Tennessee residents become eligible for social security disability when a doctor determines they suffer from a mental or physical impairment that negatively affects their ability to work and enjoy other aspects of life. A doctor must also determine this impairment will affect or has already affected the patient for more than one calendar year. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is one condition that commonly causes patients to apply for social security disability.
What is Lou Gehrig’s disease?
Twitching and muscle weakness are the main symptoms of Lou Gehrig’s disease. These symptoms usually start in the arms or legs before affecting other parts of the body. Complications include breathing difficulties, the inability to swallow, muscle cramps and speech impediments.
Qualifying for disability
Adults diagnosed with ALS are likely to be approved for social security disability. ALS is among the list of impairments identified by the Social Security Administration as qualifying patients for disability if necessary criteria also exist. Qualifications include an ALS diagnosis along with evidence supporting this diagnosis.
Expedited disability approvals
The compassionate allowances program paves the way for ALS disability applications to move on a fast track. Applicants may receive decisions in fast-tracked cases in as little as two weeks. Disability benefit collection begins immediately upon approval for applicants suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. The wait to collect benefits can be as long as five months for patients with other conditions.
Required medical evidence
The Social Security Administration will conduct a careful medical records review for disability applicants claiming to suffer from Lou Gehrig’s disease. The following things need to be present for an approved application:
- Recorded history of ALS symptoms
- Neurological test results that suggest ALS
- Test results that rule out other problems
- Nerve conduction tests and electromyography
The rules and regulations regarding social security disability benefits can become difficult to navigate for someone not already familiar with the process. Individuals with questions regarding their disability status may benefit from reaching out to an attorney.