Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is a condition that may either be acute, having a short and severe episode, or chronic, with frequent flare-ups. The main symptoms are abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Because of the pancreatitis, someone might also have unexplained weight loss, or may develop diabetes. For most people, these episodes are manageable, but for others, it may be so severe as to interfere with their daily functioning and result in a permanent disability.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have specific rules or listings for pancreatitis. It is evaluated on how the symptoms from the disease affect your daily activities. Social Security Ruling 14-3p sets out guidelines to how they evaluate disorders similar to pancreatitis. First, they will consider the medical evidence that supports the diagnosis. Next, they will consider the effect your disease has on your body, and whether those symptoms meet a Listing for disability. For example, if your pancreatitis has caused you to lose weight, your weight loss may be evaluated to see if you meet Listing 5.08, and if the SSA finds your condition meets those guidelines, you may be found disabled. If they don’t find your condition meets a Listing, then they evaluate the combined effect of the condition and the effect it has on your physical activities and your limitations because of it.
Of course, a condition like pancreatitis affects everyone differently, and your symptoms may be different from others. If you have other conditions in addition to the pancreatitis, those conditions will be evaluated in a similar way for SSA to find how it affects you and your daily functioning.