• 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.

Long Term Disbility

When did you realize that your Crohn's had gotten so bad that you needed to go off work for a long while?

I have had a couple of "short periods" off this year 2 -3 weeks at a time but am quickly realizing that perhaps I need to be off longer. I am really struggling again while I wait to get approved for Remicade. I had acute pancreatitis in Sept and really haven't felt well/ come out of that since then.

My main symptoms are exhaustion, insomnia, really vivid dreams, night sweats and constant pain. I am taking entocort so I think that's causing some of the symptoms.

I hate to think this disease has gotten to the point where I can't work - I am the type to keep pushing so maybe am not the best judge of when to throw in the towel.
Hi there...

I just put my two week notice in on Thursday. I was diagnosed with Crohns in May 2011 but have been sick....severly since 2008. This year so far I'd already missed over 3.5 months of work. The majority of time I missed was due to my fatigue from malnourishment. Not being able to eat or keep food inside of you for days on end...is brutal. The pain in the morning made it hard for me to get to work on time daily. I understand everyone is different and your decision to continue work or not is a VERY personal decision. A year ago I would never have considered quitting work but now....after this past year...I no longer care what anyone thinks or says. I knew it was time to quit ultimately when I realized I was doing my employers a disservice. I would be better off allowing someone have that job who can contibute to the team and be at work everyday than trying to be selfish and hold on just for the sake of saying I "have a job". I HATED/DREADED waking up daily to go to work. There was no bright point for me anymore...not even the paycheck. That's how I knew...it was time....
Hi kllyeve

It's a difficult decision to make, but do try to give yourself permission to give your body a break. Healing is much harder when you're stressed...just a vicious cycle of stress, body feels like crap, makes you stressed, body feels crappier, etc.

In Canada, one possibility that you could look into is short term EI sickness benefits. You need to get a note from your doctor that says you're too sick to work right now, and you give that note to your employer, who will give you a Record of Employment. You will take a copy of your ROE and your doctor's note to the EI office and apply for EI benefits. There is a two week waiting period, so you'll need to have money to tide you over for two weeks. I think the EI short term illness is about 11 or 12 weeks, but I'm not 100% sure.

In terms of Long Term Disability, if you have extended health benefits with your employer, then you'll need to look over what the criteria is. Regardless, make your application, but the insurance company will make you go on EI, and if you get your application for LTD started when on EI, then there will be enough time to get your application approved/denied.

If you don't have LTD benefits through your employer's health plan, then you'll need to go on welfare disability, but I'm not sure what that entails in Alberta. Regardless, you can get that application started while on EI.

You might want to check out the EI website to see what is involved in getting the application together. You might be able to do most of the application online.

Good luck...your symptoms sound bad enough that it might be an idea to give yourself a break...?



I was too sick to work a few years ago. What they did for me was they gave me disibility leave through E.I. (Which is 16 weeks if I'm not mistaken) and then they put me on reg. EI for the remaining 52 weeks. The only difference is when you're answering the questions online or over the phone, for the disibility period, you are NOT ready willing and capable of work. The staff will know what's going on with you but its very important to make sure you don't mess up the weekly questions because that's what determines if you get paid or not lol. Best of luck, and hopefully you can recover quickly.
I've been off for years. Really the downturn started after my Laperotomy Resection in '02. Diarrhea, uncontrollable @ first & then everytime I attempted to do a physical task I'd get pain & really bad diarrhea again. Since then I've had no end of trouble with strictures & obstructions. It depressed me a lot tbh. But it looks like so far the last balloon dilation is holding. I'm hopeful I can do something in future because its a bit soul destroying being @ home all the time.
It takes time to apply...so I would start that now. Its better to be safe then sorry. One thing I have come to understand about this disease is that you have little to no control over your condition and symptoms. I need to take a 2 to 4 hour nap daily. I could never hold down a job or even volunteer somewhere at this point. Its hard to accept, I have been working since I wazs 16 and to be on "disability" yes, is a bit disheartning. But you need to do what is best for you. Don't want to wait till it gets bad before you starte the process, we all know about loop holes and the process it takes for everything these days. Good luck I feel for you. I have many of your sypmtoms, it's hard. Good luck with what you decide!
Update - got approved for some short term disability from now until Jan. I was trying to hold out unitl I got REmicade on board so I could feel better but just couldn't take it anymore.

It has taken 3 weeks to try and get Remicade approved and still not done. Just got a letter back today saying benefit company wants to know exactly who will be administering Remicade as in family member, nurse, self administer, doctor, hospital before they will continue approval process - DESPITE it being clearly marked on the forms that I would be attending an infusion clinic. *&*^%^*( idiots!!!!
I have been on short term disability since July. If I can't go back to work by mid-January, then I'll have to go on long term disability. For me, it was when I was chronically missing work due to the CD. The fact that I've been approved when this insurance company is not known to approve on the first try and require people to appeal (I was approved right off the bat) showed me that it was the right decision.