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Hepatitis C

Having a disease like Hepatitis C can make it extremely difficult to live a normal life.  But, we want you to know that we have handled many cases involving Hep C, and know how to represent you if you or someone you know has this disease.  Hopefully this article will help you learn a few things about Hep C.

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  For some, it can last only a short while, but for others it can turn into a seriously threatening lifelong disease.  The way it is obtained is when blood or body fluids from someone with Hep C enters the bloodstream of someone who doesn’t.  This most often occurs as a result of receiving a tainted blood transfusion, unprotected sexual activity with someone who has the disease, or from sharing needles for drug use.

As stated earlier, some people develop Hepatitis C, and it goes away eventually.  This is called Acute Hepatitis C, which is still a cause for concern.  Most of those who develop Acute Hep C will not have any symptoms, but some that may present themselves are fever, fatigue, nausea, abdominal or joint pain, and/or dark urine.  For those with Chronic Hepatitis C, the lifelong version of this disease, there often aren’t any symptoms either, but if symptoms do occur they will also include fever, fatigue, nausea, abdominal or joint pain, and/or dark urine. However, if you suspect you may have chronic Hep C (especially if you have shared needles, or had unprotected sexual activity) it can be discovered (or, hopefully, ruled out) with a simple blood test.

One of the biggest problems that go along with this disease is the inability to treat it as effectively as one might think.  Acute Hepatitis C patients can only rest, drink fluids, and get the right amount, and kind, of nutrition to combat it.  A doctor will most likely ask for your patience, as hard as that likely would be.

For chronic Hep C patients, drugs are prescribed which help to restore proper liver functioning. If these do not work, there are a number of drugs, such as Interferon, which is an intensive, long term treatment (a course of Interferon therapy usually lasts up to a year). You will need to be treated by a hepatologist (liver specialist) even if you continue to see your family practitioner.  These professionals can aid you in your attempts to get better, or live with the condition better.

Social Security defines “work” as an eight hour a day, five-day week endeavor. As in most Social Security Disability claims, the judge’s decision boils down to whether or not he or she believes that you can perform the basic functions of work (sitting, standing, walking, lifting, concentrating, interacting appropriately with people encountered in the workplace, etc.). The fact that a claimant can only perform these basic functions sporadically, but not consistently, is the basis for the large majority of successful Social Security Disability claims.

A disease like Hepatitis C can tragic to the patient and their family and friends. Having Hep C can seriously impair your ability to work, and/or live normally, and our goal is to get you benefits that you deserve if this is the case for you.  We’re very friendly, non-judgmental people who want to help you get back on the right track, so you can enjoy your life, despite having complications.  We encourage you to call us if you have any questions. It’s important that you take care of yourself, and if you are disabled by this illness, we can do the rest.

Some suggested articles for further reading:

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HepatitisC.htm
  2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hepatitisc.html
  3. http://www.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities/
  4. http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/