Some illnesses can make it difficult for a patient to lead a normal life. Not only do those illnesses lead to significant physical discomfort but they also make it almost impossible for the patient to hold a job and earn a steady income. The end result is that the patient and their family have to face a multitude of emotional and financial problems. An example of such an illness is Parkinson’s disease.
According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that is both chronic and progressive. It is related to the human motor system. Disorders of the motor system, in turn, are a result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. Dopamine is the chemical that facilitates communication between brain cells.
Fortunately, Parkinson’s disease is included in the Social Security Administration’s list of disabling conditions. In fact, from September 2016, the SSA changed the way it reviewed Parkinson’s cases. Per the new review standards, even the non-motor aspects of Parkinson’s disease, such as cognitive functioning, were included in the criteria for evaluating benefits, both under the Social Security Disability Insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income program. Exact details for eligibility can be found on the SSA website under the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool section and the Disability Planner section.
Unfortunately, although the SSA offers benefits for patients with Parkinson’s disease, qualifying for SSD/SSI benefits is often a challenge and rejections are, therefore, common. These rejections are often due to the fact that many patients are unable to support their application with adequate evidence. Taking these facts into consideration, it may be helpful if the patient and the family members consult an attorney who has experience in dealing with the SSA.