Yes, muscular dystrophy can qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes certain forms of muscular dystrophy as disabling conditions. 

Meeting the specific criteria outlined by the SSA in its Blue Book, which often includes demonstrating the severity and impact of the condition on your ability to work, is crucial for a successful disability claim

Is Muscular Dystrophy A Disability?

Muscular dystrophy is a disability, particularly if it significantly impairs an individual’s ability to work and perform daily activities. The severity of the condition and its impact on functional skills are key factors in determining disability eligibility. Muscular dystrophy may be associated with mild to severe intellectual disability, feeding difficulties, respiratory insufficiency, and brain abnormalities. It can also lead to endocrine issues such as diabetes and thyroid disorders.

If someone with muscular dystrophy meets the specific criteria set by the Social Security Administration (SSA), they may qualify for disability benefits. The SSA evaluates each case based on medical evidence, including the nature and extent of impairment, to determine eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.

Can I Get Benefits If I Am Struggling With Muscular Dystrophy Symptoms?

Individuals with muscular dystrophy may be eligible to receive disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes muscular dystrophy as a disabling condition, and individuals with this condition can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

To qualify for muscular dystrophy disability benefits, the individual must meet the SSA’s Blue Book criteria for disability, which includes demonstrating that their muscular dystrophy is severe enough to prevent them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). The SSA considers the nature and severity of the impairment, the individual’s ability to perform work-related activities, and the condition’s impact on their daily life.

What Is Muscular Dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness and degeneration. It is caused by gene mutations responsible for producing proteins essential for muscle structure and function. 

As the condition is rare and may affect people of all age groups there is little data about how many Americans struggle with Muscular Dystrophy disorder. Generally, it begins in childhood and may affect boys. However, the disorder may affect both males and females of all ages. People with a family history may have greater chances of developing this disease. 

Symptoms Of Muscular Dystrophy

The condition typically manifests with symptoms such as 

  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Frequent falls
  • Progressive loss of muscle mass

Muscular dystrophy can affect various muscle groups, leading to mobility and overall physical function challenges.

Types Of Muscular Dystrophy

There are several types of muscular dystrophy, each with its own specific genetic mutations and clinical features. Different types of muscular dystrophy include:

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Becker muscular dystrophy
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and others

The severity and progression of symptoms vary depending on the specific type of muscular dystrophy. 

How Do You Get SSDI Or SSI For Muscular Dystrophy?

To get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income SSI for muscular dystrophy, you need to follow a systematic process. 

  • Begin by gathering detailed medical records, including diagnostic tests, treatment plans, and statements from healthcare professionals outlining the severity of your condition. 
  • Ensure that your documentation demonstrates how muscular dystrophy affects your ability to perform work-related tasks and engage in substantial gainful activity. 
  • Complete the SSDI application, providing accurate and comprehensive information about your medical history, work history, and functional limitations. 
  • If your initial application is denied, be prepared to navigate the appeals process, including a request for reconsideration and, if necessary, a hearing before an administrative law judge. 

If I Have Long-Term Disability Insurance, Should I File a Claim?

Yes, you can file a claim if you have long-term disability insurance. LTD refers to coverage that will help protect your income when you are not able to work owing to your disability or injury. It is purchased privately as part of an insurance company or as a part of a group employment plan. 

This type of disability insurance is beneficial if you are still employed. In some cases, an applicant can receive both LTD and SSDI concurrently. However, it may vary depending on your medical condition and the severity of your disability.

Eligibility Criteria For Muscular Dystrophy

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has mentioned muscular dystrophy in their Blue Book under Section 11.13. The applicants whose symptoms are matched with the SSA’s criteria will automatically qualify for disability benefits. 

If you are applying for SSDI, the muscular dystrophy symptoms must meet the following requirements:

  • Disorganization of motor function in two extremities. In muscular dystrophy, you must have difficulty in using two legs or arms causing limitation to stand up or sit down. 
  • Disability applicant must face difficulty in using their arms to walk, stand up, lift items, or engage in day-to-day activities such as cooking or cleaning. 
  • Marked limitation in physical functioning or any one of the following areas:
  • Social Interaction
  • Understanding or remembering information
  • Problem in focusing or finishing tasks within the deadline assigned
  • Adapting oneself according to the situation

Along with this, you must submit all the medical records that will prove your disability. It is essential to mention all the details with honesty without providing any misleading information. If you provide the details required at the start of the application process, the disability claim process will be quick. The medical records must include the following:

  • Physician notes and medical reports
  • Muscle biopsies
  • Studies of nerve conduction studies
  • DNA or blood enzyme tests
  • Results from MRIs and CT scans 
  • Medications you take
  • Any side effects you experience
  • Physical therapy 
  • Occupational therapy records

What If I Meet The Eligibility Criteria Of The SSA?

If you meet the criteria of the SSA for muscular dystrophy, you must apply as soon as possible. This is because the application process is time-consuming and complicated. A disability attorney may also guide you in the right direction thereby increasing your likelihood of getting approved for disability. 

What If I Do Not Meet The Eligibility Criteria Of The SSA?

If you do not meet the Social Security Administration (SSA) eligibility criteria for muscular dystrophy, it may result in the denial of your disability claim. Meeting the SSA’s criteria for disability benefits involves demonstrating that your condition significantly impairs your ability to work and perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). 

Emphasize the functional limitations of muscular dystrophy, such as difficulties in walking, lifting, or performing basic tasks. Clearly articulate how these limitations prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

Provide details about your work history and job duties, highlighting how your condition affects your capacity to perform the tasks required for your occupation. Be aware of the appeal process timelines and deadlines. If you receive a denial, you typically can request reconsideration, attend a hearing before an administrative law judge, and, if necessary, pursue further appeals.

How Much Is The Disability Check For Muscular Dystrophy?

The maximum monthly benefits for SSI will be $914. If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the maximum monthly disability payment will be $3627. However, the amount of the benefit may vary depending on your income history, work, and severity of your medical condition. 

How Can a Disability Attorney Help You If Your Initial Claim Gets Denied?

If your initial claim is denied, consult a Social Security Disability Attorney. They can help you navigate the appeals process, gather necessary evidence, and present a compelling case for reconsideration.

FAQs On Muscular Dystrophy Disability

Several types of muscular dystrophy are characterized by specific genetic mutations affecting muscle function. Common types include Duchenne, Becker, and myotonic dystrophy.
Muscular dystrophy is not typically classified as a developmental disability. It is a genetic disorder that primarily impacts muscle structure and function.
There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms, improving quality of life, and slowing disease progression through interventions like physical therapy and medications.