Parkinson’s Disease

Social Security Disability for Parkinson's Disease

Facts About Social Security Disability For Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative nervous system disorder and qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits. However, there are certain qualification criteria that must be met in order to start claiming these benefits.

Parkinson's Disease

Due to the fact that this is a degenerative condition, symptoms in the early stages of the disease are minimal and therefore may not meet the qualification criteria. As the disease progresses and starts to impede a person’s ability to function normally in daily life, they are more likely to qualify for Social Security Disability.

Due to the fact that there is currently no specific test that can accurately diagnose the disease, there are certain diagnostic criteria that must be met in order to determine the presence of the disease. The main diagnostic criteria for Social Security Disability for Parkinson’s Disease include:

1. Muscle Rigidity

Muscle rigidity can appear to a lesser degree in the earlier stages of Parkinson’s and become more extreme as the disease progresses. The rigidity is the direct result of excessive or continuous contraction of the muscles and normally affects the limbs starting on one side of the body. When muscle rigidity reaches the stage where a person is no longer able to control movement in 2 or more limbs, they have met one of the qualifying diagnostic criteria for Social Security Disability.

2. Postural Instability

Parkinson’s Disease can affect a person’s ability to stand, walk as well as their sense of balance. In the later stages of the disease, this postural instability often leads to serious falls that result in injuries and even bone fractures. Postural instability may be present in the early stages of the disease but will only affect the ability to stand or walk in the later stages. Once a person is unable to stand unaided, the second diagnostic criteria for Social Security Disability has been met.

3. Bradykinesia

Bradykinesia is the slowness of movement that affects fine motor skills such as the ability to button a shirt, write or brush teeth. As the disease progresses, this will also begin to affect gross motor skills and coordination. Tremors and muscle rigidity contribute to Bradykinesia which are symptomatic of Parkinson’s Disease.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability for Parkinson’s disease, one or more of these symptoms must have been formally diagnosed by a medical practitioner and the diagnosis criteria must be documented. These documents will be used as evidence to substantiate a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease in order to qualify for Social Security Benefits.

The diagnostic criteria are most commonly required to apply for disability in the earlier stages of Parkinson’s rather than the later stages where the physical and motor symptoms can be used to qualify. However, in either case, some form of disability must be proven in order to be granted Social Security benefits.

The disability should affect a person’s ability to function normally in every day life and/or prevent them from earning an income. In order to apply for Social Security Disability for Parkinson’s, it is recommended to contact a disability claims advocate for advice and assistance with the application process.

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