If you live in Georgia and suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), obtaining experienced disability attorneys in Augusta GA is a must for a successful disability claim. MS is a progressive illness affecting the spinal cord and brain. Though the exact cause is not presently known, it is believed to be due to an autoimmune deficiency. With MS, the myelin, or protective sheath of nerve cells, is damaged. Myelin damage occurs in patches of the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. When cells of the brain are damaged, they form lesions. Because the disease affects the nervous system, a great variety of areas of your body may be affected. Most commonly affected are muscle control and strength, balance, gait, and vision. Your speech may be impaired as well as memory and thought processes. Symptoms vary from muscle pain, to tingling feelings in extremities, to loss of muscle function.
Stages of Multiple Sclerosis
MS progresses in stages, from relapsing-remitting to secondary progressive and finally primary progressive stages. Most suffering from MS are in the relapsing and remitting stage, where the body will suffer attacks, causing severe symptoms, followed by general improvement. Each attack will cause permanent damage to your central nervous symptom. When MS enters the secondary and primary progressive stages, your body loses the ability to compensate for damage. Since there is no cure for MS, medical providers concentrate on delaying the progression of the disease and alleviating symptoms as much as possible. A combination of medications, diet, physical and mental therapy will be used. Betaseron is a drug known to slow the progression of MS and is the most common medication employed. It is effective at delaying the effects of the disease, but can cause side effects for you. A common complaint among users is a “flu-like” feeling, with body aches, malaise, chills and fever. You may be unable to accomplish much for a day or two after an injection. Because the drug is normally administered at least once per week, you can be down on a regular basis.
Multiple Sclerosis and Disability
Because the symptoms of MS increase and subside over the years, a claim of long term disability can be a challenge. The disability carrier will attempt to downplay your symptoms and point to periods of improvement as evidence that the disability is not long term. For these reasons, it is very important for you to track symptom through the use of a diary or pain journal. A pain scale should be used and limits to daily activities should be recorded. For instance, if the person was not able to shower one a day, or required an additional hour to get out of bed, they should be noted in the pain diary. The journal should be provided to your medical provider. Often, a doctor will indicate you are “doing well” but that description is in relation to the disease. It is not in relation to a healthy individual. You must convince the doctor to be as specific as possible.
The Role of the Disability Attorneys in Augusta GA
As advocate for the MS patient seeking long term disability benefits, the attorney will compile medical records, seek medical opinions and ensure all documents are submitted timely to the insurer. The qualified advocate will also be required to describe your overall health in detail, demonstrating activities that cannot be performed, restrictions on physical and mental activities the frequency of disease flare ups and the effect this has on the ability to perform gainful work activities. Because there is no bright line test for determining whether you are able to work, the skills and experience of the disability attorney will make all the difference in whether a claim is approved or denied.
Finding the Right Disability Attorneys in Augusta GA
Wilkinson & Magruder, LLP are disability attorneys in Augusta GA with skills in obtaining disability claims. Contact them at (706) 737-0771 for a consultation.