Yes, myasthenia gravis can qualify as a disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) includes myasthenia gravis in its list of impairments under Section 11.12. To be eligible for disability benefits, individuals with myasthenia gravis must meet the criteria outlined in the SSA’s Blue Book

It includes providing medical evidence that demonstrates the severity of the condition and its impact on daily functioning and the ability to work. Meeting the criteria for disability benefits may involve undergoing specific tests and evaluations to assess the extent of impairment caused by myasthenia gravis.

Can You Get Disability For Myasthenia Gravis?

Yes, it is possible to qualify for Social Security disability benefits due to myasthenia gravis. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers myasthenia gravis to be a disabling condition, and individuals with this condition may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

To qualify, individuals must provide medical evidence that demonstrates the severity of their myasthenia gravis and its impact on their ability to work. This evidence may include medical records, test results, and statements from healthcare professionals detailing the limitations and symptoms caused by the condition.

Is Myasthenia Gravis A Disability?

Myasthenia gravis can be considered a disability, especially if it significantly impairs an individual’s ability to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) and meets the duration requirement of lasting or being expected to last for at least 12 months. 

Substantial gainful activity refers to the ability to perform work that earns a certain income. If myasthenia gravis prevents an individual from meeting this criterion, they may be eligible for disability benefits. Myasthenia Gravis can also lead to lung cancer, anxiety, and depression.

Furthermore, to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the impairment must be expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months. The 12-month duration requirement ensures that the disability is of a chronic or long-term nature, making the individual eligible for ongoing support.

What Is Myasthenia Gravis?

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscle weakness and fatigue. In this condition, the immune system mistakenly attacks the receptors for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contractions, leading to communication issues between nerves and muscles.

Symptoms Of Myasthenia Gravis

Symptoms of myasthenia gravis can vary but often include muscle weakness, especially in the face, neck, and extremities. Common symptoms involve 

  • Difficulties with facial expressions
  • Chewing
  • Swallowing
  • Speaking
  • Muscle weakness tends to worsen with activity and improve with rest

Types Of Myasthenia Gravis

There are different types of myasthenia gravis, including:

  • Generalized Myasthenia Gravis: This is the most common form, affecting multiple muscle groups, including those responsible for eye movement, facial expression, and limb movement.
  • Ocular Myasthenia Gravis: In this type, muscle weakness is primarily confined to the muscles that control eye movement and eyelid function.
  • Congenital Myasthenic Syndromes: These are inherited forms of the disorder, often appearing in infancy or childhood.
  • Transient Neonatal Myasthenia Gravis: A temporary form that can occur in infants born to mothers with myasthenia gravis due to the transfer of antibodies.

The specific symptoms and types of myasthenia gravis can vary among individuals, and the condition requires careful management and treatment to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

What Type Of Benefits Should I Apply For?

Fundamentally, there are two different types of disability benefits for which an applicant can apply:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income or SSI benefits

SSDI is beneficial for those applicants who have been working and have paid taxes for at least 5 of the last 10 years. SSI is advantageous for people who have not worked at all and have low income and assets such as less than $900. 

SSDI and SSI programs include health insurance such as Medicaid for SSI and Medicare for SSDI.  

What If My Myasthenia Gravis Disability Benefits Get Denied?

If your myasthenia gravis disability benefits application is denied, you can appeal the decision. The appeal process typically involves several stages, and it’s crucial to understand and follow the necessary steps. 

  • Reconsideration: The first step is to request a reconsideration of your case. During this stage, a different examiner will review your application and any new evidence you provide. 
  • Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing: If your claim is still denied after reconsideration, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ will assess your case independently and ask questions about your condition and limitations. 
  • Appeals Council: If the ALJ denies your claim, you can further appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council. This council will review your case and may either decide your case itself or return it to the ALJ for further review. 
  • Federal Court: If all previous stages are unsuccessful, you can file a lawsuit in federal court. This is the final stage of the appeals process, and it involves a review by a federal judge.

4 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Applying

Before you start with the myasthenia gravis disability application procedure, your answer to the following questions must be YES. 

  • Are you taking treatment for myasthenia gravis?
  • Are your symptoms persisting for 3 months or more?
  • Is your physical functioning getting affected by your myasthenia gravis?
  • Is your neuromuscular functioning getting affected by your myasthenia gravis?

Criteria For Getting Disability With Myasthenia Gravis

According to the SSA, to get approved for myasthenia gravis disability benefits, you must experience severe and long-lasting symptoms for at least 3 months or more. The symptoms are worsening despite your medical treatment which includes medication and other procedures prescribed by your doctor. 

Your disorganization of motor functioning in the legs and arms is limiting your capability to stand, walk, or sit. You must experience a myasthenia crisis that may require mechanical ventilation and supplemental enteral nutrition. The eligibility requirements include marked limitations in physical functioning and making it impossible to function properly in 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

What If My Myasthenia Gravis Meets The Criteria?

If an applicant meets the criteria of the SSA, they must apply as soon as possible. If you are not sure whether you must apply for the benefits or not, you must consider following advice that will give clarity on how to proceed with your disability claim process. 

  • You can apply now if you have been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis and have been struggling with the disorder for at least 3 or more months. If your symptoms are making it impossible for you to work and you are struggling with multiple disorders you can apply. 
  • You must wait and apply later if your symptoms for myasthenia gravis are moderate and will improve with treatment. 
  • You must not apply if you are still working despite your disability and earning more than $1,550 per month. 

What If My Myasthenia Gravis Doesn’t Meet The Criteria?

There is no surety that a disability applicant will get disability benefits or not. However, they must still apply for the disability if they meet the eligibility criteria of the SSA. You need to prove that your disability prevents you from holding a job. Consulting a Disability Attorney will help in the navigating of the application process. 

How Much Is a Disability Check For Myasthenia Gravis?

The average myasthenia gravis disability check is approximately $1,342. The maximum monthly benefits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is $3,822 and for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is $943.  

However, these benefit amounts may vary depending on the severity of your medical condition. Some factors for SSI are your sources of income and the value of your assets whereas for SSDI is your work history.

Create an infographic showing an SSDI value of $3,822 and an SSI value of $943.

How Can A Social Security Disability Attorney Help You?

A Social Security Disability Lawyer can be a valuable ally in your disability claim. They bring expertise in navigating the complex application process, ensuring all necessary documentation is in order.

Moreover, understanding the specific criteria for approval increases the likelihood of a successful claim. Attorneys provide representation in case of denials, guiding you through appeals and hearings to secure the benefits you deserve.

FAQs On Myasthenia Gravis Disability

Living a normal life with myasthenia gravis is possible with proper management and treatment. Medications, lifestyle adjustments, and sometimes surgery can help control symptoms, allowing individuals to lead fulfilling lives. Regular medical monitoring and adherence to treatment plans are crucial for maintaining a good quality of life.
Myasthenia gravis primarily affects muscles and the neuromuscular junction, but it does not directly impact the brain. It is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks acetylcholine receptors, leading to muscle weakness and fatigue. Cognitive functions typically remain unaffected.
The disability scale for myasthenia gravis is not uniform, as disability can vary widely among individuals from 0 to 84. Severity is often assessed based on the impact of muscle weakness on daily activities and functional abilities. The scale may range from mild, where symptoms are limited, to too severe, involving significant limitations in mobility and self-care.
Myasthenia gravis can be diagnosed at any age, but it often occurs in women under 40 and men over 60. The average age of diagnosis is around 30 for women and 60 for men. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial for managing symptoms effectively.
The latest treatments for myasthenia gravis include medications that improve neuromuscular transmission, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and immunosuppressants. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasmapheresis are also used for acute symptom relief. Always consult with healthcare professionals for the most up-to-date and personalized treatment options.

Disability Conditions That May Qualify For Benefits

Blindness Brain Tumor AFIB Autism
BPD Cancer Narcolepsy PTSD
Vertigo Schizophrenia Seizure Dyslexia
Celiac Disease Anxiety Depression ADHD
Agoraphobia Alopecia Asthma Bipolar
Breast Cancer Dementia Dysautonomia Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia Hearing Loss lupus POTS
Scoliosis Sleep Apnea Diabetes