By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be challenging in many ways, including navigating the complex process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If you’re facing this journey in Florida, know that you’re not alone. The skilled Florida Social Security Disability Lawyers at Disability Advocates Group are here to guide you through the process and help you build a strong case to secure the benefits you deserve.

Building Your Case

When applying for SSDI or SSI benefits due to MS, building a strong case is crucial for a successful outcome. Here are some essential steps to help you through the process:

  1. Obtain Medical Documentation: Medical evidence is the foundation of your disability claim. Gather all relevant medical records, including diagnoses, treatment history, and physician notes documenting the severity of your MS symptoms and their impact on your ability to work.
  2. Work with Your Healthcare Providers: Ensure that your healthcare providers understand the importance of detailed and accurate documentation to support your disability claim. Request medical opinion statements from your doctors outlining how your MS symptoms limit your ability to perform work-related tasks.
  3. Keep a Symptom Journal: Keeping a detailed journal of your MS symptoms can provide valuable evidence of your disability’s impact on your daily life. Note any difficulties with mobility, cognition, fatigue, pain, or other symptoms that affect your ability to work or engage in daily activities.
  4. Gather Functional Reports: Functional reports from friends, family members, or caregivers who can attest to your limitations and the assistance you require can strengthen your case. These reports should describe how your MS symptoms affect your ability to perform activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, or personal care.
  5. Consult with an Experienced Attorney: Navigating the SSDI or SSI application process can be complex and overwhelming, especially when dealing with a condition like MS. Working with an experienced disability attorney from Disability Advocates Group can provide invaluable support and guidance. An attorney can help you understand your rights, gather necessary evidence, complete paperwork accurately, and represent you at hearings if necessary.

Preparing for the Hearing

If your initial application for SSDI or SSI benefits is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the hearing:

  1. Review Your Case File: Obtain a copy of your case file from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and review it carefully with your attorney. Identify any discrepancies or missing information that need to be addressed.
  2. Understand the Hearing Process: Familiarize yourself with what to expect during the hearing process. Your attorney can explain the procedures, the role of the administrative law judge, and the types of questions you may be asked.
  3. Practice Testimony: Prepare to testify about your MS symptoms, how they impact your ability to work, and any efforts you’ve made to find employment despite your limitations. Practice answering questions with your attorney to ensure you can effectively communicate your case.
  4. Gather Additional Evidence: If there have been any significant changes in your medical condition since your initial application, gather updated medical documentation to submit as evidence at the hearing.
  5. Stay Calm and Focused: The hearing can be a stressful experience, but it’s essential to remain calm, focused, and truthful when answering questions. Trust in your attorney to advocate on your behalf and present your case effectively.

At Disability Advocates Group, we understand the challenges you face when applying for SSDI or SSI benefits due to MS. Our experienced SSDI and SSI attorneys are dedicated to helping individuals in Florida from Miami to Gainesville navigate the disability claims process and secure the benefits they need to support themselves and their families. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can assist you with your case.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals in Florida obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.