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SSDI and Cytomegalovirus disease

All disorders are evaluated differently by social security. There are a variety of immune system disorders that are all evaluated differently and are treated differently.
Immune system disorders are organized in three categories: autoimmune disorders, immune deficiency disorders and HIV infection. The category of immune deficiency disorders excludes HIV.
Autoimmune disorders are caused by dysfunctional immune responses in the body’s own tissues, with result in multisystem impairments that differ in course and outcome. Sometimes, the features of autoimmune disorders in adults differ from the features of those disorders in children.
Immune deficiency disorders are when recurrent infections respond poorly to treatment and are associated with complications that affect many parts of the body. They are classified as either “primary” or “acquired.” People who have these disorders have an increased risk of malignancies.
HIV makes people more susceptible to bad infections, cancers, and other conditions.
If you want to become eligible for social security benefits, you will need to provide your medical history, reports of your physical examinations, a laboratory report of tests, and in some cases, medically accepted imaging or tissue biopsy reports. These will show proof that you have an immune system disorder.
If your specific impairment does not meet the requirements, your medical treatment will be considered in terms of its effectiveness in improving its symptoms. Every effort will be made to obtain a specific description of the treatment you receive for your immune system disorder. This even includes surgery. The following elements are considered:

  • Side effects of medication you take
  • The complexity of your treatment–e.g., the dosing schedule
  • The treatment’s effect on your mental functioning
  • Your response to the treatment
  • Cumulative effects of your treatment
  • Duration of the treatment
  • If the treatment interferes with your ability to function

Your long term symptoms such as pain and fatigue, may also be contributing factors in determining whether your immune system disorders meets the requirements for benefits. In order for your symptoms to be considered, you need medical signs or lab reports showing your impairments. Also, when the credibility of your symptoms are assessed, no conclusion will be drawn from the fact that you do not currently receive treatment. This includes your explanations as to why you are not receiving treatment.

You can get help for your immune system disorder in several places. You can get lab reports there and get tested for other disorders as well.

Under Social Security Disability Insurance, whether or not neurological disabilities are covered depends mostly on the type of neurological disability and the symptoms and documentation associated with it. The full outline of the disability evaluation under social security can be found by visiting the SSA.gov website. Below is a brief summary of the outline provided on the SSA.gov website and mentions some of the neurological disorders and what is required in order to be covered.


Convulsive epilepsy must be documented with a detailed description of a seizure pattern along with seizures that occur more than once a month despite being on medicine for three months. They must either be daytime episodes or nocturnal episodes that have residual effects during the day.
Nonconvulsive epilepsy must be documented with a detailed description of a typical seizure pattern along with seizures that occur more than once a week despite being medicated for three months. In addition, there must be loss of consciousness and significant interference in daily behavior.

Central Nervous System Vascular Accident

More than three months post vascular accident, you must have one of the following: sensory or motor problems that result in ineffective communication or disorganization of motor function in two extremities resulting in continuous disturbance of movement.

Parkinsonian Syndrome

Significant shakes or tremors in two extremities that prevent you from normal movements of those extremities.

Cerebral Palsy

Must meet one of the following conditions:

  • IQ of less than 70
  • Destructiveness or emotional instability
  • Significant disruption in communication caused by either a speech, hearing or visual defect
  • Lack of organization in motor functions

Multiple Sclerosis

Either disorganization of motor functions, significant and continuous fatigue that results in muscle weakness and can be documented on a physical exam, or you must have a visual or mental impairment.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

According to SSA.gov, “Diagnosis of ALS is based on history, neurological findings consistent with the diagnosis of ALS, and electrophysiological and neuroimaging testing to rule out other impairments that may cause similar signs and symptoms.” Documentation must include a medical history and neurological finding consistent with ALS.

Anterior Poliomyelitis

Anterior Poliomyelitis can be documented with persistent difficulty in breathing and swallowing, disorganization of motor functions, or unintelligible speech.

Myasthenia Gravis

Documented by having significant motor weakness of muscles when doing repetitive activities against resistance or by having difficulty breathing, speaking and swallowing while on prescribed therapy.
If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the disorders listed above, there are several different treatment centers in the Cleveland and Akron area. The Cleveland Clinic is located at 2049 E. 100th Street and is a nonprofit medical center. Additionally, treatment can be sought at University Hospitals, one of the leaders in healthcare across the nation, which has locations all throughout Northeast Ohio. Lastly, MetroHealth is located in Cleveland and prides themselves on being an integrated health care system. For any individual looking to seek treatment in the Cleveland area, these three centers will be more than able to help.

If you are impaired due to an autoimmune disease or disorder, the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at your case a bit differently. One such condition is dermatomyositis. Dermatomyositis is considered to be both a neuromuscular and autoimmune disease. The inflammation that results from the cell damage is created when the immune system attacks healthy muscle tissue and vessels that lie under the skin. Both the muscles and the skin are affected by this condition. Individuals who are afflicted with this condition are eligible for applying for disability benefits. In order to do so, they must meet at least one of the following qualifications.

Muscle weakness

Muscles must show weakness to the point that the applicant is unable to walk effectively. Applicants must also show difficulty in performing both fine and gross motor skills.


The applicant’s ability to swallow must be noticeably impaired due to muscle weakness caused by this condition.


The applicant’s ability to breathe must be impaired due to a weakening of the intercostal and diaphragmatic muscles.


The applicant must show deterioration of joint mobility or intestinal mobility due to diffuse calcinosis.
Repeated appearances of the condition with at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Severe fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Involuntary weight loss

As well as one of the following symptoms at a significant level

  • Limitations of daily living activities
  • Limitations of daily social functioning
  • Limitations of task-completion due to lack of concentration, persistence or pace

If you have dermatomyositis and are unable to keep gainful employment because of it, you may apply for disability benefits through the SSA. Those interested in applying should be aware that this is a long and often complicated process that can take many months to resolve. However, if the claim is accepted, the monetary award can help make up for the money you are missing by not working. The best way to apply for disability benefits with the best chance of being approved, is with the help of a qualified and experienced disability lawyer near you.

If you have dermatomyositis, live in the Cleveland area, and need treatment for your condition, please seek assistance at one of the following health care facilities:

Parkinsonian Syndrome, or the broad symptom complex into which the well known illness, Parkinson’s Syndrome falls, is a neurological condition characterized by tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and balance problems, and fatigue. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that most commonly causes the symptoms of Parkinsonian Syndrome, or Parkinsonism, although there are other possible causes like multiple system atrophy and cerebral palsy, so the two are similar but not synonymous.

Although most of the underlying causes of Parkinsonism are incurable, the symptom complex itself is treatable by various medications. The most common of which will be laid out here.

1. Carbidopa-levopoda
This is the drug most commonly prescribed for Parkinsonism. It is a natural drug that naturally passes your blood-brain barrier and is converted to dopamine. Dopamine cannot be prescribed directly because it cannot pass through to the brain and be used by the body. It must be prescribed in a more complex form that the body can then metabolize into dopamine. Dopamine has an effect on the basal ganglia of your body, which are the neurological components affected in Parkinsonism. The body uses dopamine to regulate and enhance the activity of these basal ganglia, which is why it is effective in treating Parkinsonism.
2.Dopamine-mimicking drugs
Obviously not as effective as natural dopamine, drugs that mimic the effects of dopamine can also be used.
3.Anticholinergic Drugs
These are drugs that are used to treat the tremors associated with Parkinsonism
4.Deep Brain Stimulation
This is a surgical option in treating Parkinsonism. This involves connecting electrodes in the patient’s brain to a generator in the chest and sending electrical impulses to the brain. This can sometimes be effective in treating the symptoms of Parkinsonism.

Parkinsonism is considered a disability by the SSA and those suffering from Parkinsonian symptoms qualify for benefits. The official evaluation takes into account the presence of significant bradykinesia(slowness), rigidity, or tremor in two extremities, which by themselves or in combination result in a sustained disturbance of daily life and productivity. If this criterion is met, the person suffering from Parkinsonism will qualify for benefits.

There are hospitals in the Cleveland/Akron area that offer Parkinsonism treatment. These include the Cleveland Clinic and Metro Health.

Adults with epilepsy may be eligible for Social Security disability income (SSDI, for those who paid taxes into the Social Security system).To qualify for either SSDI, epileptic seizures have to occur regularly and interfere with daytime tasks. But because epilepsy is often controlled with medication, that means it does not always have to be a disabling illness. Social Security assessors will want to see evidence that your condition is disabling even though you are taking your medication.

The SSA specifies how often the seizures must occur depending on the type of seizure, — convulsive or nonconvulsive — for the disorder to be eligible as a disability that prevents the person from working.

The SSA maintains a manual called the Blue Book that contains a list of disabilities. Convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy is included in the manual. When you submit your application for benefits, the SSA wilt review your claim will compare your medical records and other documentation to the appropriate listing in order to determine if you are eligible for benefits. To qualify for the Blue Book listings, your epilepsy must be severe and uncontrolled by medications, despite strictly following your doctor’s treatment orders AND the evidence in your medical records must meet or closely match the listing for the type of epileptic seizures you have.

  • For convulsive seizures (listing 11.02), the SSA needs to see that you experience:
  • Daytime seizures that cause you to convulse or lose consciousness OR
  • Nighttime seizures that cause severe complications for you during the day, such as issues staying awake, thinking clearly, or coordination.

In addition to experiencing seizures that meet the Blue Book, you must also continue to have seizures at least once a month after you’ve been on anti-seizure medication(s) for at least three months. To set up an appointment to submit an application for SSDI through your local SSA office. After you submit all the necessary medical and financial information to the SSA, a claims assessor will request your medical records, review them with a medical consultant, and make a decision on whether to approve disability benefits for your epilepsy. It will likely take three to six months for the SSA to determine whether you are eligible for disability benefits.

If you are in the Cleveland area and need to find a facility that specializes in nonconvulsive epilepsy treatment, visit Cleveland Clinic or University Hospital for more information.

Masses of abnormal cells that occur inside the brain are known as brain tumors. These tumors can be either malignant or benign. The main difference between the two types of tumors is that malignant tumors are cancerous, while benign tumors are not. However, disabilities may result once a benign tumor starts to develop in more critical areas of the brain.

Generally, benign brain tumors are not aggressive. They grow much slower than malignant tumors. They normally do not develop deep inside the brain and do not spread into the surrounding tissue. This gives a benign tumor a much higher success rate of being surgically removed. This does not take away the threat of being serious and even life threatening, depending on the size and location of the tumor.

In order to qualify for social security benefits due to a benign brain tumor, at least one of the following conditions must be met. You may meet a listing of impairments provided by the Social Security Administration. If you do not meet all of the requirements for the listing, you may be able to equal the listing by suffering from impairments similar in both severity and duration. If you are not able to meet or equal a specific listing, but are still unable to complete work activities and required tasks due to your impairment, you still may qualify for social security benefits.

Benign brain tumors have a specific listing under 11.05 in the social security “Blue Book”. This listing requires an evaluation of your impairments under other listings such as strokes or seizures. If you have not suffered either of these due to a benign brain tumor, you may still meet the listing due to mental disorders, problems with speech, or hearing loss. If you are unable to meet the specific requirements of the listing, you may still be eligible for benefits due to an equivalent condition caused by the tumor.

There is a long range of symptoms and impairments that accompany benign brain tumors, which may cause you to be unable to work. Numbness, tingling in the arms and legs, and loss of balance are common physical impairments that may limit your ability to perform work regardless if you are sitting or standing. www.my.clevelandclinic.org provides information concerning treatment options for benign brain tumors throughout the Cleveland, Ohio and Akron, Ohio areas. Any time medical advice is being sought after, it is always beneficial to see more than one expert at several facilities. The more time invested in educating yourself about your options will better prepare you for the steps ahead.

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy is an illness that causes a person to experience weakening and degeneration of the muscles that are necessary for movement, as well as their skeletal system. There are over 30 types of muscular dystrophy and sometimes the condition can be diagnosed during adolescence and during other times, it does not become noticeable until the person has reached their late 30’s. There are some common symptoms that most of those affected by this disease will experience, such as: cataracts, heart problems, insulin resistance, muscle weakness, and more. Visit the Muscular Dystrophy Association‘s website, if you would like to learn more about this medical condition.

Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy

Currently, there is not a cure for muscular dystrophy. There are no treatments that can reverse this condition, but there are things that can be done to slow the condition and strengthen the skeletal system. Drug therapy includes things such as antibiotics that help with respiratory infections, anticonvulsants which help treat involuntary muscle contractions and seizures, and many more. Physical therapy keeps the muscles flexible and strong. Speech and respiratory therapies help slow the person’s breathing and talking so that facial muscle weakness takes longer to occur. Corrective surgery happens so that symptoms like cataracts can be removed. Lastly, occupational therapy usually happens after corrective surgery so that the patient can use things like wheelchairs.
If you are currently seeking treatment for muscular dystrophy in Cleveland, Ohio or Akron, Ohio, you should contact the following places: MetroHealth, University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, and/or Akron Children’s Hospital.

Applying for Disability for Muscular Dystrophy

Applying for disability for muscular dystrophy does not have to be a daunting task. As soon as you are aware of your disability, you should begin the application process for disability benefits. You can apply for disability online or via the phone. There are disability application starter kits that are available to help you get approved. However, before you are approved, the Social Security Administration will judge your disability claim according to the Blue Book. In Section 11.13 of the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, muscular dystrophy can be found. Some forms of muscular dystrophy will qualify you for a compassionate allowance. If you do not receive a compassionate allowance, you need to be sure to emphasize the limitations you face on a daily basis due to your medical condition. If approved, your benefits will not begin until you have been disabled for six months, so make sure that you are able to continue having a stable income until your disability benefits become available.

People with epilepsy may experience convulsive or non-convulsive seizures and their seizure episodes may occur while being awake or asleep. The seizures themselves are only one aspect of what disables an epileptic person. Fatigue, aphasia, and other symptoms that usually follow each seizure episode also make it difficult for some epileptics to maintain a job. It may take hours for an epileptic to recover from each seizure. For those people who have seizures several times per week or even several times a day, the debilitating nature of the illness makes maintaining a job difficult if not impossible.

It has been reported that more than 3 million Americans live with epilepsy and one in 26 Americans will be diagnosed with the condition during their lifetime. For some, epilepsy is controlled by medications. For others, uncontrolled seizures inflict havoc on all aspects of life, including the ability to work and earn a living. If you suffer from uncontrolled seizures, you may be able to qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Epilepsy results in ongoing medical expenses also affects finances in other ways. The disease requires consistent drug therapy, even when medications are not completely effective in controlling seizures. Diagnostic tests intended to figure out the cause and the effects of seizures can be expensive.

If your epilepsy doesn’t meet or closely match one of the listings, but still prevents you from working, then you may still be able to qualify for disability benefits. You will need to go through a residual functional capacity analysis. This process requires you and your doctor to fill out reports. Your friends, family, or caregivers, may also be asked to complete a report. These forms give the SSA information about how your illness affects you everyday and your ability to complete daily tasks. You should be as thorough, accurate, and honest as possible on these forms when you’re explaining your physical, mental, and psychological limitations on the functional report forms. Don’t leave any questions blank, because this will only lead to further delays and may even result in the SSA denying you benefits.

Epileptics are able to apply for Social Security disability in two ways: online or in person at your local SSA office. If you’re applying online, you should know that you can only submit an application via the SSA’s website for Social Security Disability Insurance — SSDI. These are benefits that are available to disabled workers who meet all requirements. If you are applying in person at the local office, you can complete your SSDI application and you can also apply for Supplemental Security Income or SSI benefits. SSI is a need-based program with strict income and financial asset limitations.

Whether you’re applying for SSI, SSDI, or both, you must ensure you provide the SSA with specific details in your application. The application includes precise information on your employment history, education, medical treatment, and income as well as any other financial data that would be relevant. Gather as many records as you can before you begin your application and be sure to fill out all forms consistently and completely. The SSA will need contact information of your primary care doctor, any hospitals in which you’ve received emergency room or in-patient care, and any other healthcare source you’ve seen. This will allow them to acquire your medical records, which are a key element to being approved for benefits.If you are in the Cleveland area and need to find a facility that specializes in nonconvulsive epilepsy treatment, visit Cleveland Clinic or University Hospital for more information.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes progressive failure of your immune system. This can lead to life-threatening infections. Unfortunately in most cases, HIV will develop into Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This progression usually takes about ten years. If you have either one of these disorders and are trying to receive social security benefits, you may need to try a few times to get approved.
To meet the requirements to get disability you must show that you have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS through official medical evidence. Then, you must provide evidence that you have one of the following infections:

Bacterial infections

This includes recurrent diarrhea caused by Salmonella bacteria in your blood, and also infections like tuberculosis and leprosy. The TB or leprosy must appear in places on the body other than the lungs, skin, or lymph nodes.
This section also includes nocardiosis, which is a lung or whole body infection that can cause breathing and neurological problems. A recurrent infection that requires hospitalization or medication three time or more in one year are also considered bacterial infections.

Viral infections

This includes herpes caused by type 5 herpes which occurs in parts of the body that are not the liver, lymph nodes, or spleen, and the herpes simplex virus that causes a skin infection that lasts more than a month. Or, a herpes simplex virus that causes an infection in another area of the body.
The shingles is also a virus under this section, as well as PML which is a progressive inflammation of the white substance in the brain in several areas.

Protozoan or helminthic infections

This includes parasites affecting the intestines which causes recurrent diarrhea for a month or longer, strongyloidiasis (roundworm infection), and toxoplasmosis, which is an infection caused by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. This must occur somewhere in the body other than the spleen, liver, or lymph node.


This includes tumors in the mouth, lungs, intestines, and other organs in the abdomen. It also includes cancers of the cervix that are stage II or worse and squamous cell cancer which is common in the anal canal.

Proving that you’re disabled

The meet the requirements for social security benefits, you will have to show medical records with findings that show you have one of the above complications.
The difference between proving you have HIV or AIDS and other disabilities are that you don’t need to show you have been impaired for a year or that you expect to be impaired for a year. If you show that you meet the listed requirements above, that is enough to prove your disability.

Dermatitis is a term that is used to describe diverse conditions that cause an inflammation of the skin. Many people assume that this condition is not severe in nature and that individuals suffering from dermatitis should have no need for Social Security Disability benefits. In reality, some forms of dermatitis are severe and certainly do interfere significantly with an individual’s ability to work.

If you are suffering from severe dermatitis and your condition affects your ability to work, you should apply for Social Security Disability Insurance as soon as you are unable to maintain profitable work activity. Even though dermatitis is a familiar condition, you may be eligible so long as you meet the guidelines established by the SSA.

Many of the people who have severe dermatitis do not know that their condition may be able to qualify them for Social Security Disability benefits. This is partially due to the fact that Dermatitis is a common condition, and most of the individuals who suffer from it will not meet the requirements for disability benefits. However, there are some individuals who suffer from severe cases of this condition that Social Security Disability benefits are definitely an option.

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits with a case of dermatitis, you must supply the Social Security Administration with enough medical documentation to prove that your condition meets the guidelines that have been established in the Blue Book. This means providing the SSA with a complete copy of your medical files, which should document how long you have been suffering from dermatitis, the extent of your lesions, and the history of treatments that have been ineffective.
If you do not meet the specific criteria that has been listed under this condition, but your case of dermatitis still stops you from performing any type of work activity, you may still be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

When appealing the SSA’s decision to deny your disability benefits, it is very important that you consult with a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer. These lawyers specify in SSD cases and understand what is needed to win a disability case. They will be able to help you collect the medical evidence you will need and will understand how specific evidence must be presented to an administrative law judge. While you may want to attempt to represent yourself during this process, statistics show that doing so can be harmful to your disability case. Applicants who hold on to proper representation throughout the appeal process are more likely to be awarded benefits than those who try to represent themselves.