Is Crohns Disease Classed As A Disability?
It’s a question that is asked a lot by people with IBD (which is anyone suffering from Crohns Disease or Ulcerative Colitis), is Crohns Disease classed as a disability.
Posted By Peter Buckley 18th March 2013 updated 16th November 2013
Is Crohns Disease Classed as a Disability?
I am only going to be covering information that concerns people who live in the UK.
The DWP look at Crohns Disease from a care and mobility view-point, to qualify for disability living allowance or PIP as it is going to be called from 2013.
People in remission, people with mild disease and those whose exacerbations respond quickly to medication are unlikely to have any long-term functional restrictions affecting their ability to walk or provide self-care. (highly unlikely you will get awarded PIP)
Some people with disease of moderate severity may be restricted in their ability to stand, bend/kneel and walk around due to abdominal pain and the effects of complications such as fistulas. These individuals are likely to be taking more potent drugs, have frequent exacerbations of abdominal pain and diarrhoea and be attending hospital regularly. Some may need help with dressings and treatments from nurses. They may be restricted in their ability to self-care, including preparation of meals if symptoms last for some months or fail to respond to standard drug regimes. It is unlikely however that walking would be severely restricted since lower limb function is normal. Anxiety and concern about diarrhoea and needing to locate a toilet when out are not considered to be an indication that guidance or supervision are necessary. (if you are in this portion of patients, then we suggest you pursue your claim)
People with the most severe disease are constitutionally unwell, have low body weight, evidence of malnutrition, decreased muscle bulk and persistent pain. These individuals have progressive disease with complications that have failed to respond to both medical treatments and surgery. They are likely to need help with self-care and some will have considerable restriction in walking.(if you are in this portion of patents, the we suggest you pursue your claim, if you don’t get awarded, then there is something seriously wrong with the system.)
When Crohn’s Disease is classed as a disability
- Mobility Problems due to abdominal pain
- Unable to self-care
- Complications, fistulas, incontinence, low body weight, malnutrition, blockages and bowel abscesses (to name a few)
- Unresponsive to drug treatments and surgery
The DLA forms can be a challenge to complete when you are not feeling well, so I suggest you get some help from a family member or friend. There are some very handy guidelines provided by Crohn’s & Colitis UK
New Guide to claiming PIP by Crohn’s & Colitis Here – http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/whats-new/updated-publication-claiming-personal-independence-payment-pip
My own advice for filling in the forms, is base your application on your worst day and be consistent, some of the questions are repeated but worded differently, so watch out for those questions.
If your first claim is rejected, always appeal the first decision.
- For a comprehensive list of available benefits, please follow this link to Crohn’s & Colitis UK – http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/information-and-support/helpline-services/disability-benefits-service
- This is the DWP’s website. It has some useful information, particularly about the appeals process. https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
- This is the website of the UK government. Up-to-date information about all available benefits is here. There is also a ‘benefits adviser’ section which enables you to check
your personal situation anonymously. https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
- This is a Citizens Advice site with basic information on benefits and details of your local bureau. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/
- This website has a great deal of up to date information about benefits and how to claim them. http://www.disabilityalliance.org/
- Links and information about benefits and employment law. http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/
A guide to Employment and Support Allowance – The Work Capability Assessment – Click Here