Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
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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Facts about Ulcerative Colitis and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation, scarring and ultimately thickening of tissues in the colon (large intestine).
2. Ulcerative colitis causes weight loss, fatigue, appetite problems, fever, rectal abscess and bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach cramps. The symptoms and severity of ulcerative colitis vary by individual, and severe attacks can cause bloody diarrhea in as many instances as 20 times a day.
3. Complications of ulcerative colitis are serious and can be life-threatening. These include anal abscess, rupture of the colon, colon cancer, and fistula.
4. It is unknown what causes ulcerative colitis to develop in an individual, but due to changes in the immune system many medical researchers and professionals believe the condition may be an immune disorder, triggered by a virus or bacteria.
5. Many people with ulcerative colitis have triggers such as stress or certain foods. Attacks may be brought on by spicy food, raw fruits and vegetables and milk, or by periods of high stress or emotional distress.
6. Diagnosis of the condition is straightforward with physical examination of the colon. Since ulcerative colitis has distinctive characteristics in the way an affected colon looks, it is easily identified by a doctor.
7. Treatment is individualized, and focuses on reducing inflammation to prevent attacks and serious complications. In some cases, patients may experience long-term remission from attacks and symptoms.
8. Treatments are typically anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressant drugs, sometimes simultaneously. Short term or symptomatic treatments include steroid enemas, antibiotics, anti-diarrhea medication, over-the-counter pain relievers and iron supplements.
9. Sometimes drug therapy combined with lifestyle changes may not be enough to control ulcerative colitis and surgery may be necessary. Less than half of all patients eventually require surgery. The procedure involves removing the entire colon and rectum and replacing them with a small bag or pouch, either internally or externally. This cures the condition.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
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