Do you have mild to severe Crohn's disease? Does your condition interfere with your ability to work? If so, you probably qualify for Social Security disability benefits. In order to win those benefits, though, there are 3 very important things you'll need to gather. Read on to find out what they are.
1. A Well-Documented Medical History
In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your condition must have prevented you from gainfully working in the last 12 months, or must be expected to prevent you from working for a full 12 months following your application.
Crohn's disease can be an embarrassing condition, and people afflicted with the disorder don't always have health insurance. Because of these 2 things and the fact that Crohn's disease is characterized by flare-ups and periods of remission, sufferers are often tempted to forgo visiting the doctor in hopes that their symptoms will soon pass. It's important, however, that you make an effort to visit your doctor during every single flare-up.
By having a strong medical history related to your Crohn's disease, you will better be able to prove to the Department of Social Security the disease does, indeed, have a recurring and lasting effect on your ability to work.
2. A Detailed Evaluation From Your Doctor
Crohn's does not have its own specific set of medical eligibility requirements under the Department of Social Security. Instead, it is evaluated under the broader category of inflammatory bowel disease.
In order to meet the requirements of being disabled by inflammatory bowel disease, you must be diagnosed with the condition by your doctor, as well as have one or more complications related to the disease. Complications can include any symptom of the disease that makes gainful employment difficult to achieve.
The Department of Social Security has a list of specific complications that would qualify you for benefits, such as an abscess, anemia, or uncontrollable weight loss, but many Crohn's disease sufferers are troubled by complications that are not on this list. If you have complications not on this list, it doesn't mean that they won't be considered -- it simply means they will need to be individually scrutinized by the review board.
If this is your situation, you'll need your doctor to provide as thorough an analysis as possible so the full effects of your complications are clearly evident to the review board. Ask him or her to go as far as to detail how many hours/minutes your can sit, stand, or walk in a day, as well as any reactions or side-effects you have had to your treatments.
3. A Lawyer Who Specializes In Social Security Disability Benefits
Approximately 70 percent of Social Security disability applications are initially denied. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the process of obtaining benefits and a lot of room for error. You need a lawyer who is familiar with the strict guidelines of the Department of Social Security and who knows how to flawlessly represent your case to the review board. To boost your odds of a successful review, find a lawyer who specializes in Social Security disability claims instead of a general practice attorney who divides their expertise across a variety of law categories.
If your daily life and your ability to work are affected by Crohn's disease, it's likely that you're entitled to Social Security disability benefits. However, in order to receive those benefits, you'll first need to prove your limitations to the Department of Social Security. Before applying for benefits, make sure you gather the above three things to boost your odds of approval.
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