How to Apply for Disability Benefits with Multiple Sclerosis?

Published on October 17th, 2019

A neurological disorder causing muscle wasting, lack of coordination and balance and visual disturbances, multiple sclerosis is typically diagnosed in adults between 20 and 40 years old. Symptoms often improve with or without treatment but frequently return within a few years of their onset. Not everyone diagnosed with multiple sclerosis are eligible for disability benefits. Symptoms may be mild enough to preclude filing for Social Security.

multiple sclerosis disability benefits

Where is Multiple Sclerosis Listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book?

MS is found under the heading “Neurological Disorders (section 11.00) in the SSA’s Blue Book of Medical Conditions. Before filing for Social Security for multiple sclerosis, you will need documentation proving you have been diagnosed with one or more of the following criteria:

• Motor function disorganization in your arms and legs (tremors, paralysis, involuntary muscle movements and inability to control arm and leg movements)

• Persistent loss of mental abilities (disorientation, memory impairment, cognitive disturbances, reduction of measured I.Q.)

• Extreme personality changes and mood swings • Repeated/prolonged episodes of mental instability (decompensation) accompanied by progressive inability to perform routine daily activities

• Significant loss of vision

Social Security disability examiners also want to see proof that the individual with multiple sclerosis has required supportive living arrangements for 12+ months prior to filing for Social Security disability. Medical documents must also show the claimant will have a persistent need for assistance.

Is It Difficult to Get Approved for Multiple Sclerosis Disability Benefits?

Younger adults with mild to moderate symptoms of MS may be initially denied more often than older adults with MS. Failing to submit the correct medical reports, lab tests and other documents detailing the disabling severity of MS symptoms will likely result in a denial and a lengthy appeals process. Before filing for Social Security disability benefits, contact the Law Office of Mary Jean Ellis today for help with filing claims and appealing denials. Having a disability attorney handle your case significantly increases your chances of being initially approved.

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