A number of our Social Security Disability clients suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Individuals suffering from this disorder frequently experience the following symptoms:
- tremors or shaking,
- slow movement, and
- difficulty balancing.
The course of prescribed treatment varies depending on which symptoms are most troubling. Medications such as Stalevo are often used, and dosages are frequently modified with new medications being added or substituted. Physical and speech therapies are also frequently employed along with surgeries such as deep brain stimulation. While not all individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease will be found disabled under Social Security rules, one source of information for people with Parkinson’s disease that we recommend is the National Parkinson Foundation. The National Parkinson Foundation is a nonprofit organization and their Web site full of information and resources to those suffering from Parkinson’s disease. You can call them at (800) 327-4545.
Recently we have assisted individuals with severe Parkinson’s disease in getting Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. Their cases were among the more severe of those suffering with the disease. The degree of frequency and severity of an individual’s symptoms is always unique in each particular case and will determine, to a large degree, whether an individual claim will be granted benefits.
Some diseases are included in Social Security’s Listing of impairments and some are not. In some instances, a disease, while not Listed, is addressed in a Social Security Ruling. The Rulings offer guidance but do not set out specific criteria for an award of benefits. Other diseases are not in the Listings or recognized in a Social Security Ruling.
Regardless of the disease, you or your lawyer should have the following:
- a good working list of your symptoms,
- a knowledge of the degree of certainty of your diagnosis,
- a general understanding of the consistency between your symptoms and your diagnosis,
- a good understanding of what evidence might best support your contention that your symptoms are disabling, and
- which legal theory will most likely be accepted by the Social Security Administration given the particular facts of the entire case.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from severe Parkinson’s disease, consider contacting the National Parkinson Foundation for additional information on the disorder. If you are considering a Social Security Disability claim, we advise you to speak with an attorney. We handle cases throughout the state of Texas, but we are always happy to give you a referral if we are unable to assist you.