Can Chronic Prostatitis qualify for disability?
Ask the Advocate
January 2, 2021
Question: I have an embarrassing question about Social Security Disability. I am a 30-year-old male with chronic prostatitis. I have to urinate multiple times a day and it hurts. When I can't urinate, I have a lingering pain that feels like an ache. Off and on I have fever and chills. I worked until early 2019 and was laid off because I had to leave the workstation to use the bathroom too many times.
Answer: The prostate is a small gland that forms part of the lower urinary tract in males. It sits under the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and semen out through the penis. The prostate is part of the male reproductive system and produces one of the fluids that make up semen. The muscles of this gland also help push semen into the urethra during ejaculation.
Due to its location and function, problems with the prostate can affect urination as well as sexual function. Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate that can often be painful. It can be chronic or acute.
Chronic prostatitis develops gradually and can last for months or even years. Doctors consider prostatitis to be chronic if symptoms continue for 3 months or more. It may not respond well to the first treatments a doctor recommends.
Acute prostatitis is a temporary condition that occurs suddenly. It may only last a few days or weeks and often responds well to treatment.
Prostatitis is the leading cause of urinary tract issues for men under 50 years of age, and the third most common urinary tract issue for men over 50 years of age.
There are generally two causes of prostatitis. You might have a bacterial infection of the prostate causing chronic bacterial prostatitis. In some people, this infection develops following a urinary tract infection or treatment for acute bacterial prostatitis.
The symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis are often less severe than those of acute bacterial prostatitis. A person who has previously had an acute infection might notice that their symptoms get better, but do not go away.
Some people with chronic bacterial prostatitis may find that the infection persists. This may be because the bacteria are resistant to antibiotic treatment or the antibiotic treatment course is too short. According to one study, some bacteria that infect the prostate can form biofilms in animals. Biofilms are like the plaque that develops on teeth and can make the infection harder to treat.
You might have chronic non-bacterial prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This is a non-bacterial form of prostatitis that can have many causes and is harder to treat. Someone who has had a previous bacterial infection of the prostate may be at risk of developing this type of prostatitis. Other people may develop chronic pain in the prostate after a bacterial infection clears up.
Obviously, if you have to leave the workstation a number of times during the day to use the restroom, your productivity will be less that another person who does not leave the work station. This is an important point to Social Security for your claim.
It is important that you remain under a physician's care and that all treatment is fully documented, including your response, or lack of response to treatment. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your condition must continue to hinder you from performing work despite being under medical treatment for at least three months.
When you file your disability claim, make sure that you have full medical documentation for all flare ups and treatments. It is best if the doctor includes descriptive analysis regarding what kinds of activities you are hindered from performing rather than simply reporting medical finding which may or may not convince an SSA examiner that you are incapable of continuing to work.
An Accredited Disability Representative with more than 20 years experience, Diana Wade believes her clientele can be comfortable knowing that she is recognized by SSA and is a charter member of NADR. To contact Ms. Wade call (661) 821-0494, email [email protected] or visit http://www.CaliforniaDisability.net.