Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Like other inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease occurs when the immune system attacks the digestive system and causes inflammation. Crohn's disease can occur at any point in the digestive system from the mouth to the anus, but most common in the ileum, the lower part of the small intestine.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease depend on the part of the digestive system that is affected , and on the extent and severity of the inflamation. The disease is characterized by periods of severe flare-ups, followed by periods of remission. Common symptoms during flare-ups include severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, bloody stools, ulcers, loss of appetite, and weight loss. There may also be complications caused by malnutrition and damage to the digestive system that requires surgery.
Receiving Disability for Crohn's Disease
The Social Security Administration considers Crohn's disease to be a significant impairment that can in some cases prevent a person from being able to work for pay. The SSA includes Crohn’s disease in disability listing 5.06, inflammatory bowel disease.
To qualify for SSDI for Crohn’s disease under the inflammatory bowel disease listing, you must have a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and one or more listed complications:
- Two or more instances of obstruction of the digestive system requiring hospitalization within a six-month period. The instances must occur at least 60 days apart.
- Two blood tests that show severe anemia within the same six-month period, but at least 60 days apart.
- Two blood tests showing low levels of serum albumin within the same six-month period, but at least 60 days apart.
- Medical documentation showing a mass in the abdomen that causes pain and cramping that cannot be relieved by medication. The mass must be present at least twice in a six-month period, with incidences being 60 days apart.
- Medical documentation of two episodes of perineal floor disease with a draining abscess or fistula and pain that is not controlled by medication. The occurrences must occur within a six-month period and be at least 60 days apart.
- Medical documentation of two or more occasions of involuntary weight loss of 10 percent or more from baseline.
- A documented need for a feeding tube or intravenous catheter in order to meet basic nutritional needs.
If you do not meet these "Listing" requirements, you may still qualify for SSDI for Crohn’s disease if you can provide medical treatment documentation showing that your symptoms make it impossible to work at any job you are otherwise able and qualified to do.
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