According to WebMD, "Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of inherited diseases in which the muscles that control movement progressively weaken. In some forms of this disease, the heart and other organs are also affected."
There are several different types of MD and having a diagnosis will not necessarily be sufficient to win Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The major forms of muscular dystrophy (MD) include:
Given the fact that many workers are diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and only have mild symptoms that progress slowly throughout their life, there is a high chance that you can have Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and can continue to work. Is this always the case? No, there are some individuals who are diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and start to have severe and quick muscular loss which leaves them very disabled and unable to work.
It is estimated that various types of Muscular Dystrophy (MD) affect more than 50,000 Americans, but many workers who are able to get proper medical treatment can continue to work and lead very productive lives.
What is SSDI and can I get it with Muscular Dystrophy (MD)?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a disability cash payment benefit which is offered to disabled workers who are no longer able to work due to a severe health condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. Not all workers will get SSDI, even if they are severely disabled. Workers must also have worked and paid enough into the SSA system to be considered "insured" by the SSA.
Workers who have not worked or who have worked and not paid taxes will not qualify for SSDI, regardless of the severity of their health condition.
How do I get SSDI with Muscular Dystrophy (MD)?
The SSA has two methods to determine if a worker is disabled. First, they will determine if the worker's condition and symptoms is as severe as a condition on the SSA listing of impairments. There is a listing for Neurological disorders under medical listing 11.13.
Under this listing the claimant must prove that they have "significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station."
This means the SSA will expect that you, as a worker, have a high level of interference with your ability to walk and use your fingers, hands and arms. Common symptoms which can interfere with fine motor movements include "paresis or paralysis, tremors or other involuntary movements, ataxia and sensory disturbances, which occur singly or in various combinations."
What if my Muscular Dystrophy (MD) does not "meet a listing"?
If there is not a listing for your condition or if your condition is not as severe as the condition listing you must prove through a "medical vocational allowance" that you do not have the ability to work.
Winning through a medical vocational allowance will be almost impossible for a claimant who is less than 55 years of age. For older claimants you will need to prove that your MD does not allow or severely limits you ability to perform basic work activities including walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling, seeing, hearing and speaking.
Need Help with a Muscular Dystrophy Disability Claim?
Complete the short form and a Disability Advocate will review your case for FREE. It's 100% Confidential and there's No Obligation. What do you have to lose? Get help winning your disability case today!