Hepatitis and SSD Benefits
Hepatitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the liver. The longevity of Hepatitis varies; it can come and go fairly quickly or it could become a chronic/lifelong illness. The common symptoms for Hepatitis are abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and itching. Hepatitis can also lead to severe liver problems such as liver failure and even liver cancer.
Hepatitis, particularly Hepatitis C, causes severe fatigue and weakness that will interfere with work. Also, the side effects of the medication for Hepatitis C can be just as severe as the illness itself (fever, depression, muscle pain).
Hepatitis and Social Security Disability 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;
A. Hemorrhaging from esophageal, gastric, or ectopic varices or from portal hypersensitive gastropathy, demonstrated by endoscopy, x-ray, or other appropriate medically acceptable imaging, resulting in hemodynamic instability as defined in 5.00D5, and requiring hospitalization for transfusion of 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
B. 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:
1. Paracentesis or thoracentesis; or
2. 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
C. Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis with petroneal fluid containing an absolute neutrophil count of at least 250 cells/mm3. OR
D. Hepatorenal syndrome as described in 5.00D8, with one of the following:
1. Serum creatinine elevation of at least 2 mg/dL; or
2. Oliguria with 24-hour urine output less than 500 mL; or
3. Sodium retention with urine sodium less than 10 mEq per liter. OR
E. Hepatopulmonary syndrome as described in 5.00D9, with:
1. 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
2. Documentation of intrapulmonary arteriovenous shunting by contrast-enhanced echocardiography or macroaggregated albumin lung perfusion scan. OR
F. Hepatic encephalopathy as described in 5.00D10 with 1 and either 2 or 3:
1. Documetation 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 of at least 60 days apart within a consecutive 6 month period; and
2. History of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) or any surgical portosystemic shunt; or
3. 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. Asterixis or other fluctuating physical neurological abnormalities; or
b. Electroencephalogram (EEG) demonstrating triphasic slow wave activity; or
c. Serum albumin of 3.0 g/dL or less; or
d. International Normalized Ratio (INR) of 1.5 or greater. OR
G. 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 severity of Hepatitis is hard to grasp since many do not develop symptoms for years. The most cumbersome aspect of Hepatitis is the fatigue that comes as a result of the illness. The debilitating weakness these individuals experience renders them incapable of work. The side effects of the medication these sufferers take will also hinder their ability to work.
An experienced Social Security lawyer can get you the Social Security help you deserve.