Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Can I Collect SSDI?

Do you suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)? Recently, the Huffington Post had an interesting column about people who live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, arguing that they should have an expedited Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process. Photo of claim document

The news outlet reported that an estimated 23 to 45 percent of people with ulcerative colitis, and up to 75 percent of people with Crohn’s disease, require surgery to treat their condition. This is a huge number when you consider that there are more than 1.6 million people suffering from the diseases in America.

The column argued that while Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are not typically fatal, there are complications associated with each disease that could be deadly, including “colorectal cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bowel perforation, sepsis, toxic megacolon, diseases of the genital and urinary tracts, malabsorption, malnutrition and surgical complications.”

Often, the side effects of an IBD leave a person unable to work and in a financial bind. This is where SSDI benefits could prove useful to a victim, allowing him or her to pay for necessities while undergoing treatment.

Should Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Be Added to the CAL Program?

Sadly, according to the piece, many people who apply for SSDI with IBD are denied benefits. Often, this means that they end up going through the appeals process, which can take a tremendous amount of time.

Because of this, the author of the piece, Rebecca Kaplan, argues that the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to add IBD to the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program. Keep in mind, CAL allows for the expedited process of disability benefit decisions.

Generally, people who apply for benefits through the CAL program are able to get benefit decisions in as little as 20 days.

Qualifying for SSDI Benefits with an IBD

It should be noted that the SSA has very strict guidelines when it comes to people with an IBD collecting benefits. If you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you may have to show that it has caused you substantial weight loss, anemia or other abnormalities, such as a bowel obstruction, which have left you unable to work.

It would be nice if victims of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis were added to the CAL program. However, at this time, if you suffer from an IBD, it may be in your best interest to work with an attorney if you would like to collect SSDI benefits.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

Troutman Touts: An estimated 70,000 new cases of inflammatory bowel disease are diagnosed in America each year.

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