Crohn’s disease is a chronic and inflammatory disease of the bowel, although symptoms are not only limited solely to the intestine. It is a disease with the poorly understood mechanism, and no cases of Crohn’s are similar to each other. In some cases, the disease may have short periods of flares followed by long remissions, while for others disease symptoms may be severe and even life-threatening.
Crohn’s is mostly a therapeutic disease; however, in few cases, it may turn into a surgical problem. It is characterized by the formation of ulcers due to a combination of infection, insufficient immune response, chronic inflammation. All this may lead to the formation of fistulas, or contractions that lead to intestinal blockage. Some people may need removal of part of the intestine. Malnutrition and weight loss are commonly associated with it.
If you are among those unfortunate ones with severe Crohn’s disease, you may qualify for disability benefits.
In order to qualify for disability benefits, a person must be diagnosed with Crohn’s disease with active inflammatory bowel disease, and should have some of the related symptoms:
One should have an obstruction, not just ulcers. Endoscopy must show that some areas of the intestine have narrowed thus causing nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Another way to qualifying is hospitalization in history or surgical treatment for an obstruction that has happened more than once during the last 6-months.
In the absence of severe obstruction, one may still qualify for disability if you have at least two of the below-mentioned symptoms that affected you in the last 6-months despite sticking to the prescribed treatment.
- Severely low levels of blood proteins with albumin level of 3 g/dL or below in two blood analysis done 60 days apart
- Chronic anemia with hemoglobin level not exceeding 10 g/dL in two blood analysis done 60 days apart
- Pain in abdominal region that would not go even after taking pain medications on a regular basis. On physical examination, painful syndrome and tenderness must be confirmed. Repeated testing done after a couple of months may show a similar picture.
- Presence of fistula in a region around anus with draining abscess along with painful condition that would not be relieved my medications
- If a person continues to lose weight despite the medical care and such loss of weight exceeds ten percent in two months.
- Finally, a person may qualify for disability if cannot eat and requires feeding through the tube or catheter.
Not all may have such severe symptoms as mentioned above, the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are a loss of appetite, chronic pain in stomach, changes in bowel movement, malnutrition along with weight loss. One may qualify for compensation solely on the symptoms of malnutrition and severe weight loss. Hence if weight loss continues despite the medical treatment and calculated BMI is below 17.5 a person may still get disability compensation.
In conclusion, important is to understand that Crohn’s is chronic and cannot be cured, it would often lead to severe symptoms and person may not be able to fulfill daily activities like the healthy subject and thus qualify for disability compensation.