March 12, 2010

Social Security Disability Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis

handicap 2.JPGIndiana Social Security disability claimants living with multiple sclerosis (MS) who are unable to work due to their MS related disability and/or other conditions, may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes MS as a chronic illness or “impairment” that can cause disability severe enough to prevent an individual from working. Disability claimants applying for Social Security disability benefits on the basis of multiple sclerosis can be approved for benefits in one of two ways:

  1. By means of a medical vocational allowance; or
  2. By meeting the SSA’s Listing of Impairment, Section 11.09 Mutlitple Sclerosis

In order to be approved for disability benefits by means of a medical vocational allowance, a claimant’s medical records must show that their condition is severe and has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a period of not less than twelve months. During this actual or estimated twelve month period, the claimant’s condition must also prevent them from working at a job they have done in the past, and prevent them from engaging in other work.

The SSA’s Listing of Impairment, Multiple Sclerosis, specifically identifies the criteria required to meet this listing. In summary, the listing provides for three types of criteria that a claimant should meet in order to be awarded disability benefits.  A claimant must meet only one of the following three categories in order to qualify:

  1. Motor function impairment
  2. Visual impairments
  3. Mental impairments

If you have any of the following symptoms, or any combination of these or other symptoms, that prevent you from working, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits:

  • Experience difficulty with walking, standing, and other motor skills
  • Experience difficulty with seeing
  • Speech impairment
  • Find it difficult to concentrate or complete simple tasks
  • Experience difficulty with remembering
  • Have extreme fatigue 
  • Experience side effects from prescribed medication(s)

It’s important for the claimant to prove that their disabling condition has severe limitations on their life.  While SSI and SSDI provide different benefits, SSA uses the same disability determination process for both. You can even qualify for both at the same time.

Remember, you may appeal your Social Security disability claim if you have been denied benefits for muliple sclerosis.  Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis has represented claimants with multiple sclerosis. If you are a claimant with MS or if you know someone that is unable to work due to their multiple sclerosis, call Scott for a free consultation at (317) 423-8888. 

Filed under:Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments
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