Applying for Disability Insurance With IBD

Applying for Disability Insurance With IBD
In a previous column, I discussed how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects invisible disabilities, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and IBD-related disorders and conditions. Under the ADA, employees with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis can request workplace accommodations. Even minor adjustments, such as flexible work hours or the ability to telecommute, allow IBD patients with mild to moderate symptoms to have a career while managing their disease. Unfortunately, severe symptoms can become so debilitating that someone can no longer do their job or work at all. When this happens, an IBD patient may be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. What is Social Security Disability Insurance? President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law 85 years ago on Aug. 14, 1935. Almost 21 years later, on Aug. 1, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower amended the act to include disability insurance benefits for disabled workers ages 50 and up, as well as for adult children. Coincidentally, doctors had diagnosed Eisenhower with Crohn’s disease three months earlier. In 1960, Eisenhower expanded the law to cover disabled workers of all ages and their dependents. I didn’t know much about Social Security Disability Insurance except that I paid into the system with the federal taxes deducted from my paychecks. I wasn’t aware that I might qualify for benefits until after my liver transplant in 2017. My caseworker explained that I could apply for disability to take time off work to recuperate. I didn’t look into it because I was earning my full salary through sick leave. When my sick pay ran out months later, I told my gastroenterologist that I was considering applying for disability. He laughed and said
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