If you've had a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis for many years, you may have been able to manage just fine. Maybe your leg felt numb at times, or sometimes you were tired, or maybe you sometimes suffered from occasional blurry vision. But if your symptoms have become more severe — your muscle spasms are increasing, or you have trouble typing or holding a pen because your hands shake — you may no longer be able to do your job and may be able to get multiple sclerosis disability benefits.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
MS is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and produces symptoms throughout the body. Symptoms include:
- Vision problems, including blurriness, double vision, and eye pain
- Hearing loss
- Fuzzy thinking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems remembering
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of balance
- Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, or legs
- Tremors in the arms and legs
- Weakness in the arms or legs
- Speech problems
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing
- Frequent urination
Qualifying for MS Disability Benefits in Nebraska
MS is generally a progressive disease, which means that the symptoms get worse with time until, eventually, they become debilitating. Patients with advanced multiple sclerosis may be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
To qualify for multiple sclerosis disability benefits, you must show that your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months. This can be hard for those with MS because most people with this disease have periods of severe symptoms, but they also have periods with little or no symptoms. Because the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that MS is an episodic disease, the SSA will evaluate the frequency and length of your episodes, as well as your health during and between episodes.
The easiest way to qualify for benefits is to meet a Blue Book listing. MS is listed under Section 11.09 in Neurological Disorders. To be eligible for disability under this category, you must satisfy either "A" or "B":
A. Disorganization of motor function in two extremities that results in an extreme limitation in the ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities
B. Marked limitation in physical functioning, and in one of the following:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
- Adapting or managing oneself
If you don't meet these qualifications, you can still be approved for SSDI for MS. You may apply under other listings such as loss of hearing, loss of vision, motor difficulties, or loss of speech, or you can show that your symptoms are equal in severity to those described in the MS listing.
If you're not found to be disabled under a disability listing, the SSA will evaluate your ability to hold a job based on your current impairments, age, education, and work experience.
Call Cuddigan Law If You Need Multiple Sclerosis Disability Benefits in Omaha
Many people are denied SSDI the first time they apply. This is not always because they don't qualify; rather, it's often 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.