SSDI Eligibility Guidelines: Muscular Dystrophy
Determine if an individual is working (engaging in substantial gainful activity) according to the SSA definition. Earning more than $1,170 a month as an employee is enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Conclude the muscular dystrophy disability must be severe enough to significantly limit one’s ability to perform basic work activities needed to do most jobs. For example:
- Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling
- Seeing, hearing and speaking
- Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
- Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations
- Dealing with changes in a routine work setting
Muscular dystrophy is listed under the category of impairments known as Neurological – Medical Listing 11.13. The assessment of muscular dystrophy depends on the degree of interference with locomotion and/or interference with the use of fingers, hands and arms in the form of paresis or paralysis, tremor or other involuntary movements, ataxia and sensory disturbances, which occur singly or in various combinations. If any of the following are present, the individual will be found to be disabled:
- Significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station
Explore the ability of an individual to perform work they have done in the past despite their muscular dystrophy. If the SSA finds that a person can do his or her past work, benefits are denied. If the person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.
Review age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the person can perform. To determine muscular dystrophy disability, the SSA enlists medical-vocational rules, which vary according to age.
SSDI & Muscular Dystrophy: A Personal Story
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