IBD and Disability
Many patients with IBD find that they are in a situation that prevents them from being able to work. They may end up having to apply for disability. Unfortunately the process of applying can be very complicated and many people do not completely understand how to quantify their disease in terms that will result in approval of their claims.
The General Accountability Office (GAO) stated that many claimants do not understand the application process nor do they provide enough detailed information to process their claim. This often results in denials and appeals which drag the process out even further.
The best bet for those applying for disability is to take very detailed notes and keep up to date records on your condition. Provide examples and use thorough descriptions of your disease and how it effects daily life. Do not minimize the pain and effect your IBD has on your ability to function.
For example; writing "pain" instead of "chronic pain that is so severe it causes vomiting" can minimize what you are suffering. Statements like "need to use bathroom frequently" can make it appear as if you can work as long as a bathroom is available. Using the phrase "fecal incontinence" or "frequent bloody bowel movements" instead might make a more clear point.
The more prepared you are when you fill out your application the better off you will be. Check out the Social Security Administration (SSA) website for information on the application process. No one wants to be so sick that they require disability income but having to fight for that income when you are seriously ill can be horrible.
Check out the Disability Evaluation: Digestive System here for more information on how they determine disability for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in dietetics as well as graduate work in public health and nutrition. She has worked with families dealing with digestive disease, asthma and food allergies for the past 12 years. Jennifer also serves the Board of Directors for Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association (PAGER).
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