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I have a claim coming up for a hearing where one of the claimant’s impairments is interstitial cystitis (IC). IC is a chronic bladder disorder characterized by pelvic pain. IC occurs ten times more frequently in women than men, and is often associated with other impairments, such as fibromyalgia.

In my research for this case, I was a little surprised to find Social Security Ruling 02-02p, which addresses interstitial cystitis in the context of a Social Security disability claim.

The Ruling states in part:

many people with IC have chronic pelvic pain, which can affect the ability to focus and sustain attention on the task at hand. … In assessing RFC, we must consider all of the individual’s symptoms in deciding how such symptoms may affect functional capacities.

An assessment also should be made of the effect IC has upon the individual’s ability to perform routine movement and necessary physical activity within the work environment. Individuals with IC may have problems with the ability to sustain a function over time.

As explained in SSR 96-8p (“Titles II and XVI: Assessing Residual Functional Capacity in Initial Claims”), our RFC assessments must consider an individual’s maximum remaining ability to do sustained work activities in an ordinary work setting on a regular and continuing basis. A “regular and continuing basis” means 8 hours a day, for 5 days a week, or an equivalent work schedule. In cases involving IC, fatigue may affect the individual’s physical and mental ability to sustain work activity.

Read the entire Ruling if you have a claim involving interstitial cystitis. And remember, Social Security must consider your combination of impairments when deciding your claim.