Are you unable to work and earn an income due to liver disease? If you, you may be eligible for disability benefits from the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits may provide the financial assistance you need to buy groceries, pay for housing, and/or otherwise meet your daily needs.
You should be aware that the process of applying for disability benefits—and proving to the SSA that you’re eligible to receive them—can be complex. These tips may help simplify it for you:
1. Determine If You Meet A Blue Book Listing
The SSA’s Blue Book describes the criteria applicants with various conditions must meet to qualify for disability benefits. Its section on the digestive system contains entries for liver disease. Refer to this section to get a general idea of whether the nature of your condition qualifies you for assistance.
2. Establish You Qualify Through Medical Records & Evidence
The SSA needs to evaluate various forms of medical evidence to confirm you are eligible for disability benefits. Some types of medical evidence are general, as virtually all applicants need to submit them with their applications. An example of such evidence might be a statement from a doctor describing your condition and its impact on your ability to work.
Other forms of evidence you may need to provide that are more specific to liver disease could include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
- The results of such imaging tests as MRIs to show liver damage
- The results of liver function tests
- In some instance, biopsy reports
It is difficult to overstate the importance of providing thorough medical evidence. The SSA may deny your initial claim if you do not provide enough evidence to show you meet a Blue Book listing.
3. Keep Up With Treatment Plans
This is critical. Following your doctor’s advice and adhering to your treatment plans are both key to indicating to the SSA that you are not trying to “game the system.” Instead, you are receiving treatment, but are nevertheless still unable to work and earn a living.
4. Fill Out a RFC
A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form is a form you may submit to the SSA to provide more detailed information about your medical condition, the physical limitations that come along with it, as well as how those physical limitations may impact your ability to work. Ideally, the doctor treating you will complete the RFC form, although the SSA can connect you with a doctor if yours is unavailable or unwilling to complete the form for some reason.
5. Work With An Attorney
Someone with liver disease who is applying for disability benefits through the SSA should be aware that the SSA typically denies most initial applications. As a result, applicants must file appeals to continue pursuing the benefits for which they may be eligible.
That is not meant to discourage you from seeking benefits if you have strong reason to believe you deserve them. Rather, it is meant to encourage you to consider hiring a disability benefits lawyer to guide you through the application process. For more information about how an attorney may be able to help you, take the Free Case Evaluation (the form on this page) today.