Can I receive SSD benefits if I have multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a condition that can render a person unable to work and in need of help with daily function. St. Louis residents who have been diagnosed with MS may be able to get Social Security disability benefits provided they fulfill the requirements laid out by the Social Security Administration. MS is a disorder that is chronic, inflammatory and degenerative. It affects a sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers of the brain and spinal cord and interrupts the transmission of nerve impulses from the brain and other areas of the body. This hinders the person’s strength, muscle coordination, balance, vision and sensation.

MS can be aggressive or it can be mild. If it is mild, there might be acute attacks – known as exacerbations – with a partial or total recovery – also known as remission. If the MS is aggressive, there will be a consistent progression of the symptoms and indicators without remission. The SSA will look at the symptoms and indicators of the person’s MS. This will include spasms, lack of coordination, dizziness, tremors, fatigue, inability to balance, trouble walking, and the inability to complete fine or gross movements. Other impairments will also be taken into consideration from MS.

There are two categories when MS is assessed. If the applicant meets the requirements for A or B, they can get disability benefits. With A, there must be a disorganization in motor function for two extremities that leads to extreme limitation in standing up from being seated, balancing when standing or walking, or the use of the upper extremities. For B, there must be a marked limitation in the ability to function physically and one of the following: the ability to understand, remember or apply information; the ability to interact with others; the ability to concentrate, persist or maintain pace; or the ability to manage oneself.

For people with MS, disability benefits can be used to provide long term care and to help them make ends meet. Since the condition makes it difficult and, in some cases, outright impossible to work, disability can be a life-saver for the person and his or her family. With a debilitating condition like MS, having assistance in filing Social Security disability claims can be essential. Calling an attorney experienced in SSD cases can be a great idea.

Source: Social Security Administration, “11.00 Neurological — Adult — N. What is multiple sclerosis, and how do we evaluate it under 11.09?,” accessed on April 24, 2017

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