Is an Ileostomy Considered a Disability?

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I have filled out lots of job applications in the last 6 months.

Every time I come to the question on an application, "Do you have a disability?" I wondered if an ileostomy counts in today's world?


Good question, the powers that be say it's not a disability. However, if it came down to trying to apply for jobs, I do know for a fact that if you put "yes," they have to give you an interview.

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If it doesn't stop you from doing anything, then it's not a disability. Regards, IGGIE


Hi Dmo, I wonder - if you said you had a disability, would it help in getting your own bathroom??


Actually, it's what they call a hidden disability. Hidden because the fact that you can't see it first off hand as if you can with someone with a walker or wheelchair. It is considered a disability because we have an impairment of a major body function and we now have to use a prosthetic device (our bags). We have to take extra breaks with jobs to empty or change a bag, eating, and drinking. But you are covered under the ADA act, which is the American Disability Act. Now there becomes a fine line if you are trying to get disability with your state. Which if you are, I can explain that one too and the process if you want me to.

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

I think it depends on the impact it has on your life.


DMO101.....You could answer "depends" then when you get the interview - full disclosure

Okay, so just trying to lighten things up....


If you live in Canada, having an ostomy makes you a 'person with a disability' according to the federal government, which makes you eligible for a yearly tax exemption which is considerable, around $8,000 for me.


Reply to TerryLT

Wow - good information! That could pay Canadian relocation expenses, eh?



Hi dmo,

The answer to your question is yes... it is considered a disability. Same goes for UC or Crohn's Disease. Here's what the interweb says about ostomies... "While many persons who have had ostomy or continent diversion surgery may not consider themselves to be disabled or impaired, they are protected under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against employment-based discrimination in the workplace." That's from the UOAA and you can read the full version here

I should add that the reason they ask you that with job applications is to determine if they need to provide 'reasonable accommodations', since they cannot not hire you because you have a disability. But in reality most reasonable accommodations cost money, so they'd probably find another reason not to hire you. You're not required to report your disability if it doesn't impact your ability to do the work, so I'd lay low on that, unless you do need some specific accommodations.


Reply to Justbreathe

We would love to have you JB!!


That's a very tricky question...! Depending on your disease and if you have a colostomy or high output ileostomy, if you had cancer and cured or shall I say remission from operation than it's possible to go back to work if everything is up to doc standards and you know you! You feel strong and well enough to work than work! If the latter is true than you probably qualify for SSID.

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Reply to Beth22

Beth22, I am from PA and would like to know the process. Thank you

Reply to Anonymous

Me too...on the from PA part.

Reply to TerryLT

Packing my bags and moving to Canada...ehhhh. LOL


It is a disability. I haven't been able to work since I got mine! You can dehydrate real fast. Prolapse the stoma and herniate the site. Lifting things has become a thing of the past. Apply for SSD. There's also the mental aspect of the whole thing. It'll only take one time of your bag blowing and you'll feel real embarrassed.


Hey all, so touching base on my previous post... I wasn't implying that because we have a bag we qualify for disability. I was saying yes, we have a disability. We are considered a hidden disability and are covered under the ADA act. Yet it's different to be qualified as disabled.


They told me no that it is not a disability. They are really not giving out disability for much these days unless you have cancer or mental health or developmental disabilities. It's real hard to get it because they will say you can do some kind of work.


Definitely! :(

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