Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Applying for disability with Multiple Sclerosis, MS

Social Security disability is based upon residual functional capacity, simply what an individual is able to do in spite of the limitations imposed upon them by their disability conditions. Consequently, an individual with MS may have a good chance of getting Social Security disability.

Individuals who have multiple sclerosis are evaluated under section 11, the neurological section of the Social Security Disability List of Impairments, referred to, simply, as the listings. MS is specifically given consideration under impairment listing 11.09.

The Social Security disability handbook evaluates MS under these criterions: motor disturbance, visual or mental impairment, and muscle weakness with repetitive movements. Lets take a look at how each of the criteria is evaluated.

1. Disorganization of motor function: this is described as severe and persistent motor dysfunction in two extremities that affect gross and fine motor movements or an individualís gait or stance.

2. Visual impairment: this involves impairment of an individual's central visual acuity (the disability standard for acuity is defined as vision in the better eye as being 20/200 or worse, even after best correction), contraction of peripheral visual fields in the better eye, or loss of visual efficiency.

3. Mental impairment: an individual must exhibit the loss of specific cognitive abilities or have affective changes with one of the following: personality changes, mood disturbance, emotional changes (anger management, crying), impairment in impulse control, or loss of measured intellectual ability of at least 15 IQ points. One of these problems must result in marked restriction in at least two of the following: restriction of an individual's daily activities, difficulties with social functioning, or difficulties in maintaining concentration, or multiple episodes of decompensation.

4. Muscle weakness with repetitive movement: an individual must exhibit motor function fatigue with muscle weakness when performing a lot of activity. This fatigue must be verified by a physical examination and result from a dysfunction of certain areas of the central nervous system associated with MS.

If an individual suffers from a significant physical or mental impairment as the result of MS, their residual functional capacity is likely to be very limited.

If your MS has prevented you from performing substantial work activity for the past twelve months or you expect it to prevent your work activity for twelve months, you may be entitled to Social Security disability.

Note: residual functional capacity can be measured on an RFC form. RFC forms are typically submitted by attorneys at disability hearings; however, an RFC form can also be submitted by a claimant or the claimant's representative at any stage of the process.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Related Body System Impairments:

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI with Multiple Sclerosis MS
    Why Is It Hard to be Found Disabled for Social Security Disability or SSI for Seizures?
    Do You Automatically Get Approved For Disability If You Had A Stroke?
    Facts about Mini Strokes and Filing for Disability
    Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
    Seizure Disorder, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
    Why is Charcot-marie-tooth not on the Social Security Disability list of impairments?
    Charcot-marie-tooth disease and Filing for Disability
    Social Security Disability SSI and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    Dystonia and Filing for Disability
    Dysautonomia and Filing for Disability
    Grand Mal Seizures and Filing for Disability
    Narcolepsy, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
    Epilepsy and Filing for Disability
    Hydrocephalus and Filing for Disability
    Memory Loss and Filing for Disability
    Facts about Stroke and Filing for Disability
    What conditions will qualify for disability in Missouri?
    How much can you get for disability in Missouri?
    Disability requirements and criteria in Missouri

    Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
    What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria