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SSI - Can I get it with an Ileostomy bag?

What is an ileostomy bag?

If you have an ileostomy you now have a surgical opening in your abdominal wall through which digested food passes. The procedure has created a stoma, which has been positioned around your abdomen which will now allow your stool to leave your body and situate in a pouch. The types of iliostomies vary: ileoanal reservoir, continent ileostomy, or a permanent ileostomy (caused by the complete loss of the small intestines).

Claimants with this condition may have suffered from a variety of conditions or diseases including familial polyposis, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Claimants who have to use an ileostomy bag may have various systems installed such as the two pouched system or the one pouch system. The amount the pouch will have to be irrigated depends on food and liquid intake.

Activities affected by an ileostomy bag

According to studies and literature, many experts agree that having an ileostomy bag does not necessarily impair a claimant’s ability to perform most activities including work, sex, social activities, sports, or travel.

If you have an ileostomy bag without any other health conditions it may be difficult to prove that you cannot work because there are thousands of workers who are successful business people (doctors, writers, teachers, etc.) who are successfully going to work and completing their job assignments with an ileostomy bag but this may not always to be true. Let’s investigate how the SSA will make their disability determination.

Can I get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) with an ileostomy bag?

To win Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits you must be able to prove that you are disabled, aged or blind and you are unable to perform substantial gainful activities for at least 12 continuous months. Claimants must also have very limited income and resources.

The Social Security Administration determines disability in two ways. First, they will determine if the claimant’s condition is listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments. If not, the SSA will decide if that claimant has enough residual capacity to complete their previous work, past work, or retrain for new work. This is done through what the SSA terms a medical vocational allowance.

Winning Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability by meeting a listing

If you have another severe condition, such as Crohn’s disease, that has lead to the installation of the ileostomy bag the SSA will evaluate your condition under a listing. For Crohn’s disease you must meet the listing under 5.00 Digestive System, Section 5.06 Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Other diseases will be evaluated under their corresponding listing.

Winning Supplemental Security Income disability through a medical vocational allowance

If you do not have disease which is listed you must prove that you do not have the residual capacity to work.

When will this be easy to do? Let’s look at an example. If you are over the age of 55, have limited education and you have worked hard labor most of your life if you have a ileostomy bag installed and you are unable to work your past or current job the SSA is likely to determine that given your history or employment, age, work skills, education and medical condition it is unlikely that you could retrain for new work.

But what if you are age 30 and college educated? You may have more difficulty winning Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or SSDI because the SSA is likely to assume that even if they cannot work your current job, you may be able to retrain for light or sedentary work and having a ileostomy bag may not interfere.
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