Saturday, August 25, 2007

Crohn's Disease Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability

As a disability examiner with DDS (disability determination services: the agency that processes disability claims for the social security administration), I saw a number of cases in which crohn's disease was listed on a disability application either as a primary allegation, or as one of several impairments.

Can you win disability benefits for crohns disease. Yes, without a doubt, since crohns can be an extremely debilitating condition. Surprisingly, though, crohns does not have its own specific listing in the SSA impairment manual.

However, as I've said many times here before, the condition for which you are applying for social security disability or SSI does not have to be in the book. In fact, most conditions are not.

How do you win disability other than satisfying the requirements of a listing? Through sequential evaluation. This means that social security will evaluate your records, rate your limitation, decide whether or not you can go back to your past work, and, if you unable to do this, decide whether or not you can (based on your age, education, job skills, and rated limitations) do some form of other work.

For more information on the requirements and criteria for social security disability and SSI, you can click the link at the top of the page that leads to Disability, or, if you need assistance on a disability case, you can scroll to the bottom of this post and click the image that allows you to submit a free disability case evaluation form.

What follows is some basic information about crohns disease:

Crohn’s disease is a cyclic, chronic, inflammatory autoimmune condition of the digestive system, which affects approximately 400,000 – 600,000 men and women in North America. Crohn’s disease is also a type of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that seems to affect both men and women in equal numbers.

Generally, the onset of Crohn’s disease occurs between the ages of fifteen and thirty, and is characterized by exacerbations and remissions. Although the cause of Crohn’s disease is not known, evidence suggests a genetic susceptibility to the disease, and that Crohn’s disease may be triggered or affected by environmental stimuli.

There are three classifications of Crohn’s disease:

1. Ileocolic Crohn’s disease that affects both the large intestine and the ileum, which accounts for about fifty percent of all Crohn’s patients.

2. Crohn’s colitis that affects any area of the digestive system from the mouth to the anus, although this type usually occurs in the stomach or esophagus.

3. Crohn’s ileitis which affects the ileum only.

Additionally, Crohn’s disease may be classified by the manner in which it manifests itself. For instance, individuals with stricturing Crohn’s disease suffer from a narrowing of the bowel, that may lead to bowel obstructions, while others may have penetrating Crohn’s disease which causes abnormal fistulae (anomalous passages) to form between the bowel and other organs, and inflammatory which involves only inflammation without bowel narrowing or fistulae.

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease may involve abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea, skin rashes, arthritis, or even inflammation of the eye. Treatment options might include steroid injections, medications, immunomodulators, and other biological medications. Additionally, many Crohn’s suffers have to endure multiple surgeries to correct bowel blockages, fistulae, and abscesses.

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