An individual living with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be eligible for either short-term or long-term benefits. People may use Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits based on the decision of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The SSA will consider an individual completely disabled due to multiple sclerosis when they experience functional disorganization in at least two or more limbs, such as arms and legs. As a result, you may receive approval for benefits if your ability to do repetitive actions is affected due to the loss of manual dexterity.

Is Multiple Sclerosis A Disability?

The short answer is yes: Multiple Sclerosis is considered a disability by the SSA if it lasts for twelve months or more. However, if an individual is diagnosed with the disorder, it does not necessarily mean that he or she will qualify for disability benefits or receive an allowance.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), having a physical and mental impairment that limits your work skills may result in multiple sclerosis Social Security Disability benefits. To be considered, one must prove that the condition of MS affects their ability to perform basic job functions.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, auto-immune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It impacts the central nervous system, including the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord, causing disability.

In individuals who have Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system targets myelin – a protective cover that lines nerve fibers. This prompts communication disturbances between the brain and other areas of the body, thus preventing signals from being effectively sent or received.

Common Types Of Multiple Sclerosis

The MS statistics show that 35.9 out of 100,000 people have a disability. MS is one of the neurological disorders and is classified into four fundamental types.

  • Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
  • Primary Progressive MS (PPMS)
  • Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS)
  • Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS)

One of the most prevalent MS types is Relapsing-Remitting, which comprises nearly 85% of all other types. PPMS makes up only 10% of the cases and is a rare MS disability. SPMS is also one of the most common types of MS disability. There may also be other types of MS disability, such as Progressive Relapsing, Inactive, or Burned-Out Disease.

MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Disability Symptoms

The symptoms of MS may differ for every patient, due to the location and severity of nerve fiber damage being different. As a result, some patients may lose their ability to walk; others may experience frequent remission.

The following are some of the common symptoms:

  • Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs
  • Electric-shock sensations in neck movements
  • Lack of coordination
  • Blurry vision
  • Vertigo
  • Problems with sexual, bowel, and bladder function
  • Mood disturbances 
  • Partial or complete loss of vision
  • Fatigue
  • Slurred speech 
  • Cognitive problems 
  • Prolonged double vision

 At this time, there is no cure for this disability; however, proper medical treatments may help to recover from frequent attacks.

Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis 

Although there is no cure for MS, some treatments may help reduce the frequency and intensity of attacks. These include medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and lifestyle changes.

  • Medications can be used to reduce inflammation, lessen the frequency of attacks and slow down the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. 
  • Physical therapy helps reduce fatigue, improve strength, and maintain mobility. It also reduces spasticity (muscle stiffness) and improves coordination. 
  • Occupational therapy helps patients to manage daily activities, such as driving and cooking. It also provides training on how to use assistive devices, like wheelchairs and scooters.
  • Making lifestyle changes such as eating healthier, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly can help cope with fatigue, maintain mobility, and reduce the frequency of attacks.

These are some of the treatments available for people with Multiple Sclerosis. It is important to consult with a physician to discuss the most suitable treatment option for you.

Can You Get A Disability For Multiple Sclerosis?

Yes, you can get SSDI or SSI benefits for multiple sclerosis. If you experience symptoms severe enough, you may be eligible for multiple sclerosis disability benefits. However, the aid may vary depending on your employment and health conditions.

If you are experiencing muscle weakness, low vision, or impaired movement due to your disability, you can receive disability benefits for Multiple Sclerosis. The disabling condition is listed in Section 11.09 of the Blue Book.

How To Apply For Disability In MS?

Multiple sclerosis disability benefits can be obtained through the Social Security Administration. To apply for such benefits, you should meet certain criteria and provide evidence of your disability.

The process involves filling out an application form and submitting relevant medical records. You may also be required to appear for a consultative examination. Additionally, it is important to ensure that your medical records are up-to-date and accurate.

Your healthcare provider may help you get the complete medical history of your disability. In addition, you can also assist in listing past treatments and specifying your medications.

You should also list your constraints and how medications benefit your health. Furthermore, you also need to describe your symptoms such as mood transformations, fatigue, tremors, and difficulty in concentration.

Evidence Needed To Prove Your MS Disability

You will need to list your symptoms and provide evidence to support them, such as the following:

  • Difficulty in moving your extremities, such as fingers, wrists, legs, shoulders, and others;
  • A problem when transitioning from sitting to a standing position;
  • Trouble maintaining balance while walking or standing;
  • And a difficulty using any assistive devices, such as walkers or crutches;
  • And all these limitations must last for at least three months after sustaining an injury.

Suppose you are submitting a health report from a medical specialist; in that case, it will be given more weight and your chances of getting disability with MS will increase. You can also discuss any complementary approaches you may be using.

What Happens When Your Disability Does Not Match The Ssa’s Criteria?

If you do not meet the SSA’s criteria, you could still be eligible for MS disability benefits if you can prove that your symptoms are debilitating and would prevent you from earning Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). It means that you can no longer do the same job that you were performing before or any other occupation, given your current condition.

If your application is rejected, you can appeal to the SSA for reconsideration. During this process, you may be asked to submit any additional medical evidence or attend another examination.

Applying for disability benefits with Multiple Sclerosis can be a complicated process. It is advisable to get help from a social security disability attorney to ensure that you get the disability benefits you deserve. They can help maximize your chances of getting the disability benefits and minimize the stress associated with the application process. Schedule a free evaluation today to discuss your case.