Monday, December 2, 2013

Obtaining Social Security Disability with Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial Cystitis, which is also called IC or Painful Bladder Syndrome, is a chronic and painful inflammatory condition in the wall of the bladder.  Social Security does not have a specific listing for this condition, however there are different ways that you may be found eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits due to IC.  

Interstitial Cystitis is extremely painful.  Some of its symptoms are:
  • Frequent urination
  • Feelings of pain and pressure in the bladder, the pelvis or the genital areas
  • Pain during sex
  • Men suffer from pain and discomfort in the penis and the scrotum
  • In most women symptoms get worse around the menstrual cycle

The diagnosis of IC is a difficult one.  Doctors usually make the diagnosis of this condition by excluding all other possible illnesses.  This is in part why social security issued a ruling to address the methodology to be followed by the agency when faced with a case involving Interstitial Cystitis.  (See SSR 02-02p) 

Since there isn’t a listing for Interstitial Cystitis, most Social Security Disability cases dealing with this condition will be evaluated at step 4 and step 5 of the Social Security sequential evaluation process.  At step 4, the claimant must be able to prove that the condition prevents him or her from doing the work performed during the past 15 years (past relevant work).  If you are not able to perform past relevant work, then Social Security will consider your limitations, such as how long are you able to sit without pain, which can make a sedentary job impossible. Pain can also make physical work like lifting or carrying difficult. Side effects from medications, including fatigue and dizziness, may also impact your ability to perform physically at work.  Based on your age, your education and your skills Social Security will then determine at step 5 of the sequential evaluation process whether you still have the capacity to do other work.  If you are not able to do any other work do to your limitations, you will be granted Social Security Disability Benefits.