Functional Limitations for Multiple Sclerosis

As a disease that can produce disabling symptoms, multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks the central nervous system with an onslaught of electrical sensations.

Certain neck movements can trigger symptoms that include intense tremors and numbness in the arms and/or the legs. Vision problems represent another potentially disabling set of symptoms for workers that suffer from MS.

If you have received a diagnosis for multiple sclerosis, you might have symptoms that are severe enough for you to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

MS frequently causes debilitating symptoms that prevent workers from holding down steady jobs. This is especially true for workers that engage in physical activities to complete standard job functions.

How to Qualify for SSD Benefits

Administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), SSD benefits help pay for medical bills and the income lost because of downtime from work.

A team of medical examiners at the SSA reviews each application to determine whether to approve financial assistance.

At the core of the review process is a manual called the Blue Book, which lists every medical condition that qualifies applicants for SSD benefits, as well as the severity of symptoms that the SSA considers to be disabling.

The Blue Book lists MS and its qualifying symptoms under Section 11.0 that describes various neurological disorders.

With the SSA denying a majority of SSD claims, applicants need to know how to proceed with a claim.

The SSA manages a program called Medical Vocational Allowance that gives applicants the opportunity to receive financial assistance for a disabling medical condition such as multiple sclerosis.

As a job-specific program, the Medical Vocational Allowance requires the submission of documentation that confirms the presence of MS symptoms.

What to Expect When Applying for SSD Benefits with a Medical Vocational Allowance

A team of physicians at the SSA conducts a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment to determine how the symptoms of MS have limited your performance at work.

An RFC provides the SSA with a medical snapshot that describes your ability to complete basic job functions. For MS, an RFC can require an applicant for SSD benefits to go through the following movements:

  • Turning the neck
  • Raising both arms and legs
  • Walking with different types of objects in hand
  • Pushing carts
  • Lifting weighted boxes

You can also expect an RFC to require you to complete exercises that do not involve much exertion like reading a series of letters during an eye test.

Functional Limitations for Multiple Sclerosis

Submit Convincing Documentation

An SSD claim is all about submitting evidence that convinces the SSA to approve a claim. Medical documentation is the key to getting an SSD application approved.

The results of diagnostic tests confirm the presence of MS symptoms and copies of medication receipts educate the SSA about the seriousness and the projected longevity of your MS symptoms. Copies of bank statements can demonstrate how much income you have lost because of downtime from work.

Get Help with Your Claim

Working with a disability lawyer can give you the support you need to get an SSD claim approved. A lawyer understands the deadlines you must meet, such as filing your claim within a certain period after you receive a diagnosis for the disease.

In addition, a state-licensed Social Security attorney helps you collect and organize the evidence that you need to boost the strength of your SSD claim.

Most Social Security lawyers do not charge a fee unless their clients gain approval for financial assistance from the SSA.

Additional Resources