Disability and Chronic Liver Disease – Social Security Benefits

Disability and Chronic Liver Disease – Social Security Benefits

To be considered for Social Security disability benefits, applicants must prove they suffer from at least one chronic liver disease that severely limits their ability to work:


  • Cirrhosis of the liver/alcoholic liver disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis B
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver failure






Chronic Liver Disease





People with liver disease attributed drug abuse may also be approved for Social Security disability benefits.


What is the Criteria for Meeting the SSA’s Liver Disease Listing?


A doctor must diagnose you with chronic liver disease lasting more than six months or with end-stage liver disease accompanied by at least one of the following:


  • Excess fluid in the pleural or peritoneal cavity
  • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (infection if the stomach lining)
  • Gastrointestinal and/or esopheageal hemorrhage
  • Hepatorenal and/or hepatopulmonary syndrome
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • End-stage liver disease (SSA CLD score of 22+)


The Social Security Administration has a different liver disease listing for people who have had a liver transplant. To qualify for Social Security benefits under this listing, you must provide documents proving you have had a liver transplant. The SSA will then consider you disabled for at least one year following the transplant


Failing to meet requirements for liver disease disability benefits means the SSA won’t automatically approve applicants for benefits but may examine whether the person has functional limitations that prevent them from working.


What are Functional Limitations of Liver Disease?


Although people with chronic liver disease may not suffer symptoms described under the SSA’s liver disease listing, they are often too tired or too weak to stay employed. Pain from liver diseases can also prevent someone from standing, walking or sitting for extended periods. In some cases, liver disease patients take multiple medications that cause adverse side effects such as nausea, cognitive problems and fatigue.


The disability attorneys James Mitchell Brown have helped many individuals with a liver disease get approved for Social Security disability benefits without being initially denied. Call our office today to schedule an appointment if you have liver disease and plan to file for disability.

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