Social Security Disability Benefits for Hepatitis C and Other Blood-borne Diseases

June 26, 2015

Nurses and other health care workers are exposed to blood-borne pathogens every day in the workplace. Whether you work in a hospital or a health clinic, a medical lab or in someone’s home, there is the chance that you will accidentally come into contact with blood-borne pathogens that can put you at risk for debilitating diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV. Hepatitis C, a chronic liver disease, is listed in the Social Security Administration listing of eligible impairments; however, it will take more than just being diagnosed with the disease to qualify you for Social Security Benefits.

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease which means that you can catch it from being exposed to the blood on an infected person, and it is the most common blood-borne disease in the U.S. The disease tends to progress slowly, so an individual who has contracted the disease may not display symptoms for many years.

Hepatitis C causes liver disease, which has several symptoms including:

  • Itchy skin
  • Sore muscles
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty sleeping and/or insomnia

These symptoms can make people ill enough that they are unable to perform their jobs.

Qualifying for SSD with Hepatitis C

In order to qualify medically for SSD when you have been diagnosed with SSD, you must be able to prove that your symptoms are severe enough to keep you from being able to work, and that the effects of your treatment also limits your ability to work. Your medical records must show evidence of the physical impairment and precisely how it keeps you from being able to do your work. The evidence in your medical records must be within 60 to 90 days of your application.

Unless your evidence can show that your symptoms are so severe that you are unlikely to be able to any kind of work, the SSA will do an assessment to determine what kind of work tasks you are able to do.

This assessment will take the form of a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment (RFC). This process determines whether you can do medium, light or sedentary work based on the functional limitations in your medical records. After the RFC has been completed, the SSA will decide what kind of work you should be able to handle.

Work with a qualified Social Security Disability attorney

Working with a lawyer who has experience working with the Social Security Administration and helping other clients get approved for benefits will improve your chances of getting approved. SSD attorneys know the process inside and out. You will have access to their understanding of the process and they can represent you if you are required to appear in a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge who will decide your case.

Are you confused about the social security disability filing process? Contact the Philadelphia SSD attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates who are ready to help. We keep multiple offices throughout PA to serve our clients in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.