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Law Offices of Stuart Pastor - Austin and Plano, Texas
MS can impair both mental and physical functioning and limit activity in various ways. Social Security has a description of medical criteria for MS (Adult Listing 11.09), and the claimant is presumed to be disabled if his or her condition comes within the medical criteria set forth in the listing. Most persons who apply for Social Security disability with a multiple sclerosis claim stop working before the disease has caused the degree of impairment required to meet the listing. A link to Listing 11.09 is provided at the end of this section.
For persons whose conditions do not come within the criteria of Listing 11.09 it is necessary to show that due to the effects of MS it is not possible to do any job eight hours per day, five days per week on a consistent basis. Some persons over the age 50 may benefit from certain presumptions upon showing that performance of past work is no longer possible depending on the type of work previously performed, education, and skills possessed.
Often the most disabling symptom experienced by persons suffering from MS is fatigue. Although MS patients often experience early muscle fatigue upon repeated use of a body part, many persons with MS also experience a more general sense of fatigue or exhaustion during the daytime.
Whatever symptoms and limitations you experience from MS you should inform your treating doctor of each of them as long as you continue to experience the symptom or limitation. Social Security examines your medical records to determine your symptoms and limitations.
In your multiple sclerosis claim, if you tell Social Security that you suffer from a particular symptom or limitation, and it does not appear in your medical records repeatedly it is unlikely that Social Security will conclude that the symptom or limitation is ongoing. If your daily activity is substantially limited due to fatigue it is important that you tell your doctor what activities you are not able to do as a result of fatigue. You should inform your doctor if you require periods of rest or sleep during the daytime.
Comments about Medical Listing 11.09 — Multiple Sclerosis
Social Security presumes disability for any person suffering from MS who has significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities that result in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station. Note that under this listing even persons who have difficulty walking for more than short periods would not be covered unless inability to walk was due to sustained disturbance of gross movement in both lower extremities. Social Security will also presume disability for persons suffering from MS if, due to brain damage, at least two of the following exists: disorientation to time and place, change in personality, disturbance of mood, memory impairment, emotional ability or a specified loss of intellectual ability, provided that as a result of the changes there exists two of the following: (1) marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence or pace or (2) marked difficulty in social functioning or (3) marked restriction of activities of daily living or (4) repeated episodes of decomposition, each of extended duration. Persons suffering brain damage from MS can also meet the listing by proving the criteria set forth in subsection C of Adult Listing 12.02. Social Security will also presume disability in cases of MS if the claimant meets the standard for loss of vision.
There are certain clinical tests to which Social Security attaches special importance. If these clinical tests have not been performed, an experienced Social Security disability lawyer may suggest that your doctor or an appropriate physician perform the tests to strengthen your case. If your case has been denied it is possible that such tests have been performed and the results are supportive of your claim, but the person who decided your case overlooked them. An experienced Social Security disability attorney will highlight the medical findings in your medical records that support your claim under the guidelines that Social Security has issued.
Contact the Law Offices of Stuart Pastor for an Appointment
For a free initial consultation — at my office or over the phone — contact my office to schedule an appointment about your multiple sclerosis claim.
Three Convenient Office Locations:
In Austin l: 512-687-3443
In Dallas : 214-800-2022
In Plano : 972-599-2600
Toll Free: 888-616-6162
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