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Myasthenia Gravis Disability

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Does Myasthenia Gravis Qualify for Disability?

It is difficult to qualify for Social Security disability benefits based only on a diagnosis of myasthenia gravis.  To qualify for benefits, you must prove that your myasthenia gravis significantly limits your ability to work. Some factors that the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers when deciding if you are disabled include the type of myasthenia gravis, how long you have had the disease, how well you are responding to treatment, and your ability to do work-related activities.

You will need to submit medical records to prove your disability, as well as a statement provided by your doctor regarding your particular medical condition and what problems you are facing. The SSA’s Blue Book mentions myasthenia gravis under Neurological Medical Listing 11.12 If your condition is described under this listing, you will qualify for myasthenia gravis disability benefits.

What is the Main Cause of Myasthenia Gravis?

Myasthenia Gravis is caused by weakness in one or any of the muscles that are under voluntary control. The weakness can also be accompanied by rapid fatigue. In this condition, the normal communication between the muscles and the nerves breaks.

Myasthenia Gravis Disability

The disorder is so severe that it cannot be cured. However, with regular medical treatment, people suffering from this disorder may get some relief. Some of the common symptoms those with the disorder experience are leg or arm muscles going weak, drooping eyelids, and double vision. Some people might also suffer from speech problems and issues with swallowing, breathing, and chewing.  People may show symptoms of this disease at any age, though it is most commonly seen in women who are less than 40 years old and in men who are more than 60 years old.

Is Myasthenia Gravis a Disability?

Myasthenia can be kept under control with proper and regular medical treatment. Otherwise, the disorder will quickly spread and will lead to a disabling state. When this disorder progresses to the point that it prevents an individual from working, it is considered a disability for purposes of receiving benefits. The Social Security Administration can grant these patients Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

If you meet the eligibility criteria as specified in the listing for Myasthenia Gravis disability in the Blue Book, then you will be approved automatically. Alternatively, Social Security may agree that your muscles are not functioning well and you are not able to partake in any substantial gainful activity or SGA. SGA refers to when you can work and earn more than $1350 every month.

Either way, you need to prove that your symptoms are persistent. You must be able to show that there is no improvement in your condition even after taking regular medications. The records from your physician should be sufficient to prove this to the Social Security Administration.

Some Interesting Facts About Myasthenia Gravis

As per the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, MG is considered a primary disorder found in neuromuscular transmission. Every 20 in 100,000 people gets infected by MG in the United States. There are nearly 36,000 to 60,000 reported cases in America.

However, this disorder is frequently not diagnosed properly or at an early stage. This condition can cause difficulty to anyone, regardless of age or gender. The disease is not inheritable but can occur in more than one family member. MG is not transmitted by any form of contact or via intimate contact.

How Can You Meet The MG Listing?

You must have been diagnosed with MG if you want to meet the eligibility requirements mentioned in listing 11.12. You also need to prove that you are experiencing one of the following:

  • You are unable to move two or more of your limbs, including arms and legs. This must result in extreme difficulty in maintaining balance while walking or standing.
  • You are unable to stand from a seated position.
  • You are unable to use your arms.
  • You are experiencing fatigue in bulbar muscles that have caused the increase of mechanical ventilation or any supplemental nutrition. 
  • You are facing a marked limitation in mental operatives. This means you are suffering from an intellectual disability. An intellectual disability can include problems in understanding, remembering, or communicating with others.

What Medical Evidence is Required to Meet the Listing?

It is a challenging task to prove MG. This is because muscle weakness is not noticeable when at rest. It only becomes apparent that the patient is suffering from weakness and fatigue when they are in motion.

For example, if a patient is having a meal and is suffering from bulbar MG then the muscles will be tired while chewing in between the meal.  A doctor must record any symptoms of weakness an MG patient experiences as their disability progresses.

An applicant for benefits must be able to provide sufficient proof to fulfill the Blue Book criteria. Forms of proof may include:

  • Reports from muscle stimulation tests, which can be used to show weakness
  • Muscle surgeries 
  • Pulmonary tests that analyze breathing levels
  • Physical examinations including raising of legs or gripping tests

Some people might face occasional events caused by MG. Social Security is aware of this fact and analyses the frequency with which recurring episodes occur. They will also analyze how long the episodes last. Seek help from a Social Security Disability Attorney if you want to know more about qualifying for benefits with MG.