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Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Hepatitis Or Other Chronic Liver Diseases?

CaveyLaw.com > Practice Areas  > Long Term Disability & ERISA Lawyer  > Long Term Disability Disabling Conditions > Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Hepatitis Or Other Chronic Liver Diseases?

Disability insurance companies don’t always make it easy for policyholders who have hepatitis or other chronic liver disease to get the disability benefits they deserve.

How Do Disability Carriers View Hepatitis or Chronic Liver Disease Disability Claims?

There are many reasons carriers deny claims.

It is not uncommon for policyholders to have had hepatitis or chronic liver disease for years.  You will have to overcome the carrier’s argument that you have been working with these problems for years and nothing has changed.  It is crucial that your medical records develop the progression of your symptoms.

Disability carriers also frequently say coverage is excluded because your policy has a pre-existing condition clause, or benefits are limited because of a subjective limitation clause. It takes detailed planning and preparation to be successful in a hepatitis or chronic liver disease claim.

As a result, many disability claims for hepatitis or chronic liver disease are denied because the disability insurance company says:

(1) There is no objective basis of the hepatitis or chronic liver disease diagnosis,

(2) There is no objective basis for the restrictions and limitations assigned by your physician, or

(3) There is no causal relationship between your hepatitis or chronic liver disease and/or your restrictions and limitations, and your inability to do your own or any occupation.

Nancy Cavey, who has 35 years experience handling disability cases, has successfully represented many policyholders with hepatitis or chronic liver disease. She overcomes a claims denial by working closely with you and your physician.

She often employs a vocational expert to address the disability carrier’s argument that you have been able to work for years, or that there is no vocational reason you can’t work in your own or any occupation, despite your inability to come to work each day.

Nancy Cavey offers a free initial consultation and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your disability claim.

Chronic Liver Disease and Disability

Chronic liver disease occurs when there is liver cell death, liver inflammation or scarring that lasts more than six months.

Chronic liver disease includes:

  1. Chronic hepatitis,
  2. Alcohol liver disease,
  3. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis,
  4. Primary biliary cirrhosis,
  5. Primary sclerosing cholangitis,
  6. Autoimmune hepatitis,
  7. Hemochromatosis,
  8. Drug-induced liver disease,
  9. Wilson’s disease, and
  10. Serum alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

The Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis and Chronic Liver Disease

The signs and symptoms of hepatitis and other chronic liver diseases that are disabling can include:

Enlargement of the liver and spleen,

Ascites, which is fluid in the abdomen,

Peripheral edema or swelling of the arms and legs,

Altered mental state,

Itching,

Fatigue,

Nausea,

Loss of appetite, and

Sleep disturbances.

There is not always a correlation between the symptoms and the severity of the disease or functionality.

Chronic Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is the most common cause of cirrhosis. More than 50% of those infected with the hepatitis C virus, known as HCV, go on to develop chronic active hepatitis. There is also an increased risk of liver cancer.

The treatment of hepatitis involves a combination of interferon injections and oral ribavirin. If there is no early viral response, after 12 weeks treatment is often discontinued. Otherwise, treatment can last as long as 48 weeks.

The treatment combination has significant disabling side effects, including anemia, neutropenia, fever, coughs, muscle and joint pain and influenza-like symptoms.

How To Win Your Hepatitis and Chronic Liver Disease Claim

The development and progression of your hepatitis and chronic liver disease claim must be documented in your medical records. The records should document that you are being treated by a specialist.

Carriers will argue that your physician isn’t qualified to render opinions in your claim, or that you aren’t getting the right type of treatment.

It is crucial that you see a nephrologist who specializes in chronic kidney disease and, if appropriate, participate in medication trial programs. That will take care of those arguments.

How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve?

Hepatitis and chronic liver disease can interfere with your daily activities and with your ability to work. If you no longer can work because of hepatitis and chronic liver disease, or if your doctor has told you to apply for disability benefits, you should take steps before you apply:

  1. Obtain a copy of your disability policy. See how it defines “disability,” “occupation” and “self-reported conditions.” You’ll need to understand what you have to prove and if there are limitations in your coverage.
  2. Obtain a copy of your medical records. Review them to see if there is an objective basis for your diagnosis, what your records say about your report of symptoms and your restrictions and limitations.
  3. Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see if your hepatitis and chronic liver disease have affected your work performance.
  4. Obtain a copy of your job description. Create your own description of your physical duties with an explanation of how your symptoms impact your ability to do your occupation.
  5. Provide your doctor with the occupational description. Ask your doctor to prepare a report that explains the objective basis for your diagnosis, the objective basis of your restrictions and limitations, and the objective reasons you can’t perform some or all of the material and substantial duties of your occupation.
  6. Prepare a hepatitis and chronic liver disease diary that explains and gives examples of how your symptoms interfere with your ability to do things on a daily basis and the side effects of your medication.
  7. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you file your initial application. The application process is confusing and designed so you and your physician make mistakes that can result in a delay or even a denial of your benefits. Ms. Cavey knows how to prepare and file a winning shock and awe disability application that leaves the carrier little reason to question your claim.
  8. Hire Nancy Cavey to help you appeal a wrongful denial or termination of your disability benefits. Disability carriers are in the business of collecting premiums and not paying disability benefits. They’ll use any reason to deny your claim. The odds of getting your benefits on appeal are greater when you are represented by an experienced ERISA/private ID policy disability attorney.

Contact Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live

Hepatitis and chronic liver disease can make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. You owe it to yourself and your family to get help today! Nancy Cavey can review your policy and your medical records, and explain to you what your policy says and how to get your disability benefits.  Call today for a free consultation at 727-894-3188.