Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with a Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS is a degenerative diseases meaning that, as time passes, the disease gets worse and worse. While every person’s symptoms are different, the symptoms of MS are usually:

  • Problems concentrating and/or remembering certain things, depression, feelings of dread, etc.,
  • speech problems, including slurred speech,
  • difficulties chewing and swallowing food,
  • chronic fatigue,
  • loss of balance,
  • problems with walking and with general coordination,
  • tremors or weakness in the upper and lower extremities,
  • bowel and bladder problems, including constipation and frequent need to urinate,
  • vision problems, including double vision or even complete loss of vision, and
  • numbness, tingling or pain in the face, arms, or legs.</li

Due to the severity of the disease, the federal government has determined that those who suffer from MS and meet certain qualifications can obtain Social Security Disability benefits.

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Qualifying Based on an MS Diagnosis

Multiple Sclerosis has a specific listing under which applicants can apply. This means that there are predetermined criteria that applicant must meet in order to be found eligible for disability payments for their MS diagnosis.

Applicants must have been diagnosed with MS for 12 months and, in addition, must be able to meet 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 severe decrease in vision that cannot be corrected with glasses.
  • An organic mental disorder causing memory loss, a decrease in IQ, or disturbance in mood, or
  • Severe fatigue and muscle weakness that is caused by the central nervous system as a result of MS.

Proving Eligibility Under the MS Listing

Applicants applying for Social Security Disability under the MS listing must generally submit proof of both diagnosis and treatment history. The more comprehensive and accurate a picture an applicant is able to create to the Administration, the more likely that applicant’s application will be approved.

Also, because of the nature of MS, even if an applicant is initially denied, that same applicant may be able to apply again in the future and obtain benefits if their condition has worsened.

See Related Blog Posts:

Qualifying for Disability with an Epilepsy Diagnosis
Social Security Disability for Those Who Suffer from PTSD

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