If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you are probably having difficulty working.  You may even consider trying for Social Security Disability. 

Can you get Social Security Disability benefits for IBS or IBD?

There is some good news – my office has had great success with these cases.

My experience is that disability judges recognize that IBS or IBD significantly impacts your ability to get through a workday without interruption.  This prevents you from being able to work reliably and consistently as required in competitive work.

Tips and Strategies to Win SSDI for IBS or IBDThe main issue in all SSDI or SSI claims is whether you are able to reliably perform even a simple and easy job.  If you have medical issues that impact reliability, even these simple and easy jobs cannot be performed.

When you have irritable bowel or inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, schistosomiasis, and amebic colitis, your condition causes work performance and reliability problems.  These may include:

  • Taking frequent restroom breaks;
  • Spending time away from your desk or work site for the restroom;
  • Needing a worksite near an always open restroom;
  • Attention and concentration issues due to gastric pain; and
  • Missing days or leaving early or coming in late due to symptoms;

Tips and Strategies to Win Social Security Disability for IBS or IBD

When dealing with irritable bowel syndrome and SSDI benefits, I typically consider two strategies

  1. Can we prove a listing?
  2. Does your functional capacity prevent all work?

To prove a listing level impairment, with IBS and IBD, we look primarily at Listing 5.06 (Inflammatory bowel disease). 

If your IBS/IBD has caused significant weight loss, we can also look at  Listing 5.08 (Weight loss due to any digestive disorder).

If that does not work, we can then turn to how your condition actually limits your ability to work – this is called looking at your residual functional capacity (RFC).  Based on your medical, your actual experience, and maybe your doctor’s opinions, we would try to show that your IBS/IBD causes problems with reliability and that occupation can accommodate your needs.

Typically, your limitations include unscheduled breaks, work absences, and being off-task due to pain and other symptoms.

While Social Security disability is difficult to win, especially for younger individuals and individuals without consistent work histories, cases involving IBS or IBD can be strong cases if presented properly.

You should have a very consistent medical treatment record and strong support from a treating doctor.

Other evidence that can help includes affidavits from co-workers or supervisors about your bathroom breaks, absences and other problems can be helpful in cases involving younger claimants.

If you have long-standing irritable bowel or inflammatory bowel disease that has not been responsive to treatment, I would be happy to talk to you about pursuing Social Security disability benefits. Please contact Louisiana Disability Law by phone at 985-240-9773 for your FREE consultation. 

We can help you from the initial application all the way through any appeals!

Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Accident, injury, and disability lawyer serving Luling, Metairie, New Orleans, and South Louisiana
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