Thursday, January 26, 2023
Thursday, January 26, 2023
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Is Parkinson’s Disease A Disability

Can I Get Social Security Disability For Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons Disease Long Term Disability Claims Information & Help

Disability claims based on Parkinsons disease depend on the impact the disease has on your ability to walk and to use your hands

Does Social Security consider Parkinsons disease to be disabling?

How exactly does Social Security evaluate a disability claim based on Parkinsons disease?

Step 1: Non-Medical CriteriaStep 2: Severe ImpairmentStep 3: Medical ListingsStep 4: Past WorkStep 5: Other Work

How Is Parkinsons Disease Diagnosed

A doctors diagnostic process for PD may include:

  • Thorough review of medical history
  • Neurological examination
  • Looking for two or more of the cardinal symptoms of PD such as resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability
  • DaTscan, a technique that allows doctors to capture detailed images of the dopamine system

Parkinsons Disease shares the symptoms of many other disorders. Since none of the above methods can definitively diagnose a person with Parkinsons, PDs misdiagnosis rate is fairly high.

Chemical Exposure & Parkinsons Disease

Of the chemicals that have been most suspected risk factors for Parkinsons, TCE holds the most proof of causing Parkinsons. A colorless, non-flammable halocarbon, trichloroethylene dissolves most fixed and volatile oils. It is a powerful solvent action for fats, greases, waxes, oils, and tars. Type 1 TCE is used in dry-cleaning and for general solvent purposes. Type 2 TCE is used for vapor degreasing of metals. Over 90 percent of TCE is consumed by the metal degreasing and dry-cleaning trades.Studies of discordant twins, as well as experiments in laboratories, have shown that people chronically exposed to TCE were more likely to develop Parkinsons than the those who had not.

Eligibility Criteria For Disability Tax Credit For Parkinsons Disease

To be eligible for this tax credit, a person must be impaired for over the period of one full year. They can also be eligible if they have difficulty in one of the following daily life activities, such as walking. For a walking impairment, the patient must be unable to walk 100m or it must take them an inordinate amount of time to do so due to shortness of breath.

Contact Our Long Term Disability Attorneys


Are you living with a Parkinsons disability? You may consider filing a long term disability insurance claim. At Tucker Law Group, we can help you decide if this option is right for you and help you fight an insurance company that denies disability benefits for your Parkinsons Disease. We can help you prepare the strongest claim possible. For a free consultation, contact our nationally recognized law firm at 233-5044. You can also send us a message online through our online contact form.

Meeting Ssas Medical Listing For Parkinsonian Syndrome

With that in mind, the fastest way to win SSDI benefits for Parkinsons is to qualify under SSAs medical listing 11.06, Parkinsonian Syndrome. Qualifying under this listing requires detailed medical evidence. In brief, you need a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, supported by medical records of symptoms including:

  • Significant rigidity
  • Bradykinesia
  • Tremors in two extremities

Your symptoms should also show difficulty with fine motor skills, large motor skills, standing, or walking. In addition to various test results, SSA will require your doctors responses to targeted questions concerning your PD, as well as proof of your adherence to prescribed treatment. 

If you meet or equal the requirements of the listing, SSA will find you are disabled without considering your age, education, and work experience. 

Four Cardinal Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

Following are considered to be the cardinal symptoms of Parkinsons Disease:

  • Bradykinesia: slowness of movement
  • Tremor: most apparent, It is usually a rest tremor, maximal when the limb is at rest and disappearing with voluntary movement and sleep.
  • Rigidity: increased muscle tone which produces stiffness and resistance to movement in joints.
  • Postural instability : impaired balance and frequent falls
  • Presumptive Service Connection For Parkinsons:

    The VA may presume your PD is connected to your military service. Veterans who develop Parkinsons disease and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides or contaminants during military service do not have to prove a connection between their disease and service to be eligible to receive VA disability compensation. UPDATE: As of January 2020, the VA extended the presumption of Agent Orange exposure and other toxic herbicides to Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans, and to veterans who served in or near the Korean DMZ . H.R.299 Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019.

    Veterans with Parkinsons disease who served in the following locations and specified times need not prove they were exposed to VA-recognized toxins to get disability compensation:

    • Exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam: Veterans who set foot in Vietnam, and veterans serving aboard ships operating on the close coastal waters and inland waterways of Vietnam, and as of January 2020, Blue Water Veterans for any duration between January 9, 1962 May 7, 1975, or   
    • Exposure to Agent Orange in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone for any duration between April 1, 1968 August 31, 1971, or
    • Exposure to Contaminated Water, Marine Base Camp Lejeune, NC for at least 30 days between August 1953 December 1987  .  

    We have more information about Blue Water Veterans.

    The Disabling Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

    Winning Strategies for Parkinson’s Disease Disability Cases

    PD is generally caused by a deficiency of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. The lack of dopamine disrupts a persons movement and coordination. 

    The main motor symptoms include:

    • tremor in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
    • muscle rigidity of the limbs and trunk
    • bradykinesia
    • impaired coordination and balance, including posture, gait, and mobility.

    Other symptomswhich on their own, severely damage ones quality of lifeinclude pain, confusion, fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, urinary problems, difficulty swallowing, speech problems, and cognitive changes. Advanced PD can result in severe dementia.

    There is no single test that concludes a person has Parkinsons disease. Diagnosis is based on an ongoing medical history, the patients symptoms, neurological and physical exams, and medical tests and scans targeting Parkinsonian Syndrome. 

    Meeting The Disability Listing For Parkinsonian Syndrome

    To qualify for benefits under listing 11.06, your medical records must document one of the following:

    • The inability to control the movement of at least two extremities , despite at least three months of treatment. This must result in extreme difficulty in the ability to balance while standing or walking, to stand up from a seated position, or to use the arms.


    • “Marked” physical problems along with a “marked” limitation in any one of the following:
    • thinking
    • interacting with others , or
    • finishing tasks .

    Note that marked means worse than moderate, but less than extreme.

    Meeting Medical Criteria To Qualify For Disability Benefits

    You may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits as a person with PD, as long as you meet the criteria detailed in the SSAs medical listing 11.06 for Parkinsonian Syndrome. These are the criteria you must prove you experience in order to qualify:

    • Significant slowness of movement , rigidity, or tremors in at least two extremities, which end up resulting in
    • Prolonged difficulty in movement, or walking at an abnormal rate.

    How Can The Nba Help

    Having assisted thousands of Canadians in successfully claiming disability credits, The National Benefit Authority is Canadas largest disability tax service provider. Our experts can help determine your Disability Tax Credit eligibility, and walk you through your Canadian Disability Tax Credit application. Disability Tax Credit amounts vary on a case-by-case basis, but can be upwards of $50,000 per application!

    Parkinsons is a disorder that needs constant attention due to its progressive nature time spent sifting through paperwork and research can be left to someone else. We can guide you through every step towards recovering your Parkinsons disease disability benefits, ensuring you and your family finds the support you need.

    Meeting A Blue Book Listing

    Can I Claim Disability For Parkinson

    Many Social Security disability benefit applicants receive benefits by meeting a listing in the Blue Book, which is the official SSA guidebook of known disabilities. Parkinson’s is specifically referenced in Listing 11.06- Parkinsonism. To qualify, you must meet one of the following medical criteria:

    • Inability to control the movement of at least two extremities, even after three months of treatment, causing serious difficulty with standing, walking, or using your arms OR
    • Marked physical problems along with a confirmed limitation in thinking, interacting with others, or finishing tasks that require speed, persistence, and concentration

    If you have an advanced stage of Parkinsons that makes it difficult to work and are planning to apply for SSA disability benefits, contact a Social Security attorney or advocate.

    They will improve your chances of a successful claim by ensuring that your application is both accurate and complete and provide skilled and qualified representation in the event that you are initially denied, increasing the likelihood of the approval- and the benefits- you need.

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    We represent the disabled across the United States. If you choose to hire us to represent you in a disability claim, the majority of our cases are handled on contingency fee meaning we dont get paid until you do.

    About Marc Whitehead

    Marc Whitehead has been practicing law for over 27 years in Houston, focusing exclusively on disability law. His firm, Marc Whitehead & Associates files applications and appeals denials for Long-Term Disability insurance policies, Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability. He has authored books on each of these topics and presented nationwide on disability law.

    Marc is double board-certified in Social Security and Personal Injury. In addition to his legal work, Marc is a certified practice advisor with Atticus, an organization that provides business training and management skills necessary to build and maintain a profitable practice.

    Does Long Term Disability Cover Parkinsons Disease

    Long-term disability insurance purchased individually or through an employer-sponsored group plan typically replaces a portion of the policy holders income if a medical condition or injury has disabled them to the extent they cannot work.

    Every policy has specific requirements for meeting its definition of a disability and most disability insurance will exclude or limit coverage for certain conditions, possibly including pre-existing conditions.

    Often, these policies do not cover injuries or illnesses related to alcohol or drug abuse, including injuries that occur as a result of driving under the influence, self inflicted injuries, injuries sustained while committing a crime, injuries or illnesses that occur while the policyholder is incarcerated, injuries stemming from participation in a riot or civil unrest, or injuries that occur from engaging in war. Mental health disorders may be covered depending on the policy that you choose.

    Additionally, LTD policies will often refuse to pay benefits unless the applicant is actively getting care and treatment. That does not mean that you must engage in all possible therapies. However, you should be under the care of a treatment team, including a neurologist, the American Parkinson Disease Association says. Otherwise, the disability claim might be denied.

    Applying For Disability Benefits For Parkinson’s Syndrome

    To apply for benefits, call the SSA at 772-1213. The SSA will make an appointment for you to apply over the phone or at a local SSA office. You can also apply online at if you are applying for SSDI only . Once your application is complete, your file will be reviewed by an SSA claims examiner as well as by a doctor specially trained in SSA’s medical rules. They will request records from your doctors, send you questionnaires to complete, or ask you to attend an examination by a doctor that they hire. Once the evidence in your file is complete, a decision will be issued. On average this takes four to five months, but it could take much longer.

    What Type Of Work Can Someone Do With This Condition

    Does Parkinson’s Disease qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

    The physical tremors, weakness, and communication challenges common with advanced Parkinsons can make it difficult to do jobs that involve manual labor.

    If you are over 50, a high school graduate, and spent your entire life doing factory assembly work, your chances of being approved for benefits are higher than someone who graduated from college and worked mostly at sedentary occupations.

    Even if the grid does not find that you qualify for benefits, your chances of a successful claim are much higher if you are over 50. The expectation is that older workers will find it more difficult to be retrained for a different occupation, so non-physical factors that might not ordinarily have been considered, such as mental illness, can carry more weight and tip the scales in your favor.

    Disability Benefits For Parkinsons Disease

    Some disabilities come on slowly, over several years. When Erics family noticed his hands trembling, they thought he was only tired or maybe his blood sugar was low. At 38, he seemed much too young to have a debilitating disease. As time went on, they noticed more symptoms. The disease affected his work as a carpenter. Finally, he learned what was wrong and started to explore whether he could get disability benefits for Parkinsons Disease. After all, his family still needed his support.

    Social Security Disability Eligibility For People With Parkinson’s Disease

    In its early stages, Parkinson’s disease rarely affects a person’s ability to work. However, the progression of the disease can make it difficult to do many jobs safely and effectively. When Parkinson’s disease affects your ability to earn a living, Social Security disability benefits are an option.

    How A Lawyer Can Help You

    If you need help navigating the process of filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits youre not alone.

    An experienced attorney who specializes in Social Security disability cases can answer your questions, give you advice, and help you through the claims process.

    A good attorney can also help you figure out what medical evidence you should be submitting with your claim. Youre not supposed to be great at filing for disability benefits.

    But an attorney who has worked on disability cases can help you through the process of filing a claim for disability benefits and give you the best chance at getting your claim for benefits approved the first time.

    Va Disability Compensation And Parkinsons Disease


    Presumptive Service Connection for Parkinsons

    Creating a presumption is VAs way of making an exception to the usual requirements for service connection. Often used for toxic exposures that affected large groups of veterans, VA will automatically presume that veterans in a certain place during a certain time period were exposed to toxins . Presumptive conditions are diseases or disabilities that VA automatically assumes are related to the acknowledged exposure, meaning the veteran does not have to provide a medical nexus, or link, between the toxic exposure and the resulting condition .

    Parkinsons disease is currently listed as a presumptive condition for veterans who served:

    • in Vietnam for any length of time between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, or
    • in the Korean Demilitarized Zone for any length of time between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971, or
    • at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between the August 1953 and December 1987.

    If you served in one of these locations during the specified time period, you need only show VA documentation of where you served and that you have a current diagnosis of Parkinsons disease to prove your claim.

    Service Connection for Parkinsons without a Presumption

    Exposure to burn pits: Parkinsons can also present in veterans who were exposed to burn pits in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations after September 11, 2001.

    Was Your Va Disability Claim For Parkinsons Disease Denied

    If VA denied your claim, the veterans disability team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to assist you.  Whether you are filing an initial claim, appealing a denial of benefits, or seeking an earlier effective date, an accredited attorney from CCK may be able to guide you through the process.  For more information, as well as a complimentary case review, contact us online or at 800-544-9144.

    How Do I File A Claim For Va Disability Compensation Benefits

    Timing: Typically, the VA cannot grant service-connection for a condition if there is no formal diagnosis on record. However, Parkinsons disease is an exception to this rule. Parkinsons is diagnosed by exclusion, meaning that a formal diagnosis is issued only when all other possible diseases have been ruled out. The VA determined that veterans should not have to wait for their condition to worsen before filing for benefits. Therefore, if you have documented symptoms of Parkinsonism but have not yet been officially diagnosed with Parkinsons, you can still receive service connection for Parkinsons disease. If this is the case, do not delay filing for VA compensation until you have a Parkinsons disease diagnosis because, if VA grants you service connection, they will pay your benefits starting from the date they received your claim.

    Organize your thoughts:  When you are ready to apply for VA benefits, it is a good idea to take a moment to think about your symptoms and how they impact your daily life and your ability to work.  Also, think about what aspects of your active-duty military service caused your illness/injury and disability.  It can help to write yourself a note about this so it is in the front of your mind throughout the process.

    Complete a claim form:  Begin the claim process by completing a VA form 21-526 or VA form 21-526EZ.  Both forms include instructions on when and how to use them.  Here are links to VAs website where you can download the forms:


    Applying For Ssdi: Parkinsons Disease Symptoms And Treatments

    While every person will experience Parkinsons Disease differently, many will experience some of the same symptoms. You may notice some initial subtle signs during the early stages, such as balance issues, minor tremors, slower movements, muscle stiffness, difficulty smiling and blinking on command and changes in speech and writing. These symptoms typically become progressively worse over time, and worsen at different rates in each person. The ability to walk, ability to balance, and/or ability to rise to standing from a seated position will often be affected. Concentrating on tasks can become difficult for many people with Parkinsons.

    Treatment will also vary with each person and it can take some time for doctors to find the right balance of medication doses and therapies. You will likely be prescribed various medications to manage your symptoms as a way to improve your quality of life. Side effects from prescription medications used to treat Parkinsons may be significant for some people and should be discussed with your doctor.

    Patients with Parkinsons will need to see their doctors regularly, and also may need to follow a rigorous therapy program, such as speech therapy, physical therapy and therapy as provided by a mental health professional. In some situations, brain stimulation through a surgical procedure may be performed.

    Qualifying For Benefits Because You Can’t Work

    VA Disability Ratings for Parkinson’s Disease

    You can still qualify for Social Security disability even if your symptoms of Parkinson’s disease don’t meet the precise guidelines of listing 11.06.

    You will have to show that your condition is:

    • Severe enough to limit your ability to perform basic, work-related activities resulting in a residual functional capacity that keeps you from working.
    • Equal in severity to another condition in the Listing of Impairments.

    The Social Security Administration will consider eligibility evidence such as your medical records, doctor’s report, age, education, and prior work experience to evaluate your ability to work consistently and determine if there is any type of job that you can do, given your limitations. 

    Parkinsons Ssdi Claim Based On A Reduced Residual Functional Capacity

    If you cannot satisfy the guidelines of the SSAs medical listing for Parkinsonian, you have another option. You may qualify based on a reduced RFC

    Here you must prove that your condition has made it impossible to work consistently and earn a gainful living.  SSA will base its decision on the evidence you provide, which can be very difficult at the initial application stage. You need to prove you cannot do your past relevant work and any other work. Adjudicators often find the claimants reported signs and symptoms of PD are not severe enough or are incomplete when filed without attorney representation.

    You must be thorough and provide what SSA needs to see:

    • A detailed history of your medical condition and functional abilities. This process is critical and involves your medical records, doctors statements, and further evidence that evaluates and shows your inability to work consistently.
    • Evidence of various forms of limitations, such as postural, exertional, manipulative , visual, communicative, mental, and environmental. 
    • Your case strengthened by documenting all symptoms, carefully tracking worsening symptoms, describing problems with daily activities, including the testimony of family, friends, co-workers, and reporting prescriptions for any assistive devices as a Parkinsons patient.

    Required Medical Evidence To Prove Pd

    The SSA must have access to your recent medical records if you are applying for disability benefits due to PD. These should include your specific diagnosis of having Parkinsons, doctor-provided documentation on the nature and persistence of your symptoms, and confirmation of your diagnosis via the results of neuroimaging tests. Its also important that you provide testimony in addition to formal medical records, such as how your symptoms affect everyday activities, negative side effects from medications, or any depression or anxiety youve experienced as a result of PD.

    Assistance And Treatment For Parkinsons Disease

    Parkinsons disease can be controlled through the use of medication, which needs to be adjusted as the disease progresses. Physical exercise and professional therapy can also help assuage some of the worst effects on daily activities. In addition to healthcare professionals, there are organizations and programs available that can educate and support patients and their caregivers.

    • Parkinson Society CanadaThis national organization partners with regional groups and 240 chapters and support groups to provide support, education, and advocacy for Canadians with the disease. It also helps fund research in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.
    • Canadian Disability Tax CreditThose with Parkinsons disease may qualify for a Canadian disability tax credit. The disability tax credit is intended to help with extra expenses caused by the condition and to help sufferers lead a more normal, productive life.
    • PhysiciansSince there is no cure, ongoing professional medical care is necessary. Parkinsons patients frequently need their medications adjusted or changed as the disease alters over time. Some patients also may benefit from surgery.
    • Physical, Speech, and Occupational TherapySeveral different therapies can improve the quality of life for Parkinsons patients. Physical therapy helps with mobility and flexibility. Occupational therapy improves the performance of daily chores. Speech therapy aids in voice control.

    Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

    Disability Cutlery

    Parkinsons disease symptoms and signs may vary from person to person. Early signs may be mild and may go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides. Some examples of symptoms include tremors or shaking often in hands or fingers, slowed movement, rigid muscles, impaired posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, speed changes, and writing changes.

    What Are Counted As Resources

    Lets start by whats NOT counted. The following items are NOT counted when SSA computes your resources:

    • Any back benefits you will receive as a result of your favorable decision;
    • The home you live in and the land it is on, if its your primary residence;
    • Your household goods and personal effects;
    • One vehicle, regardless of its value, if it is used as transportation;
    • Grants, scholarships, fellowships, or gifts set aside to pay educational expenses, for a limited period of time after receipt;
    • Burial spaces and burial funds, up to a certain limit;
    • Life insurance policies, up to a certain limit;
    • Property thats essential to supporting yourself ;


    There are additional items that are NOT counted; these are the most common.

    What does material component mean?

    It means that if you stopped using drugs or alcohol for three months or more and you were therefore no longer disabled, its a material component of your disability. On the other hand, if you stopped using drugs or alcohol for a period of three months or more, and you were still disabled due to other impairments, drug or alcohol is not a material component.

    If you are actively using drugs or alcohol and your only impairment is mental, you are likely to have difficulty being approved for benefits.

    What impact will drug or alcohol use have on my application for Social Security Disability?

    If drug or alcohol addiction is found to be a material component of your disability, you cannot receive benefits.


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