SSDI Qualifying Condition: Neurological Disorders
Neurological disorders are conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, and/or nerves. Working together, these three body parts control every bodily function by communicating signals between the brain and every other body part. When a neurological disorder disrupts part or all of these systems, serious disabilities can result.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits for individuals who have any of a long list of neurological disorders. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, a person must have a neurological disorder that prevents him or her from working at least one year and/or is expected to result in the person’s death.
Qualifying Neurological Disorders
Neurological disorders that may qualify for benefits under SSDI include:
- Epilepsy, whether or not seizures occur
- Central nervous system vascular accident, like a stroke that causes paralysis
- Brain tumors
- Parkinsonian syndromes
- Cerebral palsy
- Lesions on the spinal cord or nerve roots, regardless of cause
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Anterior poliomyelitis
- Myasthenia gravis
- Muscular dystrophy (MD)
- Peripheral neuropathies, which may have many different causes
- Subacute combined cord degeneration, under certain circumstances
- Cerebral trauma, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Huntington’s chorea
- Friedreich’s ataxia
- Spinocerebellar degeneration
- Other degenerative neurological conditions
Proving Your Disability
When deciding whether a particular person’s neurological disorder qualifies for SSDI benefits, the SSA looks at several different types of evidence. These include statements from the patient about how the disorder affects his or her daily life and medical records, like doctor’s notes, test results, surgery records (if any), and prescription records (if any).
For many neurological disorders, the SSA’s decision whether or not to grant disability benefits depends partly on how well the patient can function with proper treatment. For instance, individuals with epilepsy who find their condition is well controlled with medication may not qualify for disability benefits. By contrast, individuals who cannot perform many daily activities, even with proper treatment, are more likely to qualify for benefits. When a condition is episodic, like multiple sclerosis flare-ups, the SSA considers both the person’s overall functioning and the decrease in functioning during an episode, as well as how often episodes occur and how long they last.
Some neurological disorders must cause limitations for at least three months in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. For conditions resulting from a stroke, aneurysm, or other vascular accident, the neurological impairment must last at least three months in order to qualify for disability benefits. Disability due to traumatic brain injury may qualify for benefits after three months in some cases. In others, the full extent of impairment might not be obvious until six months or more after the injury occurs. The SSA allows patients to submit new medical information or to re-apply or appeal a denial if a condition gets worse over time.
Helping You Find Needed Benefits in Los Angeles
Neurological disorders can cause serious impairments, and many are fatal. Disability benefits can be crucial, yet applying for them when you’re already struggling to live with a neurological disorder can feel overwhelming. But you don’t have to do it alone. At the Kenton Koszdin Law Office, our experienced Ventura Social Security neurological disability benefits attorneys can help you seek the benefits you need. To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation.