What do I need to qualify for MS disability benefits?

woman with MS cane and wheelchair

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered a qualifying disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, a diagnosis of MS is not enough to show that you are disabled.

MS is a progressive disease, and patients with early-stage MS may have few symptoms. They are usually able to continue working for years or even decades after the diagnosis. However, the symptoms progress with time. In some patients, MS becomes completely debilitating and prevents any type of work activity.

How the SSA Evaluates MS Applicants

When evaluating an MS applicant for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the SSA will first look to see if the applicant meets the impairment criteria listing 11.09 (multiple sclerosis) in the Blue Book. An applicant who meets a listing is automatically approved for SSDI.

To qualify, you must provide evidence that you experience disorganization of motor function in two extremities that limit your ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities. However, if you don't meet the MS criteria in the Blue Book listing, the SSA will consider your age, education, and work experience and will assign you a residual functional capacity (RFC) level—a medical assessment of the type of work you can do. They will look at marked functional limitation in the following areas:

  • Interacting with others
  • Concentrating or maintaining pace
  • Understanding, remembering, or applying information
  • Adapting or managing yourself

The evidence you provide must show how these limitations interfere with your ability to work or prevent you from working at all. If the SSA determines that you can't do any of the work you've done in the past or any other type of work, you will be approved for disability benefits.

Contact Cuddigan Law for MS Disability Benefits

If you've been diagnosed with MS, it's still up to you to prove how this disease affects your ability to work. Many people who are unable to work are denied SSDI because they haven't provided adequate documentation about their disability. Obtaining legal representation from a skilled and experienced Social Security disability attorney is your best chance of submitting a successful disability claim.

Contact Cuddigan Law to get help filing your claim. Our disability attorneys can help you document your condition, and we'll file your application in our office. If you've been denied SSDI for MS, don't give up. You have sixty days to appeal, and our attorneys can assist you. If you're seeking help with your disability claim, contact Cuddigan Law to speak with an intake specialist for free.