Crohn’s Disease and Social Security Disability

What is Crohn’s Disease?  It is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive system.

The symptoms related to this inflammation are:

  • Persistent Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Urgent need to move bowels
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Sensation of incomplete evacuation
  • Constipation (can lead to bowel obstruction)

 

Crohn’s disease can be debilitating or it can go into remission.   Treatment can consist of medications, nutrition therapy or surgery.   Surgery does not cure the Crohn’s disease, though.  If it is debilitating due to pain and recurrent diarrhea then it can be a basis to obtain social security disability.  There is a listing for inflammatory bowel disease for social security purposes at http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/5.00-Digestive-Adult.htm#5_06

A listing is a list of requirements that if you meet you then qualify for social security disability as long as you meet the other non-medical requirements.  Non-medical requirements are things such as having enough work quarters or a very low income and few resources.

Most of my clients do not meet the listing for Crohn’s disease.  However, they can still qualify for social security disability.  How?  They have to show that they cannot work a full-time job based on their age, education and past work experience.  One way to show this with Crohn’s disease is to show that the person cannot work a full-time job due to needing frequent bathroom breaks.  Many of my clients need to use a restroom 15 minutes an hour, every hour.  There is no such job that they can work that will allow that many bathroom breaks in an 8-hour day.  If you just have just constipation as a symptom, then it may not be enough for you to qualify for social security disability.   If you go into remission then you may not be eligible if your limitations lasted less than one year.  However, you may have other limitations that combined with the Crohn’s disease will allow you to obtain benefits.  As a result it is important to speak with a social security disability attorney before giving up the idea of applying for benefits.

Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.