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Social Security and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Applying for Social Security Disability with Multiple Sclerosis

Social Security Disability benefits come in two forms: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI). These benefit programs were set up by the United States government to provide financial help to those who are no longer able to perform gainful work due to a physical or mental disability. The program is funded by the Social Security tax, which is applied to nearly all's taxable income. By the Social Security Administration's standards, anyone who has worked and likewise paid Social Security taxes for a long enough period that they earned work credits is eligible for SSDI benefits. If you suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and are interested in applying for Social Security Disability, here are some things you should keep in mind.

If you believe that you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to your MS, you can submit an application on the internet, via phone, or by visiting your local Social Security Administration office. If you decide to apply in person, you should try and call ahead to make an appointment with a representative so that you receive some guidance in the process. When your application is submitted correctly, you will be notified by the SSA with a decision in roughly three to five months. This decision will either be approving your disability claim; allowing you to collect disability payments, or will be denying your claim; allowing you to appeal the decision or seek other help. Unfortunately, due to the structure of the system the time between applying and receiving notification can be rather long. In addition, the inefficiencies of the system often result in lost paper-work or other delays. A vital step in avoiding this is to include all pertinent information, providing there is no reason for your paper work to be delayed.

If you are diagnosed with MS, you will undoubtedly have medical documentation of the diagnosis of your condition. The Social Security Administration maintains a 'Blue Book' of all accepted disabling conditions. For MS, they are going to be looking for the following symptoms and side effects:

  • visual impairment;
  • mental impairment involving behavioral and psychological abnormalities manifested by the presence of certain mental disorders;
  • persistent motor function disorganization in the form of paralysis or paresis, ataxia, tremor and sensory disturbances that may occur in different combinations;
  • and significant motor function fatigue with considerable muscle weakness particularly when performing repetitive activities.

If you suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, you have already been diagnosed by a physician. It is vital to include all documentation from your doctor, as the SSA will be looking for this information.

In addition, you should be articulately explaining the ways in which your MS prohibits you from doing any kind of gainful work. Furthermore, you must be able to prove that your condition limits you from learning or being trained for another kind of work that may be better suit for you with your disability. In these situations, it is best to be entirely honest, as there is no place for pride in this situation. If you cannot do you work due to your MS, you should admit that you cannot. With that said, if you also believe you do not have the capacity to learn a more suitable work, you should be outright with it. Lying and saying that you can learn another skill or trade for the sake of your ego will only result in your claim being denied, so don't hold back for any reason. Just like with the medical documentation, it is vital to include references from your place of employment that will be able to testify that your work is in fact hindered by your disability. This is another imperative source of information to include.

Being awarded Social Security Disability benefits due to your Multiple Sclerosis can be a fight, but it is one worth fighting. Just like anything else you might pursue, the process takes time and for those who deserve it, they will persevere. Just remember to be completely honest about your condition by providing the most accurate information in your application as possible. Keep all of the material organized and readily available in case it becomes misplaced or is needed again for some reason. There are also numerous resources online and professionals who are willing to help you with your case, whether they be disability advocates or Social Security Disability attorneys. In either case, do not hesitate to ask for help with the application process, as everyone knows it is quite difficult. In closing, do not lose sight of the benefits you deserve. It is your right to have the peace of mind of knowing your finances are being partially covered so that you can focus on the well-being of both yourself and your family.

This guest article is by John Dowling. Mr. Dowling is the Senior editor of Social Security Disability Help, the web’s ultimate resource for guiding people with disabilities to the benefits they deserve. For more information, feel free to visit Social Security Disability Help at http://www.disability-benefits-help.org.

Multiple Sclerosis Pages On My Site

Multiple Sclerosis and MeMultiple Sclerosis and My Life: Information about how Multiple Sclerosis has affected me and why I decided to create these pages.  ««»»

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  ««»»

Multiple Sclerosis LinksMultiple Sclerosis Links and Resources: A boatload of links. Wazillions of links. And a few more. But . . . Even though there are many links here, these are not all the links. Be sure to check the other sections for the specialty links.  ««»»

Local and Non-US OrganizationsLocal and Non-US Organizations: Includes state by state listings of local organizations, including the chapters of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  ««»»

Chat, Forums and eMail Discussion Groups  ««»»

Commercial Sites and Commercial JournalsCommercial Sites and Commercial Journals  ««»»

General Medical Sites and Other ResourcesGeneral Medical Sites and Other Resources: Not specifically related to Multiple Sclerosis, but offering general medical information. Many feature search engines to locate Multiple Sclerosis information or Multiple Sclerosis sections within their site.  ««»»

Personal StoriesPersonal Stories: Personal websites featuring the webmaster's personal experience with Multiple Sclerosis. Most also include some links to other Multiple Sclerosis resources.  ««»»

Who Are the People With Multiple Sclerosis?Books: Books about Multiple Sclerosis (like you really needed that description).  ««»»

Who Are the People With Multiple Sclerosis?Who Are the People With Multiple Sclerosis?: A moving essay by Virginia Sanchez (used with permission).  ««»»

Multiple Sclerosis and ChildrenMultiple Sclerosis and Children: Special information about MS in children and why I hope to honor them with my site. ««»»

Who Are the People With Multiple Sclerosis?Guest Article: Social Security and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - Applying for Social Security Disability with Multiple Sclerosis: A guest article by John Dowling, the Senior editor of Social Security Disability Help.  ««»»

Who Are the People With Multiple Sclerosis?Guest Article: Stem Cells Showing Great Promise in Remyelinization: A guest article by Daryl Clayton Kennedy.  ««»»


A Measure of Time - My Life With MSA Measure of Time - My Life With MS: This book by Lauren Singer is available directly from the author. This page on my site provides a tiny amount of publicity for this book. By the way, her dog is named Fred Huggins.   ««»»  

As for Tomorrow I Cannot Say: 33 Years with Multiple SclerosisAs for Tomorrow I Cannot Say: 33 Years with Multiple Sclerosis: I review this book by Diana Neutze.  ««»»  

Life on Cripple Creek - Essays on Living with Multiple SclerosisLife on Cripple Creek - essays on Living with Multiple Sclerosis: I review this book by Dean Kramer.  ««»»  

My Story: A Photographic Essay on Life with Multiple SclerosisMy Story: A Photographic essay on Life with Multiple Sclerosis: I review this book by Amelia Davis.  ««»»  

When the Road Turns - Inspirational Stories About People with MSWhen the Road Turns - Inspirational Stories About People with MS: I review this book by Margot Russell.  ««»»  

A Special Note If You Jumped Into My Site
Directly to This Page

This topic is just a part of my overall website. After you check out this topic, you might like to explore the rest of my site and get to know me better.  I recommend that you start with my "Home" Page, then go to the "Front Door", then to "Stuff About Me" and finally, just explore the site. The buttons on the left will take you there.

If You Would Like to Link to My Multiple Sclerosis Pages

Many webmasters only want people to link to the "primary" page of a website. I have a different view.

Because of the importance of Multiple Sclerosis to me I actually encourage other Multiple Sclerosis sites to link directly to my Multiple Sclerosis pages. Click here to find out my special requests for linking to my Multiple Sclerosis pages.


The following awards were awarded specifically for the
James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door: Multiple Sclerosis Pages.

Outstanding Website Award

sponsored by
Disability Network

Outstanding Website Award 1999
awarded 25.Oct.1999
by the Disability Network
  Winners List with my award listed and a link back to my site.

Editor's Choice Award from HealingWell.com

editor's Choice Award
awarded 26.Oct.1999
by HealingWell.com

Facing Challenge Award

Facing Challenge Award
awarded 30.Oct.1999
by Facing Challenge Award
  Winners List with my award listed and a link back to my site.

Helping Hands Award from Living With Multiple Sclerosis

Helping Hands Award
awarded 15.Nov.1999
by Living With Multiple Sclerosis
  Winners List with my award listed and a link back to my site.

Directory Links

This section of my site (James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door: Multiple Sclerosis Pages), is listed in the following directories.

Good Health Directory

Good Health Directory
linked 20.Mar.2000


linked 26.Oct.1999
(see also editor's Choice Award above)

Member of Internet Health Library

linked 21.Aug.2000

A HealthLinks Select Site

linked 02.Feb.2001

A MedExplorer Selected SIte

linked 02.Feb.2001


This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information of the Health On the Net Foundation: you can verify that here.

Certified Medinex Health Site

This site was a Medinex Certified Health Site and subscribed to the Medinex Code of ethics.

[NB: The above links point to an archive previous page. hosted by the
Internet Archive Wayback Machine. The assets of Medinex were sold in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy sale in March 2003. The site is no longer functional.]

Disclaimer:  I am not a licensed or trained health care provider. I'm just a guy who cares (bunches) about Multiple Sclerosis and who spends (too much) time on the net. I provide the medical information on this website for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for a health care provider's care and consultation. Please consult your health care provider about any opinions or recommendations with respect to your own symptoms and conditions. Any treatment or nutritional product mentioned on this site is not intended or claimed to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please advise me of any errors or omissions you detect. I receive no funds from any medical products companies. And, I fully disclose all other product affiliations on the Disclaimers, Copyrights and Other Legal Stuff page on this site.

The extra text menu links (previously here) are being removed in the site redesign.
Browser and search engine improvements have eliminated the motivation/necessity for them.

This page created:
Wed, 10.May.2000

Last updated:
16:17, Sat, 10.May.2014

. . .


 Explanation of the rewrite: New Page Layout.
 Check out my blog: My Ephemerae
 Yes ... I want you to link to my site Please link to me
 Want to email me? I'd love to hear from you.
 I have begun tutoring in the South Houston, Texas area.

. . .
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