined to be eligible, Social Security Disability Insurance has a 5 month waiting period. The first check is received for the 6th month during the 7th month after work ends due to a disability.
The SSA "blue book" provides a listing of conditions that SSA has determined are potentially disabling. If someone has medical proof of one of these conditions, getting approved for SSI (the SSA disability program for those with little or no work history and limited income and assets) or SSDI (the SSA disability program for people with enough work history) is usually pretty easy. Being on dialysis or the first year after transplant is considered potentially disabling. However, it depends on what symptoms someone with Stage 4 CKD has as to whether the individual will be approved or have to go through appeals.
People who work in spite of kidney disease often do better physically, financially, and emotionally than those who stop working. Research has shown that people are more likely to get a kidney transplant if they work. This may be because patients are expected to have a plan to pay for the expensive anti-rejection drugs. Having health insurance that will pay for these drugs when Medicare ends at 36 months post-transplant is evidence of a plan. The only people who can keep Medicare and coverage for anti-rejection drugs longer than 36 months post-transplant are those who have Medicare due to age or other disability besides ESRD.
If you're considering stopping working because of symptoms of kidney disease. Please alert your kidney doctor that to keep your job you need help managing those work-limiting symptoms.