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Multiple Sclerosis & Winning Disability Benefits


Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that affects the central nervous system. When an individual suffers from M.S., the insulating covers of the nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves are damaged by a process called demyelination.  The effects of the disease are different for every person, but common symptoms are: vision problems, tingling, and numbness in the face or extremities, pain and muscle spasm, weakness, fatigue, tremor, balance issues, dizziness, slurred speech, sexual dysfunction, bladder problems, and cognitive issues such as forgetfulness 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. Diagnosis of the disease can also be by a spinal tap or lumbar puncture.

You need to take your M.S. tests in a hospital setting. For example, the doctor removes cerebrospinal build, 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.


You can obtain disability benefits from the Social Security Administration if you have severe symptoms from Multiple Sclerosis. The SSA looks at M.S. under the neurological listing 11.09.  Listing 11.09 is as follows:

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:

  1. Understanding, remembering, or applying information; or
  2. Interacting with others; or
  3. Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
  4. 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 in the severity documented under listing 11.09.  You must have a treating physician document your impairments, limitations, and the objective diagnosis. You must also be a complaint with treatment.

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.  Give us a call for free and discuss your case with us. We are happy to answer your questions and help you file your application for disability benefits.

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