Returning to Work After Ostomy Surgery: SSI Approval and Challenges

May 14, 2017 7:00 am

Hello again. Thank you for sharing. When I have questions, it uplifts me. Has anyone had to not work after receiving an ostomy? I haven't worked since my surgery (Dec 2016), and I have applied for SSI. I already get benefits through the VA. Dealing with this gets a little tough sometimes, but I press through. I know there are a lot of people who bounce back quickly. I have other health issues, but I keep moving forward. Has anyone been approved for SSI? Does anyone struggle to go back to work because of this?

May 14, 2017 6:33 pm

Hi Dr. Fields,

Going back to work was scary at first, but as I got better at knowing my body and the appliances I chose, it became easier. Sure, I had some embarrassing times, but I survived and no one seems to remember them but me. I haven't tried to get SSI as I wanted to get on with the way things used to be before my stoma.

Keep moving forward.

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 35,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

May 15, 2017 1:08 am

I never considered SSI... I think all of the paperwork deterred me. And I really wanted to get back to work. I wish you lots of luck and peace.

MMM - going back to work on 5/22!!!

May 15, 2017 6:37 pm

Besides having a colostomy, I have a permanent vocal disorder and can't talk, so I rely on disability, although I'm in Canada. I'd like to work, but am unsure what would accommodate issues of dealing with vocal disorder, colostomy, and hernia. It's conflicting. Hope you find what works best for you.

May 24, 2017 11:34 pm

I've been on disability since I got an ostomy. That came in combination with being hospitalized long-term and being in rehab facilities for months, because I nearly died from a perforated colon and septicemia and was bed-bound for months. (Fun times.) Then for a year+ I had ostomy complications that made it difficult to sit upright (like in a chair, at a desk) for any length of time, and still have other issues, so I have stayed on disability. The downside of course is that it is such a small amount, and whatever you earn in income reduces the SSI benefit, so it is easy to lose the disability payment if you do work at all. Whether it's a blessing or a pain in the butt is a toss-up, depending on your circumstances and limitations. For me, it's been a blessing.

I'm also a vet and receive care from the VA. May I ask what kind of benefits you are receiving from the VA? I don't have a service-connected disability so I thought there was nothing I was qualified for, but maybe you know something I don't. :) (If it is too personal to share on the board, you're welcome to send me a private message.)

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
May 25, 2017 6:12 am

Hello....I'm on 30 at the moment. I had a live hearing to get an increase and I'm waiting on a response. All my care is pretty much free. At the moment I pay $8 for my meds. 50 and above receive 100% coverage, which is why I appealed. VA did my colostomy and all my supplies are free, and my surgeon is my surgeon for life. Anything that goes wrong, he makes the corrections. I'm glad about that because he is a wonderful surgeon. I go to PT for my back, and I go to the pain clinic. I have to have knee replacement surgery, and they are going to do it. It will be free also. Hope this helps.