MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND WINNING DISABILITY BENEFITS
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that affects the central nervous system. When an individual suffers from M.S., the disease damages the insulating covers of the nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. This nerve damage process is called demyelination. Demyelination can cause symptoms, such as pain, muscle spasm, weakness, and fatigue. Also common are symptoms such as tremor, balance issues, and dizziness.
The effects of Multiple Sclerosis are different for every person. Other common symptoms are vision problems, tingling, and numbness in the face or extremities. Some people experience speech issues, sexual dysfunction, and bladder problems. Additionally, mental symptoms can include cognitive issues, such as forgetfulness, concentration problems, or mood swings.
Multiple Sclerosis is typically diagnosed by an MRI scan. The MRI will show demyelinating lesions in the brain and/or the spinal cord. These lesions are white matter lesions or plaques. Another way to diagnosis the disease is by a spinal tap or lumbar puncture. When the doctors do this, they are looking for oligoclonal bands in your spinal fluid.
You need to take your M.S. tests in a hospital setting. For example, the doctor removes cerebrospinal fluid, using a thin needle, from the low back. The cerebral spinal fluid is tested for abnormal results; oligoclonal bands are a group of proteins that show inflammation of the central nervous system. The presence of these proteins may indicate a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.
SSA’S DEFINITION OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
You can obtain disability benefits from the Social Security Administration if you have severe symptoms from Multiple Sclerosis. As always, the SSA will first look at your medical records to see if your M.S. meets their listing. Multiple Sclerosis is found under the neurological listing 11.09. Listing 11.09 states the following:
11.09 Multiple sclerosis, characterized by A or B:
A. Disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in an extreme limitation in the ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities.
B. Marked limitation in physical functioning, and in one of the following:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information; or
- Interacting with others; or
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
- Adapting or managing oneself.
It is important to remember that you will need to prove not only an objective diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. But, you will also need to prove you have the disease to the level of severity under listing 11.09. You must have a treating physician document your impairments from M.S.. First, your doctor should discuss your tests and objective diagnosis. Your doctor needs to state that your M.S. has been diagnosed through an objective test, like an MRI. You may also have testing for oligoclonal bands. Second, your doctor should write about your physical and mental limitations. Third, your doctor should discuss how you are complaint with treatment.
Many individuals who suffer from M.S. also deal with side-effects from their medications. If you are taking steroids, Tysabri, Mitoxantrone, Interferon, or other drugs, then you may have days where the side-effects of your medications are worse than your M.S. symptoms. If that is the case, make sure your doctor discusses your need to lie down, take breaks, or stay in bed when you take your medication. One of the main things your doctor can do to help the SSA understand your case, is to document your inability to sustain full-time work.
CANNON DISABILITY CAN HELP YOU WIN YOUR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS DISABILITY CASE
It can be difficult to prove to the SSA that your Multiple Sclerosis symptoms prevent you from working, but Cannon Disability Law can help you win your case. We are happy to answer your questions and help you file your application for disability benefits. Contacting us and talking to us about your case is free. We will not charge you for a consultation. Likewise, we will not charge you an attorney fee unless we win your case. There are costs to every claim that clients pay. However, typically these costs are minimal and are usually the cost of your doctor’s medical records.
In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in back due disability benefits for our clients. We have the experience you need to win your disability case. Also, we believe we are the best disability team that you can hire to help you with your case. It is free to call and talk to us about your case. Hire the best disability firm to help you apply for benefits or appeal your disability case. Contact us today.