Liver disease can manifest itself in many ways. While its effects on your work capacity and daily life are potentially varied, they are almost always severe. If you have liver disease and find yourself unable to work because of its symptoms, you might qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. An accomplished disability attorney from the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you build a strong claim for disability for liver disease.
When it comes to SSD, the application process is usually long, frustrating, and unpredictable, even if you have a severe disability that easily meets the criteria for approval. Many first-time applicants receive denials, even those who have conditions that qualify for benefits. A seemingly trivial error or omission of a piece of evidence in your application can result in a denial.
The appeals process presents even more of a challenge. Its approval rate is also quite low and, whether you are applying for the first time or appealing a denial, the process usually lasts for months. That is why it is so important to get your application right the first time if you want to receive your benefits as quickly as possible.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we focus on disability law. Our attorneys help our clients gather evidence and build a strong, compelling application for benefits. Our goal is to save each client months of frustration and waiting by winning an approval on the first try.
If you are seeking disability for liver disease, we would love to invite you in for a free consultation. Our attorneys will review your claim, advise you on your options, and answer your questions. To schedule your consultation, call our office today at 866-628-8179.
We Can Help You Apply for Disability for Liver Disease.
Depending on the nature of your diagnosis, we can go about applying for and winning disability benefits in one of two ways.
The first is to demonstrate to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that your diagnosis meets all the criteria for the “Blue Book” listing for liver disease. The Blue Book serves as the SSA’s master list of medical conditions that, if the applicant meets the listed criteria, qualify for disability benefits.
Alternatively, we can complete and submit a residual functional capacity (RFC) test. We use this document to show your condition impacts your work capacity to an equivalent degree as a Blue Book condition would.
How Do I Meet a Blue Book Listing?
Liver disease has its own listing in the SSA’s Blue Book under Section 5.05. Because the condition can manifest in various ways, the listing offers multiple criteria by which we can potentially demonstrate your eligibility for benefits. The SSA will likely approve your application if we can demonstrate:
- You have esophageal or gastric hemorrhaging and x-rays or endoscopy results showing the condition;
- You have lab tests or medical imaging showing ascites or hydrothorax;
- You have spontaneous bacterial peritonitis;
- You have hepatorenal syndrome and your serum creatinine, oliguria, or sodium retention meet certain levels;
- You have hepatopulmonary syndrome coupled with negative effects on arterial oxygenation;
- You have hepatic encephalopathy, documented with abnormal behavior or cognitive dysfunction; or
- You have end-stage liver disease.
By showing that you meet any of the above criteria, we can demonstrate to the SSA that you qualify for disability based your liver disease.
At your initial consultation, we will review your diagnosis and medical records, determining if we can apply for benefits under a Blue Book listing. If you do not qualify under these criteria, we must show that your condition is functionally equivalent to a Blue Book listing. If we decide to use the equivalency method, we will begin the process of preparing an RFC test.
What Is an RFC Test?
If your liver disease diagnosis does not meet any of the Blue Book criteria as described above, you can still qualify for benefits. We have to demonstrate that your condition affects your ability to work and carry out daily living activities—eating, dressing, showering, and such—to the same degree as a Blue Book condition would.
The RFC test offers us the best method to do this. The exam, which your doctor completes, provides the SSA with an objective analysis of your condition and its impacts on your daily life. The SSA is ultimately more concerned with how your condition impacts you than with the specific nature of your diagnosis. Our goal is to present the SSA with objective, irrefutable proof that you cannot work due to your liver disease.
You Must Also Meet Income, Asset, and Work Requirements to Qualify for Disability Benefits.
Apart from meeting the SSA’s medical criteria for a disability, we also must demonstrate that you meet the income, asset, or work requirements for the program to which you are applying.
If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have a sufficient work history. Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits depends on having a limited income and limited assets.
It is very rare that a client qualifies for neither SSDI nor SSI. Chances are, if you have worked most of your life, you will qualify for SSDI. If you have been out of work for most of your life, your income will likely be low enough to qualify for SSI. Sometimes, clients even qualify to receive both.
During your initial consultation, our team can examine your finances and work history to determine if you are a good fit for SSDI, SSI, or both.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today by Calling 866-628-8179.
The accomplished Social Security lawyers at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, look forward to meeting you, answering your questions, and getting started on your claim. We want to put our tools and our successful track record to work for you. Let us help you get the benefits you deserve. Call 866-628-8179 today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our disability attorneys.