While multiple sclerosis (MS) patients may continue working for years after their diagnosis, the disease is often aggravated by stress. Both mental and physical labor can bring on physical symptoms, making it nearly impossible to tell when the benefits of working outweigh the problems caused by your job.
MS Patients May Suffer Cognitive Conditions That Make it Difficult to Work
In addition to pain, immobility, and other physical symptoms, MS sufferers commonly experience mental changes caused by chronic illness, side effects of medications, frustration with their limitations, or even the condition itself. Patients may suffer mood changes, confusion, irritability, and forgetfulness. In addition, many people struggle with extreme fatigue and the need to rest for long periods.
If you are experiencing cognitive or emotional changes as a result of MS, you may be eligible for Social Security disability payments. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate your ability to work despite your condition. This is called your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC for mental side effects may include your:
- Cognitive capacity. Memory loss and lack of concentration are common in MS patients, so you should outline any limitations you have experienced in your ability to remember, understand, and carry out instructions. If you have difficulty sleeping or are so tired that you have difficulty finishing tasks, your sleep disturbances and fatigue may qualify you for benefits.
- Social capacity. Extreme mental or emotional changes may make it difficult to get along with others or conform to social conventions in the workplace. Also, anxiety about your condition can make going into your workplace unnecessarily stressful. Additionally, depression is a common symptom of MS, and it's important that this be documented in your claim.
- Learning capacity. The SSA will consider if there are any other jobs you could do before they approve you for benefits.
Call Cuddigan Law for MS Disability Benefits
Many people are denied SSDI the first time they apply. Usually, this is because they don't provide all the necessary documentation to support their diagnosis. Let Cuddigan Law help you. We'll assist in documenting your condition, and we'll work with your treating medical providers to describe the full extent of your limitations. We know exactly how much these disability benefits mean to you. If we accept your case, we will take all steps within the law to help you get them. Learn more in our free booklet, Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Handle Your Social Security Disability Claim. If MS is making it impossible for you to work, contact Cuddigan Law to speak with an intake specialist for free.