Social Security Disability Benefits For Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) can severely limit your ability to work. Learn about the SSDI eligibility criteria, necessary medical documentation and symptom severity to prove your claim. This information can increase your chances of getting SSDI for MS.
SSDI Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Eligibility Guidelines
1. Determine if an individual is working (engaging in substantial gainful activity) according to the SSA definition. Earning more than $1,470 a month as an employee is enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits.
2. Conclude the MS disability must be severe enough to significantly limit one’s ability to perform basic work activities needed to do most jobs.
- Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling.
- Seeing, hearing and speaking.
- Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions.
- Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations.
- Dealing with changes in a routine work setting.
3. MS is listed under the category of impairments known as neurological. There are several ways to satisfy the listing criteria for MS (Medical Listing 11.09):
11.09 Multiple sclerosis, characterized by A or B:
A. Disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting 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 in one of the following:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information; or
- Interacting with others; or
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
- Adapting or managing oneself.
4. Explore the ability of an individual to perform work they have done in the past despite their multiple sclerosis. If the SSA finds that a person can do his past work, benefits are denied. If the person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.
5. Review age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the person can perform. To determine multiple sclerosis disability, the SSA enlists medical-vocational rules, which vary according to age.
For example, if a person is:
Under age 50 and, as a result of the symptoms of an MS disability, unable to perform what the SSA calls sedentary work, then the SSA will reach a determination of disabled. Sedentary work requires the ability to lift a maximum of 10 pounds at a time, sit six hours and occasionally walk and stand two hours per eight-hour day.
Age 50 or older and, due to the MS disability, limited to performing sedentary work, but has no work-related skills that allow him to do so, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
Age 55 or older and, due to the disability, limited to performing light work, but has no work-related skills that allow him to do so, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
Over age 60 and, due to the MS disability, unable to perform any of the jobs he performed in the last 15 years, the SSA will likely reach a determination of disabled.
Any age and, because of multiple sclerosis, has a psychological impairment that prevents even simple, unskilled work, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
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