December 15, 2018

MS and Social Security Disability

MS is a demyelinating disorder.  As such, even though the severity of symptoms experienced by individuals suffering with MS may fluctuate, most individuals do not see significant improvement over time.  As a result, the Social Security Administration places MS, along with twenty-two other disorders, into a special MINE (Medical Improvement Not Expected) category.

Multiple Sclerosis, then, is viewed as a very serious illness by the SSA. As such, the SSA has also placed MS into it’s list of very serious medical impairments – known as Social Security “Listings.” Social Security’s Multiple Sclerosis listing may be found at Listing 11.09.  It basically highlights the limitations resulting from significant physical, visual or mental problems that arise from your multiple sclerosis diagnosis. If you meet the conditions laid out in the MS Listing, then you automatically win your case. This is known as the Listing Strategy for Winning an MS disability claim.

If, however, your MS is not serious enough to be considered at listing level, then you can also win your MS disability case if you can show that the symptoms, complications, medication side effects, and other limitations arising from your experience with multiple sclerosis have left you unable to reliably perform any type of work. This second strategy of winning your claim is known as the functional capacity argument for MS. You can read more about these strategies for winning by clicking on the links.