What types of neurological disorders are eligible for Social Security disability?

Every year, thousands of Americans apply for Social Security disability because of debilitating medical conditions that keep them from being able to work. Unfortunately, the government is not able nor willing to accept every claim it receives. In order to spend limited funds wisely, federal regulations say that only certain conditions are eligible for disability benefits.

To remain fair and impartial the Social Security Administration (SSA) developed a list of ailments severe enough to prevent sufferers from being able to support themselves and their families. These impairments are listed in the SSA disability “blue book,” and can be accessed by potential candidates before they file to ensure their conditions are covered.

Neurological Conditions Included in the SSA Blue Book

One of the categories included in the blue book covers neurological disorders—ailments that affect the nervous system. These conditions are considered relevant for disability as they can severely inhibit motor function and mobility. A few of the more common disorders covered in this category include the following:

  • Epilepsy: convulsive epilepsy, (grand mal or psychomotor) and non-convulsive epilepsy (petit mal, psychomotor, or focal). This is a central nervous system disorder characterized by disruption of electrical activity in the brain that can cause seizures. An epileptic diagnosis requires at least two unprovoked seizure episodes that resulted in either a loss of consciousness or an inability to control motor functions (twitches, convulsions, or momentary paralysis).
  • Brain tumors, malignant or benign. A mass of abnormal cells that places pressure on the nerves in the brain and disrupts nervous system function.
  • Parkinson’s Disease. A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects proper motor function. As it progresses, it typically causes violent tremors in the hands and arms, as well as stiffness and a decreased ability to move.
  • Cerebral palsy. This is a disorder that affects muscle tone, posture, and movement and is characterized by a congenital brain defect during development. Debilitating symptoms include abnormal posture, instability, involuntary movement, and muscle stiffness.
  • Multiple Sclerosis. This condition occurs when the immune system attacks the protective coating of nerves in the brain and on the spine. As the nerves become exposed, they begin to deteriorate, disrupting communication between the brain, the spinal cord, and the rest of the body. As a result, motor function becomes uncontrollable and erratic.
  • Muscular Dystrophy. This disease is characterized by mutation of genes that block muscle protein production. This block causes a progressive decrease in muscle mass and the ability to move one’s limbs voluntarily.
  • Peripheral neuropathies. Injury or damage to the peripheral nerves (the nerves that deliver messages from the brain to the spinal cord). This type of disorder can be caused by a variety of issues, such as infections, traumatic brain or spinal injuries, toxic exposure, or even a genetic defect.
  • Cerebral trauma. Injury to the brain that affects the nervous system and decreases motor function (the ability to voluntarily move and control one’s body)
  • Degenerative diseases. This broad category covers a number of ailments not listed elsewhere. Any disorder that can cause limited mobility or disrupt the function of the nervous system may be eligible for benefits. These disorders include conditions like Huntington’s disease, spinal degeneration, and Friedrich’s disease.

In some cases, mental disorders such as depression, PTSD, and intellectual disability may be classified under neurological conditions as well, even though they may not affect the nervous system.

Evaluating Your Condition to File Your Claim

If you suffer from a debilitating neurological disorder that affects your ability to provide for yourself and family, you may be eligible for disability benefits. However, without proper documentation and evidence of your inability to work, your claim will most likely be denied.

Fortunately, with the help of an experienced disability lawyer, you don’t have to worry about filing an invalid or incomplete claim for rejection. With over twenty years helping physically challenged candidates such as yourself to gather the information needed for their claims, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you do the same.

Contact us today for a free consultation and see how we can help you lower your work anxiety while increasing your ability to manage your financial future. Just fill out the online contact form provided on this page and let us help you determine your eligibility and file your claim as soon as possible.