How To Apply For Disability Benefits With Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a central nervous system condition that can cause a range of symptoms. Some MS symptoms, such as weakness and lack of coordination, can potentially interfere with a patient’s ability to work.

Do you have multiple sclerosis? Are you unable to work and earn an income as a result of your condition?

You may qualify for disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) if so. The following overview will explain the steps you need to take as you prepare to file for benefits.

The Social Security Application Process for Multiple Sclerosis

Determine How Multiple Sclerosis Limits You

To demonstrate eligibility for disability benefits with MS, an applicant typically needs to show their condition prevents them from working and is expected to continue doing so for at least 12 months.

Be aware, the SSA may not approve your application if you only show that MS symptoms prevent you from fulfilling your current work duties. It might also be necessary to show that you’re unable to return to past jobs as well.

Along with limiting your ability to work, MS could potentially limit your ability to perform certain daily tasks. It’s wise to show the SSA evidence of this too.

Consult the Blue Book For Multiple Sclerosis

The SSA’s Blue Book lists the conditions that might qualify an applicant for disability benefits, along with the medical criteria they will have to meet. Per the Blue Book’s listing for multiple sclerosis, to show that you deserve to receive benefits, you may have to show that:

  • You struggle with “disorganization of motor function in two extremities” causing a significant physical impairment, or
  • You struggle with “marked limitation in physical functioning” and in at least one of the following areas:
  • Comprehending, remembering, or acting on/using information you have learned
  • Personal interactions with other people
  • Concentration
  • Maintaining pace
  • Managing yourself or adapting to new conditions

You may need to undergo various tests and examinations to prove you meet these criteria. Generally, the more medical evidence you can provide the SSA with when applying for benefits, the better.

Gather Required Documents

Along with medical evidence, other documents the SSA may ask you to submit with your application include:

  • Your birth certificate or another document proving your birth
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or status as a legal alien
  • Military discharge papers, if you served in the U.S. military prior to 1968
  • W-2 forms or self-employment tax documents from last year
  • An Adult Disability Report, which offers information about your work history and your condition
  • Pay stubs, award letters, workers’ comp documentation, and other documentation of benefits or settlements you’ve received

Speak With a Disability Attorney

The process of gathering all the documentation necessary to show you’re eligible for disability benefits can be time-consuming. Instead of burdening yourself with this responsibility when you should be focusing on resting, consider hiring an attorney.

A lawyer can gather documentation for your benefits application and provide representation if the SSA denies your initial application. Get in touch with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the site by filling out the Free Case Evaluation who subscribes to the website.