Parkinson’s Disease and Social Security Disability Benefits

Approximately one million people in the United States are affected by Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a medical disorder that is characterized by symptoms like stiffness, tremors, impaired movement, and instability. Parkinson’s disease is part of a group of neurological disorders known as Parkinsonian syndrome. If you suffer from Parkinson’s disease, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. In order to determine your eligibility, please review the information below and contact a Michigan disability law attorney as soon as possible.  

Symptoms

Common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Difficulty writing
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Slowed movement 
  • Rigid muscles 
  • Impaired posture 
  • Impaired balance
  • Decreased ability to perform unconscious movements.
  • Changes in speech

Diagnosis 

Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed based on a patient’s medical history, symptoms, and a neurological and physical examination. The following symptoms must be present over a certain period in order for a physician to diagnose a patient with Parkinson’s disease:

  • Tremors or shaking
  • Bradykinesia (slowed movement)
  • Stiffness in the limbs or body
  • Problems with balance 

Qualifying for benefits  

In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits for Parkinson’s disease, Social Security follows a 5-step evaluation process that looks at a variety of factors. The first two steps focus on whether the claimant is working at substantial gainful activity levels and, if not, whether the medical condition(s) are severe in that they cause significant work-related limitations. At step three, an applicant could qualify for disability benefits if they exhibit the following symptoms for a minimum of three consecutive months based on their Parksinon’s disease:

  • The inability to control motion in two limbs, resulting in extreme limitations in the ability to balance, stand up from sitting, or use the upper limbs; 

OR

  • Physical limitations problems in one of the following areas:
    • Remembering, understanding, or applying information;
    • Interacting with other people;
    • Concentrating, maintaining pace, or persisting; or
    • Managing oneself.

Documentation required  

In order to demonstrate the above symptoms, an applicant should provide both medical and non-medical evidence to the Social Security Administration. Common documentation includes:

  • Medical history
  • Examination findings
  • Lab test results
  • Medical imaging test results
  • Descriptions of treatments 
  • Descriptions of responses to treatments
  • Statements by medical providers describing the applicant’s restrictions, limitations, daily activities, and how the applicant’s condition affects his or her ability to work.

However, if an applicant fails to meet the above criteria, he or she may still be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits under certain circumstances. The best way to determine one’s eligibility is to contact a Social Security disability benefits attorney for guidance. 

Apply for Social Security disability benefits today 

If you suffer from Parkinson’s disease, the skilled Michigan disability law attorneys at Disability Law Group are here to help get the benefits you deserve. At Disability Law Group, our experienced attorneys will assist you with every step of the Social Security disability benefits process, from filing the initial application to appealing your denial in court if necessary. If you live in Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County, or elsewhere in Michigan and suffer from Parkinson’s disease, we are on your side. At Disability Law Group, disability is all we do. Please contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation.