Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) include severe abdominal cramps, as well as diarrhea and constipation. Many people also struggle with anxiety and increasing stress over their condition, and the difficulty they have controlling their bowels. If your IBS symptoms make it impossible for you to continue working and earning a living, you may qualify for disability benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
At Berger and Green, our Pittsburgh attorneys know what the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability examiners are looking for when they review your application for benefits. We can review your claim and help you file an application for Social Security Disability (SSD) for IBS. We can also guide you through the appeals process if you already received a letter of denial from the SSA. We can often help our clients get their denials overturned, getting them approved for monthly benefits and recovering back pay on their behalf. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for a free initial consultation.
Does My IBS Diagnosis Qualify Me for Disability Benefits?
The SSA’s impairment listings outline the criteria to meet their definition of disabled based on your medical condition. There is not a specific impairment listing for IBS. However, many who suffer from IBS may meet the criteria listed under Section 5.00 – Digestive Disorders. Some of the symptoms covered in this section that may allow you to qualify include gastrointestinal hemorrhaging and weight loss due to digestive disorders.
To prove you meet these criteria, your medical records need to document specific test results showing the serious and debilitating nature of your condition. In addition, they need to show you have suffered from your condition on a long-term basis. This is sometimes an issue because IBS symptoms tend to come and go.
If you believe you may qualify for SSD benefits, we can help you file your claim. Even if you do not meet the criteria in the impairment listings, we may be able to help you demonstrate you are unable to work and qualify for benefits in another way. Call us today for a free case evaluation, and let us go to work for you.
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How Can I Get Disability Benefits If I Do Not Meet the Criteria in the Impairment Listings?
If you and your doctor cannot find a treatment that allows you to control your IBS symptoms, it may make it very difficult to do many of the normal tasks you need to do at work. If your medical records adequately document your impairments and demonstrate why it is impossible for you to work, you may qualify for benefits based on your residual functional capacity (RFC).
If the disability examiner assigned your case does not find you meet any applicable impairment listing, they will review your file and assign an RFC that outlines your abilities. By reviewing your medical records, imaging scans, and other documentation, they can often discern the types of tasks you can complete, how often, and for how long. Occasionally, they may ask you to attend a consultative medical exam with a physician to get a better idea of your impairments. If they determine you cannot work or earn a living wage, you may qualify for disability benefits.
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Are There Other Qualifications I Must Meet for Disability Benefits?
Proving you meet the medical qualifications for disability is often thought of as the most difficult part of getting SSDI or SSI benefits, but both programs also have a number of technical qualifications. If you do not meet these, the SSA may deny your application. Before the disability examiner even receives your application, the staff at your local SSA field office will review your paperwork to ensure you meet all the technical criteria. If not, you will likely receive a technical denial.
Qualifications to Draw SSDI Benefits
SSDI bridges the gap between when a person can no longer work and when they become eligible for Social Security retirement. As such, it requires you to have a demonstrated work history by earning a certain number of work credits before you can receive benefits. If you are currently working, you will also need to earn less than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit. The SSA changes this limit each year.
Requirements for the SSI Program
SSI is an income-based program, but does not require any demonstrated work history or required work credits. However, you must meet very strict income and personal asset limits to be eligible for SSI. Our attorneys can review your finances to determine if you meet the technical requirements for SSI benefits. We can help you note any exclusions and deductions you qualify for under the rules of the program.
What Should I Do If the SSA Denied My Initial Disability Claim?
It is not unusual to receive a denial of your initial application. We can help you fight this denial, if you act quickly. We only have a limited time to request a hearing with an administrative law judge to appeal your denial, so it is important to call us right away.
We will request your appeal hearing, and then launch an investigation to discover why your claim received a denial. We can collect all the necessary evidence and present this evidence to the administrative law judge at your appeal hearing. In most cases, this is successful. We have won approval for many qualifying clients, as well as back pay to cover the months they waited for a decision on their case from the SSA.
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How Can I Reach a Disability Attorney in Pittsburgh?
The legal team from Berger and Green is here to help you get the SSDI or SSI benefits you need. We can review your application and help you file your claim. We will also help you fight a denial from the SSA through the appeals process, if necessary. Call our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 for a free case review. Let us help you get disability for your IBS.