Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common health problem which affects nearly a quarter of the United States’ population. The condition often goes undiagnosed. It is also misdiagnosed often. Studies show than about half of the doctor visits in the U.S .for gastrointestinal complaints involve IBS.
April has been named Irritable Bowel Syndrome Month and set aside to promote awareness of the condition. It is hoped that focusing attention on the condition, which affects one in four Americans to varying degrees, will encourage those who suffer from the condition to seek medical treatment.
Lifestyle changes (such as healthy diet) which combat Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also promoted.
So, let's talk about what medical conditions automatically qualify for disability, and, is IBS one of these conditions?
Effects of Irritable Bowel Syndrome range from mild inconvenience to severely debilitating. Some who have IBS find it impossible to continue enjoying activities they once enjoyed. Some even find it impossible to continue earning a living in their field of employment.
IBS is not considered a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, if you have IBS, and you are unable to work full time because of your condition, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability from the SSA.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
Irritable bowel syndrome is a GI disorder. It affects the colon and large intestines. Those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome may have any combination of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation alternating with diarrhea
Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome ranges from dietary and lifestyle changes to antibiotics. Stress relief techniques are also used to help treat psychological issues which can contribute to IBS. In some cases, surgery is necessary.
What are the Different Kinds of Bowel Syndromes that Qualify for SSDI?
In some cases, severe forms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome may qualify you for Social Security disability. It’s important to note, however, that the Blue Book that is used to determine if your Irritable Bowel Syndrome qualifies for Social Security disability benefits is tied more to the effect the condition has on your ability to engage in daily activities than to the diagnosis itself. The exact type of Irritable Bowel Syndrome you suffer from is less important than the extent of its impact on your daily activities.
In other words, simply being diagnosed with IBS-even severe IBS- will not automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other SSD programs.
You must be able to show definitively that your medical condition(s) cause you to be unable to perform any meaningful work which you have ever performed before or for which you could reasonably be expected to train.
In order to show that your IBS prohibits you from maintaining gainful employment, you will need to show (and back up with medical documentation) that you are unable to perform physical work.
Depending on your age, work experience, and level of education, you may also have to demonstrate that it precludes you from performing light or sedentary work.
Can You Get Disability For IBS?
Although Ibs is not currently in SSA’s listing of impairments that qualify for benefits, certain cases of Ibs can be considered a severe condition. If you are able to compile a strong enough case as to why your symptoms are limiting you from working your full-time job, you could be approved for benefits. It is important to seek help from an experienced attorney to form a strong case.
Speak with a Social Security Lawyer Today
If your Irritable Bowel Syndrome makes it impossible for you to work, consult a Social Security lawyer before applying for Social Security Disability benefits. You will find their help invaluable in putting your claim together in verbiage which the SSA is more likely to approve.
They can also work with your doctor to help ensure that your medical documentation is put together in ways which can help make your case for being completely disabled.