Can You Collect Disability Benefits If You Have Multiple Sclerosis?

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, aimed at raising awareness for the disease in communities and across the country.

The month is marketed through organizations like the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA). According to the nonprofit, there are hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from MS in America and almost 2.5 million people suffering from the disease worldwide.

MS destroys the protective covering surrounding a person’s nerves, reducing communication between his or her brain and his or her nerve pathways. Common symptoms of MS include visual problems, fatigue, difficulty with balance or coordination and impaired mobility. The disease is not fatal or contagious, but it can be physically debilitating. Some studies indicate that because of the physical toll it takes on victims, MS suffers may expect a life that is 5 to 10 years shorter than an unaffected person.

An exact cause of the disease is unknown—some scientists believe it is an autoimmune disease. Often, victims suffer from isolated attacks (of a relapsing form), which include neurological and psychiatric complications. The disease is usually discovered in people between the ages of 20 and 50, and is twice as common in women as men.

I Have Multiple Sclerosis. Do I Qualify For Disability Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists MS as a disabling condition that can prevent a person from working. This means that many victims are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

The SSA uses two different gauges by which to evaluate your work history, to determine if you qualify for SSDI benefits. The first test is the “Duration of Work Test,” while the second test is the “Recent Work Test.” These tests take into account how long a person has worked, as well as how recently, in order to determine benefits. Some MS sufferers might also be required to present medical evidence, including records of attacks.

If you have questions about your application for disability benefits, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys


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