Ulcerative Colitis and Disability (Canada)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 9/1/2008 3:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I was wondering if people with UC qualify for disability.
If so, how sick do they have to be? I read that disability means you can not work on a regular basis at ANY job due to your condition.

I've been at my job for 5 years. I have never put in a full-time year. I've been on sick leave twice (but only applied for EI once, never thought to the first time). The first time I went on sick leave was when I got so sick I almost died. I was not diagnosed then, but diagnosed that summer. I was gone for three months. I went back to work and worked near full time hours--but usually had to cut them down because I was sick. The second time I went on sick leave, I was gone for 2-3 months. This was in January 06. Since then I've never worked more that 25 hours. My work week is usually 15 hours. I just can't do it. It's too hard on my body. I'm constantly tired and have zero energy. I also work evening because I do not feel well in the day time.

I've always been sick, my whole life, before being diagnosed it was just normal for me to never feel good. Since being diagnosed and having a taste of being less sick I feel like I can't suck it up like I used to.

Anyway, do you think I could potentially qualify for disability?
Are any of you on disability? Have you tried?

Information and opinions appreciated.
Diagnosed with UC in August 2005. 
Suffered for my whole life before being diagnosed. 
Told to "Eat more fibre." 
Currently on:

Salofalk 1500mg x 4/day
6mg x 1/day
Entocort increased to:
9mg x 3/day as of 2.14.08

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 9/1/2008 6:09 AM (GMT -6)   

I am like you. I never feel that great most of the time but only call into work sick when in severe flare. In the last 7 years I have averaged about 3 - 4 weeks off sick per year.  All taken in one go when flaring. I also work evenings as this is when I feel most well but of course when you are not getting home until 12.30, bed at about 1 then up in the morning to take kids to school it is hard going.

I live in the UK and applied for disability, not so that I could give up work but maybe drop a couple of shifts per week so I wasn't as tired all the time but I was refused.  They wrote to me and said they do not give disability benefits to people who have diorrhea or so they could be near a toilet all the time.  Two fingers up to them, if they only knew what living with this disease was all about. If it was only a bit of diorrhea I wouldn't be trying to claim benefits. My cousin who also has UC, has had a brain hemmorhage (sp!) which is still leaking blood and has another annurism in her brain which has not yet burst but is being monitored was also refused, she is appealing but not holding out much hope.

32 year old female
UC diagnosed 2001
Asacol 6 per day
Azathioprine 100mg started 4/08
Steroids 5mg per day

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 9/1/2008 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Asia... my story is alot like yours. I was diagnosed in 2004 after being off work sick for 4 months. Then I went back to work.. part time because I was in school at the same time. Once I graduated I went full time. I was fine up until this year, I had a major flare in March and was off until July. I received EI both time without any hassle... when I started back to work I was only part time because I was on my feet all day. Then my employeer switched me to full time but the other half of the day I am doing office week so I get to sit. :O) I still don't feel the "same" as before I went off sick after this flare.... I don't feel like I ever got my energy back.. I have to nap all the time and I still get pains in my abdominal area.... sucksssssssss... I have heard that disablitly is hard to get accepted for.. seen a few unsuccessful stories on the forums here but that's all... good luck with your application if you decide to apply !!!!
Jenn 26/female
Ulcerative PANCOLITIS diagnosed 2004
Asacol 3 pills once/day, Buscopan as needed
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid, Metamucil one tsp per day so far
Flare March-June 2008.. pretty much in remission again July

Paul L
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 647
   Posted 9/1/2008 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Asia, There are several disability programs available to Canadians. Some are from the Federal government and others are from the provincial government. Go to:
and click “A person with a disability…” then on your province for a list of links to the various programs. They each have their own eligible criteria. You may also have benefits available from you employer.
The only thing I applied for is the “disability Tax Credit” on my income tax return. It is for people with a disability that work and earn income. My current doctor had no problem filling out the form and signing it. The government approved it for 8 years. After that I will have to reapply. The credit is worth a few thousand dollars in tax relief each year. They also allow you to go to previous years and claim past credits. I took the forms to my old GI (he was the one that diagnosed me) and he didn’t want to sign them at first because he felt that I could work. After I explained that the Disability Tax Credit is only for people that work and earn income he signed it. The form was accepted and I was able to get the credit for the 3 previous years.
Take care,

Diagnosed in 2000 at age 43 with UC extending half way across transverse colon.
Bad reaction to Asacol, Pentasa and Dipentum - can’t take any more 5ASAs.
Prednisone - worked well for 1 month, then side effects became unbearable.
6-MP - blood tests showed not metabolizing properly.
Corticosteroid enema, Flagyl, Ciprofloxin, VSL#3, Adacolumn Apheresis – no effect
Methotrexate with Remicade - 7 infusions with no improvement
Folic Acid and B12 injections.
Abatacept trial - no effect
Visit our photo albums at: http://www.laflammefamily.ca 

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