It is important that individuals who suffer from myasthenia gravis get sufficient rest. This is due to the fact that the condition worsens with activity. This often results in an inability to work when an individual develops the condition. With no means of income and no way to pay disability-related medical bills, the financial stress can be overwhelming. For some individuals, Social Security Disability benefits can help. If you are suffering from myasthenia gravis and are in need of financial assistance, the following information will help you understand the disability claim process and how the Social Security Administration reviews Social Security Disability claims that are based on a diagnosis of this condition.
Myasthenia Gravis Condition and Symptoms
Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder that causes a weakening of the voluntary skeletal muscles in the body. These muscles are responsible for creating conscious movement. For example, when you want to move your leg, your voluntary muscles create the movements that achieve the result you intended. When an individual suffers from myasthenia gravis, these muscles suffer from weakness because the nerves that activate the muscles are not able to function properly.
In a case of myasthenia gravis, the reason that the nerves do not function properly is due to the fact that the individual's immune cells attack the healthy cells of the body. This causes the body to create antibodies that block the muscle cells from receiving the messages that are sent by the nerve cells. The symptoms caused by this are increased with physical activity. However, when an individual gets enough rest, the symptoms of the condition will improve.
The specific symptoms of myasthenia gravis can vary from individual to individual. Common symptoms include: trouble breathing, difficulty swallowing and chewing, frequent gagging, difficulty performing physical tasks, drooping head, facial paralysis, chronic fatigue, hoarseness, double vision and eyelid drooping.
While there is no cure for myasthenia gravis, there are treatments that can help prolong the amount of time a person may go without symptoms. Long periods of rest can also help improve the symptoms that an individual is experiencing. In some cases, doctors will also provide treatments to address the symptoms of the condition to make the patient as comfortable as possible.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Myasthenia Gravis
The Social Security Administration does recognize myasthenia gravis as a disabling condition under the Blue Book of Medical Listings. However, it is important to understand that a diagnosis of the condition in and of itself is not enough to qualify an individual for benefits from the Social Security Administration. Under the listing that covers myasthenia gravis, certain conditions must be met.
According to Section 11.12 of the SSA's Medical Listings, which covers myasthenia gravis, an individual must experience significant difficulty with speaking, swallowing or breathing while undergoing prescribed therapy or they must experience significant motor weakness of the muscles of the body's extremities on repetitive activity against resistance while on prescribed therapy.
If your condition meets the guidelines that have been established by the SSA, then you may qualify for benefits during the initial stage of the application period if you can prove this fact with medical documentation. When filing your disability claim, make sure that you provide a complete copy of your medical records so the adjudicator reviewing your file will see that your case of myasthenia gravis meets the published criteria of Medical Listing 11.12.
If you do not have enough medical evidence to prove that your condition meets the criteria of this medical listing or if your specific case of myasthenia gravis does not fall under the published guidelines, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income if your condition prevents you from performing any type of work activity. To demonstrate the extent of your disability, provide complete copies of your medical records with your Social Security Disability claim and be very detailed when answering the questions on the disability claim forms. You may want to have an attorney review your application before submitting it to ensure that you have all your bases covered.
Myasthenia Gravis and Your Social Security Disability Case
Even though myasthenia gravis is a conditions that qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, it is important to note that you will have to prove that you meet the SSA's guidelines and that you are completely unable to work before you are awarded disability benefits. Sometimes this will mean that you will have to undergo a disability appeal.
If your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied and you do need to appeal the SSA's decision, it is crucial to your case that you consult with a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer. These professionals will go over your case with you and their help will increase your chances of filing a successful appeal with the Social Security Administration.
To learn more about filing for disability benefits with myasthenia gravis or to learn more about working with a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate, simply fill out the form for a free evaluation of your SSD case.