Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) has declared March to be Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, and we’d like to take this time to discuss the process a person who is unable to work because of MS must go through in order to be approved for Social Security disability benefits.
Disabilities Resulting from Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune disorder that affects 400,000 people in the United States. MS attacks the body’s central nervous system — the brain, optic nerves, spinal cord, etc. — damaging or destroying the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves. Persons with MS often experience such debilitating symptoms as fatigue, numbness, paralysis, tremors, slurred speech, bowel and bladder dysfunction, vision loss and impaired brain function. While new treatments and therapies have been developed to help alleviate some of the symptoms of MS, there is currently no cure for the disease.
For some, the symptoms of MS become so severe that they are unable to work. Social Security disability benefits can provide a much needed source of income to cover medical and living expenses.
Social Security Administration Requirements for an MS Related Claim
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes MS as a medical condition whose symptoms could result in disabilities severe enough to prevent an individual from working. When considering an application for disability benefits due to MS, the SSA looks for one of the following:
Disorganization of motor function that results in an extreme limitation in an individual’s ability to:
- Stand up from a seated position; or
- Balance while standing or walking; or
- Use the upper extremities (including fingers, wrists, hands, arms, and shoulders).
A marked limitation in physical functioning and a marked limitation in one of the four areas of mental functioning:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information; or
- Interacting with others; or
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
- Adapting or managing oneself
(Having a “marked” limitation does not require that you must be confined to bed, hospitalized, or in a nursing home.)
Houston Multiple Sclerosis Disability Benefit Attorney
M. Stanley Whitehead is a board certified Social Security Benefits Disability attorney who has helped thousands of disabled workers and veterans get the full disability benefits they are entitled to. We work closely with our clients and their healthcare providers to obtain the medical records and other documents the SSA will need to make their ruling. We also represent workers and veterans whose claims have been denied. In a lot of instances, a claim is denied not because of its validity but because an applicant simply failed to provide all the required information.
Worried you can’t afford any big attorney fees? Don’t be — in many instances, your legal costs will be covered by the Social Security Administration. Contact the offices of leading Houston Disability Benefits attorney M. Stanley Whitehead to schedule a no obligation consultation to discuss your claim and find out how we can help you get the benefits you need.