According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, nearly 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease. The Foundation says approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year.
Parkinson’s disease can cause great physical and emotional impairments. These impairments can interfere with one’s ability to work and lead to financial hardship.
Do you have Parkinson’s disease that impacts your ability to continue working? You could be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI).
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder that affects the part of the brain which controls motor functioning. Sometimes, Parkinson’s is genetic or is caused by head injuries, but the causes of Parkinson’s are largely unknown.
Parkinson’s disease could cause the following symptoms:
- Tremors, mainly in hands
- Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
- Limb rigidity (stiffness)
- Slow Gait and balance problems
These symptoms progress slowly and can lead to an inability to stand or walk. Those in the latter stages of Parkinson’s can also experience cognitive and speech difficulties. There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but medications and surgery could help prolong the progression of the symptoms.
SSDI and Parkinson’s Disease
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a 5-step process to determine a claimant’s eligibility for disability benefits. Those seeking disability benefits for Parkinson’s disease will go through the following process:
- Determine if the claimant is working at or above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level as defined by the SSA in the year they file. The SGA level for 2021 is a monthly income of $1310.
- Determine if the claimant’s complications from Parkinson’s disease significantly limit their ability to perform basic work activities such as:
- pulling or pushing
- lifting or carrying
- simple cognitive reasoning
- Determine if the claimant’s issues with Parkinson’s disease meet the criteria outlined in the SSA’s impairments list.
To meet the SSA’s Parkinson’s disease impairments listing a claimant must show medical proof of diagnosis with Parkinson’s which causes them to have either:
The inability to control the movement of at least two extremities, despite at least three months of treatment. This inability to control movement must make it difficult to balance while standing or walking, to stand up from a seated position, or to use the arms.
“marked” limitations in physical function and one of the following:
- thinking (understanding, remembering, or using information)
- interacting with others
- concentration, persistence, or speed, or
- taking care of oneself and adapting to changes.
- Determine if the claimant can do any work they may have done in the past despite their complications from Parkinson’s disease.
- Determine if the claimant can do any other work based on their:
- prior work experience
- mental and physical capabilities
Getting Help with Your Claim
Do you have Parkinson’s disease? Does it interfere with your ability to work? If so, you might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
Getting approval for a Parkinson’s disease SSDI claim can be complicated. You must have sufficient medical evidence of your difficulties with Parkinson’s disease and evidence of how it affects your daily life. But, an experienced SSDI lawyer can help you through the process. Studies show that having the help of an attorney can increase your chances of benefit approval.
Brock & Stout’s disability attorneys over 20 years of experience helping clients get the benefits they need. Contact us for a free evaluation of your situation to let us see if we can get you the help you need.