Facts about Enteritis and Filing for Disability
These selected pages answer some of the most basic, but also some of the most important, questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim for disability benefits.
Facts about the condition
1) Enteritis is what happens when the small intestine becomes inflamed due to various reasons, including ingesting bacteria and viruses.
2) Symptoms of enteritis include diarrhea, cramping, vomiting, abdominal pain, dehydrating, fever, and loss of appetite. These symptoms may appear within a few hours of being infected, or they may take days to show up.
3) Although enteritis is usually caused by drinking or eating something that is tainted with virus or bacteria microorganisms, it can also be caused by certain drugs, including over the counter ibuprofen or the illegal substance cocaine, or it may be caused by radiation therapy damage or autoimmune diseases such as Diabetes mellitus type 1 or Crohn's disease.
4) There are many different types of enteritis, including E. coli enteritis, shigella enteritis, food poisoning, bacterial gastroenteritis, radiation enteritis, staph aureus food poisoning, and campylobacter enteritis.
5) The treatment for enteritis depends upon the severity of the case. Mild cases may just need to pass through the small intestines. More serious cases may need intravenous fluids to rehydrate and medical care. Most cases go away without treatment once the bacteria or virus has moved through the body.
6) Enteritis may also include colitis (inflammation of the stomach) and colitis (inflammation of the large intestine).
7) Enteritis can be very dangerous for infants because diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration. If an infant is thought to have enteritis, it should be taken to the doctor right away.
8) While most cases of enteritis will go away on their own, you should go to a doctor if you see blood in your stools, your fever is 102 degrees or over, your diarrhea is lasting for days, or you feel extremely dehydrated.
9) Enteritis can usually be prevented by storing food correctly, always using clean utensils, washing hands often, drinking clean water, and cooking food thoroughly.
Qualifying 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 and treatment notes that 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 also includes discharge summaries from hospital stays, reports of imaging studies (such as xrays, MRIs, and CT scans) and lab panels (i.e. bloodwork) as well as reports from physical therapy.
In many disability claims, it may also include the results of a report issued by an independent physician who examines you at the request of the Social Security Administration.
Qualifying for SSD or SSI benefits 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. In the case of adults, your work history information will allow a disability examiner (examiners make decisions at the initial claim and reconsideration appeal levels, but not at the hearing level where a judges decides the outcome of the case) to A) classify your past work, B) determine the physical and mental demands of your past work, C) decide if you can go back to a past job, and D) whether or not you have the ability to switch to some type of other work.
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?
There are several reasons but here are just two:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant's disability attorney or disability representative will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge.
Note: it is not enough for a doctor to simply state that their patient is disabled. To satisy Social Security's requirements, the physician must list in what ways and to what extent the individual is functionally limited. For this reason, many representatives and attorneys request that the physician fill out and sign a specialized medical source statement that captures the correct information. Solid Supporting statements from physicians easily make the difference between winning or losing a disability case at the hearing level.
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. This is because at the initial levels of the disability system, a disability examiner decides the case without meeting the claimant. The examiner may contact the claimant to gather information on activities of daily living and with regard to medical treatment or past jobs, but usually nothing more. At the hearing level, however, presenting an argument for approval based on medical evidence that has been obtained and submitted is exactly what happens.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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