Whether you have been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or living with the disease for some time now, you may be considering Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Does Parkinson’s disease qualify you for disability insurance? The Social Security Administration ultimately makes the final call in these matters, but we can provide you with some guidance as you explore your options with Social Security.
Is Parkinson’s considered a disability by Social Security?
The Social Security Administration keeps a large reference with all the disabilities that it recognizes. This reference is called the Blue Book, and in it, you can find all manner of disabilities listed including Parkinson’s disease. In the Blue Book, Parkinson’s disease is listed as Parkinsonian syndrome and it falls under section 11.06. Section 11 deals entirely with adult neurological conditions.
Can you qualify for SSDI as soon as you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s
In most cases, Parkinson’s disease gets caught rather early with small tremors, cramped handwriting, sleeping issues, loss of smell, hunching, and balance issues. If caught early, chances are the symptoms may be relatively minor and won’t prevent you from substantial gainful work.
However, as Parkinson’s progresses, it will likely inhibit your ability to work. Once certain criteria are met, and you are unable to do substantial gainful work, then you should apply for Social Security Disability Insurance.
Can You Keep Working While Applying for Disability?
What are the qualifying factors for a Parkinson’s SSDI claim?
According to the Blue Book, you need to be experiencing disorganization of motor function in at least two extremities. This disorganization must continue for at least three consecutive months while utilizing any and all prescribed treatments. Furthermore, this disorganization must result in an extreme limitation in at least one of the following:
- Your use of your upper extremities
- Your ability to stand up from a seated position
- Your ability to balance while standing or walking
You can still qualify if you are experiencing a marked limitation of physical function with:
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
- Adapting or managing oneself
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information
- Interacting with others
Are other disabilities considered when making an SSDI decision?
When the Social Security Administration is considering a claim, they will look at all impairments whether they are severe or non-severe to make their decision. In the case of Parkinson’s disease, you may have other medical issues at play that, in addition to Parkinson’s disease, make it difficult or impossible for you to work. It is important that all of your health issues are well-documented by medical professionals prior to making your claim.
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