Short bowel syndrome (SBS), or short gut syndrome, is a rare condition that affects about three out of every million people each year, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD).
If you have a debilitating case of SBS that arose from surgery to treat another condition, injury, or illness, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. For help getting social security for short bowel syndrome, call Lunn & Forro, PLLC for a free consult with a disability lawyer: 888-966-6566.
Does short bowel syndrome qualify for disability benefits?
Yes, short bowel syndrome is one of the qualifying impairments listed in the Social Security Blue Book under the Digestive System section. People living with SBS may have a host of symptoms and complications that can be life-threatening if not treated and controlled. It can greatly impede their functional capacity and ability to work.
Section 5.07 provides that SBS will qualify as a disabling condition when it is “due to surgical resection of more than one-half of the small intestine, with dependence on daily parenteral nutrition via a central venous catheter.”
What are the criteria to qualify for disability for short bowel syndrome?
In order to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will need to supply the following:
- A copy of your intestinal resection operative report.
- Your hospitalization record, with details of the surgical findings and postop imaging studies that “reflect the amount of your residual small intestine.”
- Medical documentation that you are dependent on “daily parenteral nutrition to provide most of your nutritional requirements.”
“Your impairment will continue to meet [the medical requirements for disability] as long as you remain dependent on daily parenteral nutrition via a central venous catheter for most of your nutritional requirements,” according to the SSA.
How do I prove that I meet the disability criteria for SBS?
In order to qualify for benefits, you must meet the SSA’s strict definition of disability:
- You cannot do the work that you did before;
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted a year or your doctor expects it to last for at least one year or to result in death.
You will need a substantial amount of detailed medical records to prove your SBS disability case. These records and input from your doctors are the foundation of your claim. It is prudent to note that the SSA denies benefits for hundreds of thousands of people each year because of a lack of sufficient medical evidence.
Our disability lawyers at Lunn & Forro, PLLC will speak with your physicians, collect the medical documents that the SSA requires, and ensure that your documents are complete before turning them in to the Administration.
Even if your SBS does not quite fit the listing requirements, we may still be able to help you qualify for disability. If you have other physical or mental conditions — either unrelated or as a complication of SBS — we can see if your combination of conditions will qualify you for benefits. You are welcomed to contact us to schedule a consult at your convenience.
What other criteria do I need to qualify for disability benefits?
In addition to proving that you have a qualifying case of SBS, there are several additional criteria you must meet in order to win your disability benefits:
- Your condition must be severe enough to limit your capacity to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA).
- Your age, work history, education, skill sets, and medical condition must be such that you cannot adjust to any other type work.
What do I do if the SSA has denied my disability application?
According to SSA statistical reports, it denies over two-thirds of disability applications initially. The SSA may deny a claim for various reasons, such as:
- Insufficient medical records.
- You lied on your application.
- Your condition has improved.
- You do not have enough work credits.
- Your condition is not disabling enough.
- You earn too much money.
- You refused the consultative examination (CE) that the SSA requested.
- You did not follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan.
If the SSA denied your SBS disability claim, do not lose hope; we can help you appeal your case. If you are entitled to benefits, we can gather the evidence necessary and demonstrate your eligibility to the Administration.
There are four levels of appeals we can go through to get the SSA to accept your claim: Reconsideration; a hearing with an administrative law judge; a review by the Appeals Council; and a Federal Court review.
Each stage, overseen by different parties, offers another opportunity to present new evidence to support your case. We will ensure your case has the necessary evidence before any reviews, interviews, or hearings.
CAUTION: There is a strict 60-day time limit on when you can request a reconsideration. Take action straightaway to avoid thwarting your rights.
Why should I entrust my case to Lunn & Forro, PLLC?
Our firm concentrates on disability law only, which means we have an intricate understanding of this area of the law. Our caring lawyers, former legal aid attorneys, have a passion for helping disabled clients navigate the claim system and win the benefits they need.
Contact a Social Security disability lawyer at Lunn & Forro, PLLC today for a free case evaluation: 888-966-6566.