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When digestive issues affect your ability to work

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2018 | Firm News

In a culture that laughs at potty humor, it can be hard for people to take digestive issues seriously. What someone else passes off as just a one-time stomach ache that happened due to poor dietary choices can be a recurring and debilitating problem for you despite a healthy lifestyle.

When your digestive system gets so bad that you are unable to work anywhere and are without a means of income for more than a year, you may be eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits. Digestive disorders can qualify as serious impairments under the law.

What is a digestive disorder?

Digestive disorders affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the following organs:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Gallbladder
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Intestines

Signs that you have a digestive disease go beyond problems in the restroom. You may also experience heartburn, vomiting, bleeding, infections or difficulty with swallowing. Examples of disorders are irritable bowel syndrome, GERD (a type of reflux), ulcers, celiac disease, gallstones, cirrhosis, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance and cancer.

When does a digestive disorder qualify for SSDI?

Having one of these diseases does not automatically guarantee that you can receive Social Security benefits. Mild symptoms that you can treat are not likely to qualify you for financial assistance. The disorder must be severe enough to significantly interfere with your employment, especially, but not exclusively, at a job that requires constant presence in an area until your break or end of shift.

Good signs that this applies to you are if you find yourself frequently missing work, getting behind on tasks or facing extreme pain and discomfort on the job due to your digestive problems. When medication and a healthy lifestyle are not enough to help you get through the work day, it may be time to explore your options with SSDI. Your disease may prevent you from working, but it does not have to stop you from having the monetary means to live.