Hepatitis C is a vicious virus spread by contact with blood. It is estimated that as many as four million Americans have this infectious disease. If you were diagnosed with hepatitis C and your symptoms are making it increasingly difficult to work, you are not alone.
The Biggest Risk for Disability in Hepatitis C Sufferers
There are a number of treatment options available to people who suffer from this infection. Some of those treatment options include medication, such as ribavirin, boceprevir, pegylated interforn alpha, and others. However, many of these medications are not able to treat the harsh symptoms of hepatitis C because the infection causes liver disease.
For people who previously used drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, hepatitis C may hit you harder. This is because your liver may not be able to withstand the damage caused by the symptoms of this disease, such as:
- Swelling of the liver
- Cancer of the liver
- Liver failure
Often, people with hepatitis C must eventually get a liver transplant to treat these symptoms and stabilize their health.
Getting SSDI in Rhode Island for Hepatitis C
Having a diagnosis of Hepatitis C won’t automatically qualify you to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in Rhode Island. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that those diagnosed with hepatitis C apply for Social Security disability using the standards put in place under the official listing for liver disease.
To qualify, you must have received a diagnosis of chronic liver disease. In addition, you must also show that you have one of the following:
- Internal bleeding
- Fluid in the peritoneal or pleural cavity
- Hepatorenal or hepatopulmonary syndrome
- Damage to your liver
If you do not meet those criteria, you might also qualify if severe side effects of your treatment and medication prevent you from being able to work. To show this, you must fill out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form with details about your diagnosis, your doctor’s orders, the medications you’re taking, and how your condition impacts your ability to perform both sedentary and active work.
Being diagnosed with hepatitis C is serious, but the SSA does not automatically qualify this disease as a disability. With help from a Social Security disability attorney, Rhode Island hepatitis C sufferers can get the guidance they need when filing their application for SSDI.
Are you struggling to receive benefits after being diagnosed with hepatitis C? Let us and others in your position know more about your experience in the comments below!