According to the Mayo Clinic, there are four distinct stages of liver disease. Unless addressed with a sense of urgency, liver disease has the potential to reach the debilitating fourth stage, which can include cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Patients diagnosed at the fourth stage of liver disease cannot work a full-time job. The result is a loss of income that not only takes care of daily expenses, but also the costs associated with treating potentially fatal liver disease.
If you have received a diagnosis of serious liver disease, you need to seek immediate medical help to reverse the serious illness. You should also apply for a safety net program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
How the SSA Helps Disabled American Workers
If you have received a late stage diagnosis for liver disease that prevents you from holding a job, you should turn to the SSA for financial relief. The SSA runs a program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to help disabled American workers meet the demands placed on them by a dramatic reduction of income.
According the Blue Book, which is a list of medical conditions that qualify disabled workers for financial assistance, the symptoms associated with liver disease fall under section 5.05. Section 5.05 describes the symptoms that commonly affect patients with liver dysfunction. To receive SSDI benefits, you cannot have worked for at least one year before you submit an SSDI application.
You also need to meet the symptoms criteria established by the SSA. After an initial review by the SSA, your SSDI application moves onto the second phase of the process that involves a much more thorough review of your claim.
Because acute liver disease can lead to death, the SSA provides surviving family members with financial assistance to cover living expenses. The surviving spouse must reach retirement age to receive full benefits or turn 60 years old to receive partial SSDI survivor benefits.
Can You Still Receive Medicare Health Care Coverage?
When Americans turn 65 years old, Medicare health care coverage kicks in to pay for a wide variety of medical procedures. However, disabled American workers that receive SSDI benefits are not eligible for Medicare for two years after receiving approval for SSDI benefits.
This should not be an issue, since SSDI benefits cover daily living expenses and the costs connected to treating liver disease. Medicare pays only for the costs of health care.
Returning to Work
SSDI not only takes care of financial needs; the disability insurance safety net also includes two programs that encourage disabled workers to return to work. The goal of the SSA is to make disabled workers self-sufficient, while freeing up financial resources to help other disabled American workers.
Ticket to Work helps disabled workers learn new job skills to find a position that accommodates their disabilities. Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) represents a program that provides disabled workers with insight on how to finance a job search.
Ask for a Free Case Evaluation
Since the SSA rejects a majority of initial SSDI applications, it is important for you to ensure your application exceeds the criteria applied by the SSA. A free case evaluation conducted by a state licensed Social Security lawyer may give you confidence that you have what it takes to get your SSDI application approved. Your lawyer will also stay on top of the progress of your application to move it along at an acceptable pace.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Today