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The members of Heermans Social Security Law Firm do appreciate a good meal and beverage to go with it. Serving clients in the mid south area of Memphis Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi also brings the benefits of a great southern meal. But unfortunately, for many Americans a good meal can also mean an uncomfortable outcome.  A combination of genetic predisposition and unhealthy life habits, like drinking, smoking, poor diet, excessive stress, and/or inadequate sleep, or even allergies, can cause digestive disorders. In some cases, the condition is little more than annoying. But for about twenty-two million Americans, the digestive condition is disabling.

Essentially, to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, the condition must be so severe that it substantially interferes with the victim’s ability to work. Not to be crude or go into “tmi” (too much information), but people with digestive disorders usually aren’t very good employees. If a digestive disorder affects your ability to work, these victims can usually choose between a Americans with Disabilities Act job discriminatiomn claim or a Social Security Disability benefits claim. ADA job discrimination claims can very difficult to apply for and win. While they are certainly no walk in the park, SSD claims are comparatively easier to go through the application process with the help of a Heermans Social Security Disability Lawyer.

That’s especially true if the victim suffers from a Social Security Administration Blue Book Condition. These victims must produce a medical diagnosis that is credible according to the Blue Book list and prove their symptoms are disabling. If the victim has a non-Blue Book condition, in addition to these two things, victims must prove that their condition is substantially similar to a Blue Book condition. This requirement adds an additional moving part to a claim that already has a lot of moving parts and this is where the importance of having the Heermans Law Firm representing you in a claim can mean the difference between your claim stalling out and being denied, and going forward for evaluation. “Meeting a listing” or fulfilling a blue book condition’s requirements is not easy, and most claimants who end up with disability benefits are approved in other ways.

The disability lawyers near you from the Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm routinely handle digestive disability claims throughout Tennessee and the mid south. We’ve developed proven methods over the years which have generated life-changing results for many families. We’re confident in our ability to provide powerful disability claim cases and our results speak for themselves. We take the time to value each client and walk them step by step through the claim process. 

Following are some of the diseases to be considered while thinking about applying for Social Security Disability.   

Liver Disease

Both chronic liver disease and a liver transplant are Blue Book conditions. Chronic liver disease qualifies for SSD benefits if:

  • An esophageal, gastric, or other hemorrhage required a blood transfusion and hospitalization, or
  • The victim was diagnosed with hydrothorax (fluid in a pleural cavity, a condition often associated with liver cirrhosis) or ascites (fluid in the abdomen which often spreads to the lungs).

Other Blue Book liver diseases include hepatic encephalopathy, hepatopulmonary syndrome, and hepatorenal syndrome.

Liver transplant claims are more straightforward. These individuals are presumptively entitled to benefits for one year. They must prove the condition is disabling, which in many cases is self-evident due to required routine liver maintenance medical therapies. 


This non-Blue Book condition is one of the most common digestive disorders in the United States. About 10 percent of men, and 20 percent of women, struggle with gallstones. The condition probably isn’t in the Blue Book because, in most cases, the symptoms are severe, but not disabling. Furthermore, minimally invasive laparoscopic cholecystectomy is usually an option. During this procedure, the surgeon uses a series of cameras to remove the gallbladder. There’s no need to cut open the abdomen.

Essentially, to qualify for SSD, the victim must prove that his/her symptoms are disabling and s/he isn’t a candidate for laparoscopic cholecystectomy or any other surgical or non-surgical option.

Gastrointestinal Hemorrhaging

Car wrecks often cause this Blue Book digestive condition. The force of a wreck causes internal organs to smash against each other. Since these organs, like the liver, have no protective skin layers, that motion usually causes serious bleeding. In many cases, even after a series of blood transfusions, these organs are never the same.

If the victim had at least three transfusions of at least two units of blood apiece over the past six months, the gastrointestinal hemorrhaging is presumptively disabling for a year, regardless of the symptoms. After that, disability benefits are often available on a case-by-case basis.


About a third of Americans struggle with gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition sometimes called acid reflux disease. Normally, food and drink move down the esophagus to the stomach. But GERD forces the stomach’s contents back up through the esophagus. Symptoms include severe burning pain and heartburn. Anyone who has ever dealt with these symptoms can attest that, in some cases, they could be disabling.

However, the pain normally isn’t constantly disabling. Additionally, a combination of lifestyle changes and medication usually eliminates the symptoms or at least makes them manageable. Therefore, this non-Blue Book condition normally isn’t disabling.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Doctors aren’t sure what causes this non-Blue Book condition. For some reason, the victim’s colon overreacts to common stimuli, like stress and rich food consumption. As a result, the victim suffers through alternating, and unpredictable, periods of diarrhea and constipation.

There’s no treatment for IBS. When this condition flares up, it’s usually disabling by making it nearly impossible to be confined to an area and perform a task without frequent breaks to the bathroom and/or severe pain. It’s almost impossible for these individuals to function normally during a flare up. Unfortunately, SSA law firms, like Heermans, usually cannot obtain benefits in these circumstances. IBS disability simply isn’t a condition one experiences on an everyday basis.

Crohn’s Disease

This Blue Book condition is closely related to UC, which is next in our cavalcade of digestive disorders. Thickening of the intestinal wall narrows the bowel channel, blocking the intestinal tract. Crohn’s Disease symptoms include diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and weight loss.

These symptoms, especially the first two, are often disabling. Therefore, Heermans SSI disability lawyers in Memphis can often apply for SSD benefits in these cases, if the victim cannot tolerate Crohn’s Disease medicines, many of which are steroids, and the victim isn’t a good candidate for surgery.

Ulcerative Colitis

This condition, which is also listed in the Blue Book, as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, is related to Crohn’s Disease. The cause, inflammation in the lower colon, is different though. Furthermore, UC is usually more serious. About one in four of these patients must undergo surgery to correct the problem.

Short Bowel Syndrome

This Blue Book digestive condition is usually related to the findings presented in a colonoscopy or endoscopy. SSD benefits are available if the victim lost at least half of his/her colon and requires a catheter every day.

Digestive Disorder-Related Weight Loss

Severe weight loss is often a symptom of some non-Blue Book conditions, like hepatitis, which is discussed below, and IBS, which was discussed above. Benefits are available if the victim’s BMI is off by at least 17.50 for a period of at least six months.

Viral Hepatitis

This condition is not in the Blue Book and appears to be more of a hybrid of five other related conditions. It might be best to guess that, like gallstones, hepatitis is so common that extending SSD benefits to everyone suffering with it, would strain the system. Additionally, viral infections, like hepatitis, are rarely disabling for a year and have successful treatment outcomes. 

Let the disability lawyers near you at the Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm know if you are suffering from a debilitating digestive condition with our FREE Disability Evaluation. We will let you know if your condition might qualify for Social Security Disability. If you have been denied Social Security Disability, we can also evaluate your case to go in strong and re-apply for benefits for you. More value added FREE information can be found in our online articles. Call or text 24/7 at (901) 244-0057.


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