WebMD says that pancreatitis is a disease where the pancreas becomes inflamed. When that happens, it can result in abdominal pain that radiates into the back, which pain may be disabling according to the Cleveland Clinic. The Mayo Clinic says severe cases of pancreatitis can cause life-threatening complications.
I represent a 26 year old former nursery school attendant with pancreatitis, whose Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application was approved today. There was no doubt that the claimant suffered from pancreatitis. The medical records contained diagnostic and treatment records verifying the diagnosis and symptoms. I also obtained reports from the treating internist that provided restrictions and limitations that precluded full time work.
Pancreatitis is not one of the more common impairments that I have seen over the years. As I correctly surmised, the problem for the administrative law judge (the “ALJ”) at the hearing would be figuring out why abdominal pain prevented her from working on a full time basis. It took substantial preparation before the claimant understood how she needed to articulate the nexus between her symptoms and her ability to function.
The ALJ was led to understand the connection between the claimant’s abdominal pain and the internist’s restrictions and limitations. Once that was established, the ALJ gave great weight to the internist’s opinion, which resulted in the SSD application being approved.