Hepatitis is a liver disease which causes inflammation of the liver as well as many other liver and health complications. People who suffer from hepatitis can experience a wide range of debilitating symptoms which may, as the disease progresses, prevent them from being able to perform day-to-day work activities. Facing a lack of income and mounting medical bills, these individuals may not know where to turn for financial assistance. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits can often help. If you are suffering from hepatitis and are unable to work due to your condition, the following information can help you understand how your case of hepatitis may qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits.
Hepatitis - Condition and Symptoms
Hepatitis is a liver disease that is most commonly caused by a bacterial or viral infection. In some cases hepatitis can also occur due to drugs and alcohol, toxins or parasites, however, the HAV, HBV and HCV viruses are the most common causes of a hepatitis illness.
Patients suffering from hepatitis experience liver enlargement, jaundice, fatigue, fever and abdominal pain. The extent and severity of the symptoms are impacted by the type of hepatitis the individual is suffering from (A, B or C) and how far the disease has progressed.
Hepatitis A, also commonly referred to as infectious hepatitis, is usually contracted via contaminated food and water or personal contact. Hepatitis B is an STD that is transmitted via sexual contact or through the use of contaminated needles. Hepatitis C is the most serious form of hepatitis and can result in severe liver damage. ?
Some of the people who are infected with hepatitis do not experience any symptoms at all at the initial stage of the disease. However, as the disease progresses symptoms will become worse. In the early stages of hepatitis an individual may experience flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and a loss of appetite. Eventually symptoms that point to liver disease will present themselves, such as abdominal pain, jaundice, foul breath and dark urine.
When hepatitis becomes severe, individuals suffering from the condition are often unable to work due to the symptoms that present themselves. If you have been suffering from hepatitis and are unable to work due to the condition you should consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Hepatitis
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) refers to a listing of impairments to determine whether or not your condition meets the SSA's disability criteria. Hepatitis is covered under Section 5.05 of the impairment listings, under the category of chronic liver disease.
If you suffer from hepatitis and want to qualify for disability benefits, your condition must be characterized by liver cell necrosis, inflammation or scarring of the liver, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis, hemochromatosis or drug-induced liver damage. There are also other qualifying factors that your hepatitis condition may fall into under these guidelines. It is important to remember that even if the circumstances of your specific case of hepatitis do not fall under the SSA's published guidelines, you may still be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if you can prove that your hepatitis prevents you from performing any gainful work activity.
When applying for disability benefits it is important that you include all of your medical records with your Social Security Disability application. Your medical records should include a complete medical history including any lab work, test results, treatment efforts and outcomes of your treatment. When visiting your doctor, make sure that you discuss how your condition prevents you from performing day-to-day activities. Your disability claim will be stronger if this information is documented.
Hepatitis and Your Social Security Disability Case
Not every individual who suffers from hepatitis will qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Whether or not you qualify for disability benefits will depend on how severe your condition is and whether or not the symptoms you experience prevent you from being able to work. If your case of hepatitis is advanced and you have enough medical evidence proving your disability, your application may be one of the 30 percent of applications approved at the initial claim stage of the Social Security Disability process.
If your application for disability benefits is denied, you may want to consider the services of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney. A disability lawyer can help you file a Social Security Disability appeal. Statistics show that individuals who have an attorney representing them through the appeals process are more likely to win their appeal than applicants who do not have legal representation.