Social Security Disability RC

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Pancreatitis, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits


The pancreas is a gland, located between the upper small intestine and the spleen. It plays an important role in metabolism and digestion by secreting digestive enzymes and releasing glucagon and insulin into the bloodstream necessary for the body to digest food and turn it into energy.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that is caused by the digestive enzymes becoming active inside the pancreas, which results in enzymes ‘digesting’ or attacking the pancreas itself. Normally these digestive enzymes do not become active until they have reached the small intestine.

Pancreatitis may be acute or chronic. Acute pancreatitis appears suddenly and usually becomes resolved and leaves quickly. Chronic pancreatic appears gradually over time and causes a slow destruction of the pancreas. In both cases the sufferer will experience abdominal pain that can range from mild to severe, sometimes accompanied by fever, nausea and vomiting. Either acute or chronic pancreatitis can cause serious or fatal complications and should be checked and treated right away. If left untreated bleeding may occur and infection and toxins may damage other organs, such as the kidneys, lungs or heart.

The most common causes of pancreatitis are gallstones and excessive alcohol use, though there are other notable causes, such as scorpion venom, mumps, trauma, steroids, other diseases, hereditary genes and certain medications. Cystic fibrosis and high levels of calcium in the blood may also be causes, as well as a plethora of other causes.

Pancreatitis is usually diagnosed with a physical exam and a blood test. If the blood contains three times the amount of amylase and lipase as it should, coupled with abdominal pain, the doctor will usually follow up with a CT scan to show gallstones, inflammation and psuedocysts.

Treatment for pancreatitis, whether acute or chronic, depends on how severe it is and whether there were complications in the other organs. A supplementation of enzymes and a healthy diet can sometimes reverse acute pancreatitis, though medical care is imperative to avoid complications. Acute pancreatitis can be as fatal as chronic pancreatitis, especially if it is not treated right away.

In either acute or chronic pancreatitis a hospital stay to help hydrate the patient may be necessary, in addition to intravenous feeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed for infection. Oxygen may be administered. Surgery may be needed if bleeding occurs and dialysis may be used to help remove toxins from the blood.

Pancreatitis can be fatal. Any abdominal pain should be reported to a doctor and treated right away.








Essential Questions

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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?









For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.