I suffer from Toxic Megacolon. Can I get Social Security Benefits?


As with any condition or disability, the answer is, it depends. Each condition and situation is different and so the severity, treatment, and complicating factors compared to the rules of Social Security are how your eligibility is defined.

Toxic Megacolon is a complication of inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease can include ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease or other infections of the colon. Toxic Megacolon is different from other kinds of megacolon like pseudo-obstruction, acute colonic ileus, or congenital colonic dilation because they occur without infection or inflammation.

The best way to prevent toxic megacolon is by treating the diseases that causes the inflammation (colitis or Crohn’s). If the diseases are not treated regularly with medication and medical observation, complications may develop including dilation of the colon. You may develop abdominal pain, distention, or tenderness along with fever, rapid heart rate, or shock.

Toxic Megacolon is evaluated for Social Security Benefits under the Listings for the corresponding Inflammatory Bowel diseases which cause the complication, 5.00 Digestive System – Adult, 5.06 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/5.00-Digestive-Adult.htm

To determine eligibility for Social Security, you must have medical documentation to support your claim. For this condition, this includes endoscopy, biopsy, medical imaging, or surgical findings which show you have had an obstruction requiring hospitalization or surgery two times in six months. The events must have been 60 days apart at a minimum. Otherwise, if you have not had surgeries or hospitalizations, two of the following within the same consecutive 6-month period:

B. Two of the following despite continuing treatment as prescribed and occurring within the same consecutive 6-month period:

  • Anemia
  • Low serum albumin
  • Clinically documented tender abdominal mass palpable on physical examination with pain or cramping not controlled by prescribed narcotic pain medications
  • Perineal disease with a draining abscess or fistula, with pain that is not completely controlled by prescribed narcotic medication
  • Involuntary weight loss of at least 10 percent from baseline
  • Need for supplemental daily enteral nutrition via a gastrostomy or daily parenteral nutrition via a central venous catheter.

Taken together this information will be used to evaluate the severity of your condition. If it is found that you meet the listing, you must also show that you meet the non-medical requirements for Social Security benefits. If you meet both the medical and non-medical requirements for Social Security, you may be eligible for benefits. For further information call our office or go to the Social Security Administration’s website at SSA.gov.

Please call our office at 855-513-4357 for a free evaluation and speak with one of our experienced Social Security Attorneys.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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