I wanted to post this information because I know there are a lot of you out there where things just aren't working out. First off, yes you can get approved for SSI/SSDI benefits if you have a J Pouch. I applied in May 2019 on my own, without any assistance or a lawyer. It took 6 months to get approved for me. My medical team (doctors) were on my side, so i'm sure that helped a lot.
When you look up what qualifies for disability Ulcerative Colitis does qualify, but it states that you need to have other issues and not just an IBD diagnosis. Some of those issues were Small Bowel Obstructions and Abscesses, of which I've had both. Like many of you, my medical record is like a book by now and anyone reading through wouldn't even need a doctor to see i'm not well. I listed the fact that i suffer from a second autoimmune disease called Sarcoidosis, and frequently get kidney stones as well.
I listed the date I entered the hospital for flare up, that was before any of my surgeries in May of 2018. They will be giving me back pay from November of 2018. They tried to explain to me how I would get some benefits from SSI, but that my main benefits would come from SSDI. I'm still confused on this.
So for those of you out there in need of SSI/SSDi, whether it's temporary or not, there is hope.
1. Make sure your doctors know about your application and are willing to fill out the necessary paperwork (I've heard horror stories of stupid doctors telling people just to hang on you will get better at some point).
2. You don't need to have a psychologist check you out. If your disability is just from IBD and not mental, that portion of the paperwork can be skipped. So don't worry if you don't currently see a psychologist.
3. Once all the paperwork they send you is filled out, make sure to have copies and FAX it to your case worker. It will get to them much faster than sending it by mail.
4. If your case gets denied don't lose hope and don't go rush out and get just any old lawyer. Although I don't have personal experience with this, I've heard that some lawyers may take less. Some will take a lot, and while any of us would just appreciate the fact that we got approved, we've lost a lot and if your like me (student or low-income) every last penny really counts.
Lastly, if you are in the process of getting your surgeries or you are post takedown and you feel that things really aren't going well for you START fighting and filling out the application for benefits immediately. I had so many complications during all my surgeries and I waited two months after takedown to apply for benefits. I should have applied when I first got hospitalized. My challenge now is finding a place that will rent to me, and i'm finding it is not easy or simple. I will create another post about renting while on disability when I have successfully found something.
Sending love from California for anyone out there in pain.