Florida individuals struggling with Parkinson’s disease may be surprised to learn that their condition usually develops at a snail-like pace. In fact, it’s not uncommon for patients to suffer for ten or twenty years before they are finally diagnosed by a doctor. That’s because mild symptoms, such as fidgeting with the thumb and forefinger, may be dismissed as nervous habits, or accepted as a normal part of aging.
Although not fatal, Parkinson’s disease is on the rise, taking 14th place as the leading cause of death in the United States. Defined as a central nervous system disorder, Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells that help control muscle movements. When the nerve cells don’t correctly produce dopamine, then the brain isn’t able to send a signal to the muscle to move properly.
Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson’s
- Tremors- shaking fingers and hands
- Slowing down- difficult to initiate taking steps
- Posture changes- may appear as stooping and hard to balance
- Speech changes- slower, repeating, slurring, or stuttering
- Mental clarity- memory issues, also maybe blinking eyes
- Rigid muscles- stiffness or pain, often resulting in no longer swinging one arm while walking
Treatment for Parkinson’s
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. At the beginning stages of treating this condition, Florida patients do report a remarkable improvement in their symptoms with the help of lifestyle changes and medication. However, while most people respond well to medication at first, the symptoms are known to worsen, often leaving an individual with an inability to live the lifestyle he or she has grown accustomed to.
Parkinson’s and Social Security
If an individual has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he or she is likely eligible for Social Security disability benefits. In order to receive benefits, you will need to provide evidence of the following:
1. Rigid muscles, slow movement, or tremor in two extremities (arms or legs)
2. Inability to walk at normal pace or difficulty moving arms, legs, and fingers, over an extended period of time.
Medical Vocational Benefits
If you don’t meet the above criteria, you may still be eligible to qualify for Medical-Vocational benefits. After carefully reviewing your medical records and current capacity to return to previous related-work loads, the SSA may likely award partial benefits, especially if you are over age 50.
It is important to hire a South Florida disability attorney that knows how to navigate you through a successful claim for social security benefits for Parkinson’s disease. You may be eligible to receive compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and living expenses as a result of this disabling condition.
Contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld for a free legal consultation to determine if you have a case. Call [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].