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Liver Disease and SSD Benefits

Workers who suffer from a variety of liver diseases may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits under certain circumstances. Because liver disease is actually a variety of conditions, it is important to understand exactly which condition you have and how it affects your ability to work.

Symptoms of Liver Disease

Generally speaking, liver disease must be chronic for sufferers to be eligible for SSD benefits. In addition, successful claimants are usually able to show symptoms such as:

  • Excess fluid in the peritoneal cavity or pleural cavity
  • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
  • Esophageal or gastrointestinal hemorrhage (bleeding)
  • Hepatorenal syndrome ( a type of kidney disease that allows toxins to build up in the body, eventually causing the liver to fail)
  • Hapatopulmonary syndrome (a lung condition associated with liver disease that causes shortness of breath and low oxygen levels in the blood)
  • Hepatic encephalopathy, or damage to the nervous system caused by liver failure that allows toxins to enter the bloodstream
  • Jaundice
  • Itching of the skin

Types of Liver Disease

Chronic liver diseases that cause symptoms such as these include:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis B
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Liver failure
  • Liver cancer
  • Heptoma

What Causes Liver Disease?

Liver disease has a variety of causes, including toxins in the environment, eating too much protein, infections caused by viruses, surgery, alcoholism, dehydration, medications, autoimmune disorders and heredity.

What the SSA Looks for in Disability Claims for Liver Disease

It is not enough to just have a diagnosis of chronic liver disease. The Social Security Administration will look for evidence supporting the diagnosis. Evidence can include discharge summaries from hospital stays, clinical notes, imaging study reports from X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, and blood work reports. How you responded to treatment such as medication or physical therapy is also important. And how chronic liver disease affects your ability to work is an important part of the record.

Because there are so many types of liver disease that present with different symptoms and have different causes, it is very important that medical documentation be complete and detailed. Otherwise your claim could easily be denied.

If your claim for SSD benefits is denied, get help with your appeal and do what so many others have done: Call Binder & Binder®, America's most successful disability advocates. Tell them your story and learn how they can help.

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