Effective March 18, 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has published new standards for assessing disability claims for interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis is considered to be synonymous with the terms “bladder pain syndrome” and “painful bladder syndrome.”
If you have a claims for interstitial cystitis, it can be hard to assess because the SSA demands medical signs and laboratory findings. They can’t just use your symptoms to establish your condition is a “medically determinable impairment,” that can be considered for disability purposes.
The SSA’s new ruling notes that intersticial cystitis is most common in women. It advises doctors to conduct laboratory tests to rule out other conditions that may result in similar symptoms. The diagnosis, alone, will not establish the condition. The ruling also recognizes the frequent co-occurrence with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and systemic lupus.
If you have insterstitial cystitis you may experience many symptoms including: fibrosis (bladder– wall stiffening), diffuse glomerulations (pinpoint bleeding caused by recurrent irritation) on the bladder wall, and Hunner’s ulcers (patches of broken skin) on the bladder wall.
Laboratory findings that serve to establish the condition include repeated sterile urine cultures while the interstitial cystitis symptoms continue, positive potassium sensitivity test (Parson’s test), and anti-proliferative factor (APF) accumulation in the urine. These are only examples. The ruling also notes that interstitial cystitis may produce depression and anxiety.
The SSA has no specific listing for interstitial cystitis, establishing how severe the medical signs and laboratory findings must be to make you disabled. The ruling does note, however, that depression and anxiety can produce listing level severity for mental disorders, and that interstitial cystitis can affect your ability to focus and sustain attention to task.
The new ruling should be of value to judges trying to assess claims of interstitial cystitis, in the absence of a specific listing for the condition.
If you experience any of the symptoms of insterstitial cystitis and they affect your ability to work, give us a call at Don Pilzer Law. We’ll start you off with a free consultation to determine if you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.