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Crohn’s / Colitis: How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both major categories of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and may affect any part from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition limited to the colon, otherwise known as the large intestine. Crohn’s and Colitis cause similar symptoms including: urgent need to move bowels, abdominal cramps, constipation, and rectal bleeding. Other side effects may include fatigue, loss of appetite, and in severe cases, anemia due to blood loss.

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The Social Security Administration has an impairments listing manual (called the blue book) which includes an official disability listing for Crohn’s and Colitis. They are evaluated under the disability listing 5.06 Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). If your condition(s) meets, or is equivalent to 5.06, you can automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. To qualify under the IBD listing, you need to have the diagnosis of IBD documented by appropriate medical testing or imaging, plus a specific complication such as obstruction of stenotic areas, anemia, perineal disease with an abscess of fistula, involuntary weight loss of at least 10 percent from base line, or clinically documented tender abdominal mass with pain and cramping.

If you do not meet or equal listing 5.06, you can also qualify for disability benefits if you can show that your symptoms make it impossible to do full-time work. For instance, if your symptoms require frequent and unplanned trips to the restroom, or your fatigue and anemia prevent you from working at an adequate pace, the SSA may agree that you are unable to work.

Premier Disability Services, LLC has extensive experience assisting claimants who suffer from Crohn’s/Colitis obtain Social Security Disability benefits.  If you suffer from Crohn’s/Colitis and you are unable to work, please contact our office for a free evaluation.