Every 1 in 7 people suffer from some kind of neurological disorders, according to the UN. The World Health Organization, WHO stated that almost 100 million Americans, a 1 out of 3 ration of the US population – suffer from some kind of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and spinal cord injury.
Quite surprisingly, 60% of the people suffering from neurological disorders are over age 55. This means that older people are more prone to mental health problems. Moreover, neurological problems are not only limited to the brain. They can occur anywhere in the nervous system, including cerebral area (affecting memory and thinking), spinal cord (affecting movement), or peripheral nervous system (affecting thinking and muscular control of different body parts).
Unfortunately, receiving disability benefits is not as simple as getting benefits for other kinds of disability. The SSA has listed 16 disorders under neurological impairments in the Blue Book of impairments. The Blue Book lists every kind of neurological impairment and specific conditions that affect your mental health. Even if your neurological impairment is not listed in the Blue Book, it does not mean that you would be denied benefits for your conditions. Your symptoms and whether you have paid your social security taxes would be important when deciding your qualification for disability.
Some of the more common neurological problems listed by the SSA include:
- migraine headaches,
- multiple sclerosis (MS),
- brain tumors (benign and malignant),
- persistent motor function disorganization,
- traumatic brain injury,
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease),
- Parkinson’s disease,
- cerebral palsy, and
- spinal cord/nerve lesions
Most neurological disorders are treatable with medicines and are cured easily if the prescriptions are taken as directed by the physician. However, some neurological disorders are degenerative and get worse with time such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, while some may not be treatable in the first place, such as Down’s syndrome.
How do I know if my neurological disorder would qualify for SSDI?
The SSA would rule on your disability claims for the neurological disorder the same way as any other disabilities. You would need to fill out both medical and non-medical requirements to qualify.
You would need help from your doctor to file an RFC form for you listing all the ways that your symptoms and conditions affect you. Your psychiatrist would be able to fill out the paperwork that would show your disability examiner or administrative law judge about how your mental impairment limits you from performing substantial work.
Remember it is important that you include all kinds of medical proofs, documentation and your doctor’s statements to support your case. This includes:
- Medical history,
- Examination findings,
- Relevant laboratory tests,
- Results of imaging,
- Imaging refers to medical imaging techniques,
- X-ray, computerized tomography (CT),
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and
- Electroencephalography (EEG)
- Prescription lists and medication
Lastly, it is imperative that your medical evidence and physician/psychiatrist’s statements match the prevailing condition and its symptoms. This is because you may be examined by a doctor recommended by the SSA if they think you are manipulating any evidence. If caught jeopardizing your medical impairment, you could face terrible consequences with a possibility of being disqualified forever from social security.
You may consult a disability attorney for more guidance on social security for neurological conditions.