Tennesseans who have Parkinson’s disease may qualify for SSDI benefits if their symptoms have become severe due to the progression of the condition, leaving them unable to perform the tasks of their jobs. To qualify, applicants who have Parkinson’s disease must be able to show that their conditions prevent them from performing the tasks of the jobs that they have held during the past 15 years as well as any other less-demanding jobs that they could be trained to perform. Disability examiners compare the applicants’ symptoms to the guidelines in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book to determine whether or not the symptoms are severe enough to qualify for SSDI.
The Severity of the Symptoms of Parkinson’s
The Social Security Administration has a guide for different medical conditions called the Blue Book. When people apply for Social Security disability insurance, the disability examiners compare the information in the applicants’ medical records to the guidelines in the Blue Book. People who apply based on Parkinson’s disease must meet one of the following criteria:
A)-Disorganization of motor function in two extremities resulting in an extreme limitation in the ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities; or
B)-Have a marked limitation in physical functioning and in one of the following:
1. Understanding, remembering, or applying information; or
2. Interacting with others; or
3. Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
4. Adapting or managing oneself.
Disorganization of motor function must be so severe that it impacts the applicant’s ability to walk, perform dexterous movements, or to stand upright. Even if the symptoms do impact the applicant’s ability to do these things, a disability examiner may still find that the applicant does not qualify for benefits if the impact is something that doesn’t interfere with the person’s job functions. For example, if an applicant can’t walk or stand upright because of Parkinson’s disease but is still able to sit and type, a disability examiner may recommend that the Social Security Administration deny the application if he or she thinks that the person can perform a desk job.
Improving the Chances of Approval
There are several things that people can do to improve the chances that their applications for SSDI might be approved. They should make certain to continue to see their doctors and to follow all of their recommendations. People should make certain that they submit applications that are comprehensive. They should include the names of every doctor who has treated them for their Parkinson’s symptoms as well as every hospital at which they have received treatment. If they receive a denial, they should make certain to file an appeal within the provided timeline. Many applicants are approved for SSDI after they appeal.