Pennsylvania Individuals Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis May Be Entitled to Social Security Benefits

Social Security Disability benefits are available to individuals with multiple sclerosis.  While some men and women suffering from symptoms of multiple sclerosis use walkers or wheelchairs, others experience long-term remissions and can work successfully.  Doctors may assess individuals with multiple sclerosis and determine that the symptoms do not prevent them from working full-time. In turn, this makes it challenging for those individuals to secure Social Security benefits.  However, there are ways for Pennsylvania Social Security claimants to strengthen a claim for benefits that may otherwise be borderline.

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Reporting symptoms to health providers is critical.  Doctors should be made aware of how multiple sclerosis affects daily tasks.  By documenting all of the medical symptoms and providing these records to the Social Security Administration, a claim for benefits will be strengthened.   Since disabilities are evaluated by Social Security according to medical criteria, it is important to particularly note the effects of multiple sclerosis on the musculoskeletal system, for example.

Loss of function that affects people impaired by multiple sclerosis can include a range of symptoms. Examples of symptoms that can specifically affect an ability to work include:

-Blurred Vision:  An inability to see or maintain hand/eye coordination regularly can affect any task.  Some individuals with multiple sclerosis cannot stare at a computer screen for prolonged periods of time.

-Numbness:  If numb hands, such as tingling (paresthesias), affect typing or writing, these can affect an ability to effectively work.

-Fatigue:  The physical and mental attention required to perform work tasks can be hindered by the tiredness experienced by those suffering from multiple sclerosis.

-Pain:  People with multiple sclerosis often experience joint or muscle spasms, and these can interfere with daily activities and an ability to concentrate.  Often, people require rest and sedation.  It can be difficult to sit for prolonged periods of time.

-Mental Effects:  Since multiple sclerosis affects the brain and the central nervous system, people with multiple sclerosis can suffer forgetfulness and mood changes. Additionally, the effect of multiple sclerosis on the immune system is severe, and emotional changes can make these symptoms worse.

Importance of Documenting Daily Activities for the Social Security Administration

The SSA will send claimants a form that asks them to document their problems. This “function report” may ask yes or no questions, with room to explain abilities.  It is important for those suffering from multiple sclerosis to indicate all of their limitations and to let the SSA know that in order to manage their daily life, they receive help from family or friends.  Strategies that are used to cope with symptoms of multiple sclerosis should be made clear.

When applying for disability benefits, many individuals choose to provide evidence from a third party.  The Social Security Administration may ask for another individual report about daily activities, and often, a family member is an ideal person to complete the form.  The purpose of providing this testimony is to help demonstrate how you function in a day or a week. Those familiar with the struggles of individuals living with multiple sclerosis are in the best position to provide strong testimony.

Finally, legal support is available for those applying for Social Security. At Needle Law, our Social Security Disability attorneys can help strengthen claims for benefits. We provide a free initial consultation and can be reached by calling (855) 687-4357 or completing our online form.

More Blog Posts:

Evaluating Symptoms in Disability Claims for Individuals in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Accident Lawyer Blog, August 2, 2017

Can Pennsylvania Residents Suffering from Heart Conditions Secure Social Security Disability Benefits?, Pennsylvania Accident Lawyer Blog, April 20, 2017