Hepatitis C Disability Benefits
What Is Hepatitis C?
Most people have heard of Hepatitis, but may not know how it affects the body. Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, usually caused by a virus, and it can have lasting effects on your overall health.
While there are several types of Hepatitis, the most common types are A, B, or C. Unlike Hepatitis B and C, there is a vaccine for Hepatitis A which typically prevents chronic illness. Both Hepatitis B and C are caused by a virus, HBV and HCV respectively.
Depending on the severity of the infection, Hepatitis B can last a few weeks or become a more serious chronic condition. Hepatitis C can manifest as an acute illness, but most of the time it becomes a chronic condition. Hepatitis B and C can sometimes lead to severe liver diseases or liver cancer.
Symptoms of Hepatitis C
A person with Hepatitis C may not show any symptoms of the disease for weeks, months, or even years after they have been infected. However, eventually, they will begin to experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored stools
- Joint pain
Sometimes, acute Hepatitis C symptoms will resolve themselves, but the chronic form of the disease can result in cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer.
Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C
While Hepatitis C can develop into a more serious disease, there is good news. An oral treatment for Hepatitis C is available and typically lasts from 8 to 12 weeks. The medication may cause side effects such as extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or flu-like symptoms. Treatment plans may vary and depend on the progression of the condition.
Hepatitis C and Long-Term Disability Benefits
You may find it difficult to work, depending on the stage of the disease or your doctor may want you to stop working for the duration of the treatment. In either case, you will need to file a long-term disability claim for benefits.
As with most other disability claims, you will need to provide the insurance company with proof of your diagnosis and a treatment plan from your physician. Your doctor should include any restrictions on your activities that could prevent you from performing all or part of your work. Here are a few more tips that will help you prepare your claim for Hepatitis C disability benefits.
Review Your Policy's Definition of Disability
The way long-term disability policies define disability varies. Be sure you understand the specific definition in your individual policy. Most policies consider a person disabled if they are
- Unable to perform the primary duties of his or her own occupation for the first two years of the policy, and
- Are unable to perform the duties of any occupation after the first two years of the policy.
It is crucial for you to review your policy for the definitions of disability or totally disabled.
Proof of Hepatitis C Diagnosis
You will need to submit objective medical evidence of Hepatitis C as well as details about your symptoms. Your insurance company will pay particular attention to any objective medical evidence which includes test results from an MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, liver biopsy, etc.
Documentation From All Medical Providers
Be sure to list all doctors, hospitals, and laboratories you have worked with for diagnosis or treatment of Hepatitis C. Your insurance company should be able to request your records directly from the information you provide, but if they cannot or do not, you are responsible for getting the documentation to your insurance company.
Don't Neglect Your Mental Health
Don't forget to provide records for any mental health treatment you received as a result of your Hepatitis C diagnosis. If you seek counseling for anxiety, depression, or another type of mental illness related to your diagnosis, be sure the insurance company receives a copy of the clinician?s notes.
It is possible that even if you submit all the required documentation, the insurance company could decide they don't have enough information to render a final decision and you may be asked to see one of their physicians for evaluation.
Get Help From an Expert
Filing a disability benefits claim can be a complicated process. Working with an experienced Ocala FL long-term disability attorney can help the process move along more smoothly and he or she can represent you in the event your claim is denied.
For Help With Your Hepatitis C Disability Claim
To learn more about qualifying for Hepatitis C disability benefits, contact CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC today. We can relieve some of the pressure of preparing and submitting a disability claim.