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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


SSI Disability and Hepatitis B and C

Author: Sharon Nicholson
Published on: July 3, 2000

URL: Inc. <>


Often Hepatitis patients become so critically ill that they can no longer work. They can go through their savings quickly, especially those who are on REBETRON or Interferon therapy.

Many people effected by Hepatitis viruses are dependent on their salaries to live and survive. They do not have working spouses or family members to depend on. If they don't work, they don't eat. Some can loose their homes, cars and children.

Financial issues are common for chronically ill patients to deal with. Especially when medical bills grow faster than the income.

This is one of the reasons that the Social Security Administration has two programs: the Social Security disability insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

For most people, the medical requirements for disability payments are the same under both programs and a person's disability is determined by the same process.

While eligibility for Social Security disability is based on prior work which contributed to your own Social Security account, SSI disability payments are made on the basis of financial need.


There are other differences in the eligibility rules for the two programs. They have a booklet that deals primarily with the Social Security disability insurance program. For information on SSI disability payments, ask at any Social Security office for the booklet, SSI (Publication No. 05-11000).

This information is available online at:

The Social Security's Toll-Free Number is: 1-800-772-1213

Their main web page is found at:

Patients who have Hepatitis B and C are not always able to receive SSI on the first try. Often Hepatitis infected people are turned down unless they can prove that they have an infection that is so sever that they are no longer able to work. Applicants who have experienced depression have a better chance of being accepted than hepatitis patients.

Because Hepatitis C patients go through so many difficulties and denials when applying for disability insurance, there is a petition that Kathryn Morse began that you can sign. This petition will go to Mr. Kenneth Apfel, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. over 4000 people have signed this very important petition.

It is recommended that any applicant who is trying to get SSI or Disability should get a copy of their medical records before applying. This reduces the delay time because they will have the information, instead of waiting while they request the information from your health care providers.

If you do apply and are denied, it is best to get a lawyer who specializes in disabilities and reapply. Most Hepatitis patients are denied the first time, so expect it!

If Your Claim Is Denied:

If your claim is denied or you disagree with any part of their decision, you may appeal the decision. The Social Security office will help you complete the paperwork.

You have 60 days from the time you receive our letter to file an appeal. They assume that you receive the letter with the denial decision five days after the date on it, unless you can show them that you received it later.

For more information about appeals, ask for the factsheet, The Appeals Process (Publication No. 05-10041).


You can read about it online at:

Another excellent site for info is at:

Remember, you must fight for your rights, even when you have no strength to fight with. Good Luck and remember to try not to stress out!