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Cystitis and SSA Disability Benefits

Cystitis is an inflammation in the bladder which, which is the organ in the lower abdomen which collects urine. If the bladder becomes inflamed it can cause severe pain or discomfort, not only in the bladder but throughout the entire pelvic area. Pain can vary from pressure or tenderness to more severe pain which completely debilitates the claimant’s ability to work.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Cystitis glandularis at trigone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]Cystitis glandularis at trigone[/caption]

The cause of cystitis can vary, but it is frequently caused by a bladder infection causing symptoms such as frequent urination or the feeling the claimant always needs to urinate. This feeling is generated from the inflammation of both the urethra, which is the tube that eliminates urine from the body, or from the bladder.

Claimants can suffer from other symptoms of cystitis including:

  1. Bloody urine

  2. Painful urination

  3. Cloudy urine

  4. Fever

  5. Abdominal pain

Cystitis is most common in women but can also affect men. The good news is this condition is generally treatable, although failure to properly treat it can lead to severe conditions such as kidney infection, kidney failure, inability to urinate, very high fever, disorientation, or severe pain. Death can result if the condition progresses to sepsis.

Winning SSI or SSDI for Cystitis

The Social Security Administration has two methods they use to determine if a claimant has a severe mental or physical health condition which is so severe they cannot work: determine if the claimant’s condition is listed in the SSA Listing of Impairments (also known as the Blue Book) or through a medical vocational allowance.

Although the SSA does not currently have a listing in their Blue Book for this condition they have published information about how they will evaluate this condition (Policy Interpretation ruling, titles 2 and titles 16: Evaluation of Interstitial Cystitis). Generally the SSA will evaluate the claimant’s condition and any other additional conditions, such as depression, to determine if it is as severe as another condition which does have a listing. If it is, then the SSA will award SSDI or SSI to the claimant, assuming they meet the nonmedical requirements of one of the programs.

Winning SSDI and SSI for Cystitis through a Medical Vocational Allowance

The SSA can also award disability for cystitis through a medical vocational allowance. Basically the SSA will determine whether the claimant’s condition is severe enough to limit their ability to work. According to the SSA evaluation of this condition they will evaluate the claimant’s “urinary frequency and pain and their exertional limitations for functions such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling. It also may affect the claimant’s ability to do postural functions, such as climbing, balancing, stooping, and crouching. The ability to tolerate extreme heat, humidity, or hazards also may be affected.”

The SSA also acknowledges that severe pelvic pain can affect a claimant’s ability to focus or sustain tasks, and frequent urination could interrupt nightly sleep patterns which lowers the claimant’s ability to sustain concentration throughout the day. Social interaction and functioning can also be limited if the claimant must confine themselves to their home.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer

Because cystitis does not have a listing in the SSA Listing of impairments it will be more difficult to win SSI or SSDI. Remember, the condition must be considered severe and be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months to qualify for SSDI or SSI. The SSA will also expect that the claimant has been getting adequate medical treatment and has followed the doctors’ prescribed treatment plan for their condition.
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