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Disability for Crohn’s Disease and Colitis

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  September 4, 2020   |  

Are you seeking disability for Crohn’s disease or colitis?

In this blog post we’ll examine options available for those seeking disability for Crohn’s disease or colitis, and examine the criteria used by the Social Security Administration to qualify disability applicants.

Disability for Crohn’s Disease and Colitis

According to the CDC, around 3 million US residents had been diagnosed with either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (we will use the collective term “Crohn’s/colitis” in this article) as of 2015. That number is undoubtedly much higher now.

Disability for Crohn's Disease or Colitis - Riddle & Brantley Disability LawyersCrohn’s disease and colitis are both forms of inflammatory bowel disease. The conditions have no cure and can be debilitating. Many U.S. residents suffering from these diseases ultimately apply for disability for Crohn’s disease or disability for ulcerative colitis.

Some of those suffering from Crohn’s/colitis experience symptoms so severe that they cannot work. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) recognizes this category of digestive disorders as being debilitating enough to justify the payment of Social Security Disability Income (“SSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits.

Meeting a Listing for Disability for Crohn’s Disease or Colitis

The SSA has a special category for digestive diseases and conditions in its “Listings” of severe impairments.

Disability for Crohn’s Disease

In order to meet the Listing for Crohn’s disease, you must prove through a doctor’s treatment records that you have the Crohn’s diagnosis AND either of the following:

  • bowel obstruction; or
  • at least two specified complications like anemia, perineal disease, significant weight loss, or several others

Disability for Ulcerative Colitis

In order to meet the Listing for ulcerative colitis, you again must show a history of medical care confirming that diagnosis plus the same types of complications as set forth above for Crohn’s disease. These include but are not limited to:

  • low albumin levels
  • significant cramping and pain that cannot be controlled
  • need for a feeding tube

“What’s next in applying for disability for Crohn’s or colitis?”

If your particular case meets the stringent requirements of the Listing for either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis under sub-Listing 5.06, and you are otherwise eligible for benefits, then you will be automatically approved.

If your case does not meet those technical requirements but is still severe enough to keep you from working, you can still be awarded benefits by proving that your “residual functional capacity” or RFC (i.e. what you can still do despite your illness) is so limited that you could not work much if at all.

You can prove limited RFC by showing significant limitations in your ability to sit, stand, walk, and carry weight. You can also show the need to use the bathroom so often and for so long that you would be away from your workstation for a significant portion of the workday. In fact, when we represent a Crohn’s/colitis client, we have them keep a diary of their bathroom usage. These records can be very persuasive evidence to a judge.

It is also significant to note that only about a fourth of disability applicants with Crohn’s/colitis who apply for benefits on that basis are successful in their initial applications, while nearly 75 percent are successful seeking disability for Crohn’s or colitis when they appeal their cases to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and get the assistance of an attorney.

That’s a significant difference. If you’re seeking disability benefits for colitis or Crohn’s disease we encourage you to call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced disability lawyers.

Are you seeking disability benefits for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis?

Why Hire a Disability Lawyer - Riddle & Brantley in North CarolinaIf you suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis that negatively impacts your ability to work, you may qualify for disability for Crohn’s disease or colitis and the experienced North Carolina disability lawyers at Riddle & Brantley may be able to help.

Our team is led by Scott Scurfield, an attorney and Board-Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability, who has been recognized by the NC State Bar for his experience and expertise handling these important cases.

For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced disability attorney concerning your disability for Crohn’s or colitis claim or appeal, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the short form below.

The consultation is free, there is no obligation, and we don’t get paid unless we get you the disability for Crohn’s or colitis benefits that you need and deserve.

Justice Counts for those suffering from these inflammatory bowel diseases and we would love to help you however we can.

Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your claim for disability benefits for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

We’ve been fighting for North Carolinians for more than three decades and we would love to help you get the justice and benefits you deserve.