The Social Security Administration, or SSA, has strict rules and regulations when it comes to approving disability claims for illnesses that result from alcohol and drug use. In some cases, claims for a disease that results from alcohol or drug use are rejected. However, if you suffer from liver disease that is the result of alcoholic cirrhosis, there is a chance that you can qualify for assistance. Here is what you need to know.
What Do You Need to Prove to Be Approved?
Your application for benefits is evaluated for certain criteria when it is first received. Those criteria take into account your income, the nature of your disability, and how long the disability is expected to last. Your income level has to be below a set amount to be approved. In 2015, if your income exceeded $1,090 each month, you could not qualify for benefits.
When evaluating your disability, the SSA wants to be sure that it is disabling enough that you cannot work and that it will last at least 12 months. If you have alcoholic cirrhosis, the severity of the condition will dictate whether or not you can be approved for benefits. The diagnosis of the condition is not enough to get the approval. The disease has to have progressed enough that it is resulting in complications that are considered impairing by the SSA.
What Is Considered Impairing?
The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions and complications that it considers severe enough to qualify for disability benefits. There are several complications that pertain to alcoholic cirrhosis. If your condition has deteriorated to the point that you have developed hepatorenal syndrome, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, or end-stage liver disease, you would meet the requirements for automatic approval of benefits. There are several other complications that are also on the list.
The SSA commonly rules that illnesses caused by alcohol and drugs are ineligible for benefits. The justification for this is that by discontinuing the use of these substances, your health would improve and you would no longer need benefits. However, if your disease cannot be improved by stopping alcohol or drug usage, you could qualify for benefits. Since cirrhosis is a progressive disease, you could receive benefits since your condition will continue to deteriorate.
What If You Do Not Have a Complication?
If your condition has not advanced to the point that you meet the criteria for an automatic approval, you can still try for approval. Your doctor can complete a residual functional capacity form. The form is an assessment of how well you can perform functions, such as walking, lifting, standing, and understanding directions. If your doctor believes that you are physically unable to perform the duties of your job, this could possibly lead to an approval of benefits.
Getting approval for a benefits application due to alcoholic cirrhosis can be difficult in some instances. To improve the chances of approval, work with an experienced attorney like Duncan Disability Law SC.