People who suffer from Tourette’s syndrome often face physical and mental challenges. Common symptoms include facial tics, involuntary muscle contractions, kicking, foot stamping, and grunting. In severe cases, affected persons can engage in harmful behaviors like biting or touching, which can endanger their own well-being and that of others.
Tourette’s syndrome can make it difficult to hold jobs in traditional workplaces. Many people are not used to the tics and find them disruptive, even though the sufferer cannot control them. Certain symptoms, such as involuntary foot movement, can make tasks like driving too dangerous to perform. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires applicants to meet strict criteria to qualify for benefits. Many people with Tourette’s syndrome receive a denial due to a small technicality or mistake on their application.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, our skilled attorneys will fight to get you Social Security Disability for Tourette’s syndrome. We have helped many clients win benefits, including those with Tourette’s. It is difficult, but nowhere near impossible. We simply have to build a thorough case that proves the full effects of the condition on your ability to work.
Ready to get started? We offer free consultations. Call 866-628-8179 today to set up an appointment with a disability attorney.
How can I get disability benefits for Tourette’s syndrome as an adult?
The SSA considers certain medical conditions eligible for disability and lists these qualifying conditions in the Blue Book. The SSA provides qualification criteria for Tourette’s syndrome under the listing for neurodevelopmental disorders.
To qualify, we must show the SSA that you suffer from specific symptoms, including:
- Distractibility and difficulty maintaining attention;
- Excessive speaking;
- Learning difficulties; and
- Recurring movements or vocalizations.
We must also prove that you have a hard time understanding information, interacting with your peers, concentrating, and adapting to changing surroundings.
If you are unsure whether you meet these criteria, contact us. We can examine your medical records for proof of the severity of your condition. We can also gather testimony from your current or previous employers, your family members, and your friends that shows how Tourette’s syndrome has impacted your ability to work and earn a living.
What if I do not qualify based on the SSA’s medical criteria?
If you do not meet the SSA’s strict criteria, we can use something called a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment to show the SSA how serious your condition is. This assessment measures how much your condition affects your ability to work and how well you manage your daily functioning. If your condition causes significant impairments, you may receive approval. Our attorneys will gather substantial evidence on your behalf to show the SSA the full extent of your condition.
There are two types of RFCs: physical and mental. The nature of your Tourette’s determines which one we pursue.
A physical RFC measures the degree to which the physical impairments of your condition prevent you from working.
Suppose your Tourette’s manifests in involuntary leg jerks and kicks. As a result, you find it difficult or impossible to do any job that requires standing for long periods. Also, for safety reasons, you are unable to perform work involving heights or heavy machinery.
Tourette’s can also impact fine motor skills. This makes many office jobs difficult, particularly those that require typing, sorting, or data entry.
If we have a strong case that the physical symptoms of your Tourette’s limit your work, we will pursue a physical RFC.
A mental RFC measures how your condition affects your ability to do things like follow directions, concentrate on a task, and work with others. Tourette’s syndrome can cause limitations here, particularly in the last category.
Sadly, many people have little to no exposure to Tourette’s and as a result, they do not know how to react when someone exhibits symptoms of the condition. This lack of knowledge can make it difficult for a sufferer to work in any job that requires regular social interaction with coworkers or customers.
Can I get disability benefits for a child with Tourette’s syndrome?
Children with Tourette’s can also qualify for disability through the Blue Book, as long as they meet the SSA’s strict guidelines. To win benefits, we have to establish that your child has symptoms like:
- An easily distracted personality;
- A hard time maintaining attention;
- Difficulty remaining seated or still;
- Talking too often;
- Frequent restlessness;
- Difficulty learning and applying new skills; or
- Recurring motions or verbal tics.
In addition to the above, we have to show that your child demonstrates a severe deficiency in at least two of the following areas:
- Cognition or communication skills;
- Social functioning;
- Personal functioning; or
- Ability to maintain concentration, persistence, or pace.
In addition to your child’s medical records, we can prove the severity of his or her condition by consulting with teachers, counselors, and other school officials about your child’s performance in school. We can also provide standardized test results as proof of the impact this condition has on your child’s learning.
Income Requirements for Disability Benefits
You must meet certain income requirements to qualify for disability benefits, even if you meet the medical criteria for Tourette’s syndrome. The income requirements for disability depend on whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSDI is an insurance program for workers who become disabled. Funding for the program comes from workers’ payroll taxes. Only people with sufficient work histories who have paid into the program qualify. You must also earn less than $1,170 per month to be eligible for this program. Our attorneys can examine your work history and see if you are a candidate for SSDI.
SSI is a welfare program for the needy. Your income and assets must be below a certain level to qualify. For 2017, you must earn less than $735 per month in income, though this number may change depending on your household size. The SSA also allows a variety of deductions and exemptions, so you may still qualify if you earn over this amount. Our attorneys can examine your family’s finances and determine if SSI is an option.
We can help you qualify for disability for your Tourette’s syndrome.
Applying for disability is never easy. That is why you need a skilled and experienced disability lawyer on your side.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we specialize in disability cases and we have helped many clients win benefits. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
Call 866-628-8179 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers. We can talk you through your situation, answer any questions you have, and offer straightforward advice about your disability options.