Improving Your Chances For Obtaining Benefits
Its particularly important to see a psychologist or psychiatrist who can document the progression of your illness, because this can sometimes be the only official record of your PTSD. If you live with or frequently see family members or friends, ask them to document your behavior over time as well. Since severity is the key to determining whether or not your PTSD disorder qualifies you for benefits, tracking the frequency and nature of your symptoms can help your case.
- Keep a detailed journal, including a calendar of notes about how you feel each day;
- Record any unusual activities you could not do on any given day;
- Keep a detailed history of your current and past medications, as well as any side effects that you experience;
- See a health care professional regularly and take the medication that he/she gives you so that he/she can support your application for benefits;
- Ask your doctor or other health care professional to track the course of your symptoms and to keep a record of any evidence of fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, unusual behavior, or other hard-to-document symptoms;
- Keep records of how your illness affected you on the job.
Document Your Daily Activities Fully
During the initial stages of your claim, SSA will send you a form asking you to document your problems and how they affect you . For example, you may be asked, “Do you drive a car?” You can check both the “yes” and “no” box or neither and explain your variable or limited abilities. For example, you may be able to drive just fine short distances on better days. Other times, you may not leave the house because of fatigue, blurred vision, or spasmsâmuch less drive. Some days, you may be able to cook a meal and other days, you may be too tired or unable to stand long enough. No one is going to come and take away your license or other privileges if you admit to such limitations, so don’t be afraid to let SSA know about them.
Along these same lines, let SSA know other ways you manage in daily life. For example, some of my clients with MS get help from families and friends caring for their children when they weren’t feeling well. Others would rest on a couch or bed when they were tired and supervise their child safely playing or watching TV in a closed, child-proofed room. Let the SSA know your strategies for coping with MS.
If you’re still working, keep track of how MS is affecting your attendance and productivity. This can assist with establishing a decline in your functioning at work, and makes it easier for Social Security to note the decline you had in your work ability.
Money And Financial Support
If you have to stop work or work part-time because of your MS, you may find it difficult to cope financially.
You may be entitled to one or more of the following types of financial support:
- If you have a job but can’t work because of your illness, you’re entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer.
- If you don’t have a job and can’t work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance.
- If you’re aged 64 or under and need help with personal care or have walking difficulties, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance.
- If you’re aged 65 or over, you may be able to get Attendance Allowance.
- If you’re caring for someone with MS, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
- You may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home or a low household income.
My Doctor Explained It Was Time To Go On Disability
I finally went to my boss and explained what many people already seemed to know, that something was wrong. Next thing I knew, I was somehow at home and my parents were at my house taking me to see my MS specialist. So much at that time is a blur to me . More MRIs and tests happened, and the next thing I knew, my doctor was trying to explain to me that it was probably time to go on disability. I of course thought he meant short term, Id been on short term for a relapse before. Thats not what he meant though. These were consistent issues that were getting worse. To him, it appeared that I was slipping into Secondary-Progressive MS, a form of MS that doesnt have the dramatic variation in symptoms. Instead, its a slow, steady progression of symptoms that may or may not have relapses.
Steady Support When You Need It Most
From one day to the next, your multiple sclerosis symptoms may worsen or ease. You could cope with it so much better if you had a source of income, at least, that remains reliable.
Social Security Disability benefits can provide that. They come with monthly checks to help you cover your essential costs and live a life focused on wellness instead of money stress.
MS disrupts every part of your life. When it means you cant work anymore, thats when you may qualify for disability benefits.
But the Social Security Disability process is difficult. Most people get denied.
You can get help from a disability lawyer with experience filing claims for multiple sclerosis. Your lawyer will take care of the legwork so you can rest, knowing that someone capable is looking out for your financial future.
In Houston and around Texas, the Makris Law Firm stands up for people like you. Weve helped thousands of people, with MS and all kinds of work-ending impairments, for over 40 years.
Using An Rfc To Prove Multiple Sclerosis Is A Disability
Another way to prove that Multiple Sclerosis is a disability is to use what is called a Residual Functional Capacity test. An RFC is useful if you do not meet the exact criteria in the SSA Blue Book, but are still unable to work due to your condition.
An RFC is a series of tests that will help create a clear picture of what you can and cannot do in the workplace. Comparing the RFC to your daily responsibilities is another way to demonstrate to the SSA that your condition has left you unable to work.
Winning Disability Benefits For Multiple Sclerosis
Are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis preventing you from doing your job? Have you finally decided to apply for short or long-term disability benefits, or are you facing a disappointing denial of your claims and dont know where to go from here?
This article is discusses the unique challenges of winning disability benefits for Multiple Sclerosis in Canada. It is part of our series looking at medical conditions and disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Claims
If MS causes you to become disabled, you may also be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Unlike disability insurance companies, the Social Security Administration has criteria specific to evaluating multiple sclerosis. Medical Listing 11.09 states that an individual is found disabled if they prove A. Disorganization of motor function as described in 11.04B; or B. Visual or mental impairment as described under the criteria in 2.02, 2.03, 2.04, or 12.02; or C. Significant, reproducible fatigue of motor function with substantial muscle weakness or 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.
Even if you do not meet Listing 11.09, you may still be found disabled if you can prove that you are 1) not performing substantial gainful activity and are otherwise eligible for either SSDI or SSI benefits, 2) MS and other conditions are severe impairments that cause work restrictions, 3) your work restrictions prevent the performance of past relevant work, and 4) your work restrictions disable you from performing any other substantial gainful activity.
I Never Knew Ms Could Impact My Cognitive Function
I expected my life choices to help me. I thought going to school and becoming a software engineer would be an extreme advantage to me. I foolishly thought, ok, well, even if I cant walk, I can still use my mind. I work with my brain, so I should be OK! I had no idea the way that MS could and would impact my cognitive abilities. I didnt realize just how much of an effect that fatigue could have either. Bottom line, even as someone who should have known better, I still was unprepared for what the disease would do to me.
Q: What Else Do I Need To Know About Maintaining Health Insurance When Disabled
A: Insurance benefits can be lost once the person with MS stops working. It is important to encourage patients maintain insurance through withtheir employers COBRA benefits if they can afford the cost after they have stop working. Two years after a person is approved for SSDI disability, health coverage will be provided through Medicare. In the meantime, your patients will need to seek alternative sources of coverage. Non-profit hospitals also have charity care programs for people who have lost health coverage and fall under certain income guidelines. Advise your patients to Check with a financial counselor to see if if they qualify. Some medications can be obtained through specific programs either with the manufacturer or with non profit agencies such as The National Organization for Rare Diseases . Encourage your patients to investigate such support.
What Medical Criteria Do I Need To Meet For Benefits
The SSA awards benefits to applicants whose medical conditions are severe enough to prevent them from working. In order to determine if a medical condition qualifies as disabling, the organization maintains a list of qualifying medical conditions called the Blue Book. If your medical condition is in the Blue Book, your condition will qualify as a disability, as long as you meet all the criteria listed.
Multiple sclerosis is in Section 11.09 of the Blue Book. The SSA considers the condition disabling if you suffer from a disorganization in motor function that limits your ability to stand up, balance, or use your upper extremities. If you do not meet this requirement, you can still qualify if your condition markedly limits your physical functioning and causes one of the following side effects:
- Trouble comprehending and remembering information;
- Problems interacting with others socially;
- An inability to concentrate, maintain a steady pace, or persist long enough to complete a task; or
- Issues adapting to new situations or managing yourself.
Our attorneys can examine your medical history to help determine if you meet the SSAs medical criteria for benefits.
Care And Support Services
It’s worth taking time to think about your specific needs and what you might need to achieve the best quality of life.
For example, if your balance and co-ordination are affected, you may want to think about equipment and home adaptations.
It may be useful to read your guide to care and support.
It includes information and advice on:
It Is Important That Your Insurer To Understand Your Limitations And Restrictions
- What are you unable to do?
- Have you stopped driving or doing tasks that require concentration and focus?
- Do you need help with everyday tasks?
- Do you have difficulty with mobility due to balance/gait issues or require a walking aid?
- Have you developed memory difficulties/other signs of cognitive impairment?
- Do you notice symptoms of depression or other psychological symptoms?
Your doctor may impose restrictions because you have physical and or cognitive/psychological impairments because of your illness and it is necessary that these be communicated to the insurance company.
Who Can Claim Pip
You can claim Personal Independence Payment if youre aged between 16 and the State Pension Age.
If youve reached State Pension Age and have care needs, you can claim Attendance Allowance instead. Children aged 15 or under with MS can claim DLA until they turn 16.
In some parts of Scotland, under 18s can claim Child Disability Payment instead of DLA.
You can claim PIP once you have had problems with daily living or mobility for at least 3 months, and you expect those problems to continue for at least another 9 months.
You can get PIP even if:
- you are working
- you have not paid any National Insurance contributions
- you are getting other benefits, such as Universal Credit
- your partner or husband or wife works
- you have savings
- you live alone and no-one is providing care for you
- you already have someone, a partner for example, providing care for you
- you dont want anyone to provide care for you
If you’re unsure whether or not you qualify, call the claim line on 0800 917 2222 .
How To Win Long Term Disability Insurance Claims Based On Ms
LTD claims for multiple sclerosis are often denied by insurance carriers. Many claims wind up in litigation. Case law is filled with accounts of insurance companies such as Liberty Mutual, Aetna, Hartford, and many others that have unfairly denied claims based on MS. Denied claims that are not appealed with attorney representation are mostly abandoned in frustration.
Insurers have various ways to punch holes in a claimants initial LTD application. For instance, insurance companies wont deny that you have MS. But they will maintain that your MS does not prevent you from doing your job, or any job for that matter. Also, many MS symptoms are self-reported and therefore ignored for the most part by the insurance company. Examples include fatigue, cognitive limitations, memory loss, depression, and medication side effects.
If you are filing an initial application for disability benefits with your insurer, you need to develop your claim with as much medical and vocational evidence as possible.
If an insurance company has denied your MS-related claim, the best way to reverse their decision is to appeal their denial item by item. Be proactive, as you may need to further test for and document all of your functional limitations both physical and cognitive. Supporting testimony from colleagues, friends and family members who have witnessed the disabling symptoms firsthand can strengthen your case, as will expert witness testimony.
Q: What Happens When A Person Becomes Permanently Disabled From Work
A: Many invisible symptoms and aspects of the work environment may make it difficult for health care providers to determine an individuals work ability during the course of a routine clinic visit. Patients should be encouraged to discuss this issue with the health care provider when work becomes an issue. It is important to address this issue before poor performance interferes with work. When persons with MS face the decision to apply for permanent disability it is important for their health care team to provide the support and documentation to guide them through this process.
Most individuals who have worked do count on Social Security Disability as their source of income, which is administered by the Social Security Administration , but there are a number of other types of disability listed below.
Defining Disability: Based on the SSA publication, Disability Evaluation under Social Security 2003, disability is defined as The inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
Long Term Disability options all have different criteria to trigger benefits:
How To Qualify For Ssdi Benefits
SSDI is a government-run insurance program for U.S. workers. To qualify for benefits, you must have paid sufficient premiums via payroll taxes on your paycheck. Before approving your application, the SSA will examine your age, work history, and monthly income to see if you qualify for SSDI.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits under the program, you need have a certain number of work credits accumulated from your years in the workforce. Our attorneys can examine your work history to determine if you have earned enough credits to qualify for SSDI benefits.
Which Disability Benefits For Ms Do I Qualify For
Once you find yourself in the position of having to claim long-term disability benefits for MS in Canada, its crucial to know that you might be eligible for one of two types of disability benefits if you have been working recently.These two types of disability benefits are the Canada Pension Plan disability benefits and the long-term disability insurance benefits.
CPP disability for Multiple Sclerosis
You might not be aware that the CPP, designed to support you and your family after you retire, also covers disability benefits that start once you become disabled and last until you are 65.After that, these disability benefits are converted into regular pension payments. But in order to be eligible for the CPP disability benefits, you have to have worked for four out of the past six years and paid payroll taxes. This can sometimes be difficult for MS patients, who might have worked part-time or taken short-term leaves in the past to cope with their illness.And there are other conditions, too the CPP requires you to prove that your disability is both prolonged and severe, leaving you completely unable to work. This can be difficult when it comes to an illness such as MS, which often comes and goes in waves when it first appears in a patient.
Long-term Disability Insurance Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis
What Happens In Multiple Sclerosis
In MS, the immune system of body attacks the Central Nervous System, which includes brain and spinal cord. As a result of MS, the myelin sheath covering on neurons gets damaged. This exposes the nerve fiber and causes problems in the information flow through nerves. With time, MS can lead to the permanent damage to nerves.
Prediction Of Physical Or Mental Impairment At 12 Months
The research question for this topic was: What clinical indicators, including particularly timecourse of impairments, predict physical or mental impairment at 12 months?
Analytic approach. There were four main categories of clinical predictors of particular interest to the analysis:
Our evaluation was limited to those studies with a time course of 12 months , a timeframe which treating physicians would not ordinarily consider an important decision point. The course of MS has typically been studied over time horizons of many years.
Discussion. The ability to predict the future course of MS has been an active area of research; however, most studies examining disease course do so over relatively long time periods . The limited predictive ability of some multivariate models has not been validated in populations other than those in which the models were developed; thus, their value for predicting disability has yet to be determined.
Applying For Ssdi Benefits And How Much You May Receive
Your monthly payments for SSDI benefits will depend on your eligibility. If your SSDI benefits claim is denied, you might qualify for SSI benefits. SSDI benefits arent easy to get as it may depend on the amount of money you have earned and paid into social security over time.
The average disability benefit in 2021 is $1,277. The maximum amount is $3,148.
Anybody who was assessed as being eligible for SSI in 2021 will receive $794 for one month. How much you receive depends on any other income you receive and the assets you own.
For Veterans Multiple Sclerosis Is A Presumptive Condition
Under VA rules, MS is a presumptive condition, and benefits are based on the presumption that the disability is service-connected.
Presumptive means that you do not need a nexus statement. If you were diagnosed with MS during your service in the military or within seven years after honorable discharge you may be eligible for disability compensation without having to prove that your MS is linked to your service.
The VA allows this seven-year presumptive period because MS is unpredictable and mimics many other diseases, and diagnoses for veterans cases may not happen until many years of symptoms and treatment regimens have passed. Neurologic symptoms occurring within seven years of discharge, regardless of date of diagnosis, can be used to support service-connection for MS.
If diagnosis occurs after the seven-year presumptive period, you may still be service-connected for MS. But you must first create a timeline that supports your entitlement to service connection.
If you need a reconsideration of your MS-related veterans claim, or if you need help establishing service connection, call our firm without delay. Your best option is to talk to a VA-accredited lawyer who can help you take the necessary steps to prove your case to the VA.
Is Multiple Sclerosis Considered A Disability By Social Security
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Multiple Sclerosis And Your Ability To Perform Sedentary Work
Multiple Sclerosis may not immediately affect your ability to work if your employer is able to reasonably accommodate it. For example, you may be able to move workspaces to accommodate reduced mobility, or you may be able to use adaptive devices to make up for reduced vision or dexterity. However, your condition can change over time, and sometimes many of the symptoms of MS prohibit sufferers from performing jobs which are sedentary in nature. Sedentary jobs are jobs which typically require you to sit in one place for several hours at a time.
Many sedentary jobs involve a need for manual dexterity. Many who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis are unable to perform this kind of work due to the damaged communication between their brains and their hands.
In addition, symptoms such as chronic headaches and mental disorders are common amongst multiple sclerosis sufferers, and any of these conditions can be considered disabling if they are severe enough to hinder you from performing work for which you are qualified or could be trained.
Ability To Work And Multiple Sclerosis
Several symptoms of multiple sclerosis are severe enough to stop someone from being able to work in the labor market. If an individual is able to work full-time with MS without any complications, he or she will not qualify for disability benefits. This is because the SSAs definition of disability states that the condition must be severe enough to prevent an individual from engaging in substantial gainful activity or in other words, earning more than $1,130 per month in income. If an applicant is unable to earn SGA due to their MS, he or she may qualify for disability benefits.
Due to the wide variety of symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, people diagnosed with MS may not meet any of the listings described above but is not capable of working due to the severe symptoms. In these cases, the SSA will evaluate the persons ability to work a job that requires little to no education or training to perform . If the SSA finds that the individual is incapable of performing unskilled work, he or she will most likely will become approved as long as they meet the technical requirements.
How Ms Limits Your Ability To Work
If you’re an adult and are not found to be disabled under the above disability listing, Social Security will evaluate your ability to perform any job based on your current impairments, age, education, and work experience. Social Security will first assess your physical, mental, and sensory limitations using a Residual Functional Capacity form.
Social Security will create a physical RFC for you that includes any physical and sensory limitations you have. It will go over your ability to sit, stand, and walk, as well as your capacity to lift, carry, and push or pull items. For those with MS, some of the physical impairments that could appear on your RFC are difficulty with balance and walking, numbness and weakness in the arms and legs, and tremors or involuntary movements. Partial hearing loss, low vision, and speech problems, which are common in MS, should be included in the RFC.
Social Security will also create a mental RFC for you that includes any limitations you have in your ability to understand, remember, and carry out instructions. Individuals with MS can suffer from memory loss and have difficulty concentrating on tasks, so if you have these limitations, you’ll want to make sure they appear in your medical record so Social Security can include them in your mental RFC. Either of these mental impairments may prevent a return to work if they are considered severe enough.