SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease. During ALS, muscles increasingly weaken and atrophy, due to the deterioration of motor neurons.
2) ALS, otherwise known as Maladie de Charcot, also goes by the popular name Lou Gehrig's Disease. The name originated in North America, after the New York Yankees baseball icon Lou Gehrig, who died with the disease at age thirty-seven in 1941.
3) Guitar genius Jason Becker and prominent physicist Stephen Hawking are the best-known living ALS patients.
4) ĎLimb onsetí is very common with ALS; nearly 75 percent of ALS sufferers experience it. Limb onset is when one or more body limbs (arms, legs) are affected by the disease. This can show up as difficulty running or walking, clumsiness, or problems using the hands to do simple tasks such as write and getting dressed.
5) Polyunsatured fats found in foods such as grains, halibut, salmon, herring, mackerel, soybeans and fish oil, have been shown to held decrease the risk of ALS.
6) ALS diagnosis can be challenging. First, the doctor must rule out other diseases. If no other diseases are present, signs and symptoms such as muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, and motor neuron signs in a single limb, must be assessed. There are no diagnostic tests for ALS, but regular examinations can determine whether the symptoms are getting progressively worse, as they do with ALS.
7) Although there are many clinical trials going on to find helpful treatments for ALS, there is currently only one FDA approved drug for ALS, called Riluzole. Riluzole canít reverse damage that is already done, but it can offer neuro protection and is thought to help extend survival time.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page