1. Social Security Disability
  2. /
  3. What Medical Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
  4. /
  5. Digestive System Disorders That Qualify For Social Security Benefits

Digestive System Disorders That Qualify For Social Security Benefits

You must demonstrate that you are fully handicapped and unable to perform meaningful jobs when applying for Social Security disability payments. While much of the information you supply to the Social Security Administration (SSA) is open to interpretation, the SSA goes to considerable pains to offer criteria for what constitutes total disability to its agents.

The Blue Book is the primary resource used by SSA representatives in this regard. The Blue Book outlines fourteen physical and mental systems and functions, as well as instructions for how SSA agents should handle claims involving those systems. The fifth section of the Blue Book is dedicated to digestive system disorders.

It is critical to get medical attention while filing a Social Security disability claim. This is vital regardless of your debilitating disease, but it is especially important for people claiming benefits for digestive issues. It will be critical to demonstrate that you are incapacitated despite following all prescribed therapies and that your condition has persisted or is projected to last for at least one year.

Section 5 of the Blue Book covers six different types of digestive disorders. These are the following:

  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhaging – Regardless of the cause, you will qualify for disability if you have gastrointestinal hemorrhaging requiring at least two units of blood each transfusion (with or without hospitalization), and occurring at least three times during a six-month period. Within the six-month period, the transfusions must be separated by at least 30 days.
  • Chronic liver disease –  To qualify for disability you will need to either have blood loss due to esophageal, gastric, or ectopic varices, or portal hypertensive gastropathy, as shown by endoscopy, x-ray or other medically acceptable imaging, requiring hospitalization for transfusion of at least 2 units of blood OR Ascites or hydrothorax not due to other causes, despite continuing treatment as prescribed for at least 2 evaluations 60 days apart within a consecutive This must be documented by the SSA’s guidelines.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – There are two ways to qualify for disability due to IBD, one is to have documentation of endoscopy, biopsy, adequate medically acceptable imaging, or operational findings that show obstruction of stenotic regions (not adhesions) in the small intestine or colon with proximal dilatation, proven by suitable medically acceptable imaging or surgery, requiring hospitalization for intestinal decompression or surgery, and happening at least twice in a 6-month period.  Or despite maintaining medication as directed, two of the 6 listed conditions that are listed in the SSA’s bluebook must have occurred within a six-month period.
  • Short bowel syndrome (SBS) Having SBS due to a surgical resection of more than half of the small intestine, requiring daily parenteral nourishment administered through a central venous catheter qualifies you as disabled.
  • Weight loss from any digestive disorder – If you followed prescribed treatment and still have weight loss due to an digestive disorder, as well as a BMI of less than 17.50 based on at least two separate tests spaced at least 60 days apart during a six-month period, then you are considered disabled and qualify for disability benefits.
  • Liver transplantation  If you’ve had a liver transplant, you’ll be regarded fully handicapped for at least a year after the procedure. After the year is up, your disability will be reassessed on a regular basis.

If your digestive disease does not fall into one of these categories, it does not automatically rule you out of receiving disability compensation. It simply implies that your handicap cannot be directly assessed using the Blue Book, and SSA representatives must assess how your condition affects your ability to perform typical work-related tasks.

Other chronic disorders considered under digestive system disorders include:

  • Bowel Incontinence
  • Cirrhosis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Dysautonomia
  • Gastroparesis
  • GERD
  • Hepatitis
  • Involuntary Weight Loss
  • Kidney Failure
  • Liver Disease
  • Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
  • Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Stomach Pain
  • Ulcers
  • Whipple’s Disease
  • Wilson’s Disease