Social Security Disability Definitions
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Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
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Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
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Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI with Crohn's Disease
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Crohnís disease affects about 600,000 men and women in the United States and Canada alone. Currently, there is no pharmaceutical or surgical cure for Crohnís disease. All treatment is geared toward controlling symptoms, maintaining remission and preventing relapses.
Considered an autoimmune inflammatory gastrointestinal disease, Crohnís disease generally manifests itself in the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, causing abdominal pain, vomiting, and weight loss.
However, the disease can exhibit significant extraintestinal (other than intestinal) manifestations in other body systems. These extraintestinal manifestations of Crohnís might include non-destructive inflammatory arthritis, inflammations of the eye, skin rashes and ulcers, and for a small percentage of people, neurological complications.
Social Security defines disability as any medically determinable mental or physical condition that A) has prevented the performance of substantial and gainful work activity for twelve months, or B) is expected to prevent the performance of substantial and gainful work activity for twelve months, or C) is expected to result in death.
Social Security evaluates Crohnís disease using the disability guidebook impairment listing 5.06 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The following sections of listing 5.06 detail what is needed to meet or equal the listing requirements for Crohnís disease:
A. Blockage of stenotic areas in the colon or small intestine with dilation of nearby areas. Medically acceptable imagining techniques or surgery must substantiate the obstructions and the obstructions require a hospitalization for intestinal decompression or surgery. The listing requires that an individual must require hospitalization on two occasions with the above procedures at least sixty days apart in a six-month period.
B. Two of the following in spite of ongoing treatment as prescribed, and happening within the same consecutive six month period.
It is important to remember that the Social Security disability program is two-fold in that it considers medical information along with the limitations imposed by an individualís impairment.
Social Security disability is based upon an inability to perform substantial work activity (See SGA monthly earnings amount) due to the limitations imposed by a medically determinable mental or physical impairment for a period of twelve months or more. Since Crohnís disease is a condition that exacerbates and remits, it can be difficult to be difficult to meet the twelve month durational requirement of Social Security disability.
If a person cannot meet or equal any impairment listings associated with their Crohnís disease symptoms, they still may be approved on the basis of a medical vocational allowance. Disability examiners consider an individualís age, education, residual functional capacity, past work and ability to do other work when limitations are considered.
While some may be able to be approved for disability benefits through medical vocational allowances, many will not. For those who are not approved for disability benefits, it is important to appeal disability denials all the way through to the level of an administrative law judge hearing. The national average for administrative law judge hearing approvals is sixty percent percent making it the most winning level of the Social Security disability process.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews