Multiple Sclerosis and Social Security Disability
What You Should Know
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system – the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Myelin, a fatty tissue that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers of the CNS, moves electrical impulses through the nerve fibers. In MS, myelin is lost in multiple areas, and leaves behind scar tissue called sclerosis. The damages are known as plaques or lesions, and in some cases the nerve fiber itself is left damaged or broken.
When myelin or the nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, there is a disruption of the nerve’s ability to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain, and results in producing the various symptoms of MS.
If your MS prevents you from working you may qualify for Social Security benefits. Click here to apply.
What Causes MS
Researchers believe that the damage to myelin is a result of an abnormal response by the immune system. With MS, the myelin is attacked, though scientists do not yet know what signals the immune system to do this. Genes, viruses, trauma, and mental toxicity have been speculated as potential factors that cause MS.
Who Is Effected
Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS. Every week, about 200 people are diagnosed.
While MS can develop in anyone, typically people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and two to three times as many women as men are diagnosed with MS. Genetic factors, studies have indicated, make certain individuals more susceptible to MS than others, but environmental factors, including climate and vitamin D intake are possible explanations as well.
Generally MS occurs among people of northern European descent, though African, Asian and Hispanics are not immune. MS affects around 2.5 million individuals worldwide.
MS symptoms are unpredictable and differ from each person and each case. Loss of balance and muscle coordination that causes a difficulty in walking can be experienced by one victim, while another person with MS could experience slurred speech and tremors. Some symptoms will come and go over the course of the disease, while others can be longer lasting.
In order to qualify for social security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration states on their website that a person with multiple sclerosis must exhibit the following symptoms:
- Disorganized motor function,
- Visual or mental impairment, or
- Reproducible fatigue, or muscle weakness caused by repetitive activity
A doctor must diagnose must examine the patient and conclude that sclerosis of the nervous system is causing the disability, and that the symptoms are not related to a less permanent disorder.
Because Multiple Sclerosis affects motor function and physical resilience, you may find yourself unable to work, and your quality of life will suffer. You may be entitled to social security disability benefits, but the application process can be complicated, and your first application may be denied. However, do not lose hope: you can appeal denied applications several times. The lawyers at Strom Law, LLC have experience with social security disability law, and will help you appeal any claims you have made that have been denied.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis issues, don’t hesitate to contact our disability lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation.