Liver Disease and SSD
What plays over 500 roles within the body, can regenerate itself, and is the second largest organ in the human body? The liver! Situated on the right side of the stomach and weighing about 3 pounds, the liver plays a wide variety of roles within the body.
- Bile production
- Absorbing and metabolizing bilirubin, a compound that supports red blood cells
- Supporting blood clots
- Metabolizing fat, carbohydrates, and proteins
- Filtering the blood
And that’s not all! Along with these important roles, the liver is also the only organ that can regenerate itself. As long as there is 25% left of an overall healthy liver, it can grow back to its normal size within 18 days.
The liver is a pretty incredible part of the human body. That said, all its important roles mean that if something goes wrong, it can wreak havoc on the entire body. When someone has a condition that affects the liver, it is called a liver disease. Heavy drug or alcohol use is a frequent cause of liver diseases. They can also result from viruses like hepatitis or from genetic factors.
Types of Liver Diseases
Some types of liver diseases include:
- Cirrhosis, or liver scarring
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
- Hemochromatosis, which occurs when iron deposits enter the liver
- Primary biliary cirrhosis, which destroys bile ducts in the liver
4.5 million Americans live with some type of liver disease, and 40,545 people die every year. Many people with liver disease require surgery, and some may even eventually need a liver transplant.
No matter the cause, a liver disease diagnosis can be life-changing. But is a diagnosis enough to qualify someone for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits?
Liver Diseases and SSD
For liver disease to be considered for SSD, it needs to be a chronic condition. This means that it must last at least 12 months, be expected to last at least 12 months, or be expected to end in death. For example, if someone is able to alleviate their symptoms by giving up alcohol, their condition would likely not be considered chronic. On the other hand, if someone’s condition is severe enough to require a transplant, their condition is likely chronic.
Even if a liver disease is a chronic condition, certain complications must still exist for someone to qualify for SSD. These complications include spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and hepatic encephalopathy.
However, even if someone does not meet this listing, they may still find benefits due to functional limitations. If someone suffers from severe limitations, like extreme tiredness or pain that prevents them from lifting things, they may qualify for SSD if they are not able to do any kind of work. For example, if someone is unable to work at their previous construction job but can still work in an office despite their limitations, they might not qualify for SSD.
Like with any other condition, finding benefits for a liver disease can be a challenging process, especially when someone is already suffering. If you are suffering from a liver disease or want to help a loved one receive SSD benefits, an experienced SSD attorney can see you through the process.
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