Does Liver Disease Automatically Qualify For Disability Benefits?

A diagnosis of liver disease by itself is not sufficient to automatically qualify the sufferer for disability benefits. Automatic qualification for benefits is available through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) compassionate allowance program, which fast tracks the benefit application process. Compassionate allowances are not considered unless the disabling condition is so severe that the sufferer may not live for much longer. Currently, around 200 conditions meet the criteria for a compassionate allowance. The only liver disease that might qualify the sufferer for a compassionate allowance is liver cancer.

How to Automatically Qualify For Disability Benefits

If you have been diagnosed with liver cancer or an untreatable or terminal liver disease, you may qualify for a compassionate allowance, which could mean that a disability benefits application is fast tracked.

Most untreatable liver cancer diagnoses would lead to automatic qualification for disability benefits through the compassionate allowance program if it can be shown clearly that the cancer has reached a stage that prevents you from any substantial gainful activity (SGA) and that you would be unable to earn a living for at least the next 12 months, or your cancer has been considered terminal by an oncologist or medical professional. You can check whether your liver disease diagnosis and symptoms qualify you for a compassionate allowance by reading the relevant part of the Liver disease which is not considered cancer of the liver may not automatically qualify you for disability benefits through the compassionate allowance program, but it doesn’t mean you cannot obtain disability benefits through the normal application process.

You will need to meet the criteria for approval of disability benefits by matching the symptoms in the Blue Book’s listing 5.00-Digestive-Adult: section 5.05 as well as meeting other criteria for benefits approval, i.e. proving that you are unable to earn a living for at least the next 12 months and that you have sufficient work credits to qualify for benefits through the SSDI pathway.

The number of credits you need depends partly on your age and will have accumulated through employment and payment of social security payroll taxes. If you don’t have the work history to qualify for SSDI, you may still qualify for benefits through the SSI program, which is designed for people who have few assets and income.

It is quite common for disability applications to be initially rejected. Often, this is because of insufficient medical evidence to show that you meet the criteria for liver disease established by the SSA. Denied applications for disability benefits may be appealed. It is not uncommon for appealed decisions to result in approval for benefits, but the appeals procedure can be frustrating, lengthy and challenging. A disability attorney can help with an appeal.

Get Help With Your Claim

Automatic qualification for disability benefits is reserved for a diagnosis of severe liver cancer through the compassionate allowance program only, but an application for benefits for liver disease may still be successful through the normal application process. A disability lawyer can help you apply for disability benefits and may be essential if you have to appeal a denied application.
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