Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes digestive tract inflammation, which can result in stomach pain, severe diarrhoea, exhaustion, weight loss, and malnutrition. Crohn's disease causes inflammation in different parts of the digestive tract in different persons. This inflammation frequently spreads into the bowel's deeper layers. Crohn's disease is a painful and debilitating condition that can sometimes result in life-threatening complications.
While there is no known cure for Crohn's disease, medicines can significantly reduce symptoms and potentially lead to long-term remission and inflammatory healing. Many patients with Crohn's disease can operate normally after receiving therapy. This is why it is more difficult to get social security disability benefits for Chron's disease as it is difficult to prove to the disability examiner (DE) that your disease is indeed 'severe enough' to impact your daily functioning levels. While many people may successfully cure their Crohn's disease before their condition lasts for upto 12 months - if your condition is debilitating and you have visible symptoms despite taking recommended drugs, you may be eligible for monthly disability benefits.
How Does Social Security Administration Evaluate Symptoms for Crohn's Disease for SSDI Benefits?
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 1.6 million Americans have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Crohn's disease is one such type of IBD, but the exact number of cases of people with such disease is unknown.
Although causes of the Crohn's disease are unknown, scientists believe it is triggered by either of the following:
- I.Immune Response: This happens when a microorganism, a virus or a bacterium triggers the body's immune system to attack its own digestive tract. This irritates the lining of the intestines and stomach, making the need for bathroom breaks more frequent.
- II.Hereditary Factors: This goes without saying since genes play a huge role in making people more susceptible to developing the symptoms of the disease. Hence, if any of your family members have a history of Crohn's disease or any other type of IBD, then you might be at exposed risk to developing symptoms.
No matter what triggere your symptoms, your disability examiner (DE) would look out for symptoms that impact your ability to take up work under substantial gainful activity (SGA).
While minor symptoms may involve frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, mouth sores, reduced appetite, etc – you can qualify for disability if the symptoms stop responding to over-the-counter medications. Some severe symptoms for Crohn's disease may incude:
- -Inflammation of the skin, eyes, joints
- -Unexplained weight loss
- -Blood in the stool
- -Iron deficiency (anemia)
- -On-going bouts of diarrhea that don't get cured by medications
- -Unexplained fever lasting a day or two
- -Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts
- -Kidney stones
- -Delayed growth or sexual development in children
While for some treatment can make the symptoms go away or atleast make manageable, on the other hand, people with more severe symptoms such as above may also involve frequent hospital stays, multiplesurgeries and lengthy hospital bills – all of which takes more and more time away from the job.
The disability examiner will look at your symptoms to evaluate if your disease is disabling enough to prevent you from working under substantial gainful activity (SGA). If your employment history consists of tasks that are no longer possible for you to take up, then the social security disability examiner would look out for other less sedentary jobs that might be possible for you to work at while managing your symptoms. You would be required to go through a thorough Residual Functional Limitation (RFC) form to see the severity of limitations the Crohn's disease has on your ability to work.
With Crohn's disease, affording to treat your illness is a great burden, and since stress can play a big role in disease flare-ups, keeping your financial worries to a minimal is critical. Social Security Disability benefits can be a part of the solution, giving a steady stream of monthly money to help with bills and problems. Lastly, If you're not able to qualify under the Inflammatory Bowel Disease listing in the Social Security Blue Book, then you may still meet or closely match one of these other listings for digestive system-related disabilities:
- -Section 5.02, for bleeding in your bowels that requires a blood transfusion
- -Section 5.05, for chronic liver complications
- -Section 5.08, for severe weight loss
If you are unsure if you can qualify through your Crohn's disease symptoms or whether or not they meet the social security's criteria, there may be other ways to prove your disability benefits, even if your symptoms are not listed in the Blue Book. We suggest you consult our expert disability attorneys for legal guidance for qualifying for disability for Inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn's disease.