Social Security Disability Resource Center

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.








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    Information to start with regarding Disability Claims

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    Facts about Mini Strokes and Filing for Disability
    Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
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    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