What You Need to Know Before Applying with Parkinson’s

At first, it seems like a few anxious days at work. Your hand begins to tremble mildly or your eyelids flutter uncontrollably. With plenty of stress in the workplace, it is easy to dismiss the early signs of a disease called Parkinson’s.

During the initial stages of Parkinson’s, your face does not display a clear expression and/or your arms remain at your side when you go on a walk. Slurred speech and overt trembling in multiple areas of the body signals the disease has reached the most serious stage. How can you recover the money lost because of downtime from work? The answer lies in a comprehensive disability program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The SSA Can Ease Your Financial Burden

Considered one of the most impactful programs managed by the federal government, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) helps workers devastated by a serious illness or injury to recover the cost of lower and in some cases, no wages. Every SSDI claim requires applicants to submit a multiple page form that describes the injury or disease, as well as lists the symptoms experienced by the patient. SSDI applications go through a thorough vetting process that also factors in current income and the ability of an applicant to hold a full-time job. You should know the SSA analyzes work wages, not the income generated from other sources like a mutual fund.

Does the Blue Book Include Parkinson’s?

The most influential factor that determines SSDA eligibility is found in the SSA guide called the Blue Book. Inside the Blue Book are hundreds of illnesses and types of injuries that prevent workers from staying on the job full-time. The Blue Book not only lists eligible diseases and injuries, it also defines the symptoms that qualify for SSDI assistance. For Parkinson’s Disease, Section 11.6 of the Blue Book states an applicant must exhibit “Significant rigidity, bradykinesia, or tremor in two extremities, which, singly or in combination, result in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station.” This means you must exhibit tremors., slow movements, and rigid limbs in at least two extremities.

How to Prove SSDI Eligibility

Only American citizens and legal residents qualify to receive SSDI benefits. With that out of the way, by far the most important evidence to send with your SSDI application comes from your doctor’s office. You should submit as much supporting documentation as possible from the official diagnosis to x-rays that display where Parkinson’s has ravaged the body. You also need to submit documentation that shows how much in wages you have lost because of the disease.

What You Need to Know Before Applying with Parkinson's

Applying for SSDI Benefits

Before the explosion of digital technology, SSDI applicants either sent SSDI forms through the United States Postal Service (USPS) or by submitting a written application at the closest SSA office. Although you still have those two options, you should go the digital route by submitting your SSDI application online at the SSA website. Instead of attaching physical documentation to a mailed application, you need to send the SSA digital copies of the paperwork created by your physician. Save every file to a detachable drive to ensure you never lose the evidence you need to convince the SSA of your SSDI eligibility.

Submit the most convincing SSDI application by working with an experienced disability lawyer. Most attorneys schedule free initial consultations with clients to determine the best way to approach the SSDI application process.

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