What Is Liver Disease?
Liver disease is lumped into one large category by the SSA for the purposes of determining Social Security Disability eligibility. Regardless of whether you are suffering from hepatitis, cirrhosis, or some other form of liver disease; the SSA applies the same tests and standards to determine whether or not your qualify or Social Security Disability.
Fortunately, many of these tests are fairly objective in nature. If you have been diagnosed with liver disease, your doctor will have already performed most of these tests in the process of your diagnosis and treatment.
It’s entirely likely your doctor will have a good idea whether or not your diagnoses are likely to qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits.
The tests used to gauge the severity of your liver disease include a measurement of your bilirubin levels and measurements of your hypoablbuminemia. In general, tests will need to demonstrate that your condition is severe enough to merit Social Security Disability over a period of several months before your application will be accepted.
Even if your test results don’t fall within the Social Security Disability guidelines, you may still qualify for benefits if you can demonstrate that your liver disease symptoms are severe enough that you can’t be expected to perform any job which you have previously worked at or for which you could potentially be trained.
Those who suffer from liver disease have a wide variety of symptoms, depending on the type and severity of liver disease they are dealing with. Common symptoms include jaundice, weight loss, appetite loss, headaches, abdominal pain, depression, mood swings, frequent urination, and constant and abnormal thirst.
The Effects of Liver Disease on Your Ability to Perform Physical Work
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the Social Security Administration may or may not deem you completely able of performing any physical work. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must show that you are unable to perform heavy, moderate, or even light physical work for which you are qualified or could reasonably be expected to become qualified.
Symptoms such as abdominal pain and inflammation are important in determining your ability to perform physical work. You will want to be sure to include all physical restrictions your doctor has placed on you, especially those which pertain to your ability to stand, sit, walk, kneel, bend, push, lift, or pull.
Remember that the burden is on you to prove that your liver disease prevents you from performing any meaningful work, so you will want to make sure that you document every area of your life which is affected by your condition.
The Effects of Liver Disease on Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work
The need to urinate frequently can make even sedentary (sit down) jobs implausible for many who suffer from severe liver diseases. Many of the mood affecting symptoms can also make many forms of sedentary work unsuitable for those with liver disease.
As with physical labor, the burden is on you to prove that your liver disease prevents you from engaging in any gainful employment. Keep in mind that your previous work experience, education, and age will all be taken into consideration when determining exactly what types of sedentary jobs you could reasonably be expected to perform.
If you have a higher level of education, it is sometimes more difficult to prove that you are incapable of jobs which do not require much physical exertion. Likewise, if you are younger than 50, it can be more difficult to convince the SSA that you cannot reasonably be trained to perform an unfamiliar type of sedentary work.
Consult with a Social Security Attorney
If your initial claim for Social Security Disability is denied, seek the advice and representation of an experienced Social Security attorney. Your Social Security Disability lawyer can help you determine if your case is likely to win on appeal and will also know the best ways to go about handling the appeals process for you.