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How to get Disability Benefits With Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

How to get Disability Benefits With Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

If you have multiple sclerosis and are applying for Social Security disability benefits, you have a good chance at winning at the initial application step (compared to the statistical average). Here are some tips that may help you with your case. With the right preparation, you can make Social Security’s job a lot easier and get your approval of beenfits a lot quicker.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the protective covering of the nerve cells. The damage inflicted typically results in communication disturbance between the brain and the rest of the body. Currently there is no cure for multiple sclerosis but treatment can help manage symptoms as well as assist in recovery after attacks. MS is the most common autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system.

To qualify for disability, Social Security requires that your disability has lasted or is anticipated to final 12 months. This will be an trouble for sufferers with ms, since maximum forms of ms are episodic, that means there are intervals whilst it makes you sick and durations if you have little to no signs and symptoms. The periods of sickness are known as episodes, exacerbations, or relapses, and might vary in period and severity. The periods with few signs and symptoms are referred to as remissions. In case you are symptom-unfastened for 6 months, it may mainly be hard to prove incapacity, however social security does recognize that ms is episodic in nature, so the enterprise will evaluate the frequency and period of your episodes, the time among your episodes, and the presence of everlasting impairments even in times of little to no symptoms, to determine in case you are disabled.

Symptoms of MS

The effects of multiple sclerosis on the body can be great, and MS can affect multiple parts of the body. Some symptoms include:

  • hearing loss
  • problems concentrating and remembering things
  • depression
  • speech problems, including slurred speech
  • difficulties chewing and swallowing food, and
  • fatigue.
  • loss of balance
  • problems with walking and coordination
  • tremors or weakness in the legs and arms
  • bowel and bladder problems, including constipation and frequent need to urinate
  • vision problems, including double vision or loss of vision
  • numbness, tingling or pain in the face, arms, or legs

Getting Disability for Multiple Sclerosis

If your multiple sclerosis is advanced, you have a good chance of getting approved for Social Security disability benefits. In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits for MS, you must meet the requirements of Social Security’s disability listing for MS or prove that your MS has limited your functioning so much that you can no longer work.

Meeting the Multiple Sclerosis Listing

Ms has a specific list in Social Security’s blue book (the listing of impairments that’s qualify for incapacity) underneath the section for neurological problems. So that it will meet this listing, you need to display that you have as a minimum one of the following:

  • Difficulty walking or using your hands because of significant impairments of at least two limbs. You may have partial paralysis of your limbs, tremors, or involuntary movements.
  • A extreme lower in vision that can not be corrected with glasses.
  • An natural intellectual disorder inflicting reminiscence loss, a lower in IQ, or disturbance in temper, or Intense fatigue and muscle weakness that is caused by the central nervous system as a result of ms.

Medical Evidence Required for MS Disability

To qualify under the multiple sclerosis listing, you must first have a diagnosis of MS. The test most used to determine MS is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This test can give positive proof of demyelination caused by multiple sclerosis. An MRI is so sensitive that it can detect even the smallest evidence of demyelination or plaque. One study suggested that 96% of those individuals diagnosed with MS have an abnormal MRI result.

There are a few other tests used to help with diagnosing MS, and these are the electroencephalograph (EEG), computerized axial tomography (CT scans), x-rays, and evoked potentials (exposes the individual to various stimuli). These are usually given in conjunction with MRI scans and spinal taps, though they are not conclusive tests for MS in their own right.

Living costs can mount up when you’re living with MS.

The Odds of Winning on the First Appeal

If an initial disability case does not win disability benefits, the disability applicant may still win benefits at one of the appeal levels. The first appeal level is a request for reconsideration appeal. Reconsideration appeals have the lowest chance of winning an applicant disability benefits (depending on one’s state of residence, they may only have a 12-14 percent chance of being approved for disability at the reconsideration level).

NEXT: Tips for Getting Disability for Multiple Sclerosis at the First Step