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Filing a Disability Benefits Claim for Crohn’s Disease

For disability purposes, Crohn’s Disease is in the group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. The cause of this disease is not really known – but the most recent research points to family history and environmental factors. In addition, diet and stress are believed to aggravate the condition.

Even if you have chronic gastrointestinal inflammation problems (diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent need to move bowels, abdominal cramps and pain, constipation) and think you are showing symptoms, only a doctor can conduct testing to diagnose Crohn’s Disease. Since Crohn’s is considered a chronic disease, there will be periods when the disease is in remission and the patient would have little to no symptoms; however, there will be periods when the disease strikes and the patient is very sick.

How does Social Security Evaluate Crohn’s Disease?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates Crohn’s Disease in the same way that that it does all claims for disability. It typically requires that a claimant must have suffered from the condition for a period of 12 months, or the condition is expected to last for at least 12 months before approving benefit payments. Social Security does consider Crohn’s disease to be a significant impairment that may prevent an individual from performing substantial work; therefore, it is possible for an individual to be approved for disability benefits on the basis of Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is evaluated under inflammatory bowel disease in the listing of impairments published by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The roadblock with getting approved for disability with Crohn’s disease is that because it is a chronic disease, the twelve months duration requirement is frequently a problem. In other words, a person is never cured of Crohn’s disease, but sometimes his or her symptoms go away for a short time, allowing the person to resume some activities.