Jaundice is a condition caused by too much bilirubin in the blood, which can be caused by a variety of conditions or diseases. Bilirubin builds up when red blood cells cannot be processed adequately by the liver, causing the individual’s skin to appear yellow.
Jaundice frequently occurs when a baby is born, generally disappearing within the first few weeks of life. Claimants who have severe jaundice may also have other conditions which can occur at any age. Severe conditions which can cause jaundice can include:
- Genetic conditions
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Bile duct blockages
- General liver dysfunction
Treatment of Jaundice
As mentioned above, if your young infant has jaundice it will generally resolve itself in a few weeks, but if you have jaundice as an adult or adolescent it most likely is a symptom of a much more severe condition. Immediate treatment of this condition is critical to avoid serious complications such as permanent liver failure.
Evidence that an individual’s condition may be severe includes unconsciousness, confusion, unresponsiveness, trouble breathing, or lethargy.
Winning SSDI or SSI for Jaundice
The Social Security Administration has two methods for determining disability. First, a claimant can win SSI or SSDI by proving that their condition is so severe it meets or exceeds a listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments. If they cannot prove this, they can also win SSI or SSDI benefits by proving their condition and symptoms are so severe they cannot work for at least 12 continuous months.
Meeting a Listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments
Jaundice alone, especially in a young child who are just born, will not be sufficient to win SSI benefits. If you are an adult or adolescent who has severe jaundice, as mentioned above, this is most likely a strong indication that you have another severe, underlying health condition. What you will need to prove is that your condition, which is causing the jaundice, is as severe as a condition on the SSA Listing of Impairments.
For example, if you have a severe liver condition the SSA will evaluate your condition to determine if it meets or exceeds the listing under 5.00 Digestive System, Section 5.05 Chronic liver disease.
Winning SSDI or SSI through a medical vocational allowance
If your condition does not meet or exceed a listing, you will have to prove you do not have the residual capacity to work. This is done through a medical vocational allowance. Most claimants who do not meet a listing will be denied the first time they apply, but you can take some steps to improve your chances of winning at the application level.
For instance, you need to get great medical evidence that you cannot work. For instance, if you have a severe liver condition make sure your medical records clearly outline your work limitations.
Talk to your doctor. You will not need a doctor’s note stating you are disabled, but if they are willing to document work limitations this will help your case. Work limitations can include the following:
- How long you can walk, sit or stand?
- Do you have to take frequent breaks?
- How much weight can you lift or carry?
- How frequently do you have to go to the restroom?
- Do you have difficulty completing a work day? Work week?
Talk to a disability lawyer if you have questions about what information the SSA needs to find you disabled.
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