Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness and rapid fatigue of your voluntary muscles. This condition tends to get worse over time and can cause double vision, drooping eyelids, weakness in the arms or legs and problems chewing, swallowing, breathing or speaking.
Some people with myasthenia gravis lose the ability to work to support themselves and their families. Fortunately, people suffering from this disease may be able to obtain Social Security Disability benefits.
The experienced Phoenix Social Security Disability attorneys at Dayes Law Firm PC can explore your legal options during a free case review. We can help you apply for benefits as well as navigate the appeal process if your claim is denied.
Social Security Listing for Myasthenia Gravis
The first way that you can try to qualify for disability benefits is to show that your symptoms meet the criteria in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) blue book listing for myasthenia gravis. According to the listing, you must be able to show that you have met one of the following criteria even though you have followed treatment recommendations for three months or more:
- Disorganization of motor function in two arms, two legs or one leg and one arm that results in serious limitation in the ability to stand up after being seated, maintain balance while standing and walking or using your arms to initiate, sustain and complete work-related activities
- Bulbar and neuromuscular dysfunction that results in at least one myasthenic crisis that requires mechanical ventilation or the requirement for supplemental nutrition through gastrostomy or a catheter
- Marked limitation in physical functioning and in understanding, remembering or applying information, socializing appropriately with others, concentrating or maintaining focus on a task, or adapting or managing himself or herself
Proving Your Condition Meets SSA Requirements
To prove that your myasthenia gravis meets the criteria in the SSA's blue book listing, you will need to provide the following information:
The SSA puts great weight on the medical evidence in your claim. You must have a diagnosis of myasthenia gravis coupled with imaging results to establish that you have this condition. Medical records that can help establish your diagnosis and its limitations on you include:
- Medical history
- Doctor's statements regarding the effects of your neurological disorder and your response to medical treatment
- Examination findings
- Laboratory test results
- Imaging results from x-rays, CT scans, MRIs or EEG tests
Non-medical evidence includes information from non-medical professionals regarding how your impairment affects you. These include your own statements, as well as statements from lay individuals like your family, friends or former coworkers. These statements may discuss the following:
- Your impairments
- The restrictions your impairment has on your life
- Your daily activities
- Your attempts at working
Ability to Work
If you have been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis but your condition is not as severe as that described in the blue book listing, the SSA will determine if your condition interferes with your ability to do the work you did before developing the condition. If you can still perform the same work, your claim will be denied.
However, if your condition does not allow you to perform the work you did before your diagnosis, the SSA determines if you are able to adjust to other work. The SSA considers factors such as the following to make this determination:
- Past work experience
- Job skills that can be transferred to another job
At this stage in the evaluation process, a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form is completed. This assesses the most that you can do physically and mentally when considering all of your medical symptoms. The person determining your RFC considers all of your impairments and symptoms. He or she notes limitations on your ability to perform basic work-related tasks, such as carrying, walking, sitting, reaching, crouching, remembering and understanding.
Contact a Lawyer Today
For help with your disability claim, contact an experienced disability lawyer right now. The attorneys at our firm can review your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation. We are prepared to guide you through every step of the process, as we pursue the benefits you deserve.
If we take your case, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not be charged unless you are awarded benefits.
Schedule your free case review right now by calling 1-800-503-2000.