Neurological abnormalities and qualifying for SSDI?Neurological abnormalities can include any conditions which affects the brain or any other part of the central nervous system, including the peripheral nervous system and the spinal cord.
If you have any type of severe neurological disorder which does not allow you to perform substantial gainful activity for at least 12 continuous months, you have work credits and are insured for SSDI benefits, and you are not currently working, you may qualify for SSDI benefits.
What are the most common neurological abnormalities?
There are dozens of neurological abnormalities and diseases which cause a wide range of disabilities. Some of the most common conditions include Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Alzheimers disease, Huntingtons disease, Picks disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), muscular atrophy, stroke, dystonia, essential tremors, post-polio syndrome, and muscular dystrophy.
When determining whether or not a claimants condition is disabling the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review guidelines they have established within the Blue Book (a listing and their corresponding symptoms that the SSA considers automatically disabling).
Within the Blue Book there are specific sections, with each section identifying a particular body part and system. Within each system there are also disabling symptoms which are listed. Currently there are sixteen neurological abnormalities or conditions listed in the Blue Book under Section Eleven. The following are listed:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrigs Syndrome)
- Anterior Poliomyelitis
- Brain tumors
- Central nervous system vascular accidents
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cerebral trauma
- Lesions of the spinal cord or nerve roots
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Other degenerative diseases
- Parkinsonian Syndrome
- Peripheral Neuropathies
- Sub-acute combined cord degeneration
What do I need to know about neurological abnormalities?
The most important consideration if you are applying for SSDI benefits is whether or not your condition allows you to perform gainful employment. Regardless of the disorder, if you can work, you are not disabled. Additionally, if the condition is not expected to last 12 continuous months, you are also not disabled.
As mentioned above, many neurological abnormalities and conditions are listed in the Blue Book. To meet or exceed a listing you will have to have information which proves your condition meets the specific guidelines outlined by the SSA.
What if I am not sure how long my condition will last?
If you are unsure if your condition will last 12 continuous months its important to start keeping a journal. Document all symptoms, the duration of the symptoms, the severity of your symptoms, and how your symptoms affect your ability not only to work but also to perform all of your daily activities. If you have multiple work attempts which are unsuccessful this should also be documented
Many neurological abnormalities and conditions are treated with medication. It is very important that you consistently see a doctor, follow your doctors treatment plan, and take all of your prescribed medications.
For more information about whether your condition meets a listing you can discuss your condition with both your doctor and a disability lawyer.
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