Charcot-Marie-Tooth, which is also known as CMT, is a genetic disorder that affects the peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves are any nerves outside the spinal cord or brain. The symptoms of this disorder are often present in childhood, but may not manifest until early adulthood. The symptoms of CMT can include:
- Deformities of the feet
- Weakness of the legs
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or legs
- As the disorder progresses, these symptoms can occur in the arms and hands
Applying for Social Security Disability with Charcot-Marie-Tooth
Individuals who suffer from Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome often suffer from generalized weakness, and may also find it difficult to walk. If the symptoms of the disorder are severe, it can be impossible for someone suffering from the condition to work.
Although CMT is not specifically listed in the Social Security Administration blue book, individuals with CMT often qualify under the “peripheral neuropathies” listing in the blue book.
Qualifying for SSD Assistance Under Peripheral Neuropathies
The primary requirement to qualify under peripheral neuropathies is to demonstrate that Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome has caused you to have significant difficult using two or more extremities. This may include:
- Significant trouble lifting, carrying, pushing, or reaching overhead with your arms and hands
- Trouble walking, sitting, or standing for extended periods of time
- Difficulty using the small muscles in your hands and fingers to perform tasks such as tying, writing, or typing
Because Charcot-Marie-Tooth can greatly affect your mobility, muscle strength, and reflexes, there are many ways that this condition can limit your ability to work. Any symptom that restricts your ability to work is relevant to your SSD application. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must provide medical evidence of your limitations.
Medical Evidence Necessary to Qualify for Social Security Disability Assistance
When applying for SSD benefits, you must not only prove that your symptoms of CMT are severe, but also provide evidence that your body is not responding to treatments or medications that would make it possible for you to perform substantial gainful activity. Necessary Medical Documentation may include:
- Results of nerve or muscle biopsies
- History of hospitalizations for the condition
- Notes from your doctor describing the severity of your symptoms
- Summary of past treatments and your response to those treatments
- Any other relevant medical results or documentation
Hiring a Lawyer to Assist with Your CMT Social Security Disability Application
Even though Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome can be an extremely debilitating condition, there is no guarantee that people who suffer from it will definitely receive Social Security Disability benefits. It is advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. With the help of a professional, you can avoid many common errors that could stand in the way of your claim approval.