Receiving a diagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is almost always unexpected. Mainly, because symptoms will swarm an individual without warning and can vary between one flare-up and the next.
Due to its random nature and variation in symptoms, providing evidence for MS to receive social security disability benefits is equally frustrating as seeking the initial diagnosis. This is where seeking legal assistance can help you secure the benefits you need as you try to cope with this debilitating neurological disorder.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
To make sure your claim gets approved, it’s vital for you to first understand what MS is. To do that, you also need to know the symptoms that make this serious disorder so complex.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS is a chronic neurological disease where the immune system attacks healthy tissue in our central nervous system (CNS).
Damage to the myelin or outer layer protecting our CNS’ fibers, which includes the brain, spinal cord and our optic nerves, leads to an array of terrifying symptoms. Just some of these symptoms might include fatigue, double or blurred vision, numbness, mental health decline, loss of coordination or basic motor function, memory problems and lack of focus. In some cases, symptoms could also include blindness, paralysis, or even brain tremors.
While medical experts have not yet found a genetic link to MS, there are several environmental factors that can increase the likelihood of someone developing the disease. Most individuals who develop MS tend to be between the ages of 20 and 50, female, live far from the equator, and have a caucasian background. Those who do not fall under these factors in age, geographical, gender or ethnic background are immune to MS, but instead are less likely to develop it.
Each case of MS varies from person-to-person over time. In total, there are four stages that multiple sclerosis patients are categorized in to, based on their progression of their symptoms:
- The first sign involves preliminary neurological symptoms caused by inflammation and deterioration of the central nervous system.
- The second stage involves the returning or worsening flare-ups of MS symptoms over time, particularly after a period of remission. This might include new symptoms of the disease too.
- The third stage involves symptoms continuing to worsen along with new MRI activity.
- Symptoms will render the sufferer into a state of disability due to the severe progression of symptoms. This often includes fewer or no longer any relapses or remissions of the disease.
Getting Disability Benefits For MS Sufferers
In a prevalence initiative taken by the National MS Society, a multiple sclerosis case study found that nearly one million people live in the United States with this disease. With flare-ups occurring randomly, some individuals are unable to work as a result.
In the case of filing for social security disability benefits, the more evidence you can gather on your MS diagnosis the better chances you have at getting approval. Under the Social Security Disability’s Blue Book Guidelines, there are two states of the disease progression when patients are considered.
One of those stages includes when an individual loses the ability to retain organized motor function, particularly while standing up, walking or trying to use their upper body strength. The other station involves cognitive loss through memory loss, the inability to understand or apply information, concentrating, or interacting with others.
To build a strong case for disability benefits, claimants need to gather medical evidence from the initial diagnosis, progression of the disease over time through visits to the doctor, personal or work testimonials, and prove at least one of the two states of MS mentioned above. While these states of the disease give a solid foundation for a disability benefits claim, it’s also possible to also build a case through earlier stages of the disease.
Social Security Disability Law in San Francisco
Nothing is more discouraging than seeing your disability claim get denied, especially when you are the one suffering from a debilitating disease like MS. With the help of Patrick Kelly Disability Law, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing we are actively fighting for your case to get approved.
To have your case for Multiple Sclerosis disability benefits viewed, please contact us for your free consultation today.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society – The National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation – Motivating, educating and empowering those living with MS.
Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – SSA page that describes criteria for claiming Multiple Sclerosis as a disability.