You didn’t know you had it, and the doctor’s diagnosis came as a terrible shock. You were diagnosed with an inherited, incurable, and degenerative brain condition known as Huntington’s disease. You may have been diagnosed when your condition became symptomatic in your 30s or 40s, like most people with this condition. Now, you face inevitable changes in your ability to move, in your ability to think, and you may suffer psychiatric disorders. As your disease progresses, it may become impossible to work.
But You May Be Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits
You may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if you meet the requirements in the Blue Book Listing of Impairment for Huntington’s disease, if you are unable to work because of your condition, or if you qualify in another way.
The Blue Book Listing
Neurodegenerative conditions of the central nervous system, such as Huntington’s disease, are specifically listed in Section 11.17 of the Listing of Impairments. Pursuant to this section, you may qualify for Social Security disability if one of the following is true:
- You have disorganization of motor function in two extremities resulting in extreme limitation of your ability to stand up from a seated position, to balance while standing or walking, or to use your upper extremities, or
- You have a marked limitation in your physical functioning and in one of the following: your understanding, remembering or applying of information, your interaction with others, your ability to concentrate, persist, or maintain pace, or your ability to adapt or manage yourself.
Other Ways to Qualify
Even if you don’t meet the requirements of Section 11.17, you may still qualify for Social Security disability if:
- You meet the requirements of another section of the Blue Book. For example, if you meet the requirements for a psychiatric disorder, you may qualify pursuant to that listing even though your psychiatric disorder was brought on by Huntington’s disease.
- Your condition is equal in severity to another listing in the Blue Book. If you can prove that your disease has the same effect on your body as a Blue Book listing, you may qualify for benefits.
- Your condition prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The Social Security Administration will look at your residual functional capacity to determine if you are able to work.
How ever you think you qualify for Social Security Disability, it is important to work with a Social Security disability attorney. Any mistake on your application for benefits could lead to your application being denied. Our lawyers will work hard to convince the Social Security Administration of your eligibility and to get you the benefits you deserve. Please contact us today via this website or by phone to learn more.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.