Filing for Disability Benefits for Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a disease where gene mutations inhibit the production of proteins that your body needs in order to form muscles. This causes weakness and loss of muscle mass, symptoms which grow worse over time. Although there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, treatments including medication and therapy can help to control symptoms.

Regardless of diagnosis, the important thing to keep in mind is that the Social Security Administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations.

If the symptoms of your muscular dystrophy are severe enough to meet the requirements of the Social Security Administration’s disability listing, you will be automatically approved for disability. However, the requirements in Social Security Administration’s listings are very strict as you must demonstrate severe and ongoing disorganization of your ability to use your muscles in two of your extremities (arms or legs) that causes chronic difficulty with your ability either to walk or to use your body to perform gross and dexterous movements.

More often than not, an individual will not meet the requirements to meet a listing. As such, social security will strive to determine the specific limitations on one’s ability to perform basic work activities needed to do most jobs. For example:

  • Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling
  • Seeing, hearing and speaking
  • Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
  • Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations
  • Dealing with changes in a routine work setting

Ultimately, Social Security disability claims involving muscular dystrophy vary depending on the nature of your specific symptoms and their effect on your ability to work.

For more information about filing for disability benefits for muscular dystrophy, please visit

By Kevin J. Kohler

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