The Social Security Administration considers multiple sclerosis (MS) a qualifying condition. This means that a person who is diagnosed with MS will be automatically approved for SSDI if she meets certain criteria that are listed in the Social Security Blue Book.
Many people with MS will not meet those criteria, but this does not mean they need to give up on SSDI for MS. It simply means that they will need to work a little harder to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) the impact that MS has on their lives. Here are some things that you can do to support your case.
First of all, our New Hampshire disability lawyers suggest that you keep a diary of your symptoms. Describe your symptoms and any limitations you have. If numbness in your legs makes it difficult to sit or stand, write about it. List the days that blurry vision keeps you from driving. Tell how fatigue makes your other symptoms worse. Describe the sedating effects of your pain medication. Take notes about any triggers that worsen your symptoms. Bring the book to your next doctor’s appointment. It will help your physician understand how MS impacts your life. Ask your doctor to include your notes in your medical records.
If you sometimes have problems walking, ask your doctor to prescribe an assistive device. A prescription for a cane, walker, wheelchair, or scooter acts as documentation of your mobility problems, even if you can’t afford the device. Some SSA case workers will consider the lack of a prescription to mean that your doctor does not consider you to have problems with balance or walking.
After you file your application, the SSA will send you a form called a function report. There will be a list of questions such as “Can you drive a car?” If you can drive on some days but not on others, check both “yes” and “no,” then explain that you can drive short distances on good days, but can’t on other days because of blurred vision. Be honest. It is important to let the SSA know about all your limitations.
The SSA may ask that someone else give a report about your daily activities. Choose a person who has the opportunity to observe your daily life, preferably someone who lives with you and sees your daily struggles.
Let the SSA know about any health problems you have other than MS. These problems may not be serious enough to prevent you from working, but they will help the SSA get a complete picture of your abilities.
Finally, get legal support. A New Hampshire Social Security disability attorney can help you throughout the application process from the filing application to gathering the documentation needed to support your claim. You can learn more about how a Nashua SSDI lawyer can increase your chances of being approved for benefits in our free book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process. To schedule a free case review, contact Keefe Disability Law at 888-904-6847.