Cirrhosis and Social Security Disability Benefits
Cirrhosis is an illness that comes as a result of chronic liver disease, which involves scarring and loss of function of the liver. Hepatitis and alcohol are common catalyst for long-term, damaging liver diseases. Symptoms often develop over time and include nausea/vomiting, weakness, and nose bleeds to name a few. Scarring of the liver cannot be reversed, which is why the illness is so serious.
Sufferers of cirrhosis often have to deal with bouts of fatigue, making work very difficult.
Cirrhosis and Social Security Disability Benefits Help
If the applicant’s impairment falls within any of the following categories set forth by Social Security’s Listing 5.05, then a strong claim may exist. The Listing is as follows;
- Hemorrhaging from esophageal, gastric, or ectopic varices or from portal hypertensive gastropathy, resulting in hemodynamic instability as defined in 5.00D5, and requiring hospitalization for transfusion at least 2 units of blood. Consider under a disability for 1 year following the last documented transfusion; thereafter, evaluate the residual impairment(s). OR
- Ascites or hydrothorax not attributable to other causes, despite continuing treatment as prescribed, present on at least two evaluations at least 60 days apart within a consecutive 6-month period. Each evaluation must be documented by:
- Paracentesis or thoracentesis; or
- Appropriate medically acceptable imaging or physical examination and one of the following :
a. Serum albumin of 3.0 g/dL or less; or
b. International Normalized Ratio (INR) of at least 1.5. OR
- Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis with peritoneal fluid containing an absolute neutrophil count of at least 250 cells/mm3. OR
- Hepatorenal syndrome as described in 5.00D8,with one of the following:
- Serum creatinine elevation of at least 2 mg/dL; or
- Oliguria with 24-hour urine output less than 500 mL; or
- Sodium retention with urine sodium less than 10 mEq per liter. OR
- Hepatopulmonary syndrome as described in 5.00 D9, with:
- Arterial oxygenation (PaO₂) on room air of:
a. 60 mm Hg or less, at test sites less than 3000 feet above sea level, or
b. 55 mm Hg or less, at test sites from 3000 to 6000 feet, or
c. 50 mm Hg or less, at test sites above 6000 feet; or
- Documentation of intrapulmonary arteriovenous shunting by contrast-enhanced echocardiography or macroaggregated albumin lung perfusion scan. OR
- Hepatic encephalopathy as described in 5.00D10, with 1 and either 2 or 3:
- Documentation of abnormal behavior, cognitive dysfunction, changes in mental status, or altered state of consciousness (for example, confusion, delirium, stupor, or coma), present on at least two evaluations at least 60 days apart within a consecutive 6-month period; and
- History of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) or any surgical portosystemic shunt; or
- One of the following occurring on at least two evaluations at least 60 days apart within the same consecutive 6-month period as in F1:
a. Asterixisor or other fluctuating physical neurological abnormalities; or
b. Electroencephalogram (EEG) demonstrating triphasic slow wave activity; or
c. International Normalized Ratio (INR) of 1.5 or greater. OR
- End stage liver disease with SSA CLD scores of 22 or greater calculated as described in 5.00D11. Consider under a disability from at least the date of the first score.
The fatigue/weakness associated with cirrhosis can debilitate an individual to the point that they cannot work. Also, the various symptoms (nausea, confusion, and nosebleeds for example) can prove cumbersome to the individual as well. The sufferers are often in the late stages of liver disease, and the illness will have most likely incapacitated them by that point.