Over many years, you've likely managed your multiple sclerosis (MS) as best as you can. But at some point, you may wonder if you need to apply for Social Security (SS) disability benefits to prepare for an uncertain future. You may ask if you should get your application now or wait until your symptoms have progressed to the point that you can no longer work.
Social Security Approval for MS Depends on Medical Evidence
In most cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not grant disability benefits for MS unless you are impaired to the point that you can no longer do your job. However, you do not have to be consistently impaired. Because symptoms of MS will often come and go, you may be able to obtain benefits because the unpredictability of your condition makes regular employment impossible.
The first step in getting your application approved is a positive diagnosis of MS. You will need to provide many different sources of medical evidence to the SSA that could include:
- MRI. The most conclusive test to diagnose MS is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. An MRI machine can detect demyelination, or plaque, caused by MS in up to 95 percent of patients.
- Spinal tap. A spinal tap, or lumbar puncture, can support a diagnosis of MS in some cases but is no longer used as a diagnostic tool as often.
- Secondary methods. If an MRI or spinal tap suggests a positive result for MS, your doctor may order additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. An electroencephalograph (EEG), computerized axial tomography (CT scans), or X-rays can act as supporting medical evidence.
- Vision testing. Eye tests are not used to confirm an MS diagnosis but can help the SSA understand the level of your impairment. You should undergo eye tests that can detect a loss of visual acuity or peripheral vision.
- Physician recommendations. Both your condition and your treatment will be considered when assessing the level of your disability, so make sure to outline your symptoms as well as limitations caused by your medication and appointments.
Contact Cuddigan Law for MS Disability Benefits
If you've been diagnosed with MS, and the SSA determines that your condition severely limits your physical and mental ability to do routine, typical activities and prevents you from holding a job, it may grant disability benefits. Cuddigan Law handles Social Security Disability claims for clients who need assistance with their applications or the appeals process if their claim was denied. Contact Cuddigan Law to speak with an intake specialist for free about your situation.
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