Multiple sclerosis affects many people in California. This neurological disease has no cure, and the symptoms typically worsen over time. Eventually, a person with MS will experience debilitating symptoms that interfere with motor function, mental function and vision as well as extreme fatigue. The Social Security Administration specifically recognizes MS as a disabling disease for the purposes of granting disability benefits as long as an applicant meets explicit criteria. Because of the progressive nature of the disease, a person might fall short of meeting enough requirements, but the medical vocational allowance offers a chance to collect benefits if the person can no longer work for a living.

When a disability examiner evaluates an application from a person with a medically documented diagnosis of MS, they must consider multiple factors before approving a medical vocational allowance. The applicant’s age, education, remaining physical and mental functions, work experience and ability to transfer skills to different jobs will influence the decision.

If a person’s limitations make substantial gainful activity impossible, then the agency could approve benefits. Although medical guidelines direct most of the agency’s decisions, disability benefits are ultimately meant to help qualifying people who cannot work long term.

Prior to initiating an application for Social Security disability, a person could seek guidance from an attorney. Legal counsel could assess medical records to see if they could support a disability claim. This service could help an applicant navigate the bureaucracy. If the first application meets with a denial, an attorney could initiate an appeal and cite evidence that shows that the client has lost the ability to earn a living.