• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Americans with Disabilities

An amendment was made to the Disability Act, and for those who have not read about it I thought I would pass it on. This looks very good for those living in the US with Crohn's and/or Colitis.

"Amendments Act of 2008" has passed in both the House and Senate! This bill seeks to restore some of the protections afforded disabled individuals that have been eroded by recent Supreme Court rulings.

Of specific interest to CCFA and our constituents, the ADA Amendments Act makes it easier for people with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis to be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It expands the definition of a disability to include a new category of "major bodily functions."

ADA Amendments Act of 2008 - (Sec. 4) Amends the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to redefine the term "disability," including by defining "major life activities" and "being regarded as having such an impairment."

Sets forth rules of construction regarding the definition of "disability," including that: (1) such term shall be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals under the Act; (2)an impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be a disability; (3) an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active; and (4) the determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of specified mitigating measures.


I had the option of getting disability a couple of years back and refused to admit that my disease would disable me so much that I couldn't work.
I suppose I wouldn't mind getting money for free but while I'm able to work I will. When I'm not this is good to know.
Working in the medical field I've seen too many people abuse the "disability" benefits. People who are perfectly capable of making a living but don't because they qualify for benefits.
butt-eze said:
I had the option of getting disability a couple of years back and refused to admit that my disease would disable me so much that I couldn't work.
I suppose I wouldn't mind getting money for free but while I'm able to work I will. When I'm not this is good to know.
Working in the medical field I've seen too many people abuse the "disability" benefits. People who are perfectly capable of making a living but don't because they qualify for benefits.
On this side of the pond, the benefits system is abused to the extreme.
Entire communities make benefits a career choice.
My wife works as a child psychologist in our nearest city, and at the first meeting with most of the parents in these areas, they bring along a DLA (disability living allowance) form to be filled in. Even before the child has been diagnosed with anything.
She usually has to send them away without even looking at the form, because it's too early to even think of filling it in.

One set of parents even fought her in the courts, because she said the child would do better in a mainstream school than in the special needs school he was in. but if he went to a mainstream school, both parents would have lost their benefits for looking after a special needs child!!!
99% of parents she deals with would have been overjoyed to have the child in a mainstream school.
In the US disability payments are nothing more than retiring and drawing social security early. Even people who worked until 65 can barely survive on social security. I tried to figure it out once and found I'd get the minimum amount which is $300 per month. Rent alone usually runs 400-500.
I'm not so sure I understand the mentality of certain people and drawing from social security. I know that I will not have social security when I get to be that age, however, even if I would benefit from it I wouldn't expect that to be my only source of income. Whatever happened to saving money for yourself when you are older and can't work? Whatever happened to working and having a 401k or even just a basic savings account that you consistently put money in for rainy days? I just don't like that a majority of Americans complain about Social Security and the amount of it... when they never had their own backup plan.

My main lifelong quote is "You can't get something for nothing"

In fact, I refuse to receive hand outs and free money when I am capable of working myself. I know there may be times when I am not capable of working due to Crohn's Disease, but that it why I manage my money and save up. Its not fair that we have Crohn's Disease... but its also not fair to people who don't have any diseases for us to get special treatment and free money when we ARE capable of working (not talking about times of flaring).

I know it will be a struggle for me to work my entire life, but I've come to terms with it and I just have to get over it. Whoever said life was fair? You have to play with the cards you are dealt, there is no cheating in life.
You do realize that that is precisely what social security is, right?. Savings. You pay money to buy points and then cash those points in later for a greater amount of money than you put in (unless you die early). It's not free money. The amount you're putting away in social security is displayed right there on the pay check.
I'd love to work but the urgency and frequency are too debilitating, I hate the feeling of being a useless cog in the wheels of society, and I hate the harrassment that the disability deals out, and I hate getting 60% of an already mediocre income. I also have to watch my back for people following me, not because I'm violating the level of disability I claim to have, but because they've already proved they know S*** about Crohns with their demonstrated knowledge base and I'm afraid "getting the mail" or "going to the pharmacy" equates to "He's good to go, call the administrator, we got pictures".

This wasn't a choice, it was a last resort because I have no choice.
Yes I realize what soc sec. is, but I still wouldn't expect that to be my only income when I get older. I just grew up being taught that my money is money I've worked for. Yeah I'm not gonna get social security even though they've been taking it out of my check since I started working... but I just don't expect that money. I look at social security as a tax... whether I get a return on that tax doesn't matter... it still gets taken away from me. Does it suck that I don't get that portion of my checks? Yes... but I never actually had that money in my hands in the first place. It would've been there had they not taken it out... but that's already happened. I just hate it when people expect certain benefits or rewards... the sense of entitlement. I hate when people feel they are entitled to things and then complain when they don't get it. Even if we are entitled to social security benefits... there will not be any left for us. We can't fix it, it's broken... so why complain about it? I'd rather waste my energy on being happy about things.

Oh and BWS, I wasn't talking about times of flaring. I'm just talking about the people that will go on disability and not ACTUALLY need it. Not even necessarily Crohn's people... I'm mostly talking about the lazy people out there that want something for nothing. You see all these lawsuits nowadays where people are suing for dumb reasons just so they can fix their money mismanagment situations (ie: suing mcds for hot coffee?)

I have Crohn's too... I can imagine how horrible the urgency and frequency can put a halt in everyday activites. Even the fatigue is almost unbearable. But I'm certainly not talking about people like you who need disability, I'm talking about Joe Shmoe who "hurt his back" and can't work anymore. Obviously there are legitimate back issues here too... but everyone knows how horribly the system is abused.

My friend was telling me the other day how she will have "frequent flyers" at work (works in the ER as a check-in person) and she said its amazing how many people will go in and fake seizures or fake pain... just to get attention or pain meds. THAT is screwed up. (not the same thing as abusing disability, but you get the point)
Yeah, I started to sense after I posted it that it might seem directed at your points (which I agree with) or the other points about the UK's system, didn't mean to make it seem that way. Guess my purpose in posting initially was simply to voice the side of legitimate needs of it. A coworker of mine went on short term disability (ingeniously abbreviated "STD") for "pregnancy related acid reflux" or some such thing, because she got nauseous all the time when trying to sleep because her esophagus was horizontal and told me all about it back in the spring before my leave, and said it was the simplist process in the world. Now, I don't know if she really deserved it, I don't know the whole affliction, but she really gave a strong vibe that she didn't need it, and was still easily approved. This gave me the feeling it was a simple endeavor, even if it is unnecessary. I have no clue why I've been given such a hard time.

Since I'm inherently pessimistic, sad to say, all I can think about when the whole social security debacle is brought up is pure repulsion, I think of it as "Uncle Sam's oops I'm bad at math" tax. I don't like being so negative, though.

In the collections/credit card industry, we offer financial options to those in need of a payment plan with reduced fees/interest, and I come across MANY people who demand the leniency simply because "they deserve it", I was/am in the position to grant such relief to people after reviewing their "case" (which many, understandably, don't like to talk about), and had to sense and grant valid need of it (and document such validity due to federal law and the OCC)

Btw, I don't want it to seem like I'm fishing for sympathy, there's many people who are much worse, which I have to remember.
Last edited:
So does that mean anyone with crohn's can collect our social security money? I want it now, god knows it won't be around when I am over 65.
Only if you get disability hippie and that's near impossible.

Coming from a community that experiences things like being hounded by private investigators trying to catch us not looking sick enough and going to ERs and having everyone accuse you of faking it I wouldn't expect some of the things I just heard. Everyone is so paranoid about people faking illness to get stuff that we should all damn well know that's next to impossible to pull off without being extremely ill. It's nearly impossible to pull off even if you have blatant physical evidence like surgeries and colonoscopy pictures. All the paranoia does is hurt legitimately ill people like us.
The one important thing you should all take from this is we should now be eligible for the insurance provided by the social security office. Since a lot of us might find ourselves in situations where we cannot keep or obtain reasonably priced insurance this is another option that wasn't necessarily easily obtained before. If you want more information I would contact your local social security office once this is officially enacted (if it hasn't been already) and get yourself in line for this since some insurance is better than nothing!

So while you don't get disability payments there are other aspects of social security that should be more readily available potentially. I could be wrong here, but it shouldn't be an unreasonable expectation either.
My dad is on disability for Lupus he hates being on it. People always act like he doesn't need it but he is really bad off. He is used to working so he hopes that he will be able to go back to work in the near future but it is doubtful. I think people are too quick to judge others who are on disability, they see someone who might be having a good day and think that they are abusing the system, but it is hard to get approved for disability.