You must have a disability to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Disability is even in the name of the program. But when the Social Security Administration (Social Security) reviews applications for benefits, they refer to something called the Listing of Impairments (the “Listing”). This lengthy recitation of diseases includes detailed information about how to prove a medical condition is a disability. The Listing is broken down into different categories of medical conditions. Section 11 contains a list of neurological conditions that might qualify for SSDI. Here are 12 of them.
When someone suffers two or more seizures, doctors may diagnose epilepsy. Serious neurological conditions like epilepsy are caused by severe disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain. In some cases, seizures are uncontrollable. People who are unable to work because of epilepsy may qualify for SSDI.
#2. Benign brain tumors might qualify for SSDI
Brain tumors do not have to be malignant to be disabling. According to the Listing, benign brain tumors that cause extreme limitations might qualify for SSDI. For example, someone with a benign brain tumor may have trouble sitting, walking, standing, or using their upper extremities. These symptoms could limit the ability to work.
#3. Parkinsonian syndrome
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include problems walking and talking, as well as behavioral changes. This disease may start with subtle symptoms, then progress to the point of disability. Most people develop Parkinson’s disease around age 60, although it is seen in people under age 50. Social Security will look for disorganization of motor function in at least two extremities causing extreme limitation or marked limitation in certain cognitive or memory-related functions.
#4. Spinal cord disorders
Social Security looks for either: (A) complete loss of function for at least three consecutive months, or (B) extreme limitation caused by at least two extremities, or (C) marked limitations in mental functioning.
#5. Multiple sclerosis
This disease of the brain and spinal cord can be extremely unpredictable. As with other neurological conditions, Social Security looks for marked limitations in physical and/or mental functions that could prevent you from working.
#6. Qualify for SSDI with ALS
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Neurological conditions like ALS affect nerve cells. This, in turn, affects a person’s ability to control voluntary muscle movements. Symptoms can include unintelligible speech, as well as limitations in physical and mental functions.
#7. Myasthenia gravis
The name literally means “grave muscular weakness.” Like many other neurological conditions, myasthenia gravis affects the ability to move, remember, interact, and apply information. Social Security looks for medical records showing at least three months of symptoms despite treatment before deciding someone will qualify for SSDI.
#8. Muscular dystrophy
Like other neurological conditions, muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disease. Social Security looks for proof of symptoms and whether those symptoms prevent someone from being gainfully employed.
#9. Peripheral neuropathy
This is one of several neurological conditions that affect signals the brain and spinal cord send to other parts of your body. While this disease is rarely life-threatening, it certainly can be considered a disability that might qualify for SSDI.
#10. Huntington’s Disease
Someone with Huntington’s Disease likely will qualify for SSDI and may even qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program. That’s because this disease is usually hereditary and often fatal. Unfortunately, Huntington’s usually causes physical, mental, and emotional problems that make it difficult for people to work during their prime working years.
#11. Traumatic brain injury
Some neurological conditions are hereditary, and toxins cause others. However, traumatic brain injuries happen when something injuries how the brain works. Usually, this happens during an accident that causes a blow to the head or a severe jolting of the brain. Some traumatic brain injuries are permanent, which makes them likely to qualify for SSDI benefits.
#12. Coma or persistent vegetative state
These two conditions can occur because of traumatic brain injury or disease. Either way, the victim is unable to live without medical intervention. Here, again, is a neurological condition that might qualify for Compassionate Allowances.
Ask a Disability Lawyer if You Qualify for SSDI
Social Security Administration rules and regulations are not easy to understand. It can help to have someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience helping clients like you. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.