SSA issued a new Social Security Ruling (SSR) addressing interstitial cystitis (IC), and rescinding its previous ruling on the topic SSR 02-2p. SSR 15-1p was issued on March 18, 2015, and was effective as of the date of publication. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-18/pdf/2015-05680.pdf
The Ruling takes into consideration descriptions of IC recently developed by the American Urological Association (AUA) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), which were not available when SSA published the prior SSR. In the new SSR, SSA explains that the following evidence can establish the medically determinable impairment of IC:
- A diagnosis of IC by an acceptable medical source who reviewed the claimant’s medical history and conducted a clinical examination;
- IC symptoms, as indicated in the AUA and NIDDK descriptions; and
- Medical signs or laboratory findings.
The new SSR has several differences from the previous ruling. One difference is the recognition that signs of mental impairment may be signs of interstitial cystitis, thus permitting SSA to accept the diagnosis as a medically determinable impairment. The prior ruling looked at associated mental impairment factors only on the back end, as symptoms to be taken into account in determining severity of an otherwise established diagnosis.
SSR 15-1p expands, slightly, the express list of medical tests that may establish the diagnosis, and lists the medical findings that may support diagnosis for as ones that “can be detected” using “cystoscopy under anesthesia with bladder distention.”
If you have a client suffering from this disease, take time to read the details in the new Ruling.