Interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome, is a complicated condition that can lead to very painful and life-altering symptoms. Individuals who suffer from interstitial cystitis may find it hard to go out in public at times, let alone perform the functions necessary to maintain gainful employment. If your interstitial cystitis condition has prevented you from being able to work and you are suffering financially because of it, Social Security Disability benefits may be able to offset some of your financial burdens. If you have interstitial cystitis and are wondering how your condition qualifies you for disability benefits, the following information can help you understand how the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews interstitial cystitis and how the condition impacts your Social Security Disability claim.
Interstitial Cystitis - Condition and Symptoms
Approximately 1.3 million Americans suffer from interstitial cystitis, with more than 1 million of those individuals being women. Interstitial cystitis is a complicated medical condition that involves recurring pain in the bladder and pelvic area. The severity of symptoms can vary drastically from case to case. Some interstitial cystitis patients will experience mild discomfort and pressure. Others will suffer from intense, excruciating pain.
Even those who suffer from severe interstitial cystitis will experience varying symptoms as the pain and discomfort is not consistent. The pain can increase as the bladder fills with urine and will decrease when the bladder empties. Oftentimes women who suffer from the condition will experience increased symptoms during menstruation.
In severe cases, people suffering from interstitial cystitis will experience scarring of the bladder wall, pinpoint bleeding or Hunner's ulcers. In some cases, an individual's bladder will lose the ability to hold large volumes of urine, which increases the person's need to urinate frequently. Some of the individuals who suffer from interstitial cystitis may need to urinate as frequently as 60 times a day.
The causes of interstitial cystitis are unknown and, as of yet, there is no specific test to determine the condition. Instead, your doctor will rule out other conditions prior to diagnosing you with interstitial cystitis. The symptoms of interstitial cystitis are similar to the symptoms of a bacterial infection. If a urine culture is performed and an individual does not respond to antibiotic therapy, interstitial cystitis may be diagnosed.
Severe cases of interstitial cystitis can be excruciatingly painful. Because the symptoms of interstitial cystitis may interfere with an individual's ability to work, you may want to consider filing for Social Security Disability benefits if you have been diagnosed with the disease.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Interstitial Cystitis
Being approved for Social Security Disability benefits due to a case of interstitial cystitis can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The SSA does not have a listing for interstitial cystitis in its listing of impairments. That does not mean, however, that you can not qualify for disability benefits if you can prove that your medical condition prevents you from being able to perform gainful work activity.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to interstitial cystitis you will need to have medical evidence proving that your disability is preventing you from earning a substantial gainful income and that you will be disabled for a minimum of twelve months. When visiting your doctor for your condition, it is important to discuss how your case of interstitial cystitis is preventing you from performing normal daily activities. Having this information documented in your medical records will help your Social Security Disability claim.
If enough medical evidence is not provided with your Social Security Disability application, you may be asked to undergo a consultative exam. It is important to understand that this exam in and of itself will usually not provide enough evidence to have your application approved. Statements from your treating physicians and accurate medical records will do more for your disability claim than the results of your consultative exam.
Interstitial Cystitis and Your Social Security Disability Case
Severe cases of interstitial cystitis can make it nearly impossible for an individual to hold a job. It is important to remember, however, that obtaining disability benefits due to a case of interstitial cystitis can be difficult.
The SSA receives more than two-million disability applications each year. Of these, only 30 percent are approved at the initial stage of the application process. Hiring a disability attorney to represent you in your Social Security Disability claim may increase your chances of having your application approved at the initial stage of the application process.
If your claim for disability benefits is denied at the initial stage of the application process, hiring a disability attorney to represent you during your appeal can increase your chances of winning your Social Security Disability appeal and receiving benefits.