Muscular dystrophy is a condition that affects each individual differently. People who are in the early stages of the disease may find that they are still able to care for themselves. Muscular dystrophy can progress to the point where the sufferer loses mobility and requires a wheelchair. The type of muscular dystrophy and the progress of the condition will determine whether a person is able to maintain mobility.
Treatment methods may help sufferers control pain and retain some mobility temporarily, but many people who suffer from this condition reach a point when they are no longer able to work. Social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits are available to disabled individuals who have worked in the past.
What is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that causes muscle weakness. Damage that is done to the muscles due this disorder causes weakness over time. People who are in the early stages of muscular dystrophy may not experience marked weakness, but damage becomes more severe over time.
There are different types of muscular dystrophy. Symptoms of the condition may first occur in childhood, but some people are not aware that they have the disease until they reach adulthood. The condition is caused by gene mutations, so people who have muscular dystrophy are born with it. The onset of symptoms may not occur until later in life, but the gene mutation is always present.
Weakening in the throat often makes it difficult for sufferers to swallow or breathe. The arms and legs can become contracted and stiffen in this position. Some sufferers also experience symptoms related to the heart and lungs. The type of muscular dystrophy determines where muscle weakness is most pronounced.
Determining SSDI Eligibility for Muscular Dystrophy
The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of symptoms related to this condition that automatically qualify a person for benefits. The listing dictates that a sufferer must experience chronic disorganization that affects the individual’s ability to maintain gross and dexterous movements.
– Disorganization means that sufferers are not able to maintain control over their muscles. This lack of control must be severe enough to make it difficult or impossible for sufferers to complete tasks like bathing, washing dishes, getting dressed or shopping. This complication can result from one or more conditions related to muscular dystrophy. Paralysis, partial paralysis, involuntary muscle tremors, loss of coordination in the muscles and sensory disturbances can all lead to disorganization in the muscles.
– Gross movements refer to movements that require use of complete muscle groups located throughout the body. Examples of gross movements include jumping, running and lifting. Dexterous movements refer to movements that involve small muscle groups or individual muscles. For example, holding items, tying a shoe or buttoning clothing are all activities that involve dexterous movements.
People who do not experience the complications outlined above may still be eligible for SSDI benefits. Detailed medical records must be provided to prove that sufferers have developed complications that make it impossible for them to work. These records must be completed by a licensed physician in order to be considered credible.
It is important to seek ongoing medical attention for muscular dystrophy to ensure that a thorough record of symptoms, medical tests, physical therapy and medications is available. SSDI applications are more likely to be approved when the SSA is provided with adequate evidence that a severe and limiting disability exists.
Help for those with Muscular Dystrophy
Applying for SSDI benefits can be a confusing and frustrating process. Many people who need SSDI benefits to pay for their basic necessities feel alone and scared during the application process. SSDI attorneys are able to help ease the burden that these individuals feel. These experienced legal professionals are skilled at guiding people through the application process to give applicants their best chance at being approved for much-needed benefits.
To speak to an experienced disability lawyer about Muscular Dystrophy and other disability claims, please contact our office or call (215) 464-7200. The initial consultation is free of charge. There are no upfront costs or out-of-pocket fees. You pay us nothing until we win your case.