Sunday, August 7, 2022

Is Having A Colostomy Bag A Disability

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It may be tempting to spend your new found cash on a trip to the islands but remember to invest in your health first. That said, be savvy when looking for ostomy supplies, choosing price competitive providers with the wealth of inventory you need . However, if your provincial health insurance covers the bulk of your ostomy supplies you may be able to have some fun with that extra money after all you deserve it!

What Is A Colostomy Bag

A colostomy bag is a plastic bag that collects feces through an opening in your abdomen. You might need a colostomy bag if you arent able to have bowel movements on your own. This often happens because of an injury or disease to the lower intestinal tract. Sometimes, the bag is a temporary measure while you heal. Other times especially if a portion of your intestines has been removed you might need the bag for the rest of your life.Many people can live healthy and normal lives with a colostomy bag, but some people find the bag interferes with their daily lives. This is especially true if:

  • You have to change it or adjust it often
  • It leaks
  • You have problems with or are allergic to the adhesive that keeps it in placeBecause of these symptoms, many people with colostomy bags lose their jobs and find themselves unable to earn a living.

How Do Colostomy Bags Work And Which Type Is Best For Me

There are several different types of colostomy bag and stoma nurse will help you to decide which type is best for you. It will depend on things your lifestyle, your normal routine, and your usual diet, for example.

  • Closed bags best if you have firm stools change the bag twice a day. Some have special liners, which you can flush down the toilet.
  • Drainable bags best for liquid, very loose stools emptied through a hole at the bottom of bag and change the bag every two to three days are emptied through a hole at the bottom of the bag.
  • Mini pouches as the name suggests, these are small bags and you need to change them often.
  • One-piece bags these fit round your stoma and you attach them with a gentle adhesive. Just remove the bag and adhesive when you need a fresh bag and attach the new one. Some one-piece bags are flushable.
  • Two-piece bags youll have a base plate that fits snugly round your stoma and you attach the bag to this. Change the bag whenever you need to and the base plate every two to three days.

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The Bullying Was So Bad That In Second Grade I Faked My Scoliosis Results

I didnt want to wear a back brace and get treated even worse by my classmates, so I stood up straighter than my natural posture and never told my parents that the physician recommended we keep an eye on it.

Like me, Seven Bridges, a 10-year-old boy from Kentucky, was one of the many kids who was treated badly because of his disability. Seven had a chronic bowel condition and a colostomy. He was repeatedly bullied. His mother says he was teased on the bus because of the smell from his bowel condition.

On Jan. 19, Seven died by suicide.

According to what limited research there is on the topic, the suicide rate among people with certain types of disabilities is significantly higher than it is for nondisabled people. Disabled people who die by suicide are more likely to do so because of the social messages we receive from society about having a disability.

Theres also a strong link between being bullied and feeling suicidal as well as other mental health issues.

Shortly after Sevens death, an Instagram user named Stephanie started the hashtag #bagsoutforSeven. Stephanie has Crohns disease and a permanent ileostomy, which .

An ostomy is an opening in the abdomen, which can be permanent or temporary . The ostomy is attached to a stoma, the end of the intestine thats sewn to the ostomy to allow waste to leave the body, with a pouch that attaches to collect waste.

Can A Colostomy Bag Qualify For Disability Benefits

Coloplast Sensura Mio Ostomy Bag

Yes. As a general rule, if you have a colostomy bag that makes it difficult to work, youll qualify as disabled. If your colostomy bag is functioning well or if you expect to have it reversed within the year, you probably won’t qualify.

Some quick background: Under government rules, some medical conditions like needing a kidney transplant or losing both your legs always qualify a patient as disabled. Others – like pregnancy – are never enough. A colostomy bag is somewhere in between: You can qualify due to a colostomy bag, but just being diagnosed isn’t enough. Instead, it depends on how far along your illness has progressed and how your condition and treatment impact you.A colostomy bag usually qualifies you for benefits if you expect to need it for at least a year, and any of the following are true:

  • You need a lot of breaks during the day to adjust it
  • It often leaks
  • You have a problem with the way it is attached to you such as infection or itchiness
  • Your colostomy bag is working well, but you have an underlying digestive disease that makes it hard to work.

The formal guidelines are complicated, but it boils down to this: If you cant work because of your condition despite trying to overcome it, and as a result you just cant hold a job, youll probably qualify as disabled with proper help.

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What Does A Stoma Bag Look Like

Your stoma will be moist and pinkish-red in colour and should protrude from your abdomen. It may be quite swollen to begin with but will reduce in size over time usually 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. A stoma is red in colour. This is because it is a mucous membrane, just like the mucous membrane inside your mouth.

How long can you live with a colostomy bag?

Townsends shame-free attitude about needing to wear colostomy bags is exactly what colorectal surgeon Jean Ashburn, MD, encourages in her patients. She says some patients only need stoma bags temporarily, usually for three to nine months while recovering from intestinal surgery.

In Relation To The Definition Of Disabled My Uc Was More Of A Disability Than My Stoma Bag Is

I may be missing my large intestine and I may poop into a bag, but my quality of life is a million times better now in comparison with the days when I had my colon. The UC limited everything I did in terms of movements, senses and activities, and had a substantially negative effect on my daily life so I can clearly see how this could be considered a disability.

Having a stoma can also be classed as having a disability, but this is where I struggle. I use a disabled toilet on occasion, as is my right. However, as someone once chose to tell me when I came out of a disabled toilet I dont look disabled. The discerning looks, tuts, and comments I get when using these facilities over the years has led me to now avoid them if I can.

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If Your Colon Cancer Is Considered Metastatic Recurrent Inoperable Or Unresectable You Are Guaranteed Automatic Disability Benefits

By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney

Colon cancer, along with rectal cancer, is the third most diagnosed form of cancer today. Together these types of cancer are called colorectal cancer, but they are known to Social Security as “cancer of the large intestine.” Most colorectal tumors are adenocarcinomas, and less commonly squamous cell carcinomas, but they can be lymphomas or melanomas as well. The most common treatment for colorectal cancer is surgery in addition to chemotherapy and/or radiation however, sometimes a colorectal tumor is inoperable.

Why Most People Seek Professional Help

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Because the process is so complicated, most successful applicants get a lawyer to help. Lawyers will pull together your medical records, write your application, advise you on getting proper medical treatment, submit all the paperwork, and argue your case before a judge.There are two big upsides to hiring a lawyer: They do almost all the work for you and hold your hand through the process. They increase your chance of winning. The only downside is cost. Lawyers arent allowed to charge any up-front fee so it doesnt matter if you can afford one right now. If they win your case, they get 25% of any back pay that they win for you. This is worth it for almost everyone you only pay if you win , you only pay once, and the cost pales in comparison to the amount you get.

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Examples Of Recent Successful Social Security Disability Claims

Case #1 â Our client was 43 years old when he was unable to work due to complications from his extreme obesity. He had an enlarged heart, congestive heart failure, and hypertension. He was short of breath with minimal exertion and had other complications as well. He weighed over 400 pounds when he stopped working. Within two years, he lost over 100 pounds and was able to return to work. The administrative law judge found that during the âperiod of disabilityâ the claimant could not perform even work which required him to sit all day, but that once he lost weight, his conditions improved. The claimant received back benefits for the two years he was unable to work.

Case #2 â This individual was 56 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent surgery and radiation and received ongoing treatment with tamoxifen. Although she initially returned to work, she found she could not continue working. She developed a painful abscess at the wound site and Major Depressive Disorder and did not return to work for nineteen months. The administrative law judge found that the claimant was disabled for the nineteen month period of disability because her wound had finally healed with minimal residual pain and her depression improved sufficiently for her to return to work.

How Are Perceptions Changing

Fortunately, there are signs that public perceptions around stomas and other hidden illnesses are starting to change, meaning those with a similar condition to George Alagiah will no longer need to feel that same sense of self-consciousness.

The story of Bethany Townsend provides a positive example of this, with the former model and make-up artist becoming an inspirational viral sensation back in 2014 after proudly posting holiday snaps in her bikini, with her stoma bags on full display. The pictures were seen millions of times online, and Ms Townsend was able to appear on BBC Midlands Today and ITVs This Morning to share her message about body positivity for ostomates.

Whats more, Potter Rees Dolan recently conducted a stoma awareness survey of more than 500 people, revealing that 78% of people either agree or strongly agree that ostomates should not feel worried about having their colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy bag on show while in public.

In addition, 59% of respondents said they would not feel uncomfortable if a friend or colleague had a visible stoma bag, while 79% say they do not believe that only people with obvious physical disabilities should be able to use disabled toilets, with 55% strongly disagreeing with this statement.

Until then, the contributions that high-profile figures like George Alagiah and Bethany Townsend are playing in changing perceptions will continue to be as laudable as they are valuable.

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What Is Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance is a government program that supports Americans who are medically unable to work. When someone says theyre on disability for a long period, they usually mean that theyre getting payments from Social Security Disability.The program is huge: About 10 million Americans receive SSDI today, and about 2% of every U.S. paycheck goes to fund the program via taxes.

Who Is Eligible To Apply For Benefits

Why Thousands of People Are Sharing Their Ostomy Bags on ...

Its possible to apply for disability in person, online, or by phone. Applicants can call 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday . Applying can also be done in person, at a Social Security office, with an appointment.

Applying online means filling out forms, including the Adult Disability Checklist the Disability Benefit Application, and a Medical Release form. To use the online application, applicants must be:

  • Over the age of 18
  • Not receiving benefits on their own Social Security record
  • Unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last either for at least 12 months or to be terminal
  • Have not been denied benefits in the last 60 days

Several documents are needed to apply for disability. Some documents must be provided in the original form, such as a birth certificate, but others, such as a W-2, can be photocopies. The paperwork can be mailed in or it can be brought in person to a Social Security office.

Documents that will be needed to apply for disability include:

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Famous Ostomates You May Not Know

Looking back through history reveals that many people with globally-recognised profiles have lived with stomas at various points in their lives, including some of the worlds most famous figures. These include:

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the USA and Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War II
  • Fred Astaire, legendary Hollywood dancer, singer and actor
  • Red Skelton, American comedy entertainer with a career spanning decades
  • Rolf Benirschke, American football star, who was able to continue his NFL career despite having his large intestine removed due to ulcerative colitis

Its even rumoured that infamous French leader Napoleon Bonaparte had a stoma – and that the reason he held his hand inside his coat in so many portraits was to hide the goats bladder he used as a rudimentary colostomy bag!

This Is The Reality Many Kids And Teens With Disabilities Live With

Were seen as outsiders and then mocked relentlessly and isolated by our peers. Like Stephanie, I didnt know anyone outside of my family with a disability until I was in third grade, when I was placed in a special education class.

At the time, I didnt even use a mobility aid, and I can only imagine Id feel more isolated if I used a cane when I was younger, like I do now. There was no one who used a mobility aid for a permanent condition in my elementary, middle, or high schools.

Since Stephanie began the hashtag, other people with ostomies have been sharing photos of their own. And as a disabled person, seeing advocates opening up and leading the way for youth gives me hope that more disabled youth can feel supported and that kids like Seven dont have to struggle in isolation.

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Social Security Has Specific Criteria You Must Meet For Your Colon Cancer To Qualify For Benefits

By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author

Cancer can develop in both the small and large intestine, and can lead to functional limitations and disability, either from surgery, chemotherapy, or a colostomy.

Cancer of the large intestine is called colorectal cancer, or colon cancer. Colorectal cancer occurs in the lower part of the digestive tract down to the rectum and anus. Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in both men and women. People who develop polyps are more prone to developing colorectal cancer.

Cancer of the small intestine is rare, and although the exact cause is unknown, people with polyps, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease seem to be more susceptible to cancer of the small intestine.

Is A Colostomy Bag The Same As A Stoma

Disability / Equal Access / Boarding Pass: Ostomy TIP

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What is a colostomy stoma?

Articles OnLiving With an Ostomy Bag A stoma is an opening in your bellys wall that a surgeon makes in order for waste to leave your body if you cant have a bowel movement through your rectum. Bowel movements will leave your body through it and collect in a special pouch that youll empty out.

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Documentation And Tests Used

IBD is listed in the digestive system section of the Blue Book. There is a list of documentation that is needed in order to be considered for disability. This includes medical records of both what a doctor says and what appropriate medically acceptable imaging studies and reports” show.

Appropriate means that the test is one that is generally considered to be used for managing that disease. Some of the tests that are often used to diagnose and manage IBD that are listed include:

  • Computerized tomography
  • X-ray imaging

Standard Requirements For Disability

Social Security will review your file to see if you also meet its other requirements as well:

  • Your inability to work due to the colon or rectal cancer must be expected to last at least a year.
  • You can’t be earning more than about $1,200 per month, and
  • You must qualify for a specific disability program:
  • You must have worked enough years to qualify for SSDI, or
  • You must fall under the income and asset limits for SSI.

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Should I Hire A Professional

Almost every applicant that applies because of a colostomy bag should hire a lawyer or other professional.

Why? This process can be particularly unfair for patients with colostomy bags. Since its hard to diagnose and isnt usually disabling, the government treats patients with colostomy bags with suspicion and requires detailed proof. Having assistance from an expert can make all the difference.

There are only a handful of situations where we tell patients with colostomy bags to consider applying on their own:

  • If your digestive disorder is so severe that no one not even the most skeptical judge would believe you could hold a job. If this is the case you can likely win on your own, as long as you feel comfortable with government paperwork and requesting medical records.
  • If you cant convince a lawyer to take your case. Sadly, this can happen if your case is quite hard to win, it can be difficult to find a lawyer to represent you. In this case, you can apply on your own, and then try again to find a lawyer once youve been denied once at which point its often easier. For more information, see our full article: How to apply for disability on your own.
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