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Can you get disability benefits for Interstitial Cystitis?

In some cases, it is possible to receive interstitial cystitis disability benefits. However, eligibility will depend on the severity of the condition and its impact on your ability to work.

To qualify for disability benefits, you will need to demonstrate that your IC significantly impairs your ability to engage in substantial gainful activity, which refers to work that provides a certain income level for at least 12 months or more. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has specific criteria and a sequential evaluation process to determine disability eligibility.

When applying for disability benefits, it’s crucial to have thorough medical documentation to support your claim. This documentation should include reports from healthcare providers, diagnostic test results, treatment records, and statements from your doctors detailing the severity of your symptoms, any functional limitations, and how the condition impacts your ability to work.

What Is Interstitial Cystitis?

 Interstitial Cystitis Disability Benefits

A condition known as interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, can cause inflammation, pressure, and discomfort in the bladder and pelvis. The severity of the interstitial cystitis pain can vary from mild to severe. This urinary system disorder primarily affects the bladder and can cause frequent urination, urgency, and pelvic pain.

Individuals with interstitial cystitis experience a more frequent urge to urinate compared to others. Although it is incurable, medical experts can recommend treatments that may provide interstitial cystitis relief.

Is Interstitial Cystitis a disability?

While the SSA does not list interstitial cystitis as a disability, people with complications may be eligible for interstitial cystitis disability benefits. 

To prove that a condition is severe enough to prevent someone from working, the initial step involves confirming that the symptoms are indeed a result of interstitial cystitis. 

Symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate, pain and tenderness in the pelvis, bleeding on the bladder wall, and ulcers in the bladder. A medical professional must observe these symptoms for a formal diagnosis.

People with interstitial cystitis may also have qualifying conditions like lupus or depression. Sufferers may find themselves unable to work because of the impairments suffered due to the combination of conditions.

What Are The Symptoms Of Interstitial Cystitis

Some common symptoms associated with IC are as follows:

  • Bladder pain: Persistent or recurrent pain in the bladder is a crucial symptom of IC.
  • Urgency and frequency: Individuals with IC often experience a frequent and urgent need to urinate. 
  • Pelvic pain: IC can cause pain in the pelvic region, including the lower abdomen, pelvis, and perineum (the area between the genitals and anus). This pain may be persistent or occur intermittently.
  • Bladder discomfort or pressure: Individuals with IC may feel pressure or discomfort in the bladder even when not actively experiencing pain or urgency.
  • Pain relief with urination: Some individuals with IC may experience temporary relief from bladder pain or discomfort when urinating.

IC symptoms can overlap with other conditions, such as:

Types of Interstitial Cystitis

Some common types include the following:

  • Non-ulcerative: This is the most common subtype of this disability. It is characterized by the absence of ulcers or visible lesions on the bladder wall during cystoscopy. 
  • Ulcerative: In this subtype, ulcers or lesions can be observed on the bladder wall during cystoscopy. 
  • Hunner’s ulcer: Hunner’s ulcer is a specific form of disability characterized by the presence of Hunner’s ulcers. These are well-defined, red, inflamed areas with a distinctive appearance on the bladder wall. 
  • Non-Hunner’s ulcer: Non-Hunner’s ulcer refers to cases that do not exhibit Hunner’s ulcers. It is a broader category that includes non-ulcerative and other forms of Interstitial Cystitis without ulcers.

Interstitial cystitis causes

The precise reasons behind interstitial cystitis are not yet fully comprehended. It is a multifaceted condition that has various factors contributing to it. Some possible causes and traits include:

  • Bladder lining dysfunction: IC is thought to involve dysfunction of the protective lining (epithelium) of the bladder
  • Chronic inflammation: Chronic inflammation in the bladder may play a role in IC.
  • Nerve dysfunction: Abnormalities in the nerves that transmit signals between the bladder and the brain may contribute to IC.
  • Autoimmune response: Some researchers suspect IC may involve an autoimmune reaction, where the immune system mistakenly targets the bladder tissues, leading to inflammation and damage.
  • Genetic factors: IC may have a genetic component, as it can run in families. 
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction: Dysfunction of the muscles and connective tissues in the pelvic floor, which support the bladder and other pelvic organs, may contribute to IC symptoms. 
  • Infection or trauma: In some cases, IC symptoms may develop following a urinary tract infection or pelvic trauma.

You may experience improvements in your medical condition by increasing your water intake and making dietary changes to address your Interstitial Cystitis.

Questions to ask before applying for Interstitial Cystitis?

Before applying for Interstitial cystitis social security disability, gathering information and asking relevant questions can be helpful. Some questions you may consider asking that will also increase your Interstitial cystitis awareness are as follows:

  • Is my IC diagnosis confirmed? 
  • What treatment options have I tried?
  • How has IC affected my ability to work or engage in daily activities? 
  • Have I kept detailed records of symptoms and their impact? 
  • Can I consult any medical professionals who specialize in IC or pelvic pain? 
  • What documentation will I need to support my disability claim?
  • Are there any Interstitial Cystitis support services or accommodations available for individuals? 

Types of disability programs provided by the SSA

Individuals with disabilities can receive support from the Social Security Administration through two primary disability programs.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance: SSDI is a program that benefits individuals with a disability that meets the SSA’s criteria and who have paid sufficient Social Security taxes through their work history. 
  • Supplemental Security Income: SSI is available to individuals who meet the SSA’s definition of disability and have low income and few assets.

How is RFC beneficial for the applicants?

If you have interstitial cystitis and want to apply for disability benefits, you may be able to take a residual functional capacity test. This test assesses your ability to perform job tasks, taking into account any limitations caused by your condition. By evaluating your abilities, the test can help determine whether you qualify for disability benefits.

The test results will be used in conjunction with the applicant’s job and academic history to see if there are any jobs for which that applicant is qualified that would be possible for the individual to complete with the limitations of the disability.

VA disability rating for interstitial cystitis

Your VA disability rating for interstitial cystitis will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how they impact your daily activities. The rating scale ranges from 0% to 100%, with 0% indicating no disability and 100% indicating total disability. The VA follows a specific rating schedule for IC, which is as follows:

  • 0%: No disability.
  • 10%: Mild symptoms that cause some interference with your daily activities.
  • 30%: Moderate symptoms that cause significant interference with your daily activities.
  • 50%: Severe symptoms that cause marked interference with your daily activities.
  • 70%: Very severe symptoms that cause extreme interference with your daily activities.
  • 100%: Total disability.

How much disability can you get from Interstitial Cystitis?

In 2023, the maximum monthly SSI disability amount will be $914; for SSDI, payment is $3,627. The SSDI’s monthly benefit amount may vary based on your earnings during your lifetime before you become disabled. On the other hand, SSI is a need-based program awarded to applicants with low income and assets. 

Has your disability claim been rejected? Contact Chermol & Fishman, LLC

Your initial application may be rejected. An experienced disability lawyer can guide you through the appeals process. They are familiar with the requirements set forth by the SSA. 

They can help you gather additional medical records to provide evidence of the disability. Schedule a free consultation to consult with experienced disability lawyers in Orlando by calling 888-774-7243.

FAQs on Interstitial Cystitis

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