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New Social Security Ruling for IC

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has replaced its 2002 ruling for establishing interstitial cystitis as a medically determinable impairment (MDI) and determining disability. The new ruling (SSR) takes into consideration descriptions of IC developed by the American Urological Association (AUA) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The AUA and NIDDK information was not available when the prior ruling was published. The new SSR is more thorough and less ambiguous and may improve the opportunity for IC to be interpreted as an MDI.

In the new SSR, the following evidence can establish the MDI 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 also provides guidance in the following areas of adjudication:

  • Obtaining medical and other evidence;
  • Arranging consultative examinations;
  • Resolving inconsistencies in the evidence;
  • Evaluating claimants’ statements about symptoms and functional limitations; and
  • Using the five-step sequential evaluation process for determining disability.

The new SSR also acknowledges that IC patients may suffer with overlapping conditions. In the explanation of the evaluation process, it states that if the SSA cannot find that the claimant has an MDI of IC, but there is evidence of another MDI, the SSA will evaluate the impairment under the rules that apply for the other MDI. This may also assist those with debilitating overlapping conditions that are filing for disability to reach a favorable outcome.