How to Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits for ALS
Posted on behalf of Phillips Disability, P.C. on May 26, 2016 in Qualifying Conditions
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a motor neuron disease that impacts the spinal cord and nerve cells, resulting in muscle twitching and weakness beginning in the extremities. When the disease progresses, it can lead to breathing difficulties, trouble with swallowing, muscle atrophy and, at some point, being unable to breathe at all.
Although ALS is a degenerative illness, the disease’s progression can be slowed down with medication. There is no cure, but treatment may reduce discomfort and symptoms. People who are diagnosed with this disease and are over 18 years of age should qualify to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for ALS.
Disability Benefits for ALS
ALS is listed in the Social Security Administration’s “Listing of Impairments,” which means if certain criteria are met, you may automatically become eligible for disability benefits for ALS. However, in order to receive approval for disability, the ALS diagnosis must use specific clinical procedures and acceptable practices, including medical records documentation. If a specialist like a neurologist diagnosed you, the Social Security Administration (SSA) should give you disability approval.
Despite case backlog in the disability system, ALS cases may be handled more quickly if your diagnosis falls into the Compassionate Allowances category. If so, your case decision may be determined within a couple of weeks instead of months.
SSD benefits require a five-month period after disability onset to collect benefits while Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a needs based program, has no waiting timeframe.
The SSA will look for medical findings that support your ALS diagnosis such as neurological documentation, symptom history, nerve conduction studies and electrophysical tests to negate any other conditions. It is imperative that your physician records all medical discoveries within your files.
Navigating the disability process can be confusing and complex. If you, or a loved one, has been denied disability benefits for ALS and need assistance with your appeal, contact the disability attorneys at Phillips Disability today for a free consultation to review your application.