You Can Get Disability Benefits For Crohns Disease If You Meet The Requirements For Inflammatory Bowel Disease
By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation deep in the layers of the intestinal wall and throughout the gastrointestinal track. Sufferers may experience chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fevers, weight loss, fecal incontinence and abdominal pain. Many Crohn’s patients also experience problems in areas outside the intestinal track, including arthritis, kidney disease, and disorders of the eye and skin. The SSA will consider all of your Crohn’s related symptoms when determining your eligibility for disability.
The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown though scientists believe genetics, the environment, and the patient’s own immune system play a large role.
How To Win Disability Benefits For Crohns Disease
There are specific challenges in preparing your long-term disability benefits claim for Crohns disease.
Ive already described the steps you should take to gain a firm diagnosis for Crohns disease. Remember, the CPP disability administration will not approve your CPP disability benefits just because a doctor diagnosed you with the condition.
If only it were that easy. To win CPP disability benefits for Crohns disease, the true challenge is to prove that your symptoms render you unable to function in any workplace while taking into account your age and work experience.
You will have to present a very well-organized application that includes well-documented medical evidence. In addition to comments and descriptions made above, here are the main points to consider for Crohns disease.
What If I Dont Meet An Ssa Listing
Sometimes people with Crohns are too sick to work but dont meet the SSA listing criteria for IBD or weight loss. In this case, you can still be approved for disability, but it may be more difficult. The SSA will look at your documented symptoms to determine at what level you can work: heavy work, medium work, light work, or sedentary work. This is called your residual functional capacity . The SSA will then evaluate whether you are able to do your past work with your RFC rating. If the SSA believes you can do your past work, your claim will be denied.
If the SSA believes you are unable to do your past work, it will next consider your ability to learn and do other jobs given your RFC, and your age, education, and work background. Older, less educated people who worked more sedentary jobs are more likely to be approved at this stage.
To help the SSA assess your RFC correctly, its helpful to provide the SSA with an analysis from your treating doctor about how the Crohns affects your ability to work. Your doctor can fill out an RFC form to describe your limitations: how long you are able to sit, stand, walk, lift, carry, push and pull, and whether you are required to rest throughout the day and if you need frequent and unscheduled breaks. The more restrictions your RFC reflects, the more likely you are to be approved .
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Documentation And Tests Used
IBD is listed in the digestive system section of the Blue Book. There is a list of documentation that is needed in order to be considered for disability. This includes medical records of both what a doctor says and what appropriate medically acceptable imaging studies and reports” show.
Appropriate means that the test is one that is generally considered to be used for managing that disease. Some of the tests that are often used to diagnose and manage IBD that are listed include:
- Computerized tomography
- X-ray imaging
Crohns Disease And Ulcerative Colitis As Basis For Social Security Disability
Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are both included in a larger set of conditions known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease . Over the years I have assisted many clients obtain social security disability benefits on the basis of their IBD alone. In this post, I discuss these conditions as well as how the conditions can support a finding of disability.
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The Blue Book Listing For Ibd
IBD is a condition for which people can receive Social Security benefits. The U.S. Social Security Administration has a list of medical conditions and descriptions which guides the social security application process. This is called the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security or as its sometimes known, the Blue Book.
The Blue Book is updated on a regular basis, is quite detailed, and it contains a lot of information that is helpful to those looking to apply for benefits. Not every condition or the complications that can happen with that condition is listed in the Blue Book.
However, if a disease or condition is listed, it means that the standards for it in regards to disability have been laid out. IBD is a disease that is listed in the Blue Book. The language in the Blue Book is meant for professionals that work in the Social Security disability space, such as doctors and lawyers.
Many people will want to get some assistance, such as from a disability lawyer, when looking at the criteria laid out in the Blue Book in order to understand it better and to make a strong case when applying for disability.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease And Disability Insurance: A Claimants Guide
The symptoms and uncertainty associated with inflammatory bowel disease can turn your life upside down. If youre unable to work due to your ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. However, the process of getting benefits can feel overwhelming especially during a flare.
At Bryant Legal Group, we guide people through their complex disability insurance claims and help them get the benefits they deserve. In this article, we discuss the essentials of IBD-related disability claims.
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Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits Due To Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is evaluated by the Social Security Administration under the disability listing for inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease is on the Administrations listing of impairments, which may improve your chances of obtaining benefits in some cases. To qualify for benefits, you must demonstrate the following:
Obtaining Social Security disability benefits can be an involved process. If you have never applied for benefits in the past, you may feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, we are here to help. We encourage you to view our free guide, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, as an excellent starting point.
Do I Need To Talk To An Attorney About Disability For My Ulcerative Colitis
At Berger and Green, we can review your application information and medical records to ensure you meet the qualifications before you apply for disability.
If the BDD has sent you a letter denying your benefits, reach out to us as soon as possible. We have 60 days following this denial to request reconsideration and begin the appeals process. We will guide you through this process and fight to get you the benefits you deserve.
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Dont Gloss Over Your Other Medical Conditions
Many people with IBD also struggle with other serious health issues, including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. When you apply for long-term disability benefits, the insurance company must consider all of your diagnoses, not just IBD.
So, its important that you dont minimize your other medical conditions or focus solely on your ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease when you apply for disability insurance benefits. Both your doctor and the insurance company need to understand the full and accurate picture of your health.
The Disability Benefits You Can Receive
The benefits received from the SSA are monetary. This is designed to help cover the costs of lost wages, increased treatments, and surgeries. The precise amount you receive varies, as it is partially based on your lifetime average earnings. You can get an estimate of this amount directly from the SSA before you apply for disability benefits.
After receiving benefits, the SSA will check in with your progress. You may be required to submit additional documentation to prove your disability, if requested. As a general rule of thumb, the SSA wants recipients to be able to work again. Once you resume work, you would no longer be able to receive SSDI benefits. If your condition makes it impossible for you to continue working, you might receive benefits indefinitely.
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Crohns Disease And Ulcerative Colitis
Conditions that affect the intestines or bowel can severely curtail everyday activities. For many sufferers, the option of going to work is simply unavailable. At the Disability and Injury Law Offices of David R. Machek, we represent clients who suffer from severe intestinal conditions such as Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis seek appropriate financial assistance through Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis can be severely debilitating, having an impact on your ability to manage the day-to-day care for your family or secure employment.
Symptoms of Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis include stomach cramping, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, blood in stool, ulcers, reduced appetite or weight loss, and fever and fatigue.
Hiring A Disability Lawyer
Most claimants, who do not have a condition that meets a listing, will benefit from the expertise of a disability lawyer. Talk to a disability lawyer and find out what types of information can help with your claim. Examples can include blood tests, stool sample, a colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, barium enema, X-ray, and CT scan.
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Can I Get Social Security Disability For Ulcerative Colitis
Disability claims based on colitis need to be credible and supported with strong medical evidence.
Does Social Security consider ulcerative colitis to be disabling?
How exactly does Social Security evaluate a disability claim based on ulcerative colitis?
Step 1: Non-Medical CriteriaStep 2: Severe ImpairmentStep 3: Medical ListingsStep 4: Past WorkStep 5: Other Work
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It Can Be Emotionally Difficult But You Aren’t Alone
I wanted to share my experiences applying for social security disability benefits in case any of you are in a similar position or are unsure about some things, like I was.
I also wanted to add that you are not alone if you have put off applying for a long time. It is an incredibly difficult thing to accept and while it doesn’t mean it’s forever , it is still emotionally hard to wrap your head around. Especially since I know those of us with inflammatory bowel disease try as hard as humanly possible to lead “normal” lives.
What have your experiences been? We would love to hear in the comments below!
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Give Yourself A Better Chance Of Obtaining Disability Benefits For Crohns Disease
Dont let a delay or denial turn into months or even years before getting the benefits you deserve. We provide significant help, and your initial consultation is always free. If your disability claim was denied by the SSA, an insurance company, or the VA, please contact us.
About Marc Whitehead
Meeting A Medical Vocational Allowance For Ulcerative Colitis
Disability claimants who have ulcerative colitis may not meet a listing but they may be able to prove that they do not have the residual capacity to work. The SSA will evaluate the claimants age, educational level, work history and residual functional capacity and determine if the claimant can work their current job, past jobs or retrain for new work. To wiin benefits through a medical vocational allowance the claimants will need medical documentation which proves that they do not have the ability to work. What types of evidence will the SSA look for?Any evidence that your condition may interfere with your reliability at work: severe stomach or abdominal pain, or severe bouts of constipation or diarrhea which may require extended or frequent trips to the bathroom.For example, what happens if you have 3 or more severe gastric issues each week? What if you have to miss 3 or 4 hours of work? What if you have to go to the bathroom up to 10 to 20 times per day? The SSA recognizes that this level of absenteeism is not consistent with full time work in a competitive job environment and they may approve your claim through a medical vocational allowance.
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Getting Help With Your Claim
Have you been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Do complications from your IBD interfere with your ability to work? You could be eligible to receive SSDI benefits.
Getting approval for benefits because of IBD can be complicated. You must have detailed medical records showing how your IBD affects your daily life and ability to work. Your information must be complete and stand up to evaluation by the SSA.
You should not face this process alone. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your situation and let one of our experienced SSDI lawyers help you get the benefits you need.
As It Turns Out I Don’t Qualify For Supplemental Income
It ended because as a dependent, I didn’t qualify. This left me feeling a couple things: I felt annoyed because of how much I know I am entitled to and the fact that I have so much guilt about money and my dependency on others. I also felt gratitude. I was grateful that I am not on the streets but rather, have family who can support me. I wish they didn’t have to but I am still very thankful to have them.
My options now are:
- Emancipate myself from my parents which would mean I’d have to be on Medicaid or go without insurance
- Remain a dependent of my parents knowing I won’t receive what I believe I am entitled to or
- Marry my boyfriend so I’m able to get on his insurance.
None of these are great options, but I also know so many of you reading this would give anything to have options like I do. I may not like them, but I am well aware of how much worse it could be.
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Treatment Of Crohns Disease
Acute flare-ups of Crohns disease are treated aggressively to achieve a remission. Once remission is achieved, treatment usually includes antibiotics for infections and anti-inflammatory drugs to control inflammation. Severe Crohns cases may require multiple surgeries to control or maintain remission of the disease. Even after surgery, Crohns can continue be a lifelong problem to that makes it impossible to hold down a full-time job.
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Treatment For Inflammatory Bowel Disease And Colitis
Treatment for ulcerative colitis depends on the seriousness of the disease. Most people are treated with medication. In severe cases, a patient may need surgery to remove the diseased colon, as surgery is the only known cure for this condition. Unfortunately, surgery can sometimes lead to short bowel syndrome , which has its own listing for disability benefits.
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Whos Eligible For Social Security Disability Insurance
The Social Security Administration uses a five-step process for determining eligibility. The first step looks at an applicants recent work history and salary. For someone who worked in 2020, their monthly salary must have been $1,260 or less to qualify. If a person didnt work, then the SSA sends the application to the Disability Determination Services office for approval.
The second step examines the severity of a persons disability. The applicants disability must have prevented gainful employment for at least a year. If so, the administration then verifies the disability is a covered medical condition.
Once the SSA confirms the disability, the final two steps consider the probability of the applicants ability to return to work. Someone with a partial or short-term disability wont meet the administrations strict definition of a disability. To be considered disabled, the applicant cant perform their current job, they cant find other work or a different job, and the disability has or is expected to last a minimum of one year or result in death.
What Exactly Is Crohns Disease
Crohns disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, is a condition in which there is inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract. This inflammation can cause diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, rectal bleeding, weight loss, fever, and fatigue.
In severe cases, intestinal blockages, ulcers, and malnutrition may occur.
Crohns disease is an unpredictable chronic illness, known for its flares and remissions. As such, a person suffering from Crohns disease often faces many physical and emotional challenges.
As a general rule, Crohns disease is considered a progressive illness, meaning that for most people it tends to get worse over time. This means that many individuals who do not initially qualify for SSDI benefits may later qualify as the disease progresses.
While there is no known cure for Crohns, there are many possible treatments to help decrease the severity of the symptoms.
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