To: Social Security Administraion - Disability Claims Division
- Commissioner Michael J. Astrue
- Deputy Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin
- Chief of Staff Jo Tittel
- Deputy Chief of Staff Dean S. Landis
- Commissioner, Retirement and Disability Policy David A. Rust
- Assistant DC LaTina B. Greene
- Assoc Commissioner, Office of Disability Programs Arthur R. Spencer
Crohn's/Ulcerative Colitis affects as many as 1.6 million people in the United States alone, as well as millions in other countries, and that is just the diagnosed cases. I, as well as many others have had Social Security Disability claims denied several times and have gone through multiple lawyers. In our collective experience, it seems to be standard for SSD claims to be denied multiple times and in the meantime our families suffer, and the stress of trying to survive is detrimental to our well being, as stress plays a major part in our diseases. This disease will not ever go away and we should not have to fight to prove our illnesses by explaining embarrassing issues we endure on an almost daily basis. The stress of repeated denials and appeals, aggravate our conditons, making us even more more unable to support or even sometimes take care of ourselves and our families. We pay attorneys who don't really understand our conditions and then the fate of our decisions is made by someone who doesn't fully understand what we go through. Medications that we take to treat either Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis can shut down our immune systems, making it extremely difficult to fight off illness and infections. The side effects sometimes outweigh the postive and make it even more difficult to function and hold down jobs.
With this petition, we demand that the process and the requirements for these conditions be re-evaluated and changed to reflect the reality of the limitations that we live with everyday. Each of us with these diseases are affected differently, and while such narrow guidelines may apply to some they do not apply to all. While our conditions may be different, the differences do not change the severity of the diseases.
We are not lazy, nor do we want a free handout. We just want access to the money that we have paid our entire working lives. We are no longer able to work due to our conditions. Is this not why we paid into Social Security? Is this not what it was intended for?