Myasthenia Gravis (MG), a condition which affects roughly one in 5,000 Americans, is an autoimmune disease which causes the body’s immune system to essentially attack the body rather than fight disease. Its effects on a person’s life can range from relatively mild to severely debilitating. The cause is currently unknown.
There is currently no cure for Myasthenia Gravis, though many sufferers respond well to the medical treatments which are available to deal with its symptoms. Typical symptoms include slurred speech, drooping eyelids, and blurred vision. In many cases, other muscle groups are also affected. The most common muscle groups affected at the legs, hands, chest, arms, neck and face muscles.
Limitations placed on people who have MG vary widely. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that MG can be a potentially debilitating disease, and gives the condition a listing in the Blue Book (The SSA Listing of Impairments). The listing outlines the conditions under which a claimant can qualify for Social Security disability benefits with a Myasthenia Gravis diagnosis.
Simply being diagnosed with MG is not sufficient to qualify a claimant for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify for benefits, you must be able to show proof that your condition prohibits you from working at any gainful employment for which you are qualified.
If you are claiming disability benefits because of MG, it is important to continue medical treatment. You will also want to keep a record of every time your condition caused you to be unable to do something. One of the difficulties many MG sufferers run into when applying for Social Security benefits is that the symptoms of the condition tend to go away with rest. This can be problematic in proving that you are unable to work unless you have adequate documentation backing up the fact that your MG severely limits your activities of daily living.
When documenting the effects of MG on your life, the little things matter. Does it affect your ability to stand or sit? Does it affect your ability to perform daily activities? Does it affect your ability to use common household or office tools and equipment? Any time your condition causes you to be unable to do something, write it down and date it. Not only can this be helpful when applying for Social Security disability benefits, but you will want the information with you when you discuss your condition with your doctor.
If you or someone you love suffers from MG, and you are unable to continue working as a result of your condition, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Because proving complete disability due to MG can be difficult, it’s in your best interest to seek representation by a Social Security disability lawyer.
Many people with Myasthenia Gravis are able to keep their symptoms under control and continue to live normal lives. Many can continue to enjoy the things they have always enjoyed and can continue to work. For those who can’t, Social Security disability benefits are often the best way to continue to meet obligations and live a reasonably normal life.