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Interstitial Cystitis

Does Interstitial Cystitis Qualify Me for Social Security Disability?

Interstitial cystitis (also know as bladder pain syndrome) can have a severe impact on a person’s quality of life. In recognition of this, the Social Security Administration awards benefits to people who are disabled such that they can’t work as a result of interstitial cystitis.


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Interstitial cystitis can be misdiagnosed as bladder infections, but antibiotics don’t help treat it. Some of the symptoms include:

  1. painful urination
  2. pain worsened with a full bladder and improved with empty bladder
  3. pain worsened with a certain food or drink
  4. dysuria (burning sensation in urethra while urinating)
  5. urinary frequency–as often as every 10 minutes
  6. urinary urgency
  7. pressure in bladder or pelvis
  8. waking at night to urinate
  9. urinary hesitancy
  10. pain during sexual intercourse
  11. discomfort or difficulty while traveling, driving or working

Improving Your Chances for Obtaining Benefits

If you can track your pain levels and the frequency with which you urinate, this record may help prove your disability.

  1. Keep a detailed medical history, including a calendar of notes about how you feel each day.
  2. Record any usual activities you could not do on any given day.
  3. Keep a detailed history of your current and past medications.
  4. See a health care professional regularly and take the medication that he/she gives you so that he/she can support your application for benefits.
  5. Ask your doctor or other health care professional to track the course of your symptoms and to keep a record of any evidence of fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, unusual behavior, or other hard-to-document symptoms.
  6. Keep records of how your illness affected you on the job.

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