If your multiple sclerosis (MS) is mild, you are able to work with few problems. If your MS is severe enough to require a wheelchair or if your MS affects your vision, you may not be able to work, and you should have no trouble qualifying for SSDI. What if you fall somewhere in between?
Many people with MS have good days and bad days. On a good day, there are few symptoms of MS. On a bad day, the MS may affect balance, coordination, speech, vision, or even thinking. On those days, it may be impossible to leave the home to go to work.
It can be hard to keep a job once the bad days start to outnumber the good days. At this point, you may want to consider applying for SSDI. The best way for you to help your case is to keep a diary of your symptoms, especially the symptoms that make it hard to work. You should share this diary with your medical provider, so the provider can explain your symptoms and limitations to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Here are some MS symptoms that can affect the ability to work:
- Fatigue: Describe how fatigue affects your day. Let the doctor or nurse practioner know if not getting enough rest exacerbates or brings on other symptoms.
- Blurred Vision: Most work requires us to use our eyes. Let your medical provider know how often blurred vision affects your ability to drive, read, look at a computer screen, or engage in other activities.
- Numbness: Numbness and tingling in the hands can affect your ability to type, write, or handle objects. Numbness in the legs can affect the ability to safely stand or walk. Describe how numbness restricts your activities.
- Incontinence: Bowel or bladder incontinence can affect work productivity. If getting to the restroom on time is an issue, these problems can also be embarrassing. Discuss incontinence with your doctor.
- Pain: Joint pain and muscle spasms interfere with concentration and daily activities. While the pain may be relieved through medication, the sedating effects of the medication may make it impossible to work. Describe your level of pain and any limitations related to the discomfort.
- Mental Changes: MS is a disease of the brain and central nervous system. Patients with MS may experience mood changes, forgetfulness, and confusion. Discuss how mental changes affect your concentration and your ability to complete tasks.
Don’t limit your diary to describing symptoms. It is also a good idea to discuss any triggers that worsen your symptoms and the side effects of the medications you are taking. This will give your doctor or nurse practioner and the SSA a complete picture of how MS affects your life.
Applying for SSDI for MS can be difficult, especially when most days are bad days. The Omaha Social Security disability attorneys at Cuddigan Law can help you file your application and obtain the documentation needed to support your claim. We can increase your chances of approval while making the SSDI application process easier. To learn more about how our Nebraska SSDI lawyers can help you, request a free copy of Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Social Security Disability Claim, or contact Cuddigan Law 402-933-5405.