How The Social Security Disability Claims Process Flows

Multiple sclerosis is a medical condition that can significantly impact a person's ability to live a normal life and hold gainful employment. Individuals facing the challenges associated with a progression of this specific disease may find they have reason to pursue disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. Qualifying for disability benefits depends on various factors, including the type of medical condition a person has, his or her work history and more.

Social Security Disability Insurance is program funded through payroll taxes, and its purpose is to provide financial support to individuals who may not be able to earn an income due to a disabling physical or mental condition. Qualification for this type of financial support depends on the following requirements, set forth by the SSA:

  • The applicant must have a medical condition that prevents him or her from engaging in any type of gainful employment.
  • The medical condition is such that doctors expect it to last for a period of at least 12 months or ultimately result in the applicant's death.
  • The applicant is under the age of 65 and has a qualifying work history.

In general, these benefits will last until the applicant's condition improves to a point that he or she will be able to reenter the workforce. If the medical condition does not improve, the recipient will retain his or her eligibility for benefits. Even with a valid medical condition such as multiple sclerosis, an applicant will have to walk through a lengthy determination process before receiving SSDI benefits.

Multiple Sclerosis And Disability Claims

When a person with multiple sclerosis applies for disability benefits, there are various factors that the SSA will consider when evaluating the application and supporting documentation. Determination of SSDI benefits for people with MS includes consideration of these five factors, in order:

  • If a person is making more than $980 per month, the SSA considers that gainful employment. Therefore, that individual is ineligible for SSDI benefits.
  • The progression of the disease is such that it significantly impacts the applicant's ability to perform the most basic conditions of most types of jobs, including standing, walking or interacting with others.
  • There is supporting evidence and medical documentation proving that the applicant is suffering from MS, which the SSA considers a qualifying neurological disorder.
  • The person suffering from MS is no longer able to work in other types of employment or return to employment he or she had in the past.
  • There is a careful review of the applicant's age, application, supporting documentation, work history and more.

Our lawyers represent clients in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.

Benefits for applicants with MS may be determined by medical-vocational rules, which simply means the SSA will consider ability to do sedentary work, lift a certain amount of weight, demonstrate work skills and more.

Denied Claims And The Pursuit Of Benefits

Many first-time applications for disability benefits come back denied. After a denied claim, applicants will have the right to continue their pursuit of benefits by navigating the various levels of reconsiderations and appeals. A significant number of applicants are still not successful after the initial appeal of their denied claim. It may require a second appeal of a claim, a hearing or additional steps to actually receive benefits to which a person with MS has a rightful claim.

Guidance For The Application Process

The process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be frustrating for individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis or other disabling medical conditions. Due to the complexity of the process and the length of time it can take to successfully navigate all steps, it can be beneficial for an applicant to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional from the very beginning. For assistance with SSDI claims, contact an attorney at Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman to learn more.