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IBD and Social Security Disability

A recent blog in the Huffington Post addresses the problem of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Social Security Disability (SSD). At least 1.6 million patients live with various forms of IBD that include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of these conditions are incurable, debilitating and frequently disabling diseases that cause severe abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, bleeding, fever, and weight loss.

Frequently, the treatment that allows some patients to manage their symptoms is almost as bad as the disease itself. The antibiotics, steroids and immunosuppressants used to treat IBD cause significant side effects that include nausea and vomiting, night sweats, insomnia, hyperactivity, high blood pressure. These medications also increase the risk of developing diseases such as lymphoma, kidney failure, seizures, liver damage, and serious infections.

IBD is also responsible for wide range of problems in other bodily systems, including kidney stones, eye inflammation, mouth sores, arthritis, rashes, blood clots, anemia and seizures. Life-threatening complications include an increased risk of colorectal cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) bowel perforation, sepsis, malabsorption and malnutrition. Depending on the type of IBD, patients may need surgery to treat the condition.

In severe cases, IBD can make it very difficult to work and lead a normal life. As a result, the Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis as disabilities and provides SSD benefits to those unable to work because of their disability. However, it is not listed on the Compassionate Allowances list, which forces workers disabled by these terrible conditions to wait for months or even years before receiving decisions on their claims or appeals.

The Compassionate Allowances List includes 225 illnesses and conditions that are so clearly disabling that they automatically meet the requirements for disability. Claimants whose impairments are on this list do not have to go through the process of proving they are disabled and their claims are expedited.

The writer of the blog advocates for the addition of IBD to the Compassionate Allowances List. Every year, the SSA reviews information about severely disabling illnesses and adds new diseases to the list. Advocacy like that appearing in the Huffington Post may give IBD patients another option. But for now, claims for disability benefits based on IBD must go through the normal process, something that can take months or years.

If you can no longer work because of IBD and are having problems with your claim for SSD benefits, do what thousands of others like you have done. Call Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. Find out how they can help you obtain needed benefits - benefits that you paid for with every pay check.

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