Can I Claim Disability For Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is classically a neurodegenerative disorder in the brain that mostly affects a person’s motor abilities in the early phases. Along with resting tremors which is a well-known sign of parkinson’s disease, symptoms such as stiff muscles, coordination problems, difficulty in standing and walking and speech impairment are indication of parkinson’s disease. As result of this, the person finds it very difficult or impossible to work a job. Parkinson’s disease motor disability is due to decrease in dopamine production in areas of brain vital for smooth functioning of limbs. However, the actual disease is caused by an abnormal protein alpha – synuclein.

Can I Claim Disability For Parkinson's?

How Can You Qualify For Disability Benefits Of Parkinsonism?

To become qualified for social security disability benefits, you are required to be an adult who has been detected with any sort of Parkinsonism. You need to meet the exact criteria given in the social security administration’s listing for Parkinsonism, listing 11.06 and you will be granted the benefits.

Disability Listing on behalf of Parkinsonian Syndrome

To be eligible for benefits, mentioned in the listing 11.06, you medical files must contain one of the following:

The incapability to have control over the movement of two extreme limbs (one arm and leg or two legs or two arms), although completing 3 months of management. This has resulted in the severe difficulty in task of balance while standing or walking, to get up from seated position or to use the arms. Or, “Marked” physical struggle along with a “marked” limitation in any one of the following:

  • Thinking (understanding, remembering, or applying information)
  • Interaction with others (social problems), or
  • Concluding tasks (problems with speed, concentration or persistence).

Here, the term Marked refers to worse than moderate, except less than extreme.

Qualifying for Benefits Based on a Reduced RFC

It can happen that your parkinson’s disease symptoms fail meets the exact guidelines in the above listing. However, you still be potentially qualify for the benefits under what is known as “medical – vocational” rules. In order to receive benefits under medical – vocational rules, a person must prove that the condition is critical enough to prevent him/her from doing basic work related activities.

The social security administration (SSA) will send a doctor to review your medical records, the reports on the symptoms, your doctor’s opinion and any consultative examiner (a doctor who is hired by the SSA to evaluate you, if required) and any other claims made by you. A physical residual function capacity (RFC), a heaviest categorization of work which the SSA believes you can undertake (such as sedentary, light, or heavy) will be assigned to you. If you suffer from mental disability due to parkinson’s disease, you will be provided a psychological RFC by a psychiatrist or else psychologist functioning for the SSA.

This will be followed by a check from a vocational analyst regarding your mature, level of education and prior work experience to verify if you can return to that work. If negative, the analyst will determine if there is are any other jobs you can be engaged in.

The SSA will take into consideration any other physical and mental problems that affect your ability to work while assigning you an RFC and making a decision. The odds are likely to be in your favour, if you are above 50 years in age. Having less education and a history of unskilled work will also increase the chances of your application getting approved for parkinson’s disease disability.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 25, 2018

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