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Can You Get Disability For Interstitial Cystitis & Does It Spread?

Some people with Interstitial cystitis have been diagnosed with other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, Sjögren syndrome, which raises the possibility that interstitial cystitis may be caused by mechanisms that cause these other conditions.(1)

IC is a “severe” impairment when, alone or in combination with another medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s), it significantly limits an individual’s physical or mental ability to do basic work activities.(2)

Can You Get Disability For Interstitial Cystitis?

In the earlier days, Interstitial cystitis didn’t have recognition as a full-fledged disability in the social security listings of impairments also known as the blue book.(3) But after a legal pursuit was filed for the same, it was given due criteria to fulfill it as a disability recognition in the United States. But the criteria for disability are especially recognized for only severe cases of interstitial cystitis and it is not given a separate entity as a disability at any level below severe.(1)

For getting the disability benefits, the patient suffering from interstitial cystitis has to prove that it is a medically determinable disability as supported by the law. Medically determinable disability is any physiological, pathological, or anatomical abnormality that may impair the life of a person and hinders daily routine works. There are three ways to prove that the patient suffering from interstitial cystitis is eligible for disability benefits.(2)

The first way to get disability benefits is to prove that the patient’s medically determinable disability is ‘ severe ‘. The patient is considered severely disabled when he is unable to perform any of the daily routine works due to severe bladder impairment and constriction leading to severe urinary incontinence and urgency. It may be so severe that it has started affecting the patient mentally and is leading to various psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety, etc.

The second way of getting disability benefits is to prove that patient’s medically determinable disability is equal to another disability which has been specifically listed in the blue book. There is no specific disability for moderate interstitial cystitis, it can be created by law to another disability which has been listed by comparing the quality of life in both the disabilities. Interstitial cystitis as a singular entity or in association with other diseases can qualify for the criteria such as it can be equated to chronic kidney disease when compared in terms of suffering to the patient.

The third way to get disability benefits is to prove that the person’s medically determinable impairment(s) prevents him/her from doing past relevant work that exists/contributes in significant numbers in the national economy. It is a controversial statement and very difficult to prove in the court of law.

Does Interstitial Cystitis Spread?

There has been no instance found in any of the cases of interstitial cystitis that it has spread from one person to another because it does not belong to a group of infectious diseases. Although, it can be associated with urinary tract infection additionally which can spread to an individual’s partner by the sexual route during intercourse but individually interstitial cystitis is not known to spread via this route.


Interstitial cystitis can get you a lot of disability benefits if the person is severely impaired and the condition could also be medically determinable. If it can be proven that the condition is severe or medically equal to another disability which is listed in the book of social security listings of impairment then it can be considered as a disability by the law and the individual is entitled for all the benefits given to the disabled persons.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 13, 2020

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