Liver disease may not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of an injury or illness that causes a person to miss work. What many people fail to realize is that the condition is often not detected until it is in advanced stages, which can make treating the illness extremely difficult.
Those who have some form of the condition may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if they are unable to work. The Social Security Administration lists certain liver conditions on its listing of impairments, which means that the agency will provide benefits if specific medical criteria are met.
According to WebMD, nearly one-third of those initially diagnosed have conditions so serious that they die within the first few months. Researchers have focused on methods of finding ways to diagnose the condition sooner.
A new test that has been developed may reduce the time it takes to make an initial diagnosis. Doctors may be able to check an individual’s blood to see if certain indicators are present, and then assign a score to the person. If they fall within the risk categories, they may already have damage and a treatment plan may begin.
If an individual is applying for SSD benefits, they need to be sure that the proper information is submitted with their applications. Initial applications are often denied, but appeals are allowed. However, this can add additional time to the wait for benefits, and many with liver disease do not have the luxury of waiting for their applications to work their way through the system.
Source: WebMD “‘Traffic light test’ promises to detect liver disease earlier” Lilian Anekwe, August 31, 2012.
For more information about Social Security Benefits, please see the page regarding SSD on our website.