Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, currently effects approximately 400,000 people in the United States. Multiple Sclerosis News Today. However, the exact amount of sufferers is difficult to quantify since the CDC does not require physicians to report new cases and because symptoms can be invisible. National MS Society. The symptoms of MS typically include overwhelming fatigue, visual disturbances, altered sensation, and difficulties with mobility. The symptoms are unpredictable and vary in type and severity from one person to another and even in the same person over time. If you have been diagnosed with MS and are unable to work, you may potentially quality for disability benefits.
An individual that suffers from MS will be eligible for disability benefits if he or she can demonstrate that they are unable to perform their past work or other work as a result of their symptoms. Additionally, MS is a “listed impairment”. Social Security Administration regulations currently including listings for a number of severe impairments. An individual may be able to demonstrate that they are disabled without necessarily demonstrating that they can no longer work if the clinical findings set forth in the “listing” can be established.
Multiple Sclerosis is currently Listing 11.09. This listing is part of a larger subset of listings classified as neurological disorders. There are also listings in this section for cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Parkinsonian syndrome, and others. The listing for multiple sclerosis reads as follows:
11.09 Multiple sclerosis, characterized by A or B:
A. Disorganization of motor function in two extremities (see 11.00D1), resulting in an extreme limitation (see 11.00D2) in the ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities.
B. Marked limitation (see 11.00G2) in physical functioning (see 11.00G3a), and in one of the following:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information (see 11.00G3b(i)); or
- Interacting with others (see 11.00G3b(ii)); or
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace (see 11.00G3b(iii)); or
- Adapting or managing oneself (see 11.00G3b(iv)).
A skilled disability attorney can you make a successful argument before an administrative law judge that your medical records demonstrate the criteria set-forth above. The judge in your case may also have a medical expert familiar with the impairment listings testify in your case. He or she will provide an opinion as to whether or not your medical records demonstrate the criteria in the listing. A skilled social security disability attorney will be able to successful cross-examine a medical expert that testifies unfavorably.