March 4, 2019

If I Have Crohn’s Disease Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

In my experience, Crohn’s disease can be a very disabling condition and may qualify you for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  The symptoms from Crohn’s disease can be painful, uncomfortable, and can consume most of the person’s day just trying to complete simple tasks.  Very few employers will tolerate an employee that spends much of the day off task and consistently in the nearest restroom.  The Social Security Administration recognizes this, and many times these exact issues are addressed at an Administrative Law Judge hearing.

My clients generally describe the similar symptoms, and these can include, but are not limited to:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Loss

In these cases, it is crucial to obtain objective testing to prove your symptoms are a result of your diagnosis.  In my experience, in cases of individuals with severe Crohn’s disease, many of these tests have been performed before I even talk to my client.  A comprehensive medical file can be key to you receiving your disability benefits.  The SSA usually wants to see that you have exhausted all avenues for treatment in an attempt to resolve your condition. 

The Social Security Administration examines Crohn’s disease in its Listing of Impairments under Listing 5.00 Digestive System.  These listings define qualifying criteria for disabilities and the objective testing used to prove the severity of the condition.  Listings can be difficult to interpret without the aid of a trained physician or qualified attorney.  Many times, I will ask a treating physician to complete a questionnaire to show the client meets those criteria. 

Another way to win your Social Security disability claim is to show the SSA and an Administrative Law Judge that your condition is so severe you cannot sustain full-time employment.  This can be done by persuading the SSA that your pain, inability to stand, walk, sit, lift, and frequent bathroom breaks would result in you being off task too much to hold down a full-time job. 

Finding yourself not only in pain, but unable to care for yourself or your family can be frustrating and can take a toll on everything in your life.  Contacting a Social Security disability attorney may help answer the questions you have and can reassure you are not alone in the Social Security disability process.  You should make sure to file all paperwork on a timely basis with the SSA as there may be time limits in the Social Security Disability Appeals process.

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