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Tourette Syndrome and Social Security Disability Benefits

Tourette Syndrome is a tic disorder that is characterized by multiple motor and vocal
tics. How do you know if you have Tourette Syndrome? According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, claimants with Tourette Syndrome will have the following symptoms:

• Tics occur multiple times per day, each day. The duration is for no less than one year and if the condition is intermittent it does not stop for more than 3 consecutive months.
• The onset of the condition is prior to 18 years of age.
• Motor and vocal tics are present at the same time, although they may not be concurrent.
• The condition causes impairments in occupation and social functioning.
• The condition is not caused by physiological effects of a stimulant or another type of medical condition.

If you have a mental health condition or a condition such as Tourette Syndrome, which may interfere with your ability to maintain employment, it may be a good idea to contact a disability lawyer.

Proving Disability with Tourette Syndrome

In general, the Social Security, when they evaluate mental health disorders, consider how your condition affects your ability in the following areas: (a) daily living, (b) social functioning, (c) concentration, and (d) decompensation.

• Daily Living

Activities of daily living include cooking, cleaning, and laundry. It includes getting dressed, brushing your teeth, going to the grocery store, and paying your rent on time. If you are unable to complete these tasks independently or if you need daily reminders to complete them, the SSA will consider you as having "marked restriction of activities of daily living."

• Social Functioning

Are you able to adequately function in a social setting? If you have difficulty interacting with others in a social environment, you isolate yourself, you are unable to speak in groups, or have consistent conflicts with others, you may have marked restrictions in social functioning. This type of restriction can be evidenced by evictions, multiple firings, fear of strangers, and social isolation. The SSA will recognize that severe restrictions in social functioning can limit your ability to work.

• Concentration, persistence, or pace

All jobs require claimants to maintain schedules and complete tasks efficiently. The SSA will evaluate your ability to start and complete projects and your ability to maintain focus for a certain period of time.

• Episodes of deterioration or decompensation

Any exacerbation of your signs and symptoms is considered an "episode" and multiple episodes may interfere with your ability to work. Decompensation can be evidenced by increased need for medical intervention, medication or institutionalization and is a sure sign that you can’t function at work.
Generally, to win SSDI or SSI benefits you must prove your syndrome affects several areas of functioning. Ideally, your doctor would complete reports detailing how your condition affects your daily living, social functioning, concentration, and decompensation. It is important that the doctor includes specific examples in each of these areas.

Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you would like a Social Security Disability attorney to review your claim you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a disability advocate will call you to review your SSI or SSDI claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now.