Friday, September 23, 2011

Applying for Disability Benefits with Multiple Sclerosis

If you have Multiple Sclerosis and your condition prevents you from working in San Francisco, you might consider filing for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists MS as a chronic illness that can cause disability, although it may be difficult to prove. The following are some symptoms that SSA will look for when determining whether or not you are disabled:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty seeing/damaged vision
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Impaired speech
  • Difficulty performing simple tasks
  • Vertigo
  • Bladder/Bowel dysfunction
  • Muscle weakness/muscle spasms

One way to be found disabled is to meet the medical listing (listing 11.09) under the Social Security guidelines. This is determined by a doctor contracted to review the medical evidence gathered on your claim.

Another way to be found disabled is to prove that you are unable to perform any significant work activity in the national economy. Again, this needs to be supported by medical evidence and doctors’ reports. Reports that are most helpful to a disability claim include notes suggesting work limitations or any functioning limitations.

Other areas that a Social Security disability examiner or judge will look at are limitations with sitting and standing. This is important because if you need to lie down and rest after sitting for an hour or so, you would not be able to perform significant work activity required by the economy.

A doctor willing to cooperate with your disability claim can also help; many physicians will be asked to complete a short questionnaire that includes specific information that Social Security is looking for. If there is not enough evidence, then a short examination will be set up with a doctor contracted by Social Security.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that produces different symptoms so a good way to help your claim is to keep track of each flare-up in a journal or medical log. The best way to ensure that your claim is handled properly is to hire an attorney. Your disability attorney will stay on top of all paperwork and requests from Social Security and make sure that all your medical records have been received. For more information, visit us at www.socialsecuritylaw.com.

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