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Multiple Sclerosis Awareness: Is Multiple Sclerosis Considered a Disability?

With March being Multiple Sclerosis awareness month, it’s a good time to discover more about the disease in general and to answer the question, “Is Multiple sclerosis considered a disability?” Currently, over 400,000 individuals in the United States have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with 200 new cases diagnosed each and every week, so it’s important to understand the disease and what support is available for you or your loved one.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

MS is an immune system related disease that happens when your immune system sends an abnormal response to your central nervous system. This includes your spinal cord, brain, and optic nerves. The nerve fibers and the fatty tissue around them are attacked, and scar tissue is formed. Once this happens, the nerve impulses that travel to and from the spinal cord and brain are interrupted or distorted. This is what causes the symptoms of the disease.

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

There is a lot of information available to learn more about the disease as well as support groups that are available for those who suffer from MS and their caregivers. For example, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) has a national campaign that includes events and educational activities throughout the United States. This year’s events are centered around the progression of MS. Some of the activities include an “Ask Me Anything,” online event on March 12th and a live webinar on March 13th about “Helpful Tools for MS Relapse Management.” Both events are free. The MSAA also has a free MS Relapse Toolkit that you can download.

Multiple Sclerosis and Disability

One of the most important issues is whether or not MS is considered a disability when it comes to social security disability. In fact, MS is considered a disability, but that does not mean someone with the disease will automatically receive Multiple Sclerosis social security disability benefits. This is due to the fact that some people with MS have no limitations that would keep them from working. Others can continue working long after a diagnosis. Of course, there are those patients who deal with quick progression of the disease that makes working impossible. Due to these differences, the Social Security Administration does not award benefits based on a diagnosis of MS but instead, a determination is made based on one’s specific limitations. When it comes to applying or not applying for disability for Multiple Sclerosis, you should consult with your primary care physician to determine if you have the ability to continue to work going forward or if you don’t. This will help give you a guideline of whether applying makes sense for you at this time. What’s important to understand about MS is that every person who develops the disease travels a different path. By having a good understanding about the condition and taking advantage of the support and services available, you or your loved one will have an easier time navigating through your personal journey with Multiple Sclerosis.