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The liver has many important functions in maintaining a healthy body. It produces the fluid called bile that is responsible for breaking up large chunks of fats in food to enable the secretions from the pancreas to digest the fats. Additionally, the liver regulates the amount of sugar in the blood by either removing or releasing glucose into the blood stream. It also serves as a filter cleaning the blood of waste materials and produces certain type of protein that helps the blood clot.

Individuals with liver disease are too ill and incapacitated to work and do usual activities. It is estimated that yearly direct health care costs for liver disease range from $60 billion to over $100 billion in US alone. And many of these affected individuals rely on Social Security disability and Medicare/Medicare for financial support. The Social Security Administration follows a standard to evaluate liver problems and determine if the worker is entitled to disability insurance benefits.

The Social Security Administration has a Listing of Impairments which is used to determine if you meet the standards for disability insurance benefits. However, if you do not meet the criteria then you would not be approved of your application. But an Administrative Law Judge can still award you a disability insurance benefit if the Judge finds that your health problems meet the equivalent of a listing for disability. Aside from relying on eligibility for disability benefit from the listing, the alternative means to have your application be approved requires is to provide a medical proof of symptoms from the impairment, so severe that you could not function at any type of work.

As with any disability, a person with liver disease can also qualify for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. The medical requirements for both programs are almost the same. The only difference lies in the non-medical requirements. Issues concerning insurability, job existence or employability are not considered in determining eligibility although age and education are often important factors. Oftentimes, disability claims are denied at first. If this happens to you, your next step is to file for a Request for Reconsideration from the Social Security Administration office. If you are still denied, then you can request for a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge. This is the most critical part of your application for benefit as this is the only time when the judge gets to see and question you.

If you want to make sure that you get the benefit you are claiming for, you might consider soliciting the help of a lawyer. Although representation by a lawyer in filing a claim is not required it is still recommended to improve your chance of getting approved.
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