Myasthenia Gravis


Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the muscles. Medical experts are unsure of the exact cause of the disease, and it is not believed to have genetic roots. Myasthenia Gravis is marked by a significant decrease in the number of receptors that connect nerves to muscle fiber. The reduction in these receptors is caused by an increased concentration of antibodies. When a person suffers from Myasthenia Gravis, symptoms including droopy eyelids, blurred vision, slurred speech, muscle fatigue, difficulty swallowing and respiratory problems may be observed. Medical professionals will conduct tests that measure the levels of antibodies in the blood to determine whether a person has Myasthenia Gravis.

While some people recover from the disorder without medical intervention, medications are often needed to treat Myasthenia Gravis. Surgical intervention may be necessary, or a sufferer may be advised to undergo a plasma exchange to reduce antibodies in the bloodstream. Many people are able to see an improvement in muscle strength through these treatment methods, but the unknown nature of Myasthenia Gravis means that it is possible for some sufferers to continue to experience symptoms after undergoing treatment.

What is SSDI?

Social security disability insurance (SSDI) is a type of insurance program that is offered to people who are unable to work due to the symptoms and complications of a disabling condition. Funds for the program are sourced from paycheck deductions, and the federal government is tasked with managing these funds and making payments to those who qualify for benefits.

Unlike other types of government assistance, SSDI benefits are earned by the people who apply for them. Work history is an eligibility requirement, and most people must have worked at least five of the previous 10 years in order to qualify. Because SSDI benefits are earned, people who need these benefits should not hesitate to apply for much-needed financial assistance. It can take months for a person to be approved for benefits, so it is important to apply as soon as eligibility requirements are met.

Getting SSDI for Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis is a condition that can vary widely in severity. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a listing for the condition, and people who suffer from the disorder are able to qualify for SSDI benefits if they meet the requirements of the listing. In order to be covered under the listing, an applicant must have difficulty swallowing or breathing. A person may also qualify if he or she experiences significant weakness in the muscles. These complications must be present even after all prescribed treatment methods have been tried.

People who suffer from Myasthenia Gravis and do not meet the criteria outlined above may still be eligible for benefits. In this case, applicants must prove that they are unable to complete work tasks with reasonable accommodation. Medical records will be used to evaluate the nature and severity of symptoms, and a residual functional capacity test will be performed to evaluate the extent of the disability. The SSA will use the results of this test to determine whether an applicant could complete job tasks associated with any position for which he or she is qualified. Work and academic history must be provided to help the SSA make this determination.

Most SSDI cases hinge on providing accurate and detailed medical records that have been compiled by a licensed provider. It is essential for disabled individuals to regularly schedule appointments with their doctor to ensure that the SSA will be given a full picture of the symptoms and complications that make it impossible for them to work.

Getting Help from an Attorney

Disabled individuals who are unable to work due to their condition often feel alone when trying to apply for the benefits that they need to make ends meet. The process can be confusing, and it is common for the SSA to deny valid claims due to a lack of medical evidence. Hiring an SSDI attorney helps to ease the burden of applying for benefits. When an applicant hires an attorney, he or she gains the experience and expertise of a legal professional. SSDI lawyers are knowledgeable about the SSA’s requirements and will work to ensure that their clients meet these requirements to improve their chances of being approved for benefits. Instead of going through the process of applying for SSDI benefits alone, consult with an attorney. Scheduling an appointment is the first step to gaining peace of mind during a difficult time.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.