There’s no doubt that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has a significant impact on your life. The diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain that you experience can make some days a real struggle. You may even take more sick days than your coworkers who are not suffering from this condition.
But Do You Have a Disability?
Taking more sick days than other employees does not make you disabled. However, when IBS interferes with your ability to keep a job or work frequently enough to support yourself, it may be considered a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
While IBS is not currently included in the Listing of Impairments, you may be able to qualify if you can prove to the SSA that:
- You can’t work. This includes your current (or most recent job) and other jobs for which you may be qualified.
- Your condition is expected to last for more than 12 months. This may be difficult for many IBS suffers to prove since the symptoms of IBS can fluctuate considerably.
- You have tried IBS treatments as prescribed by your doctor. This could include, but is not limited to: antibiotics, other medications, and counseling to manage stress and depression.
Of course, even if you can prove these things, your approval will not be automatic. You must apply for Social Security disability benefits and wait for the SSA’s determination of your status. Your medical records and complete application will be important during this process. To learn more about what is important during this process, please download a FREE copy of our book: Social Security Disability What You Need to Know.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.