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SSDI Assessment

Myasthenia Gravis and Social Security Disability Insurance

Myasthenia Gravis SSDI GuidelinesHere is an explanation of Social Security's five-step process to determine if a patient with myasthenia gravis qualifies for SSDI:
  1. Determine if an individual is "working (engaging in substantial gainful activity)" according to the SSA definition. Earning more than $1,040 a month as an employee is enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits.
  3. Conclude the myasthenia gravis disability must be severe enough to significantly limit one's ability to perform basic work activities needed to do most jobs. For example:
  • Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling
  • Seeing, hearing and speaking
  • Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
  • Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations
  • Dealing with changes in a routine work setting
  1. Myasthenia gravis is listed under the category of impairments known as Neurological - Medical Listing 11.12. Myasthenia gravis is episodic in character, andconsideration is given as to the frequency and duration of exacerbations, length of remissions and permanent residuals. If any of the following are present, the individual will be found to be disabled:
  • Significant motor weakness and rapid fatigue of muscles of extremities on repetitive activity against resistance while on prescribed therapy
  • Significant difficulty with speaking, swallowing or breathing while on prescribed therapy
  1. Explore the ability of an individual to perform work they have done in the past despite their myasthenia gravis. If the SSA finds that a person can do his or her past work, benefits are denied. If the person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.
  3. Review age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the person can perform. To determine myasthenia gravis disability, the SSA enlists medical-vocational rules, which vary according to age.
For example, if a person is:
Under age 50 and, as a result of the symptoms of myasthenia gravis, unable to perform what the SSA calls sedentary work, then the SSA will reach a determination of disabled. Sedentary work requires the ability to lift a maximum of 10 pounds at a time, sit six hours and occasionally walk and stand two hours per eight-hour day.
Age 50 or older and, due to myasthenia gravis, limited to performing sedentary work, but has no work-related skills that allow the person to do so, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
Age 55 or older and, due to the disability, limited to performing light work, but has no work-related skills that allow the person to do so, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.
Over age 60 and, due to myasthenia gravis, unable to perform any of the jobs he or she performed in the last 15 years, the SSA will likely reach a determination of disabled.
Any age and, because of myasthenia gravis, has a psychological impairment that prevents even simple, unskilled work, the SSA will reach a determination of disabled.

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