Is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease A Disability?

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease refers to the extra fat buildup in liver cells, which does not take place because of alcohol. In normal conditions, the liver contains fat to some extent. However, if the fat accumulation in your liver exceeds 5percent to 10percent, a patient suffers from steatosis i.e. fatty liver. (1)

Is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease A Disability?

Is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease A Disability?

Your social security-based disability claim focuses on specific symptoms you have because of your nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Especially, your disability claim is based on how the symptoms affect the ability of a person to perform mental and physical work-related activities i.e. five days in a week and 8 hours in a day.

Steps To Determine the Disability Of A Person By Social Security Administration

SSA i.e. Social Security Administration follows a 5-step procedure to determine your disabled condition.

Step 1- Are You Working?

SSA determines whether if you possess substantial gainful activity or not. Every year, SGA considers a specific minimum amount of your earnings. In the year 2018, the minimum amount was $1180 monthly if the person is not blind and $1970 monthly in the case of a blind person. If you are a working person and you have earnings exceeding the SGA limit, the SSA does not consider you a disabled person. On the other side, if do not work and your monthly income is less than the SGA limit, SSA will judge your problem based on the second step. (2)

Step 2- Severity Of Your Medical Condition

SSA considers your disability when your medical condition significantly limits your capability to perform basic activities, like standing, sitting, lifting, walking, carrying, memorizing, understanding and doing simple jobs. In addition, if your problem affects your ability to follow any simple instruction, taking a few of the work-related decisions, responding in the right way to supervisors and your co-workers. Along with this, your disability depends on your way of dealing with changes in your regular work setting.

SSA will consider your disability if you have any of the medically defined mental or physical impairments or a combination of the mentioned severe impairments. Besides, you will have a disability if your physical, mental or the combination of both lasts for about 1 year. On the other side, if your medical condition fails to meet the mentioned requirements, SSA will judge your disability associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver based on the criteria of the third step. (2)

Step 3- Medical Criteria To Judge The Severity Of Impairment

Social Security Administration maintains a list containing the considerable medical criteria to judge the severity of one’s mental or physical impairment in case he/she suffers from steatohepatitis or non-alcoholic liver disease. In this case, your impairment fails to meet with any of the problems highlighted in the listings; SSA will judge your impairment according to the Residential Functional Capacity. Abbreviated as RFC, Residential Functional Capacity involves the assessment of a person’s ability function by function to do any regular, sustained and continuing work even with restrictions related to your medical impairments. (2)

Step 4-Does Your Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Prevents You from the PRW

Social Security Administration determines whether your medical condition prevents you from doing your PRW. Here, PRW i.e. the Past Relevant Work refers to any full-time work you have done during the last 15 years period. In addition, PRW should be a substantial gainful activity for you and something, which you have done enough for learning the job. If SSA finds that you are able to perform any of the PRWs, you may not be considered as a disabled candidate. However, if you fail to perform your PRWs, your procedure will go-ahead to the last step. (2)

Step 5-Whether You Can Do Any Other Work?

SSA will check your ability to do any other type of work. For this, they review your education, medical condition, work experience and additional skills you may possess to perform other tasks. If you fail to do any other type of payable job because of the nonalcoholic fatty liver problem, SSA will consider you as a disabled person. (2)


To conclude, the disability of a nonalcoholic fatty liver patient depends on his/her age, health condition and ability to do regular work or another type of work.

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