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Hepatitis C Disability Insurance Benefit Claim Help

The hepatitis C virus, also called HCV, is considered to be among the most serious of the hepatitis viruses. A hepatitis C infection usually produces no signs or symptoms during its earliest stages. However, individuals diagnosed with hepatitis C may qualify for disability benefits if they are unable to work or perform daily activities as a result of the chronic illness. Claimants with hepatitis C must meet specific guidelines in order to have their disability claim approved. Our disability insurance attorneys can help you file your hepatitis C disability benefit application as well as discuss whether you meet these strict requirements.

Talk with us today to learn more about how we can assist you if a disability insurance company has limited or denied your claim for hepatitis C disability benefits. Most claimants diagnosed with Hep C undergo interferon treatment. Unfortunately many clients experience disabling cognitive difficulties and extreme fatigue as a result of the medications available for Hep C. Many disability carriers expect a claimant to return to work as soon as they begin to have normal blood test results.

Unfortunately, normal blood test results do not mean a person is able to return to work and commit to 8 hours a day of regular.

How Does Hepatitis C Cause Disability?

A hepatitis C infection that continues for more than six months is called chronic hepatitis C. This can cause significant medical complications, such as:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver failure
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Internal bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Death

There is no cure for hepatitis C, but some patients benefit from treatment with medications. Unfortunately, these medications can also cause individuals debilitating side effects. Our firm has represented several clients with hepatitis C that have developed long term cognitive impairments and other serious conditions as a result of their treatment.

Our Experience with Hepatitis C Disability Insurance Claims

The case study found below is an overview of how we were able to help a woman appeal her hepatitis C disability denial: Liberty Mutual Reverses Decision to Terminate Disability Benefits.

Our firm accepts clients who need to apply, appeal, or litigate their individual insurance policies as well as members of group disability policies needing to litigate in federal courts under ERISA regulations. To schedule a free consultation of your claim, call us or contact our team of disability insurance lawyers online by filling out a case review form. We are available to help you anywhere in the USA.

Resources

There are many helpful sites for individuals to learn more about hepatitis C such as:

Additionally, charities have been formed to help those living with hepatitis C including:

We are committed to providing you the most current information about hepatitis C disability benefits and laws. Return to this page often to keep informed about important changes that may impact your case.

There are 14 opinions so far. Add your comment now.

Dennis Hiser:

I have hepatitis C and have been seeing doctors for this for about five years. Last month the stress from work landed me on short term disability, and I have lost a lot of memory. I am also fatigued greatly. Can I get long term disability, as my employer has this? I am only being given short term for a month at this point.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Dennis,

I am sorry to hear about your medical condition. In order to determine if you would be eligible for long term disability insurance, we would need to review your disability policy. If you contact us through our free consultation form, we will then contact you to arrange a free consultation to discuss your potential long term disability claim. You must contact your employer in order to obtain a copy of your long term disability policy.

Rhonda:

I took interferon and ribavirin for 6 months in 2000. When I started the treatment for Hep. C, I was told there were no lasting effects. I had back and joint pain while taking treatment and I was put on depression medicine because my emotions were off the wall.

I did clear the Hep. C. Ever since the treatment, I have had several mental breakdowns. My anxiety is off the charts, I cannot sleep without medication anymore. I have nerve pain and joint pain. That cannot be pinned down. I cannot remember a lot of things. I am in constant pain and I was hospitalized several times due to mental issues, that I never had before the treatment.

I am on SSDI for mental impairment. I won on my first hearing. I don’t even remember doing it. My doctor, that treated my Hep. C said he would not treat another person because of my reactions and another he had on treatment. Had I known what I do now I would have never had treatment. I had no liver damage and my liver panel was good.

I worked one year after treatment and I took out STD and LTD. I got my STD but they denied my LTD and I was in no shape to fight them. I did work long enough to get my LTD.

I can no longer handle any stress or emotional things anymore. I cannot sit or stand or walk for any period of time. Mentally I can not handle things like I use to.

I was wondering if I have any recourse for long term effects of treatment and my LTD? I worked for WalMart home office in the insurance department and I was too sick to fight them. I have no short term memory anymore. I am 46 years old. I feel if I could take back that 6 months of treatment my life would be very different.

Thanks.

Attorney Greg Dell:

Rhonda,

If your disability claim goes back to 2000, then the period of time to file a claim has expired.

Beverly:

I am an RN and had a back injury for which I could hardly move. I was so tired all the time but never said anything – like are all nurses tired? I went to my family Dr. and he took a lot of labs and I showed positive for Hep. C. He then sent me to the CDC doctors here. My count was extraordinary low – everything. My platelets were in the 40’s. My liver enzymes were horribly high. I was then sent to the gastro doctors. I took the treatment twice – peginterferon and ribavarin, copegus interferon with reba. Both times I did not last more than 2-3 months before they had to stop. My white count was 1.5 etc.. The treatment was killing me. I have been on maintenance as there is no way to treat me. I then went to Oncology to have them give me the interferons. I gave myself the reba, procrit and neupogen. They tried to infuse platelets but it was less than an hour there was no accumulation. I had a seizure, and hallucinatons terribly bad.

Today – over 10 years I have been so ill with this virus. I take Xifaxin, Ametriptoline, lasix, spirolactone, and potassium. I take 4 -20oz of Kristalose daily as the virus crosses the brain barrier. I have no short term memory, unable to sleep, common sense is at a low level. I do things and forget I did them… I am in horrid pain and they can not give me anything because of the encephalopathy.

I have DJD, too. Since I fell ill, I have had to undergo a complete right hip, broken right hand and wrist. I have problems with both shoulders and the surgeon who did my right hip states I will have to have the other done. I can not undergo any more because it brings the encephalopathy on.

OK. My question is, concerning my situation, if you feel that there will be a time when I just can not think rationally? I have retired myself from the surgical ward – in fact all nursing areas as I can not trust my decisions. I can no longer do anything that causes a lot of thought. It is awful.

I thank you for reading such a long note,
Beverly

Attorney Greg Dell:

Beverly,

I am sorry to hear about your struggle with Hep C and other orthopedic problems. It sounds like you should be eligible for a disability insurance claim. I cannot tell from your comment if you are working or not. Your questions about your ability to think rationally should be directed toward a medical doctor and not a lawyer. The best doctors for your memory concerns are a neurologist and neuropsychologist. I hope this feedback is helpful.

Ivana:

I am 21 years old and was diagnosed with Hep. C in late 2009. I also have vaso vague syncopy, diabetes, thyroid condition, arthritis (RA), depression, and anxiety. The state of TN took my insurance away in 2010 so I was not able to begin treatment. I haven’t been able to take any medication for my other problems because I have no insurance. I have not been able to work because my illnesses have taken a very deep impact on my body. I applied for disability in 2011 and again in 2012 and I was denied. I am running out of options and desperately need assistance with my Hep. C treatment. What else can I do?

Attorney Greg Dell:

Ivana,

It sounds like your only option would be to apply for SSDI again or appeal your denial if you still have time to appeal.

Daniel W Arnold:

I am a senior software engineer. I have enjoyed a great career working as a subcontractor for over 20 years. I love what I do, and am considered a workoholic by most.

I have chronic HCV. I joined a clinical trial a few years ago, but had to drop out because of my low blood-call count. It was outside the parameters set by the trial.

Since that trial I have new symptoms including: tremors, visible in my hands, but more subtle all throughout my body. I have had chronic headaches for years, but now they are much more frequent and intense.

I am currently missing an average of 2 days a week at work. I feel my only options are:

  • Another shot at the treatment
  • Retire (I’m only 56 – I’ll go broke)
  • Seek an LTD claim hoping this won’t end my career.
Anita Wyatt:

I just got approved for disability (haven’t received a check yet). I have to start Hep. C treatments, but don’t know how I can afford them! Is there any place that can help me with cost of treatments? Thanks.

Bob W.:

I had a liver transplants for Hep C in 9/2000 and after 15 years started to get sick again. I tried many Hep C treatments over the 15 years and finally had luck with my last treatment that the viral load cannot be measured. Of course the say you have been cured, however my understanding is that the virus can become suppressed and Hep C could get bad again. It has been around 1 year now but I needs another one transplant to live due to critical cirrhosis. I switched transplant centers for qualifying for the second one. I am now on the UNOS Transplant List. My original transplant center for my first transplant did not accept me for the second transplant at this time that is why I switched. I transplant surgeon recommend and referred me to this other Transplant Center. Now it is a big wait. I have good and bad days right now. My job involves many hours of work a week and sometimes 20 to 30 hours and dayon conference calls for major issues in IT since I am on the tech sice with 35 years of IT experience and worked in another field for a shot time. I qualified for STD and LTD so far but it is going on a year in 8/2017 and I expect negativity from the LTD insurance company. In a month or two they require me to apply for SSDI. This is a BIG issue right now since the government statistics show around 70% of first SSDI applications are denied and a person had to appeal this denial. Why SSDI when I have LTD? I assume it is the insurance company my employer uses so the insurance company t can reduce their payout for my LTD amount and replace it with the SSDI. Thus saving them money. I payed all my working life into LTD benefits, like SS, so why does the little guy get tossed around here?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Bob, you are correct, group disability policies contain provisions related to sources of other income, which reduce (offset your benefit), with SSDI being one of the most common. Courts have upheld these provisions as enforceable. If you have concerns regarding your claim please feel free to contact our office to discuss.

John P.:

I have had Hep C since my 30’s. I’m now 64 yrs old. I have not had any treatment at all and have coped with this for many years. I see my Dr. once a month. I have been with my company for 17 yrs. Since the new treatment Harvoni has come my Dr. said I would be a good canadate for this treatment but our health insurance BSBC won’t pay for it, recommending some other kind of drugs that my Dr says might not cure me. For the last couple years my blood counts have gone higher and fatigue has been a constant battle along with the ability to focus causing me to miss a lot of time in the last year. Not being able to sleep well at night and bouts of depression. We have short term and long term disability, would I be eligible to receive LTD for this. My Dr has tried many avenues to get the Harvoni treatment for me covered but it has not panned out. I feel frustrated at this time in my life where I have been a dedicated employee and like my job, I’m a technician for a huge defense contractor. I just don’t have strength or stamina to perform my job functions anymore in this high paced and demanding enviroment . I’m the group leader of my department. I’m trying just to make it one more year for 66 to retire. To have the chance to rest now at this time and receive this insurance would be beneficial mentally and physically until I can get the Harvoni probably through Medicare when retirement comes in a year. Please advise.
Thanks John P.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

John, if your doctor will support a claim for disability then you could explore your options for filing for disability benefits under your employer’s policies. If you have a copy of your policy and would like a free consultation regarding your rights under same please feel free to contact our office.

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