The Social Security Administration (SSA) currently recognizes 16 different neurological disorders as qualifying impairments that may make a disability applicant eligible for SSDI benefits. Neurological disorders are considered conditions that affect not only the brain but also any other aspect of a person’s nervous system, such as the spinal cord or peripheral nerves. Since every neurological disorder is distinct, the requirements for establishing a disability vary greatly, and applicants often need the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney in order to prepare a successful claim. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our Social Security attorneys have over two decades of experience helping Massachusetts residents who suffer from neurological disorders to assert their right to financial assistance.Neurological Disorders Currently Recognized by the SSA
Book 11 of the SSA’s manual of listed impairments is specifically dedicated to neurological conditions. These disorders include:
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinsonian Syndrome
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Brain Tumors
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cerebral Trauma
- Anterior Poliomyelitis
- Other degerenative diseases
As with any SSDI application, an individual with one of the above neurological disorders must establish that he or she has been diagnosed with the relevant impairment, that the disabling symptoms of the impairment have lasted or are expected to last at least 12 months, and that the condition substantially inhibits his or her ability to perform job duties.
Additionally, each neurological impairment listing sets forth specific conditions or symptoms relevant to the disorder that should also be present. For instance, an individual suffering from cerebral palsy can qualify for SSDI if he or she can establish an IQ of less than 70 or that the cerebral palsy makes it impossible to communicate, hear, or see in a manner required to function in a normal workplace environment. Similarly, an individual with epilepsy will generally qualify for benefits if he or she has been receiving treatment for three months but still experiences at least one seizure a month with resulting effects that impair daily activities. For other neurological disorders that are not specifically identified, an applicant will typically have to show that the impairment has resulted in a loss of ability to communicate or a loss of motor function in two extremities that results in impairment to gross motor skills.
Proving to the SSA that you have a neurological condition that is disabling can be a difficult and time-consuming process. If you have not done so already, you will need to seek the treatment of a physician who can provide a professional diagnosis of your impairment and document the symptoms you experience, such as the frequency or intensity of seizures. When consulting with your doctor, it is important to remember that the SSA will rely heavily on medical records that establish the severity and duration of your symptoms and the demonstrable effect they have on your ability to perform tasks required by an employer. You will want to ensure that your physician is carefully documenting these issues. A qualified SSDI benefits attorney can help you to identify the precise information and records that will be most helpful for your case.Discuss Your Application for Public Benefits with a Massachusetts Attorney
If you have recently been diagnosed with a neurological condition that is affecting your ability to work, your attention is likely focused on getting the best possible treatment from physicians and preparing for the changes to your lifestyle that might occur. The complicated process of applying for SSDI benefits takes away from the time and energy that could be spent managing your health, and this is something you may wish to avoid. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our disability benefits lawyers are focused on easing the legal and logistical burdens placed on Massachusetts claimants by providing you with the knowledge, resources, and advocacy that you need to make the process as painless as possible. If you have questions about your application, or would like legal assistance with your SSDI application, contact us at (800) 367-0871 or online. Our clients come from Boston and the Merrimack River area, as well as throughout Norfolk, Middlesex, Suffolk, Essex, and Plymouth Counties. We also represent residents of Rhode Island and New Hampshire.