You are here

Can I continue working with Crohn’s Disease?

Social Security Disability Benefits for Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that impacts the gastrointestinal tract. If you have a debilitating case of Crohn’s disease, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. There are about 1.6 million Americans who suffer from inflammatory bowel disorders (IBD), and Crohn’s is one form of IBD. While some people are able to effectively control their Crohn’s disease with medications, others have obvious symptoms despite the therapies.

Those who suffer from Crohn’s disease may suffer from severe pain, inflammation, chronic diarrhea, fever, fatigue, weight loss, and bowel obstructions as well as other symptoms. Any of these issues can significantly impact your ability to work. If your Crohn’s disease is a debilitating condition, you may be able to get help. This disease can be a serious matter if medications and therapies are not able to keep its severity under control.

How Crohn’s Disease Can Impact Your Ability to Work

If your Crohn’s disease has many of the symptoms, you may find yourself unable to maintain full-time employment. The pain may keep you from being able to bend over, squat, or lift and carry items. The inflammation and chronic diarrhea can cause severe pain, fatigue, and weight loss that all result in your ability to stay in one position for perform work for long periods of time. Your frequent bathroom trips will keep you from sitting or standing long without having to take a bathroom break.

When you are running a fever, you can easily become confused or fatigued so you can’t perform your job duties correctly. You may have to undergo a surgical procedure that removes a portion of your colon and requires you to wear a colostomy bag for emptying your bowels. This can limit your ability to lift or carry heavy items. You may also be unable to reach above your head to remove heavy items.

If you can't work because of Crohn's Disease, you may qualify you for Social Security disability benefits.

How You Are Limited from Performing Specific Jobs

If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, you may not be able to work construction because of the frequent bathroom visits and the inability to stand long periods or walk significant distances.

You may not be able to work in a manufacturing facility because of the pain, inflammation, and the chronic diarrhea causing you to reposition frequently and break away to go to the restroom.

If you work in law enforcement or as a firefighter, you cannot continue with your career because of the pain impacting your mobility, your ability to lift and maneuver, and the urgency for bathroom visits.

Commercial vehicle drivers, such as truckers or bus drivers cannot maintain employment because of the need to frequently go to the bathroom and because of the pain experienced from the disease. Those who suffer from Crohn’s disease are also more likely to suffer blood clots, which would be too risky for a driver who sits with his or her legs not moving minimally for hours on end. Chronic diarrhea can disrupt almost any job, including cashiers, teachers, and office managers. You can’t just leave your work station repeatedly for bathroom breaks and maintain a high level of performance and productivity.

Applying for Benefits

If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits you have different approaches that you can choose from. You can visit your nearest SSA office and apply in person, call the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 or visit the website at www.ssa.gov to start the process. You will need to provide detailed medical records and extensive documentation to support your case in order to get approval. You will need to provide test records, such as scans, x-rays, and blood tests that support your diagnosis. You will also need to supply details about treatments and your response to them.

Because of the complexity of a disability case, a disability attorney can be very beneficial. When you have an attorney you are much more likely to gain approval for disability benefits. The process can take months to maneuver. You can be denied benefits twice and those denials can be appealed. The last step is a hearing before an administrative law judge who will make the decision as to whether or not you meet the requirements of being disabled and qualify for benefits.