Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of an individual’s face which causes it to droop.
Paralysis is frequently caused by strokes and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), but medical experts agree there is no link between Bell’s palsy and either of these conditions. What causes Bell’s Palsy? The medical experts are not sure but one indication is that it could be caused by inflammation.
Symptoms of Bell’s palsy include:
- Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of your face that causes it to droop. This is the main symptom. It may make it hard for you to close your eye on that side of your face.
- Eye problems
- Loss of ability to taste
- Pain in or behind your ear
- Numbness in the affected side of your face
- Increased sensitivity to sound
To evaluate your physical health condition the SSA will evaluate your medical records and determine if you are able to perform either sedentary, light or medium work. Evidence the SSA will review will include your treating doctor’s reports, your X-rays, and other medical documentation.
Winning SSDI or SSI benefits for Bell’s Palsy
The SSA has two ways to determine whether a claimant is disabled. First they can evaluate whether their condition meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments. If a claimant’s condition does not “meet a listing” they will determine if they have the residual capacity to work through a medical vocational allowance.
Meeting a Listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments for Bell’s Palsy
If you have severe Bell’s palsy it may be possible to prove your condition is as severe as other conditions on the listing, specifically those found under listing 11.00 Neurological. It may also be possible to prove that your condition meets the listing under 2.00 Special Senses and Speech, 2.09 Loss of Speech. Under this listing you have to prove that you do not have the ability to “produce by any means speech that can be heard, understood, or sustained.”
Winning benefits for Bell’s Palsy through a medical vocational allowance
Even if your condition does not meet or exceed a listing on the SSA listing of impairments you may still qualify for SSA disability if you can prove that you do not have the capacity to work.
How do you do this? Regardless of your health condition, it is important for you to demonstrate that you may have difficulty completing basic daily activities. Do you have difficulty walking, standing or sitting for long hours? Are you taking pain medication? Do you keep a pain diary? How often do you have to shift positions? Does your paralysis keep you from speaking? Is your doctor willing to complete a residual functional capacity form or RFC that documents how your symptoms restrict your Activities of Daily Life?
To win benefits for Bells Palsy you will need to prove that this condition keeps you from performing substantial gainful activity and it is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months.
If you would like a disability attorney to review your claim you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a disability advocate will call you to review your claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now.
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