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Friday, July 12, 2013

Multiple Sclerosis and Social Security Disability Insurance


Here is an explanation of Social Security's five-step process to determine if an MS patient qualifies for SSDI:

1.  Determine if an individual is "working (engaging in substantial gainful activity)" according to the SSA definition. Earning more than $1,010 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:
  • Significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements or gait and station
  • Visual impairments with either best corrected vision in the better eye of 20/200 or less, marked contraction of peripheral visual fields to 10° or less from the point of fixation or visual efficiency in the better eye of 20% or less
  • Organic mental disorder with marked restrictions
  • Significant, reproducible fatigue of motor function with substantial motor 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. For example, an individual requiring assistive devices to ambulate secondary to MS would be a listing level impairment.
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