I work an intense job requiring a focused attention. My MS has progressed such that this isn't working for me anymore. I will need to step out of the business world soon, I fear. Are there organizations that can help me deal with and apply for disability?
Here are my "2 cents":
- Cognitive dysfunction in MS is common and can affect job performance.
- There are many factors that can influence cognition in MS (medications, mood disturbances, fatigue, heat, etc.).
- Use of neuropsychological testing (otherwise known as neurocognitive testing) can (and should) be done if considering disability applications. This will allow objective measurement of the pattern of cognitive problems and other factors involved in the individual's case. Sometimes a cognitive rehab program can be devised from the testing to help, or workplace accommodations could be crafted if appropriate. If applying for SSDI, and the disability has a cognitive component, obtaining these metrics can be crucial to the application.
- You can contact your local chapter of the National MS Society for guidance in the disability application process. You also should discuss this with your neurologist because you will need their input for the application. Your neurologist can also get you connected with a case manager/social worker to assist in the process of disability applications.
Hope this helps.
A. Scott Nielsen MD MMSc
Neurologist and MS Specialist at Kaiser Permanente