There are many different illnesses and injuries that could prevent you from working. Even relatively simple injuries, like broken bones, could mean weeks or months away from work. Thankfully, there are some protective insurance options available, including short-term disability insurance and workers' compensation. However, for those with severe and progressive conditions, long-term support may be necessary.
For people with progressive or degenerative conditions, applying for Social Security Disability is often a wise choice. These conditions often make it impossible to provide care for yourself, let alone to continue working a full-time job.
There are many severe degenerative conditions
Degenerative conditions, also called neurodegenerative diseases or degenerative nerve diseases, can impact many critical bodily functions. Everything from balance and movement to breathing and mental focus can decline over time. In many cases, these conditions are genetic, meaning that the people who suffer from these diseases inherit the condition from their parents. All too often, these conditions only get diagnosed when symptoms become obvious and severe.
Parkinson's disease is a well-known degenerative condition. It involves an inability of the brain to produce enough dopamine. Symptoms may start with mild trembling or stiffness and progress over time to prevent sufferers from safely walking or even talking. As the condition worsens, victims may require home health support or even skilled nursing care.
Other common neurodegenerative conditions include Huntington's disease, spinal muscular atrophy, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Most of these conditions do not have cure. There may be treatments to reduce symptoms or slow progression, but victims will likely have to deal with them for the rest of their lives.
Many neurodegenerative conditions qualify for SSD coverage
Social Security Disability is meant to help those who suffer from permanent, severe conditions. Neurodegenerative diseases certainly fall into this category. For people diagnosed with severe medical issues, such as Parkinson's disease, Social Security Disability can help ensure a steady stream of income when the condition no longer allows someone to work. The income available to qualifying applicants can help maintain a home and offset some medical expenses.
There is currently a massive backlog of Social Security Disability applications in the United States. For those recently diagnosed with a neurodegenerative condition, applying for benefits as soon as possible is often a wise choice. It could take many months or even several years to finally connect with the Social Security Disability benefits you need.
For those whose symptoms are already severe enough to impact their ability to work, walk or stand upright, SSD may be the best option. Those who apply should expect a long turnaround time on the application and prepare themselves for the potential of a denial. If your initial application gets rejected, you will have the right to appeal.