Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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Crohn's disease and Social Security disability benefits

Social Security disability benefits for illnesses may help beneficiaries in Newark dealing with a severe disease pay for escalating treatment costs. Those with Crohn's disease may be eligible for SSD benefits for illness, because it is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Crohn's disease primarily impacts that gastrointestinal tract and presents inflammation and tissue damage that needs long-term management. It is a chronic condition that may last a lifetime. Some people display mild and occasional symptoms while others may suffer debilitating and frequent symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and fatigue.

The disease can affect other organs and present additional symptoms. These include malnutrition, weight loss, fever, anemia, neurological symptoms, inflammatory arthritis, rashes, oral ulcers and vision problems.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) includes this disease under the IBD category, which is placed in its criteria for disability evaluation as digestive system-adult. Applicants must provide a proof of diagnosis including the physician's documentation, imaging tests and any available endoscopy results. Medical and laboratory tests completed in the previous years, prescriptions and information about health care professionals who were consulted should also be submitted.

Applicants should also provide proof of citizenship, W-2 forms from the previous year and financial records such as paystubs, mortgage or rent statements and insurance policies.

To be eligible, applicants must have a mental or physical impairment directly related to a medical condition, that interfered with job-related activities for at least 12 months, earn less than $800 each month, the condition has advanced to a stage in which the applicant's work-related activities may be disrupted for at least 12 months, and the outlook is poor.

Once approved, benefits begin on the first day of the sixth month in which the SAA determines that the disability began. These monetary benefits are intended to pay for lost wages and increased treatments and surgeries. Benefits are partially based on lifetime average earnings.

The SSA will continue to monitor a beneficiary's progress and may request additional documentation. A beneficiary resuming work becomes ineligible for SSD benefits. However, they may receive benefits indefinitely if the condition makes it impossible for the beneficiary to work again.

The SSA allows beneficiaries to receive a medical allowance to offset treatment costs even if they are ineligible for the full standard IBD benefits. Applicants may also file an appeal of a denied claim. A lawyer may assist applicants with seeking these benefits and appealing a denial.

Source: healthline, "A guide to disability benefits and Crohn's disease," Pat Katzmann, March 22, 2016

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