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Is Parkinson’s a Reason for Social Security Disability?

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) issues Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to certain applicants with qualifying disabilities. Applicants may qualify if they suffer from a condition explicitly listed in the SSA’s Blue Book. Even if the applicant does not suffer from one of the listed conditions, they might still qualify if they suffer from another diagnosable condition and meet certain requirements. Continue reading to learn about how the SSA treats Parkinson’s Disease and, if you suffer from Parkinson’s, how you might qualify for disability benefits. For seasoned advice and assistance obtaining SSI and SSDI benefits, talk to an accomplished California Social Security Disability benefits attorney.

Parkinson’s May Qualify an Applicant for Disability

Parkinson’s Disease, also known as idiopathic parkinsonism, primary parkinsonism, and PD, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that burdens the central nervous system. The symptoms of Parkinson’s develop slowly over the years and tend to affect each patient differently. Patients with PD may experience tremors (particularly in the hands), slowness, trouble moving, limb stiffness and rigidity, gait and balance issues, as well as a host of non-motor neurological issues (depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, loss of smell, cognitive impairment, etc.)

The SSA may consider Parkinson’s a disability under certain circumstances, but it does not always award SSDI based solely on a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Because of the variety of effects suffered by Parkinson’s patients, many people are able to work for years even after a Parkinson’s diagnosis. In order to obtain SSDI benefits, the applicant must demonstrate not only that they have Parkinson’s, but that their condition has progressed to such a degree as to render them unable to work.

The SSA’s Blue Book explains the SSA’s disability determination process. The Blue Book includes a listing for Parkinson’s and the requirements for a disability classification. To qualify for disability benefits based on a Parkinson’s diagnosis, the applicant must demonstrate that, despite receiving at least three months of treatment for the condition, either A or B applies:

A. Disorganization of motor functions in two extremities, resulting in an extreme limitation in the ability to stand, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities; OR

B. Marked limitations in physical functioning, and marked limitation in at least one of the following areas:

    a. Understanding, remembering, or applying information,
    b. Interacting with other people,
    c. Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace, or
    d. Adapting or managing oneself.

Even if the applicant does not meet that specific listing, they might still qualify for benefits. An applicant must show that their condition is severe enough to limit their ability to perform basic work-related activities, preventing them from working, and/or that their condition is equal in severity to another condition on the listing.

The SSA’s ultimate determination will be based on the applicant’s medical history. The more evidence the applicant can collect and submit, the stronger their claim will be. Talk to an SSI/SSDI attorney to help you qualify for disability benefits based on your Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Call Today for Help Getting the Disability Benefits You Deserve From a Dedicated SSI/SSDI Lawyer

For help collecting disability benefits or appealing a disability benefits denial in Southern California or statewide, call the experienced, diligent Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSDI/SSI) attorneys of Drake & Drake at 818-624-4695.

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Drake & Drake, P.C., is located in Calabasas, CA and serves clients in and around Woodland Hills, Wilmington, Harbor City, Carson, Torrance, San Pedro, Long Beach, Compton, Gardena, Paramount, Lynwood, Bellflower, South Gate, Los Angeles, Hawaiian Gardens, Artesia, Huntington Park, Cerritos, Bell, Norwalk, Maywood, Santa Fe Springs, Pico Rivera, Whittier and Los Angeles County.

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