Tips on Applying for Disability with Hepatitis

Some people are able to live relatively normal and trouble free lives with hepatitis. Others experience severe limitations. Although the disease can qualify for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) only considers advanced hepatitis “automatically” qualified. Use the information that follows to improve your application and potentially increase your chances of being found eligible for benefits.

Understand the SSA’s Hepatitis Listing

Get your doctor’s help or the help of a social worker, Social Security attorney, or disability advocate if you need to, but be sure you review the SSA’s listing for hepatitis and understand what it requires for qualifying. The listing appears in the SSA’s Blue Book under Section 5.05, which is entitled Chronic Liver Disease.

Only more advanced cases of hepatitis are able to meet the listing in Section 5.05. If your medical records are thorough and meet the listing, then you automatically qualify for benefits. Even if you cannot qualify under this listing though, it is still important for you to know how the SSA typically evaluates hepatitis applications. This helps you:

  • know what resistance you will encounter if you are denied benefits and must file an appeal


  • prepare for answering an administrative law judge’s questions about your condition at an appeal hearing.

Prepare for a Residual Functional Capacity Analysis

If you can’t meet a disability listing, then the SSA will need to complete a residual functional capacity (RFC) analysis. Through this process they look at your day-to-day life and use that information to determine if you cannot complete typical job functions.

For the RFC analysis, the SSA needs a “functional report” form. This form must be done and returned within just 10 days. Having all your information already lined up makes the process of filling out the form simpler and ensures you get it back in the mail by the deadline.

Use these strategies to prepare for the RFC analysis:

  • Keep a journal of your daily struggles, including even small tasks that present problems for you.
  • Ask friends, family members, or others to help you outline your limitations.
  • Ask your doctor to write a formal statement on your functional limitations.

Ensure Your Medical Records are Thorough, Lengthy, and Recent

A chronic illness requires regular medical care and usually results in plenty of records for the SSA to review:

  • Older medical records provide the SSA a view of how your illness, symptoms, and treatment side effects have progressed over time.
  • AND

  • New or recent medical records are essential to establishing your inability to work now and in the future.

If your records are lacking in any way, ask your doctor what can be done to fill in the gaps and accurately reflect your current medical condition.

Seek Help with Your Application and Evidence Collection

Many people can be of assistance when you file an application for disability benefits, including:

  • Your friends and family members
  • Former employers
  • Your doctor
  • A social worker or disability advocate
  • A Social Security attorney

Trying to tackle the disability application and review processes alone can be detrimental to your claim. An attorney or advocate can help you through every step. Your doctor plays a central role as well, but don’t overlook the importance of also seeking help from others, as needed.

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!