Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with debilitating conditions that prevent them from working or performing common, everyday tasks. This is the case for people diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, a group of challenging conditions that significantly impact a person’s ability to carry out their duties. Unfortunately, not many people understand whether they have the opportunity to file a disability benefits claim because they show symptoms of abdominal discomfort. As you will learn through this article, Inflammatory Bowel Disease is more than that. Our Fayetteville AR, disability attorney Ken Kieklak, invite you to keep reading as we discuss whether inflammatory bowel disease is a disability in Arkansas.
Can I Get Disability Benefits for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Arkansas?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a medical term used to identify to main types of conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of these medical conditions are known for causing chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in damage. Typically, IBD can show different symptoms, including persistent diarrhea, acute abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue. As of today, the exact cause of IBD is still unknown. However, it is believed it may be linked to a weak or compromised immune system.
Most of the time, people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease face significant discomfort caused by their symptoms. In many cases, IBD can be enough to prevent a person from doing their jobs. If your condition is severe enough, you may get disability benefits from the SSA. Generally, the SSA can provide Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Filing your SSDI or SSI claim in Arkansas can be challenging, especially if you have never been through this process before. Fortunately, you can get disability benefits for your Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Arkansas. It is critical to contact an Arkansas disability attorney who can guide you and help you understand what the process entails.
How Do I File for Social Security Disability with IBD in Arkansas?
Applying for social security disability benefits is a process that should be taken seriously. If you have a debilitating, severe condition that prevents you from working, it is essential to understand whether you can qualify to get the SSA’s benefits. It is not enough to show up at the Arkansas Social Security office and say you cannot work because of your Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Taking this approach can hurt your chances of getting your benefits. Sadly, this is where many SSDI or SSI petitioners falter.
There is a formal application process every claimant must go through. The first thing you should do is contacting an Arkansas disability benefits attorney who can help you file your claim on time. The application and qualification process can be lengthy, and applying immediately after your disability is essential.
The SSA has a multistep evaluation process assessing all SSDI or SSI benefits claims. The first thing the SSA will do is to evaluate whether you engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). In other words, the SSA will determine whether you meet a specific monthly income threshold. In 2020, the SGA is set to $1,260 per month. If this is your monthly income, your claim may be denied.
Additionally, the SSA will have to determine whether your IBD will last for at least a year. However, this should be a relatively easy requirement to meet since IBD is considered a life-long medical condition.
Your condition must meet SSA’s definition of “severe” in order to be considered to receive your disability benefits. If your IBD significantly impacts your ability to do necessary work activities, it may satisfy the SSA’s “severe” definition.
Next, the SSA will evaluate whether your condition is listed on their official Blue Book listing of severe conditions that qualify for disability benefits. If your illness is not listed on the SSA or does not resemble any of the listed conditions, your application may be denied. Fortunately, IBD can be found in § 5.06 of the SSA’s Blue Book. However, you must provide evidence showing you suffer from bowel obstruction or other qualifying complications such as anemia, weight loss, or perineal disease.
What Happens if My Social Security Disability Claim for IBD is Denied?
If you cannot work due to your IBD, you may be entitled to your Social Security disability benefits. However, suffering from IBD and filing a claim does not guarantee you will qualify right off the bat. According to SSA’s statistics, approximately 70% of all first claims are denied. However, it would be best if you did not give up on your first try. It is essential to keep in mind, the SSA has to sift through millions of claims every year, and sometimes being persistent may be the best way to get qualified for your benefits.
If you were denied disability benefits in Arkansas, with your Arkansas disability benefits attorney’s assistance, you can file an appeal – which should be the first thing to do after an initial rejection. Typically, you can file a reconsideration with the SSA to re-evaluate your claim. If your reconsideration is denied, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ).
The ALJ will look at your evidence, hear your testimony and other witnesses’ testimony to determine whether you are disabled.
Getting help from an experienced social security disability attorney is crucial during your appeal. There is a significant amount of evidence you should gather before your appeal. Additionally, you must strategize and build your case in a way that clearly reflects your condition and convinces the ALJ you are “in fact” disabled.
Arkansas Disability Benefits Attorney Handling Inflammatory Bowel Disease Claims
Dealing with a disability can be frustrating and challenging, especially if it interferes with your work. If you or a loved one suffers from a severe medical condition such as IBD in Arkansas, we can help. Our Fayetteville and Rogers, AR social security disability attorney Ken Kieklak, understands how the system works and what you need to do during your disability claim process. Thanks to our decades of experience, we are able to guide you and help you during the application, qualification, and appeals process. To learn more about our services in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.