Qualifying for Disability Benefits with Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that is caused by a variety of infectious viruses  and noninfectious agents leading to a range of health problems, some of which can be fatal. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. While they all cause liver disease, they differ in important ways including modes of transmission, severity of the illness, geographical distribution and prevention methods. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and together are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and viral hepatitis-related deaths. To learn more about how the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines this disability, visit Section 5.05 of the Blue Book.

Does Hepatitis Qualify for Disability?

Simply being diagnosed with hepatitis A, B or C is not enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits alone. An applicant’s hepatitis must be severe enough to have created liver complications such as hepatorenal syndrome, cirrhosis, or internal bleeding. To meet the Blue Book listing for hepatitis, your medical records must indicate one of the following:

  • Esophageal varices with a documented history of massive hemorrhaging as a result; OR
  • Having had a shunt operation due to esophageal varices; OR
  • Pathologic fluid collection in the abdomen for three months or more that has required removal of such fluid or hypoalbuminemia, which is low levels of a major human protein needed for the synthesis of molecules in the body; OR
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy; OR
  • High levels of bilirubin in the blood (2.5 mg per 100 ml. or more), on repeat exams for at least three months; OR
  • A confirmed diagnosis of chronic liver disease with ascites as mentioned in item 3, or with serum bilirubin levels as mentioned in item 5, or with inflammation of the liver or cellular death of tissue within the liver (hepatic cell necrosis) for at least three months. This is demonstrated by a blood test showing abnormal prothrombin time (PT), a measure of how long it takes blood to clot, as well as blood tests indicating abnormal levels of other liver enzymes.

In addition to documenting these requirements, you must also have a medical diagnosis of hepatitis which is supported by a liver biopsy.

How Do I Apply for Disability Benefits?

To apply for disability benefits, it’s important to understand the disability application process. If you’ve been diagnosed with hepatitis and believe you may qualify, contact us today for a free disability case evaluation.

You could be entitled to $3,822 a month. See if you qualify today!

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