With its numerous symptoms and forms, multiple sclerosis (also known as MS) is an incurable, unpredictable, and often misunderstood chronic autoimmune disease. The symptoms tend to become more severe over time, and some people experience them episodically (at times, they become very sick; at other times, their symptoms fade away or disappear). If you have disabling MS symptoms that make it impossible for you to work, it is important that you learn how to get disability for multiple sclerosis.
How to Get Disability for Multiple Sclerosis
Due to the episodic nature of multiple sclerosis, many people fear that they won’t be able to receive the disability benefits they deserve. That is why it’s so important that you learn how to get disability for multiple sclerosis beforehand, to clear up your doubts and discover exactly what you’ll need to succeed. So if you want to know how to get disability for multiple sclerosis, be sure to read the following tips and tricks.
1. Record your symptoms and episodes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize MS as a severe, chronic disease that can impair a person’s ability to work. Although the disease qualifies, the SSA will still need to determine whether or not your symptoms are frequent enough and severe enough to warrant disability benefits. The SSA requires that your disability has lasted or is expected to last for a year. However, they also understand the episodic nature of multiple sclerosis. To aid your medical appointments and your disability application, start writing down what symptoms you have, when you have them, and how severe they are. Symptoms of MS can include blurry vision, hearing loss, fatigue, incontinence, numbness, joint pain, and mental impairment, amongst others. Realize that if you are symptom-free for six months or more, you may struggle to win your case.
2. Visit your doctor regularly. Share your symptom notes with your doctor and discuss how the symptoms have impacted your daily life and work. Your doctor needs to fully understand your condition so that he or she can back you up when you apply for disability benefits.
3. Check that you qualify. In order to satisfy the SSA’s impairment qualifications for MS, you will need to show proof of one of the following:
- “Disorganization of motor function; or
- Visual or mental impairment; or
- Significant, reproducible fatigue of motor function with substantial muscle weakness on repetitive activity, demonstrated on physical examination, resulting from neurological dysfunction in areas of the central nervous system known to be pathologically involved by the multiple sclerosis process.” (source)
4. Gather medical evidence. If you want to know how to get disability for multiple sclerosis, you will need to focus on the medical evidence first. You must be diagnosed with MS, of course. You should also have medical reports and test results from your doctor(s).
5. Complete the documentation thoroughly and honestly. When you complete the documentation required by the SSA, be sure to fill out each form completely and be honest about the severity of your symptoms. If your MS is episodic, you will probably need to explain some of your answers. Feel free to check “yes” and “no” on certain questions and then explain why, for example, you both can and can’t drive a car or prepare meals. During an episode, your symptoms might be too strong for these tasks, but at other times, they may be doable.
6. If your claim is denied, try again. Most disability applicants are denied after the initial claim. Don’t feel frustrated or dispirited if you need to make an appeal. Review your case, make any needed changes, and keep working toward your goal.
7. Work with a disability representative. Finally, people wondering how to get disability for multiple sclerosis will greatly benefit from working with a disability representative. Not only will they be familiar with the system and ready to answer any questions that you have, but they will also monitor your case and stand by you throughout the application and appeals process. Contact BTS Group, Inc. Our kind, experienced representatives would be happy to help you prepare your case. Please give us a call at 1-866-441-4BTS (4287) to schedule your free consultation.