If I’m a veteran, can I get disability benefits for cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is classified as a liver disease. It's sometimes referred to as a silent condition because patients don’t always exhibit symptoms. After this critical organ experiences long-term damage, scar tissue replaces the healthy tissue in the liver and makes it impossible for it to filter toxins, fight infections, and perform other necessary duties, such as clotting blood. 

cirrhosisIf you’re a veteran who’s been diagnosed with cirrhosis, you may be eligible for disability from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, it may be difficult to obtain benefits for this condition. An experienced veterans disability attorney can help ensure you meet the criteria for submitting a successful claim.

Qualifying for Benefits for Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is not always caused by alcohol. There are a variety of ways to qualify but the basic rule is that benefits will not be paid for secondary disabilities such cirrhosis that result from primary alcohol or other drug abuse disability.  However benefits may be paid under the following conditons:

  • An alcohol or drug abuse disability develops as a secondarily to service  connected condition; or
  • A secondarily service connected drug or alcohol  disabilty that is aggravated.

One easy example to undersatnd  is a veteran who abuses alcohol secondarily to a service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder who develops cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse may be entitled to service connection for cirrhosis.  

Diagnosing Cirrhosis

While doctors can diagnosis cirrhosis by evaluating blood tests, considering your military history, and discussing your exposure to TCE, the only way to prove you have cirrhosis is through a liver biopsy. By removing liver tissue and analyzing it, a doctor can confirm this condition.

We Can Help

The attorneys at Cuddigan Law can assist you when applying to the VA with a disability claim for cirrhosis. We’ll look at your specific case and discuss your situation, offering our years of experience to help increase your chances of getting an approved claim. Contact Cuddigan Law today.

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska