Hepatitis C Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability
Hepatitis C is often seen on applications for social security disability and SSI. If you are considering filing for disability based primarily on this impairment, the following pages may be of some use in explaining how the disability system works and and may help to answer related questions.
1. What are the qualifications and criteria for disability?
2. How much medical evidence do you need to win social security disability or SSI?
3. What kinds of medical conditions qualify for social security disability or SSI?
4. What is the average amount of time to get approved for disability?
5. Do you need an attorney to win Social Security Disability?
6. Why do you need a lawyer or attorney for social security disability?
What follows is basic information on Hepatitis C:
Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the blood that affects more than one hundred fifty thousand individuals worldwide. There are more than four million Hepatitis C sufferers in the United States alone.
There are two stages of Hepatitis C -- acute hepatitis (infection lasts six months or less before it clears the body and chronic hepatitis (infection last longer than six months). Generally acute hepatitis is asymptomatic or has very mild and common flu like symptoms.
What are the potential symptoms of Hepatitis C? Symptoms for hepatitis C might include abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, jaundice, or itching.
How is hepatitis C spread from one individual to another? Hepatitis C is spread by blood to blood transfer including intravenous drug use (shared needles), unsafe sex (especially anal penetration or other sex practices that might cause abrasions), tattoos (non sterile needles or equipment) inhaled drugs such as heroin or cocaine (studies indicate that straws used to “snort drugs” may have blood or mucous), body piercing, and the sharing of toothbrushes, nail clippers and razors.
All of the above listed situations might include the transference of blood. These same studies seem to indicate that hepatitis C is not spread through casual contact such as touching, hugging, eating (sharing forks or spoons), or kissing.
It is estimated about seventy percent of the individuals who have acute hepatitis are asymptomatic and that about twenty percent of all individuals with acute hepatitis C will clear the virus on their own without medication. However, that leaves eighty percent that develop chronic hepatitis C, which is very difficult to “cure”. In the past, individuals who were in the acute stage were not treated, however the current practice is to treat individuals during the acute stage as it shortens the treatment time for those who develop chronic hepatitis C by about fifty percent.
Not all individuals can be cured by drug therapies such as interferon, viramidine, and ribavirin. Chronic Hepatitis C may lead to other more serious conditions such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. In fact, Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplant in the United States.
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