Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves.
Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms. While there is no cure for MS, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease, and manage symptoms.
The National MS Society estimates that more than 2.3 million people have a diagnosis of MS worldwide and approximately 1 million people over the age of 18 in the United States have a diagnosis of MS.
A client, whose name is being kept anonymous to protect her privacy, contacted Kantor & Kantor for help with a disability retirement denial from her employer. In 2009 the client was diagnosed with Secondary Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The client’s treatment consisted of various medications, but her condition progressively declined. In 2011 the client began working as a mental health clinician. By 2014 the client’s gait became unstable and she required a cane for ambulation. She also began experiencing spasticity in her arms and legs.
In 2015 the client started falling frequently due to increased spasticity. Ambulation became increasingly difficult by 2016 and the client was using a motorized scooter at times and was fully dependent on a walker for ambulation when not using the scooter. In 2017 the client had ongoing complaints of hand numbness, gait instability, lower left leg spasms, and bladder incontinence. She began working in a modified capacity and this allowed her to perform her essential work functions.
However, as of March 2019, her condition had deteriorated to the point that her treating physician stated that she was no longer able to function in the workplace, even with accommodations, and she stopped working at that time and filed an application for non-service connected disability retirement with her employer. Unfortunately, the employer denied her application and she contacted Kantor & Kantor.
Recognizing that the employer’s denial was improper, Kantor & Kantor took action and represented the client through the appeals process and at a board hearing. As a result of Kantor & Kantor’s efforts, the employer overturned their denial and granted the client’s application for non-service connected disability retirement.
Unfortunately, many people who suffer from MS will apply for disability benefits and be denied.
If you or someone you know suffers from MS and has been denied disability benefits, please contact Kantor & Kantor or use our online contact form for a free consultation.