I’ve had treatment for my digestive condition. What will the Social Security Administration want to know about my treatment if I apply for Social Security disability benefits?

If you suffer from a digestive condition, you may be eligible for Social Security disability pursuant to a specific listing in Section 5.00 of the Listing of Impairments. Since many digestive disorders get better with appropriate medical treatment, the Social Security Administration is going to want to see evidence that you have tried treatment and information about how the treatment affected you.

This Is What the Social Security Administration Wants to Know

According to Section 5.00(C) of the Listing of Impairments, here’s what you need to know about digestive condition treatment and Social Security disability eligibility:

  • Treatment may include medication, therapy, surgery, and other medical interventions.
  • The Social Security Administration will consider whether treatment has improved your symptoms and laboratory findings.
  • The Social Security Administration will also consider any side effects you suffered as a result of treatment.
  • The Social Security Administration is going to need documentation about your treatment in order to make an eligibility determination. This documentation may include information about the prescribed treatment such as the name of the medication, therapy, or procedure, the dosage or frequency of administration, and the expected duration of the treatment.
  • IV nutrition or supplemental enteral nutrition via a gastrostomy is not conclusive evidence of a disability unless you have short bowel syndrome and otherwise qualify pursuant to Section 5.07.

Generally, the Social Security Administration is going to want treatment information over a period of time so that it can determine whether the effects of treatment are short-term or long-term.

What Happens If You Don’t Get Treatment?

According to Section 5.00(C)(6), you may not be able to meet the eligibility criteria described in the digestive condition section of the Listing of Impairments if you do not get treatment. However, you may be eligible for benefits if you can prove that your condition is equal in severity to another listing or if you can be considered disabled based on your residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience.

Additionally, there are some exceptions to the treatment requirement. For example, if you cannot afford treatment or the proposed treatment plan is against your religion, you should make sure that the Social Security Administration knows about these extenuating circumstances.

Every detail on your Social Security disability application is important—including the information about your treatment plan. Before you apply, contact a board-certified lawyer to review your application and to make sure that your rights are protected. Please contact us any time via this website or by phone to learn more.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law