Each year the Social Security Administration receives millions of claims for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. These applicants submit their claims assuming that they will begin receiving disability benefits in just a few short months. The reality is that nearly 70 percent of claims are denied during the initial stage of the application process. These individuals must pursue the disability appeal process in order to get the disability benefits they may need. Understanding how your condition qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits and how the SSA reviews claims based on your condition can help increase your chances of obtaining the benefits you may be entitled to. If you have been diagnosed with Budd-Chiari Syndrome and are wondering how your diagnosis affects your eligibility for Social Security Disability payments, the following information will help.
Budd-Chiari Syndrome Condition and Symptoms
Budd-Chiari Syndrome, also known as hepatic veno-occlusive disease, involves a hepatic vein obstruction that results in a blockage of the hepatic vein. This vein is responsible for carrying blood away from the liver and back to the heart. The blockage can be caused by a number of reasons, including: a tumor pressing on the vein, abnormal growth of bone marrow cells, cancer, chronic inflammatory disease, infection, blood clotting issues, oral contraceptives and pregnancy.
The symptoms of Budd-Chiari Syndrome will vary depending on the severity of the condition and how far the disease has progressed. Common symptoms of Budd-Chiari Syndrome include abdominal swelling or stretching, upper-right abdominal pain, vomiting of blood and jaundice.
There are treatments that can address Budd-Chiari Syndrome, such as prescription medication or surgery. Unfortunately, not all cases of Budd-Chiari Syndrome will respond to treatment and some cases of the disease will ultimately lead to liver failure.
If you have been diagnosed with Budd-Chiari Syndrome and are unable to perform any type of work activity due to the symptoms and effects of the disease, you should file an application for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Budd-Chiari Syndrome
While the Social Security Disability Blue Book of disability guidelines does not specifically include Budd-Chiari Syndrome in its listing of impairments, you may still be able to obtain disability benefits as a result of this condition. However, you will have to prove to the Social Security Administration that your condition meets the equivalent of another disabling condition or prove that you are unable to perform any type of work activity due to the limitations your disability places on you.
Because Budd-Chiari Syndrome affects the liver, you may be able to qualify for disability benefits using the SSA's CLD criteria. The CLD is a formula used by the Social Security Administration to determine the severity of a chronic liver condition. If your score is 22 or higher, you can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
To determine an applicant's CLD score, specific medical tests are required and the results of those tests are used in a mathematical formula. To determine an individual's CLD score, the following formula is used:
9.57 x [Loge(serum creatinine mg/dL)]
+3.78 x [Loge(serum total bilirubin mg/dL)]
+11.2 x [Loge(INR)]
If your score is 22 or higher using this formula, you will qualify for benefits under the SSA's determining guidelines. If your score does not equal 22 or higher, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, but you will need to prove to the Social Security Administration that your condition prevents you from performing any substantial gainful work activity. Normally this will be through the process of a disability appeal, which will require an appearance at a Social Security Disability hearing.
Budd-Chiari Syndrome and Your Social Security Disability Case
Budd-Chiari Syndrome is not specifically mentioned in the SSA's disability guidelines. However, the condition may qualify as a chronic liver disease depending on your CLD score. If your CLD score does not qualify you for disability benefits, your SSD application is likely to be denied and you will need to file an appeal.
When filing an appeal to overturn the SSA's decision to deny an initial disability claim, it is in your best interest to hire the services of a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer. These professionals can help you determine why your initial claim was denied and can point out any weak spots in your disability case. Your advocate or attorney will then work with you to obtain the evidence that you will need to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration.
To learn more about filing for Social Security Disability benefits with Budd-Chiari Syndrome or to learn more about working with a Social Security Disability attorney, simply fill out the form for a free evaluation of your case.