Allsup Observes Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March

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Compiles statistics and information specifically for MS patients seeking SSDI benefits.

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There is significant value in securing expert help with the initial application. It increases the likelihood of getting approved in a matter of months at the initial level instead of years later on appeal.

Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) who cannot continue working may have to endure a lengthy wait if they apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), according to Allsup, a nationwide SSDI representation company. In observance of MS Awareness Month in March, Allsup offers insights in the article, "Spotlight on Multiple Sclerosis and SSDI," in its online community, AllsupPlace. Click here to read the article.

A 2010 government report found that individuals with MS are among those most often denied SSDI benefits at the initial level (47 percent), yet subsequently approved at the appeals level, when they are most likely to have professional representation. The report concluded that SSDI representatives can help individuals shave as much as 500 days from the process.

More than two-thirds of initial SSDI applications are denied. On average, those who appeal their denials wait more than a year to receive a hearing date, as the number of people waiting to attend a hearing grows close to 1 million. More information on the SSDI backlog is available here.

"As the backlog of cases increases, it’s also becoming more difficult to get an SSDI award," said Allsup senior representative Ed Swierczek. The SSA reported a 30 percent benefit approvals from December 2012 to December 2013.

"There is significant value in securing expert help with the initial application," said Swierczek. "It increases the likelihood of getting approved in a matter of months at the initial level instead of years later on appeal."

About half of MS patients are denied SSDI benefits at the initial level. Allsup outlines the following next steps for MS patients filing an SSDI appeal:

1.    Get help if you don’t have a representative already. Stress can trigger or worsen MS attacks. Letting an experienced SSDI representative handle a claim can alleviate patient stress. At the hearing level, nearly eight in 10 applicants have a representative like Allsup.

2.    Pursue the appeal. Most people who are denied give up. Some abandon their claim with the intention of filing again at a later date. The relapsing and progressive nature of MS can make it difficult to see the process through. However, delaying or missing important dates can hurt someone’s claim. For example, those who decide to apply at a later date may wait too long and become uninsured. The SSA requires individuals to be fully and currently insured in order to receive SSDI benefits. Generally, this means having worked five out of the last 10 years.

3.    Provide documentation and details. It may take the SSA two years or longer to review an SSDI claim through the appeals process. The appeal process is an opportunity to correct errors and explain changes. Working with healthcare providers to keep medical records and changes in physical and mental health up to date is important. A representative will work with providers and collect and highlight important evidence that could strengthen a claim.
For more information on SSDI eligibility, call the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (888) 841-2126 or visit

About Allsup

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill.., near St. Louis. For more information, go to or visit Allsup on Facebook at

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Tai Venuti
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