As Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month, June is the perfect time to discuss how to go about applying for Social Security Disability benefits with a diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis.
About Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disorder that affects several muscle groups of the body, commonly including those in the face, neck, chest, arms, hands and legs. For each individual with the condition, its affects can be different, causing severe disability in some, while allowing others to live a fairly normal life. Additionally, some respond well to available treatments, while for others nothing alleviates symptoms.
Because the limitations of Myasthenia Gravis can vary, proving eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits with the condition requires substantial medical documentation. You must show your particular case of Myasthenia Gravis significantly limits your ability to perform everyday tasks and makes it impossible for you to hold a job.
Does Myasthenia Gravis Qualify for Disability?
On the SSA website listing of specific qualifying medical conditions in order to be disabled, Myasthenia is listed as a neurological disorder. Although the condition is on the list, you must provide proper medical records and proof of being unable to work in order to submit a strong application.
The Social Security Administration approves applications for SSD benefits for Myasthenia Gravis under two different circumstances. The first is when the applicant fully meets the criteria laid out in the SSA’s blue book, which is the standard list of impairments and conditions the SSA recognizes as disabling in nature. To meet the blue book criteria, your Myasthenia Gravis must cause you serious issues despite prescribed treatments.
The second manner in which Myasthenia Gravis can qualify for disability benefits is when the condition affects muscle function so significantly that it makes it impossible sustain substantial gainful acitivty. If you’re unable to earn more than $1,010 per month because of your Myasthenia Gravis symptoms, then you may qualify for SSD benefits.
Regardless of which circumstances apply in your particular case, your application for SSD benefits must still be thorough and complete. While a blue book case of Myasthenia Gravis may result in a faster approval of benefits without requiring additional reviews or appeals, the documentation present in your application is what will determine how quickly you may be approved to receive disability benefits.
Proving Myasthenia Gravis severely limits your ability to work can be difficult. This is especially true because for most people, the nature of the condition is such that symptoms worsen with activity and decrease upon resting. Medication can often help reduce the affects of symptoms and can make it possible for many to maintain a fairly normal level of activity without suffering severe and lasting muscle weakness.
In order to prove your Myasthenia Gravis is truly disabling, you’ll need to work closely with your doctor to document the affects it has on your everyday life and your ability to hold gainful employment. You’ll need to show that muscle function is frequently severely compromised. To accomplish this, a neurologist will need to perform tests that fatigue your muscles. The physician will then document how rapidly muscle weakness appears, how long it lasts, and how often such episodes are a problem for you.
Ultimately, the manner in which you document your disability in your application is what determines if you’ll be found eligible to receive SSD. Understanding the application and review process, the SSA’s standard definitions, and the Disability Determination Services procedures can help you increase your chances of being approved for benefits. This is why many people decide to seek legal assistance from a disability attorney who is familiar with the SSA’s processes. For more information, check out this article about how to apply for Myasthenia Gravis with Social Security Disability