Your doctor just confirmed what you long suspected: Your stomach problems are going to keep you out of work for an indefinite amount of time. You’re thinking about applying for Social Security disability, but you’re not sure the Social Security Administration (SSA) will see your condition as disabling—and if you are denied, you’re not sure how you’re going to be able to pay your bills.
Proving the Extent of Your Stomach Condition
The first step toward proving your disability to the SSA is to provide medical documentation of your condition. This includes clinical notes, lab tests, imaging test results (such as endoscopies, CT scans, and MRIs), and pathology reports. If your digestive disorder has required surgery, you should note the date of the procedure and the symptoms you have experienced while healing.
Your records may be spread out over a number of locations, so make sure you collect records from healthcare providers and hospitals in Omaha or anywhere else that you have visited for as long as you have had your condition. These should include notes from your primary care doctor, gastroenterologist, ER doctor, MRI technician, and any other medical provider who has provided care for your condition.
Your Treatment May Affect Your Ruling
You should know that the SSA will look at more than your symptoms when evaluating your disability application. In order to determine the level of your disability, SSA will consider the severity and duration of your symptoms as well as how well you are responding to your prescribed treatment. You should include notes about your:
- Treatment methods. These may include medications, surgeries, or supplemental nutrition needs.
- Treatment schedule. This includes dosage, method of administration, frequency of administration, and how long your course of treatment is expected to continue.
- Outcomes. You should document your response to the treatment, such as any improvements in your symptoms or your underlying condition.
- Side effects. You should also report any adverse effects you have experienced as a result of your treatment, as these may limit your ability to function
- Recurrent diarrhea, cramping or constipation. If you continue to have these problems despite treatment, this is likely to affect your ability to perform your job and meet production quotas.
In most cases, it is better to provide too much information about your condition rather than too little. Stomach ailments may be short or long term, so you should have medical evidence spanning a significant period of time to help the SSA properly assess your condition. For example, if side effects of your treatment impair your working ability, but the treatment will end after a certain number of visits, the SSA may wait on the decision until the course of treatment is complete.
Need more information on getting Social Security to pay for your medical bills and loss of income? Browse the related links on this page or email us at [email protected] to ask us a question about your case.