DART Therapeutics Inc., a Massachusetts-based medical testing firm, is currently conducting research on a drug to be used for muscular dystrophy patients. The drug, called DT-200, may be able to significantly increase both muscle size and strength for individuals suffering from muscular dystrophy.
Our Boston Social Security Disability Insurance attorneys are excited about the potential this drug has, as this disease has resulted in lifelong struggles for millions of families.
Clients who come to us with a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy often have a strong chance at obtaining disability benefits because it inherently affects a person’s ability to carry out a wide range of very basic tasks.
Muscular dystrophy is actually a group of about three dozen genetic diseases that all are characterized by the increasing degeneration and weakness of muscles that control movement.
Sometimes, we see muscular dystrophy emerging in infancy or childhood. Other times, we don’t see it appearing until suddenly in middle age or even later.
The most common adult form is called Myotonic muscular dystrophy. Sufferers usually have prolonged muscle spasms and they may also suffer from heart problems, cataracts and endocrine disorders.
As of yet, modern medicine has yet to come up with a solution that will halt or reverse any of the variations of muscular dystrophy (though we are hopeful this new research from Cambridge will change that).
People who are diagnosed with muscular dystrophy may suffer to varying degrees. While some will experience mild symptoms and slow progression, others will find the onset has come about rapidly and suddenly causes severe weakness in the muscles, functional disability and an inability to walk. Additional muscle weaknesses in the respiratory system may cause individuals to require ventilation, while those suffering heart muscle weaknesses may require a pacemaker.
The Social Security Administration requires that in order to meet the impairment listing for muscular dystrophy, a person must have a disorganization of motor function as described in listing 11.04B. That is, the individual should display persistent and severe loss of motor function in at least two extremities, the result of which has been a long-term disturbance of your movements or ability to walk. The assessment will depend on the degree of interference with your ability to move.
However, even if your condition doesn’t meet this exact criteria, you may still be eligible for benefits on the basis of your residual functioning capacity. That is, has your condition significantly affected your ability to complete basic, everyday functions such as walking, sitting, standing, lifting, grooming yourself, driving, etc.
Muscular dystrophy has been known to affect both your gross and dexterous movements, which are those that specifically allow you to do things like reach, crawl, run, jump, lift or hold a pen, type, button your clothing, count change or tie your shoes.
The administration is also going to look at your earning capacity. If you have been able to earn more than $1,040 a month in the past year, even with your condition, you won’t be considered eligible. Progression of your disease could rapidly change your ability to make that much.
If you have questions about how to proceed with your claim, call us today.
If you are considering filing for SSDI in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
Social Security Impairment Listing, 11.13 Muscular dystrophy
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Chronic Heart Failure Grounds for SSDI Benefits in Massachusetts, Feb. 15, 2013, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Blog