Can you be approved for Disablity because of an Ileostomy?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/30/2009 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I work for UPS or did until 2 years ago when I began this adventure to the ileostomy zone.  I don't know whether I can go back to work or if I will be able to get on Soc Sec Disablity. 
Does anyone know the percentage of people who do work after surgery.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 3/30/2009 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know a percentage but I get SSI and I have an ostomy, I have alot of pain though that causes me not to be able to work. So you can always try.
thanks, Dusti

Diagnosed with colonic inertia at 13 years old, had my colon removed.
Diagnosed with rectal inertia at 16 years old, had my rectum removed and had a jpouch made.
Diagnosed with small bowel inertia at 18 years old, and got an ileostomy wich I still have. I am 27 now.
If you want to know more, just ask me!
"Don't worry about failure, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try"

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 3/30/2009 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
An Ostomy itself is not usually a cause for disability as for the most part, people are more 'abled' than before surgery once they've healed... however, the reason behind the surgery might be if you're still suffering despite surgery.
I have had an ileostomy for 33 years now due to UC.
Moderator of the Ostomy Forum
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 3/31/2009 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm no expert with SSI but thanks to all I have been through I have a little knowledge of it. From what I have learned, the decision is based on if your "disability", in your case your ostomy, impedes your ability to perform your job. They also look back to find any previous jobs you held that you might be able to do. If your primary doctor has decided that due to your situation that you shouldn't say lift over a certain amount but your job requires it then you stand a good chance. There are other scenarios but that was the first one I could think of. Also like pepperann27 mentioned if there is uncontrolled pain associated with your after surgery status that could be an reason also.

As far as the percentage of people who get SSI after surgery goes, I would guess, and it is only a guess, that it is small. That does not mean that everyone is able to return to work after having the surgery. If you feel you cannot continue to work then apply, if denied the first time file an appeal and be prepared to wait. If you plan on filing an appeal that might be when you want to take it to a lawyer. By federal laws they (the lawyers) can not charge you any fees unless you receive a settlement and then it is a percentage up to a set amount.

Just what little I know.


Total Colectomy with End Ileostomy May 27th, 2008

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3064
   Posted 4/1/2009 6:47 AM (GMT -6)   
have you had the surgery?

I would think that even if you cannot do the job you were doing before because of doctor restrictions, you'd be able to find something else with wouldn't hurt to ask! But, finding a new job wouldn't be impeded by an ileo...vetteguy just posted that he's been hired recently...and you might find something that you like better:) Personally, I worked for a major retailer and was able to lift/stand on my feet/drive equipment without a problem, but it is an individual thing.

Hopefully, it you've had the surgery already, you are feeling better:)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 4/2/2009 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
The information that John gsve is right on. I used to be a SSA office manager and I counseled everyone to file a claim and if necessary appeal. ,
When there are no more choices, tha decision is easy!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5380
   Posted 4/2/2009 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
It's also very possible that you would be offered job re-training. There are plenty of jobs you could do with an ostomy; an ostomy itself isn't reason enough for permanent disability.

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 4/2/2009 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Arundinaria --- good to see you posting again!!!! Welcome Back!!!!
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 4/3/2009 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually suebear an ostomy can be a reason for disability. Retraining, or otherwise known as Vocational Rehabilitation is handled at the State level. Social Security/Disability is handled at the Federal level. Each program is a separate entity and in no way collaborates with the other. SS/Disability does not determine your status based on whether or not you can be retrained, it is based on whether you can return to any employment you have had within the last 10 or so years. If you are found to meet those standards you are granted SS/Disability based on that, not on what you may possibly be able to do in the future.

An example of an ostomy being a disability by itself comes to play in my situation. After the initial surgery, prior to all of my hernia problems, which has intensified my situation, it was deemed by the surgeon that I shouldn't lift over 25 lbs. My job as an over the road truck driver required me to take a DOT physical (Federally mandated) that one of the requirements is to be able to lift 75 lbs. from the ground to chest level. Also in the job description there is a requirement to be able to unload a truckload of freight by hand that could weigh up to 45,000 total pounds. This would have been enough to make me a candidate except in my job history there was a period when I was first diagnosed with UC that my employer moved me from driving to a position that was classified as a "dispatch" position. In the normal sense a dispatch job would be able to be done with an ostomy but this position doesn't fit the Government's definition of dispatcher. The only dispatch work I did was to make a weekly schedule of what driver went where then on days that I wasn't having major UC symptoms I would drive and was required to be able to fit the requirements of a truck driver. If it wasn't for my hernia issues that are still unresolved I would still have a case for disability base on the surgeons recommendations and the lifting requirements of the job that I preformed for the last fifteen years.

Vocational Rehab is a nice program but it doesn't pay the bills the two plus years I would be going to school. Some people who have ostomy surgery seem to have no problems and return to work within a few weeks after the surgery but then there are those of us who have had problems or work histories that don't coincide with an ostomy.


Total Colectomy with End Ileostomy May 27th, 2008

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 4/4/2009 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
When I had my ileostomy, I was not allowed to lift more than 30 pounds at a time. That was my only restriction. If you work for UPS they may need to reclassify you to a different position where you don't have to lift heavy items.
Age 0 to 30 - 100% healthy, no meds, no doctor visits, no hospital stays
Oct. 2006 - Symptoms of UC began
3/5/2007 - Diagnosed with UC - Severe Pancolitis
20mg-40mg/day Prednisone, 4.8 g/day Asacol - didn't work at all
10/12/2007 - Steroid Induced Osteoporosis from Prednisone and Anemic
add Actonel (75mgx2 pills/month) and daily iron pills
2/12/2008 - open Subtotal Colectomy with Temporary Ileostomy Surgery
8/05/2008 - Unexpected surgery to remove blockage caused by scar tissue
11/20/2008 - J-Pouch + Reversal Surgery - Now living happily ever after!!!
"When life gives you lemons...make lemonade"

New Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/11/2014 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I work for a major freight company and I'm required to lift 70 lbs and push a hand cart that can weigh 100's of lbs. Please let me know what happen in your situation because I'm on the fence about trying to return to work with those duties after the Loop Stoma Reversal .. My surgery was in May and I'm still hurting when I overdo simple housework ... I'm leaning towards applying for SS Disability but I feel I won't have my surgeon's support .. I have had 3 hernia's already when I was a boy and I'm very afraid of another ... Any help ??

not creative
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 6/11/2014 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been working full-time since I got my ostomy 4 years ago. I have a desk job and generally do not have to lift things but I have been told not to life over 15-20 lbs to avoid hernia so I just ask for help if the need arises.
Dx'd w/ IBS and CD in 2002. 3-9-10: Total proctectomy and Sigmoid colostomy
1-2014: Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after long flare- Cymbalta started and very helpful with pain, depression, and anxiety
On: Simponi, 6MP, Cymbalta, Strattera, synthroid, iron, multivitamin

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 6/19/2014 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I am applying for SS Disability this week. Perm nerve damage in large intestine, I had a temp colostomy in late May 2013.... pain & a parastomal hernia developing by Oct! Underwent emerg surgery in Jan 2014 to replace temp (that was pulling back into the abdomen) with permanent colostomy....and I still have pain & constipation, which is controlled by daily medication.

I really tried hanging on to my secretarial job for those 7 1/2 months, but had a lot of absences & a few ER visits. It was horrible since I had no energy from the pain! My family Dr agreed that I should be on disability. If it affects your quality of life, you're dealing with a lot of pain, even after surgery, I'd go for it- apply for the disability!

Good luck, I hope you are one of the many that can go back to work, healed and without pain.

New Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/19/2014 5:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you LinCee ! I hope all your problems get better soon . You have been through some very tough times compared to myself. I'm going for the Disability because I cannot return to my everyday job duties which requires me to lift 70lb packages very often . Appreciate your advice and you hang in there !!
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