Disorders of the nervous system can have a profound impact on your life and can make it difficult or impossible for you to work. If you are dealing with a neurological disorder, the last thing you need to worry about is how to support yourself and your family.
The Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits system is supposed to ensure that disabled individuals have the income they need. Unfortunately, the claims process is often long and difficult.
At the Ginarte law firm, our experienced lawyers have helped many clients in the New York and New Jersey metro area make successful claims for disability benefits. We can assist you with your initial application to the Social Security Administration (SSA) or help you to appeal if your benefits claim has been initially denied.
- Does my neurological disorder entitle me to SSD benefits?
- What do I need to prove to get SSD benefits based on a neurological disorder?
- Can an SSD lawyer help me get disability benefits for my neurological condition?
Neurological Disorders Covered by SSD
The SSA recognizes that certain medical conditions are so severe and disabling that an affected person should receive disability benefits.
To help determine if an applicant is disabled enough to be eligible, the SSA has created a Blue Book or Listing of Impairments. Each qualifying condition is listed, along with symptoms that must accompany the medical problem.
If you can show that you have a listed condition along with the required symptoms, and that your problem has lasted or will last for a year (or is expected to last a year or end in death), you may be entitled to monthly cash benefits.
Neurological disorders that may qualify claimants for SSD benefits are found in section 11.00 of the Adult Listings in the Blue Book. According to this section, neurological disorders that may make someone eligible for benefits include:
- Certain types of epilepsy, including both convulsive and nonconvulsive forms of the condition.
- Injuries from a central nervous system vascular accident.
- Brain tumors.
- Parkinsonian syndrome.
- Cerebral palsy.
- Spinal cord or nerve root lesions.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- Anterior poliomyelitis.
- Myasthenia gravis.
- Muscular dystrophy.
- Peripheral neuropathies.
- Sub-acute combined cord degeneration.
- Degenerative diseases not listed elsewhere such as Huntington’s chorea or spino-cerebellar degeneration.
- Cerebral trauma.
If you have one of these conditions and have medical proof that your illness causes symptoms that make it impossible to work, you may be eligible for SSD benefits. If your neurological disorder is not listed, you may still be able to receive disability income. In that case, you will need to prove your health problem is medically equivalent in severity to the included conditions.
Proving Eligibility for SSD Benefits Due to a Neurological Disorder
The specifics of what you need to prove to get SSD benefits varies based on the neurological disorder you suffer from. For example, in order to qualify for disability benefits based on cerebral palsy, a claimant must have:
- An IQ of 70 or less; or
- Abnormal behavior patterns including emotional instability or destructive tendencies; or
- A significant inference in your ability to communicate caused by hearing, speech or visual defects; or
- Disorganization of motor functions in at least two extremities that results in a sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements or a disturbance in your gait and station.
Medical evidence must be provided to demonstrate that you are exhibiting the symptoms required and have been diagnosed with a covered neurological condition. The SSA requires medical records from a treating physician who is a specialist in the field, which means the records generally must be provided by a neurologist.
Can an SSD Lawyer Help Me Get Benefits Based on My Neurological Condition?
At Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, LLP, our experienced attorneys have successfully represented many clients with SSD benefits applications in the New York and New Jersey metro area.