MS and How to Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects nearly 2.5 million people globally, with close to 384,000 new patients being diagnosed in the United States alone. If you, or a person you know has been diagnosed with MS, it is of paramount importance to understand what MS really is and what you can do to seek and obtain disability benefits.

What is MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS), is an immune-mediated disease wherein your immune system T cells pass from the bloodstream into your central nervous system and mistakenly attack the fatty material (Myelin) wrapped around your nerves. Myelin is designed to protect your nerves and without it, your nerves become damaged; disrupting the communication between your brain and the rest of your body.

MS progresses differently for different people. For some it is a steady, gradual progression while others it will accelerate quickly and then the symptoms will actually decrease or relapse. The episodes can also vary in length and severity. The main types of MS are as follows: relapsing-remitting MS, primary-progressive MS, secondary-progressive MS, and progressive-relapsing MS.

The number one symptom of MS is fatigue. The impact that MS can have on your life can be extensive. Some of the limitations might include:

  • numbness and tingling,
  • blurred vision.
  • loss of balance or problems walking,
  • problems using your hands or fingers,
  • difficulty speaking for prolonged periods of time or swallowing,
  • bladder or bowel control,
  • problems remembering things or concentrating for prolonged periods of time, and depression

The severity of the symptoms associated with MS vary from person to person.

How MS Can Automatically Qualify You For Social Security Disability

The government has provided a list of criteria for individuals with MS that will automatically qualify for disability. (See Social Security's blue book listing 11.09)

It states that you must show that you have at least one of the following:

The inability to control the movement of at least two extremities (either an arm and a leg or two arms or two legs). This must result in extreme difficulty in the ability to balance while standing or walking, to stand up from a seated position, or to use the arms.


“Marked” physical problems along with a "marked" limitation any one of the following:

  • thinking (understanding, remembering, or applying information)
  • interacting with others (social problems), or
  • finishing tasks (problems with concentration, persistence, or speed).

The Social Security Administration must determine if your symptoms are “marked” and unfortunately, the term “marked” is vaguely defined as more than moderate, but less than extreme.

MS Symptoms That Are Disabling

If you are an adult, and you are not found disabled under the above criteria, DO NOT GIVE UP. There are other ways to obtain social security disability benefits. The government will approve your case if your medical condition causes symptoms or limitations that will prevent you from being able to work full time. So, for example, if your capacity to stand, or concentrate, or use your fingers to type deteriorates after four or six hours, you may have a great case.

Getting Benefits With MS

Every case is unique and we are glad to meet with you to discuss ways to build a convincing case for social security disability benefits. Also, we understand that if you are disabled, and cannot work, you probably cannot afford to pay anything up front.

That is why we do not charge a fee unless you win. We are right here in San Antonio so contact us today at 210-340-8877 so we can help you better secure your future.