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SSD benefits for veterans with Short Bowel Syndrome

Aging military veterans in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama may currently be suffering from many different ailments that prevent them from working. Social Security Disability benefits may be available for a number of physical conditions that these veterans and other residents suffer. These include disorders of the digestive system, which are usually a common problem among Tennessee's aging population.

General disorders of the digestive system considered for SSDI benefits include gastrointestinal hemorrhage, liver dysfunction, bowel syndromes and malnutrition. To substantiate a claim for SSDI benefits with regard to these ailments, a person needs to submit medical documents including laboratory test reports, imaging reports, endoscopy results and any records of operations. Once these medical documents and histories are provided, Social Security authorities conduct a stringent verification process to judge the seriousness of the ailment and then decide whether benefits may be awarded. The verification process includes medical tests to help determine if the impairment criteria is met and to assign scores against each aspect of a claim to help decide a benefit amount.

One example of an SSDI qualifying condition is short bowel syndrome, or SBS. Patients with SBS generally have difficulty absorbing nutrition from the food they eat because a portion of the small intestine is missing. Reasons for a shortened small intestine can vary. It may be the result of a surgical error or contraction of a disease and in veterans it may be the result of injury suffered during active military service. The treatment for SBS varies depending on the condition of the patient and there is no permanent cure. SBS is one of the aliments listed in SSA guidelines but it requires medical evidence to justify a claim.

Even if a person doesn't have all the required medical documents in hand or if the condition doesn't meet strict criteria, disability benefits may be still be awarded. An initial request may be rejected, requiring an appeal. People in this position may want to consult an attorney to better understand the application and appeals process.

Source: SSA.gov, "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security," Accessed on June 4, 2015

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