Can I Work with Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a disease which causes inflammation of the liver. It is usually the result of a viral infection, though it may also be caused by alcohol or drug use, outside toxins, other autoimmune diseases, or pregnancy. Hepatitis is generally considered acute if it lasts less than six months and chronic if it lasts longer.

Hepatitis sometimes occurs without obvious symptoms. Other times, sufferers may be jaundiced, experience a severe loss of appetite (and thus nourishment), and have feelings of fatigue and malaise.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, a condition must both make it impossible for you to any work for which you are qualified or could reasonably be trained and be expected to last longer than a year (or result in your death). Because of this, those who suffer from acute hepatitis are often disqualified for Social Security Disability benefits unless there are other factors contributing to their disability.

This does not mean that you shouldn’t claim Social Security Disability, however. Because hepatitis is often not classified as chronic until after the sufferer has lived with it for longer than six months, it’s important to go ahead and protectively file Social Security Disability claims to establish the correct date of onset should your hepatitis prove to be chronic. Filing at an earlier date qualifies you for more back pay if and when your Social Security Disability claim is accepted.

The Effects of Hepatitis on Your Ability to Perform Physical Work

Proving that your Hepatitis makes it impossible for you to perform physical work presents some challenges. The biggest struggle Social Security Disability claimants run into is that most of the symptoms which hinder hepatitis sufferers from performing physical work are difficult to verify. Symptoms like fatigue and malaise don’t have readily verifiable tests which confirm to the SSA that you are incapable of performing physical work.

Because of this, you will want to make sure that your doctor is well aware of exactly how much the symptoms of hepatitis are limiting your daily activity. You will want to make sure that your Social Security Disability application states clearly all physical and mental restrictions caused by your hepatitis (and any other conditions you may have). Having hepatitis, in and of itself, does not qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. You must demonstrate that the symptoms are severe enough to stop you from performing any physical labor for which you are qualified or could be trained.

The Effects of Hepatitis on Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must prove that you are not only capable of performing physical labor, but that you also cannot be expected to perform any kind of sedentary (light, sit down) work which is available. Exactly which types of sedentary work the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines you can reasonably perform depends upon your age, level of education, and ability to use your hands.

Because some of the symptoms of hepatitis can be challenging to prove, especially if you must convince the SSA that you are not capable of performing sedentary work for which they believe you should be reasonably qualified, it is in your best interests to secure representation by a Social Security disability lawyer. A Social Security Disability lawyer will know what kinds of information needs to be included in your Social Security Disability claim or appeal in order to move your claim forward to acceptance and will be able to work with your and your doctors to make sure that the necessary information is included in your claim.