Disability Benefits and Parkinson’s Disease

April 1, 2016
Dayes Law Firm

Parkinson’s Disease, or Parkinsonian Syndrome, is a motor system disorder that impacts a person’s ability to move. Tremors are a widely known symptom of the disease, but it can also affect a person’s mind, resulting in dementia, impaired motor skills, changes in speech, and muscle stiffness. It is a degenerative disease that gets worse over time.

While there is no cure, medications or surgery may help manage the symptoms. If the condition is severe and limits a person’s ability to work, they may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Qualifying for Disability

To be eligible for SSD benefits, applicants must meet certain criteria set by the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) listing for Parkinson’s disease in its book of impairments. The criteria requires applicants show that they experience:

  • Rigidity, slow movement or tremors in at least two extremities, such as a leg and an arm
  • Abnormal rate of walking or difficulty with prolonged movement

If an applicant’s symptoms do not meet the Social Security listing requirements, they may still qualify for disability benefits under medical-vocational guidelines. However, the applicant must prove that their condition is so severe that they cannot work due to physical limitations.

During this process, the SSA will check the applicant’s health records, gather a doctor’s opinion, look at the record of symptoms and analyze any additional medical information. Medical records should include an official diagnose of Parkinson’s disease, documentation of symptoms by a doctor, as well as imaging tests confirming the diagnosis. Any medication side effects and mental health issues relating to the condition should be included, too.

Applicants will receive a residual functional capacity (RFC) exam that identifies the amount of work they are able perform based on their age, education and other work experience.

If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and have experienced challenges in filing a disability claim or were denied benefits, contact the experienced disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm PC right away to find out what we can do to help you.

Call 1-800-503-2000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.