Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

A multiple sclerosis diagnosis can result in permanent disability

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2017 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Illness

The human body is vulnerable to a wide range of diseases and disorders. Some of them have short-term symptoms, while others persist for life. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can lead to lifelong disability because it affects the brain and spinal cord. The condition involves your immune system attacking the outer layer of nerve cells. This, in turn, creates a wide range of symptoms.

There are also several kinds of MS that have different prognoses. Some people experience short-lived attacks, while others rarely experience remission between these debilitating medical events.

Depending on the nature of symptoms, it may become impossible to work during an attack. After a period of recovery, depending on the nature of your work, you may be able to return. For a substantial number of people with MS, however, a change in career is necessary, perhaps resulting in a loss of income.

Some are simply unable to return to work. For these people, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can endanger their ability to retain a home and provide for themselves. They may need to apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

MS symptoms can keep someone from working

Symptoms and their severity vary wildly between patients. The rate at which the disease progresses, as well as the success of any treatments, can also have an impact. While each case is unique, many people with MS may struggle with getting to work during an attack or while they are recovering from one. The worse and more frequent these events are, the harder it is to sustain a regular income.

Some of the most common symptoms associated with MS are:

  • dizziness
  • fatigue/exhaustion
  • double vision
  • partial or complete loss of vision
  • issues with the bowel and bladder
  • slurred speech
  • numbness in the limbs, often only on one side of the body at a time
  • pain described as tingling or like electric shocks

It is easy to see how, depending on severity and how long they last, these symptoms could present issues for people at work. In a best case scenario, they reduce focus and the quality of work. In other cases, they could put people, including the person with MS, in danger.

SSDI offers protection for those with MS and other debilitating conditions

The whole reason that SSDI exists is to protect the basic rights of those with debilitating conditions. For those who get diagnosed with MS, SSDI can help ensure a place to live and access to other basic needs. If the symptoms of MS prevent someone from working, the condition could be a permanent disability. MS is often found to be a qualifying condition for disability benefits, although many factors impact how a claim for SSDI is handled.