When an individual has structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities of the brain, spinal cord, or other nerves, these abnormalities can result in a range if disabling symptoms.
Examples of symptoms arising from a neurological disorder:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of sensation
- Altered levels of consciousness
There are approximately 600 recognized neurological disorders, some of which are relatively common, and others that are very rare. In 2006, the World Health Organization estimated that neurological disorders and their direct consequences affect up to one billion people across the globe.
The causes of neurological disorders vary, but include infections, congenital abnormalities, genetic disorders, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and nerve injuries.
Neurological Disorders & the Inability to Work
Social Security provides benefits to people who are unable to work because they are suffering from a neurological disorder that is expected to last at least a year or result in death.
Federal law has a strict definition of a "disability," which is the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is expect to last for a continuous period of 12 months or which can be expected to result in death.
Social Security's Listing of Impairments describes impairments for each major body system which are considered serious enough to prevent an individual from engaging in any gainful employment.
On the Listing of Impairments, neurological disorders are covered under Section 11.00, some of which include:
- Parkinson's disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Multiple sclerosis
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the neurological system that affects a person's movement. The disease develops gradually, often starting with a slight tremor in one of the hands.
While tremors are tell-tale signs of Parkinson's, the disease is commonly associated with slowed movement, rigid muscles, impaired posture or balance, speech problems, writing changes, and the loss of automatic movements.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a neurological disease that causes muscle weakness and affects physical function. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a type of motor neuron disease that causes the nerve cells to gradually break down and die.
ALS begins with muscle twitching and weakness in an arm or a leg, or sometimes it includes slurred speech. Eventually, ALS affects the person's ability to control the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. ALS is incurable and ultimately leads to death.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease where the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers the nerves. This damage disrupts the communication between the brain and the rest of the body, which can lead to irreversible damage of the nerves.
The signs and symptoms of MS vary widely depending on the level of damage to the nerves affected. Some people with MS may lose the ability to walk, while others may experience long periods of remission.
Have you been diagnosed with a neurological disease?
If you have been diagnosed with a neurological disease, you should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. Since it can take three to five months for the Social Security Administration to process your application, you want to apply for disability benefits as soon as possible.
Since preparing a complete application in a timely manner is essential to having your claim approved, it is important that you work with a Reno Social Security disability representative from Disability Action Advocates. Certain things are better left to a professional, and you simply cannot afford to take a chance with your health or your financial wellbeing.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation!