August 30, 2010

Multiple Sclerosis and Indiana Social Security Disability Benefits

Indiana Social Security disability claimants diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that affects around 300,000 people in the United States. Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths on the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged. MS most commonly occurs in young adults and is typically more common in females than males. Multiple sclerosis has many forms and can have new symptoms with every attack.

Symptoms may include:

  • Weak or numb limbs
  • Loss of vision (usually one eye at a time)
  • Pain during eye movement
  • Shock sensations with head movement
  • Loss of coordination
  • Problems with speech
  • Fatigue

Symptoms caused by MS usually happen in attacks or relapses where neurological function is significantly less in an acute period of time.

Although studies continue to be performed to identify the causes of Multiple Sclerosis, It is thought there are three main causes that are most likely why an individual has Multiple Sclerosis. The first cause is genetics. It appears there is a greater chance that someone will have multiple sclerosis if it is in the family. The recurrence rate is about 20% in parents to children. The second cause is environmental factors. MS is more common in people who live farther from the equator along with a decreased sunlight exposure. The third cause is infections. Many microbes have been suggested as triggers to MS but none have been proven.

Multiple Sclerosis is in Section 11.09 under the Neurological conditions on the Social Security’s “Listing of Impairments.” There are three conditions a claimant must meet to qualify for Social Security disability benefits under this listing. Refer to section 11.09 on the Listing of Impairments on the Social Security Administration’s website to view these.

If you do not meet or equal the listing for Social Security Disability listed above, you may still be able to win your Social security disability claim. Your residual functional capacity form Multiple Sclerosis may prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity.  Your inability to stand, sit, or walk for extend periods of time, or your inability to stay on task may also help you win your Social Security disability claim.

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