Qualifying For Disability With Crohn’s Disease
By Attorney Chris Sharry on March 19th, 2014 in Crohn's Disease
Crohn’s disease, also known as Colitis, is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the digestive system that creates ulcers along the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease primarily causes breaks in the lining of the small and large intestines. In severe cases, these ulcers can scar, narrow, and obstruct the bowel. Symptoms of Crohn’s often include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, bloody stool, vomiting, diminished appetite and weight loss. Treament plans for Crohn’s disease may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or even surgery for severe cases to repair damages to the digestive tract.
Crohn’s disease can qualify for disability benefits if the symptoms are severe enough to meet or equal a Social Security listing. Crohn’s disease is evaluated under the listing for inflammatory bowel disease.
5.06 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) documented by endoscopy, biopsy, appropriate medically acceptable imaging, or operative findings with:
A. Obstruction of stenotic areas (not adhesions) in the small intestine or colon with proximal dilatation, confirmed by appropriate medically acceptable imaging or in surgery, requiring hospitalization for intestinal decompression or for surgery, and occurring on at least two occasions at least 60 days apart within a consecutive 6-month perio
B. Two of the following despite continuing treatment as prescribed and occurring within the same consecutive 6-month period:
1. Anemia with hemoglobin of less than 10.0 g/dL, present on at least two evaluations at least 60 days apart; or
2. Serum albumin of 3.0 g/dL or less, present on at least two evaluations at least 60 days apart; or
3. Clinically documented tender abdominal mass palpable on physical examination with abdominal pain or cramping that is not completely controlled by prescribed narcotic medication, present on at least two evaluations at least 60 days apart; or
4. Perineal disease with a draining abscess or fistula, with pain that is not completely controlled by prescribed narcotic medication, present on at least two evaluations at least 60 days apart; or
5. Involuntary weight loss of at least 10 percent from baseline, as computed in pounds, kilograms, or BMI, present on at least two evaluations at least 60 days apart; or
6. Need for supplemental daily enteral nutrition via a gastrostomy or daily parenteral nutrition via a central venous catheter.
If you do not meet or equal the Social Security listing for inflammatory bowel disease, you still may qualify for benefits if you prove there are no jobs you can still perform given your age, education and residual functional capacity. Please call our office if you have any questions or to discuss your particular case.