What Hepatitis C Patients Need to Know About Social Security Disability

The millions of people who contract Hepatitis C may have the same virus, but they may have vastly different symptoms and complications. For some, Hepatitis C can be a mild illness that lasts only a few weeks and for others, Hepatitis C can be a lifelong illness that results in significant liver problems.

Social Security Disability is an Option—But Not for Everyone

People with acute Hepatitis C infections that result in minor or temporary symptoms are not eligible for Social Security disability. Social Security disability is only available to those whose condition is expected to last for more than one year or result in death.

If your doctor has diagnosed you with chronic Hepatitis C, however, it is important to consider whether Social Security disability is an option for you. Social Security disability may be an option if you:

  • Have also been diagnosed with chronic liver disease and you meet the requirements for chronic liver disease described in Section 5.05 of the Listing of Impairments. More specifically, you must be diagnosed with chronic liver disease and have one of the specific complications described in that section.
  • Are unable to work due to your condition or the medications you take for your condition. The Social Security Administration will consider your residual functional capacity and whether you are able to work any type of job. If the agency finds that you are unable to work, you may be found to be disabled and you may be eligible for Social Security disability.

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others raise awareness about this condition, about how it is transmitted, and about the importance of testing for it, we encourage you to get involved in another way. Let people with Hepatitis C know that Social Security Disability may be an option if they develop chronic liver disease and let them know there may be help available if they can’t work. You can do this by sharing this blog post on social media or directly with anyone you know suffering from this condition. Your effort may make someone else’s life easier during a very difficult time.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law
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