March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

Submitted by pec on

If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you may be able to qualify for social security disability benefits. This is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes MS as a chronic illness or “impairment” that could cause a disability which is serious enough to prevent you from working for at least 12 months. If you have any of the following symptoms, or any combination of these or other symptoms that prevent you from working, you might qualify for Social Security benefits:

  • suffering from extreme fatigue;
  • side effects of medication(s);
  • problems with speech;
  • find it difficult to walk;
  • difficulty with seeing;
  • difficulty remembering;
  • difficulty concentrating or completing simple tasks.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). When diagnosed with MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. It may not take long before the disease causes permanent damage or deterioration of your nerve fibers. Some people with the most severe MS may lose their ability to walk independently while others could experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms surfacing depending on the type of MS that has been diagnosed.

Currently there isn’t any cure for multiple sclerosis but there are treatments available which help to speed up the recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease while managing symptoms.

You may need to provide the following to the SSA:

  • evidence that you find it hard moving your legs, arms, fingers, wrists, hands or shoulders;
  • evidence that you find it hard to move from a seated to a standing position and you have difficulties with balance when you try to walk;
  • problems you may have breathing including using an assistive breathing device like a CPAP machine.

How Does Multiple Sclerosis Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Multiple sclerosis is listed in section 11.09 of the SSA’s Blue Book, but because it may affect different parts of the body the claimant’s symptoms may appear in different Blue Book sections, such as under the psychological impairment listings, found in section 12.02. If the right evidence is provided, a victim of multiple sclerosis may qualify for disability benefits. You will be required to submit all your medical records that support your MS diagnosis. You must also be able to prove that your MS diagnosis prevents you from working for at least 12 months. In some cases, a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment completed by your physician can help provide evidence of your inability to continue working.

Get Connected with a Social Security Attorney

Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent social security attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case. Your attorney can check your application for disability benefits and ensure you provide the right medical evidence which supports your claim.