Monday, February 28, 2011

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (“MS”) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. When applying for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits, the best strategy is to provide evidence that shows the claimant meets the MS “listing.” If the criteria of the MS “listing” are met then the applicant is presumed to be disabled, and no further medical or vocational development is required. Since MS is usually treated by a neurologist it would be best to obtain an opinion from a neurologist that the claimant meets the criteria under the 11.09 listing for MS.

I represent a 54 year old former attorney whose SSD application was approved in less than three months, and shortly after I submitted medical evidence from the claimant’s neurologist showing that the 11.09 criteria were met. The claimant was not even asked to be examined by a Social Security doctor.

If a hearing has already been scheduled, showing that a claimant meets a listing is important because it makes it significantly more difficult for an Administrative Law Judge to deny the claim, or for the denial to be sustained on appeal. Moreover, it is also likely that an attorney advisor would approve an on-the-record request for a fully favorable decision if shown that the medical evidence meets a listing.

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