Tips on Applying for Disability Benefits with Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the intestines. Treatment regiments are only to alleviate the symptom; there is no cure. Because of this working with can Crohn’s can be hard or nearly impossible. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two disability benefit programs that could be the answer you’re looking for.

Proof That You Can’t Work

To qualify for Social Security disability you need to have an IBD diagnoses and either one of the complications listed in their Blue Book or prove you can’t work any job with your skills or education level for reasons such as needing to take frequent sick days or need to leave your workstation often.

  • Be as specific as possible when answering questions on the application
  • Including statements from your doctor and/or your boss or coworkers
  • Give concrete reasons and examples of your inability to work

Medical Evidence

For any disability claim, you need to present the SSA with as much medical documentation as possible, including, but not limited to, hospitalization summaries, operative reports, and test results. Especially for a condition like Crohn’s, the SSA is most often evaluating your residual functional capacity (RFC), and requires longitudinal evidence as well.

Here are some common tests for Crohn’s.

  • Colonoscopy – One of the most preferred methods, a small, flexible tube is inserted through the rectum to examine the entire intestinal tract.
  • Endoscopy – A small tube with a light and camera is inserted through the mouth and throat to examine the upper digestive system (esophagus, stomach, upper small intestine).
  • GI Series (Gastrointestinal Tract) – Also called Barium swallow or barium enema, your digestive tract is filled with barium so abnormalities are more visible on an x-ray.
  • Imaging Tests – MRIs, x-rays, CT scans, and other tests showing the abdominal region may show obstructions of the stenotic area and other abnormalities.
  • Blood and Urine Tests – Various standard tests to determine if you have anemia, malnutrition, or inflammation.

Get the Help of an Experienced Disability Lawyer

Getting approved for disability can take up two years, usually because they are denied first and applicants have to go through a long appeal process. Hiring a disability lawyer can make the process faster and easier. A lawyer can communicate with the SSA in your place, make sure you have all the necessary relevant medical evidence, and help with the application itself.