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Hepatitis C- How much will SSDI pay me for my disability?

Recently on our disability forum we had a claimant ask how much they could expect to receive for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if they had Hepatitis C. This blog will address how the Social Security Administration determines payment for your disability and how you will be paid if the SSA agrees you are disabled and unable to work or perform substantial gainful activity.

How does SSDI differ from Workers’ Compensation or VA Disability benefits?

If you have been injured at work or in the military you may be familiar with permanent partial disability benefits. Workers’ Compensation and the Veteran’s Administration both offer partial disability payments to claimants who are not totally disabled.

Although the process is a bit different for each program, the general gist is that a doctor will use their clinical judgment and freedom, maybe with certain guidelines or charts, to estimate the percentage of disability and assign each disabled worker a disability rating. Claimants are then paid a benefit which corresponds to that partial disability rating.

For Workers’ Compensation the impairment percentages are determined by medical specialists and reflect “the severity of the medical condition and the degree to which the impairment decreases an individual's ability to perform common activities of daily living (ADL), excluding work.”

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and payments for Hepatitis C

The Social Security Administration does not provide any type of partial disability benefits, and claimants will not be given a disability rating. This means claimants will not be paid for partial or short-term conditions. The SSDI applicant will, however, be expected to prove that they are 100% disabled and they are not able to work for at least 12 continuous months.

Whether or not the applicant is disabled will be determined by reviewing the SSDI applicant’s current medical records. The applicant is not generally sent to a consultative examiner (an independent contractor who is hired by the SSA to evaluate disability applicants) unless they do not have sufficient medical evidence to prove their case.

So if the SSA is not going to give you a disability rating than how will they determine how you are paid? Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or SSDI is based on the claimant’s average earnings and payroll tax contributions to Social Security. The more the claimant has paid into Social Security system, the more in monthly benefits they may be entitled to receive. There is not a set amount. If they qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance they can review their Statement of Earnings which is sent to workers each year by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for an estimated payment amount. Claimants can also contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 for specific information.

How much will I get for Hepatitis C?

First, you will have to prove that you have a severe condition that is expected to last for 12 continuous months, it is so severe that you cannot work and that you are insured for SSDI benefits. Unlike SSA retirement benefits, SSDI is not an entitlement program, and most applicants are denied benefits the first time they apply.

As mentioned above, the amount you will receive for Hepatitis C will not be based on your condition or the severity of your condition but on how much you have paid into the SSA system through your employment taxes