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Social Security Disability Definitions

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How long does Disability take?

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Disability Denials and Filing Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

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Facts about Cirrhosis and Filing for Disability

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

1. When a sickness or other medical condition causes liver scarring, it is called cirrhosis. As the liver scars, the scar tissue replaces healthy tissue and inhibits proper liver functioning.

2. Cirrhosis is a condition that results from long term significant damage to liver, such as from alcoholism, hepatitis B & C, cystic fibrosis and a variety of other conditions.

3. Cirrhosis usually begins and progresses without symptoms. Once the liver is severely damaged there may symptoms of fatigue, nausea, decreased appetite, weight loss, easy bruising and bleeding, and fluid in the abdominal region.

4. Those with cirrhosis are more likely to get sick with infections, to experience malnourishment even with a proper diet and to have high blood toxin levels. They may also experience pressure in the veins bringing blood to the liver (serious internal bleeding if the smaller veins burst), and increased risk of developing liver cancer.

5. Cirrhosis is diagnosed by blood tests, imaging such as CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs, and examination liver tissue through a biopsy.

6. Treatment can include treating the underlying cause, such as alcoholism or hepatitis.

7. Treatment also includes treating additional problems cirrhosis causes, such as excess fluid accumulation (low-sodium diet, water pills, or medical procedures to drain the fluid), pressure in the veins (medication or surgery), infections (antibiotics), and toxins in the blood (medications). Those with cirrhosis also have regular tests to check for liver cancer.

8. Liver transplant surgery is necessary once cirrhosis reaches an advanced enough stage that liver failure occurs.

9. It is possible to prevent cirrhosis from occurring. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and drinking alcohol in moderation are important preventative measures. Men should drink no more than two alcoholic beverages a day, while women and those over 65 should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage a day. Using chemicals, such as cleaning products, sparingly and safely can also help prevent cirrhosis. Reduce the risk of hepatitis by making healthy choices like using a condom during sex.

Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?

Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).

It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).

Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?

Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:

1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;

2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;

3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews