Is Myasthenia Gravis Considered A Disability?
Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis (MG) per se is not considered as a disability and disability benefits would not be given for each and every patient with myasthenia gravis. You might all be aware that some myasthenia gravis patients have a milder disease with fewer symptoms and they tend to live a normal or near normal life. What you need to understand is when you apply for a disability claim the severity of myasthenia gravis, how it has affected your day to day life and many other things will be considered before your application is accepted for claims. It is recommended to hire a disability lawyer if you want to claim disability benefits.
In this article, we will be talking about social security disability benefits for myasthenia gravis patients in the US.
Following are the Social Security Associations (SSA) criteria mentioned in the blue book listing for myasthenia gravis. You must have at least meet one criterion following recommended treatment for three months or more.
- Restriction in standing up after sitting, walking, maintain the balance when walking or inability to use the upper limbs to work due to weakness in both arms and legs or in either one arm or leg.
- At least one myasthenic crisis due to bulbar and neuromuscular dysfunction which requires mechanical ventilation and or nasogastric tube feeding.
- Inability to concentrate and focus on tasks, restriction in physical functioning and understanding a task, keeping information in memory and applying them, limitation in socializing, and inability to manage daily life tasks.
The following information is required in order to determine if your myasthenia gravis meets the criteria of the SSA blue book listing.
Medical Evidence. The medical evidence is given priority by the SSA. A diagnosis of myasthenia gravis should be made by a qualified doctor who is specialized in treating myasthenia gravis patients and who have treated myasthenia gravis patients before as well. The diagnosis should be confirmed by blood tests and imaging tests.
You need to have the following information
- Medical history
- Medical examination findings
- Findings of the tests performed
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests – x-rays, MRI, CT-scans, EMG, nerve stimulations studies and any other imaging tests carried out
- Evidence of medical treatments carried out – prescriptions, hospital admissions, diagnosis cards
Doctor’s view about the severity of your myasthenia gravis and your response to treatments. (1)
Non-Medical Evidence: Information from non-medical people about how myasthenia gravis has affected you and your life. You can also give your statement regarding how far myasthenia gravis has affected your life and statements from family members, relatives, friends, employer, and co-workers also can be produced. Include the following information in the statements
How myasthenia gravis has affected
- Daily routines
- Job or if you have difficulty working or finding a job
- Family life
- Social life
Restrictions and impairments in your life
Ability To Work. If your severity of myasthenia gravis does not meet the required criteria by the blue book listing to claim disabilities. But if it still affects your capability to work or do the work that you did before diagnosing with myasthenia gravis then SSA might consider your application for claims. But if myasthenia gravis does not affect your performance at work you claim might be denied.
However, if you are unable to carry out the work you did before the condition effectively the SSA would want the following information to determine if you can adjust to other work
- Education level
- Work experience
- Knowledge and skills about another job
A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form is completed at this stage. The person doing the RFC considers your mental and physical symptoms, the impairments and disabilities. That person will note down specifically what kind of impairment you have starting from basic work to highly specialize work. (1)
Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis itself is not sufficient to claim disability benefits. The severity of the condition and how it affects the daily routines, education, job, family life, and social life are all considered before disability claims. Social security disability benefits are given by the Social Security Association (USA) if you meet at least one criterion following recommended treatment for three months or more.
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