question about IBS

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/16/2006 2:58 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband has the kind of IBS where he is sometimes constipated and then goes to the other extreme without any warning.  He often spends hours out of the day in the bathroom.  Seldom gets a good night's sleep due to the IBS.  Has anyone tried to get Social Security Disability for IBS?  If you don't mind, please describe your experience. 
Thanks for your help!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 4/16/2006 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Does your husband really only have IBS?  It sounds to me as though this is IBD, either Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis.  In these diseases, constipation can occur when the inflammation is worse in the rectum and not in the rest of the colon.  Stool travels normally until reaching the rectum where it gets backed up.  The opposite would cause the diarrhea.  The whole colon may be inflamed then, causing watery stool instead of formed.  Has he had a colonoscopy recently to rule out IBD?  There are treatments that can keep him from having to run to the bathroom constantly.  During my last flare, I was in the bathroom at work 12 times in one day.  I was taking my medication, Colazal, but during my colonoscopy, they found that my rectum was severly inflamed.  The rest of my colon was normal.  I was given Casasa suppositories and within a week, was feeling like my old self.  When he has normal stools, does he have a lot of urgency?  Feeling like he won't make it to the toilet?  Perhaps when he gets there, despite the bad need to go, nothing will happen?  That is a sign of rectum inflammation.  Maybe you know this already...maybe you don't.  But, to answer your biggest question, unfortunetly, I haven't heard of anyone with IBD getting social security, never mind just having IBS. That doesn't mean it can't happen though I guess.  The only thing I do know is that both Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis are covered under the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act. The law covers companies with 15 or more employees. To be classified as disabled, you would have to have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from or restricts you from one major life activity.  My book says it's not clear how this would affect people with IBD though.  It says that if your IBD is considered by a doctor as disabling, you would be covered under the ADA.  My personal opinion is that I would rather find treatments and work healthy than stay home sick.  If your husband hasn't been tested yet, he needs to.  What about allergy testing?  Has he been tested for milk, egg, wheat allergies?  Most likely he has but, food intake is an important part of maintaining a good stomach too. Hope I could help.   
Ulcerative Colitis- onset 1996
GERD, Allergic rhinitis, Arthritis(spine, knees, and wrists), Chronic fatigue, Asthma, Vitamin B-12 deficiency to name a few.
Currently on:
Colazal, Canasa, Paxil CR, Prevacid, Singulair, Zyrtec, Q-var, Albuterol, Nasonex, Elestat, Astelin, B-12 injections, allergy inj (cat, dog, EMBO)
Age 26 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 4/16/2006 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi sundowner,
Welcome to HealingWell! :-)
I have heard of people getting disabilty due to IBS. I'm not sure, however, if there are any current members that have gotten it.
I hope someone will come along shortly who can help answer your question.
Take care.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
Please donate to help HealingWell continue to help us.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 4/17/2006 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   

I don't know about IBS, but I know the husband of a lady I worked with was denied SS disability, despite having terminal prostate cancer, a heart condition that required continous oxygen and strong medications, and he was on a narcotic pain killer AND confined to a scooter. 

They could have appealed the decision, especially after he got worse, but his company just gave him leave with full pay so they didn't have to bother with jumping through all the hoops again.  I guess SS thought he'd only be disabled once he was dead.

Moral of the story is you have to really be able to demonstrate that you can't work at all, in any capacity, at any job for which you have any training or qualifications and then you have to stay on them after they deny you.  It doesn't matter if you can't get a job working part time or from home; if they think you can do that, then you had better do it.  That, or you could delcare yourself an alcoholic like our ex-neighbor.  Apparently being a lazy alcoholic bum is a disability but heart conditions along with cancer is not. mad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 4/17/2006 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
There is a lot of criteria involved with SSDI applications and approvals. The biggest advice I can give you is to do not apply without a lawyer and do your research before hand. Past history of your work and attendance and all your doctor visits will be appealed so be prepared for that. You will have to be seen by their doctors. There are also instances where you don't qualify for SSDI but for SSI so you need to make sure to do your research. Gosh, I can't say that enough!!! Be prepared for a denial your first try, I think the statistics show that 95% are denied on the first application which discourages a lot of people from appealing.
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
~My reality check bounced
Please help Healing Well continue to help others by donating
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, UC 2005, Sjogren's 2006
Meds: Sulfazine EC, Mesalamine, Chlorzoxazone, Oxaprozin, Symax SL, Protonix, Xanax XR, Supplements

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 4/17/2006 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,  I am on ssi and I have IBS..  I got it on the first try..  If you want to email me feel free.  I would be glad to answer any questions...


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 4/17/2006 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately it depends on your local evaluators as I have seen people severely disabled that were denied here in CA and have heard of people in other places that were not even close to being as disabled as the people here. There was even an big article in our paper about an almost blind, diabetic women with another illness that was denied. Since I have emphysema this is discussed quite a bit and some people find it hard to get quallfied and others easy. SSI and SSD are different though so you need to understand that. From what I have observed the smaller less polulated areas seem to qualify people faster. Maybe they are less stressed in those areas of the country. If you really feel you need it and are turned down get a SSD attorney. they almost always get it for you.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/17/2006 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much to everyone for your input. We are trying to make a decision about what to do. He has had IBS for years and it is getting much worse. He is under a Doctor's care and the Doctor feels he is not able to work. I too have heard horror stories about who does and does not qualify for benefits.
Again, Thanks for your input!! I am overwhelmed with how frinedly everyone has been.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 4/18/2006 6:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,   I said I was on SSI sorry I meant SSD...  I know it sounds crazy to be on disability because of IBS but as all of you know it can be debilitating...  My gastro and my GP wrote letters stating that I could not work a normal job...  I don't know why but they approved me the 1st time....  I was very good at record keeping..  You need documentation and all your records..  I showed a history for 5 years of testing and doctors visits and er visits...  Believe me if I could work and not have IBS I would!!!!  I hate having this illness...  I just want to give people hope if they are housebound with this you can get disability...  I did have a good work history for 20 years... They do look at that to you have to have paid in to social security...  If you are wondering how much you get..  I get about $1800.00 a month that is take home...  That is for me and my 2 kids...  If you have children they also get money because you are disabled...  I used to be embarssed to tell people that I was on it..  But you know I paid into it and it is our right if we cannot work to get it..  I hope this helps anyone who is as bad as me with this terrible illness.. 


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