According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Crohn’s Disease, named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn in collaboration with colleagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, was first classified as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in 1932.
Crohn’s, later removed from the IBD classification, received it’s own designation as a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s commonly affects those between the ages of 16 to 40 years of age. Even more interesting, Crohn’s primarily affects those living in northern climates and is not gender specific.
For the estimated 700,000 people diagnosed with Crohn’s, the disease can be life-altering. Those living with this chronic condition usually find their lives disrupted by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Persistent diarrhea;
- Rectal bleeding;
- Bowel movement urgency;
- Abdominal cramps;
- Sensation of incomplete evacuation;
- Constipation often leading to bowel obstruction.
For anyone suspecting they may be suffering from this chronic inflammatory disease, an immediate consult with their medical professional is in order. Only medical testing can support a professional diagnosis of Crohn’s.
Receiving the diagnosis and living with this chronic disease can be debilitating, but assistance may be within reach. Crohn’s is currently included on the list of approved disabilities and those diagnosed may opt to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if their employment and daily living function have been compromised. To receive consideration of benefits the following criteria has to be met:
- Applicants 24 years and younger must have been employed for at least one and half years during the three years preceding the onset of the disability;
- Applicants between the ages of 24 to 30 years of age must have been employed three years out of the six years preceding the disability;
- Applicants 31 or older must have been employed five years out of the 10 years preceding the disability.
Medical Documentation Requirements
- Detailed treatment plan;
- Degree of disease severity;
- Clinical records;
- Lab results;
- Endoscopy results;
- Operation history;
- Prescribed medication history.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) also reviews additional criteria, for instance, if symptoms have responded favorably to treatment, then the diagnosis of Crohn’s may not be considered a disability. If symptoms have not responded to treatment or if the disease has been compounded by medication side effects, then Crohn’s may be considered a disability.
For those whose daily lives have been redefined by living with Crohn’s and those satisfying the defined criteria, it may be time to file for disability with the SSA. Filing a claim for disability can be a lengthy process and one that may only compound matters with a denial of benefits.
It may also be time to seek legal counsel.
If you are living with Crohn’s and reside in Texas the Law Offices of Bemis, Roach & Reed can assess your situation and discuss your options for filing a claim for SSDI benefits. Our attorneys understand the criteria guidelines set by the SSA for Crohn’s but more importantly we understand your SSA rights while living with Crohn’s. Contact us for your free consultation today.
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