The Mayo Clinic describes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as a common disorder that affects the large intestine. The signs and symptoms of IBS include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. If you have been diagnosed with IBS and are unable to work as a result of your symptoms, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
To qualify for disability benefits, you must have evidence that your symptoms have lasted for a period of at least 12 months. Moreover, the evidence must indicate that your symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from performing full-time work. A mere diagnosis of IBS will be insufficient in this regard. Evidence that you will suffer from abdominal pain or cramping or that you will require frequent bathroom breaks will be helpful to show that your IBS will interfere to a degree that precludes full-time work. Also, having a history of flare ups each month can be used to demonstrate that you would have multiple absences each month. If you will need to take days off from work each month because of your symptoms or spend too much time off-task because of your symptoms, you may be found disabled regardless of the work activities you are otherwise capable of performing.
The Social Security Administration will not award benefits based solely on your word or testimony regarding your symptoms. Objective medical evidence supporting your claims is extremely important. It is important to see your health care providers regularly and to make them fully aware of your symptoms. Your medical records will also demonstrate that you are doing the best you can to try to manage your symptoms. It is also important to work with your attorney to make sure that all evidence documenting your IBS symptoms and treatment is submitted to the Social Security Administration. The assistance of a skilled disability attorney can maximize your chances of achieving a favorable result. If your case goes to a hearing before a disability judge, it is important that you are completely forthcoming about the full extent of your symptoms and the manner in which they affect you.