Over the past few years, the Society has been working with the Social Security Administration to discuss the possibility of adding severe forms of multiple sclerosis to this list. Because of the varying symptoms and progression of the disease, the Social Security Administration was particularly interested in finding a quantitative way to characterize how a person with MS could qualify for this expedited approval process. As part of this process, the Society suggested a medical expert and a person living with MS to testify at the Compassionate Allowance Autoimmune Disease Hearing.
Dr. John Booss, a retired neurologist and long-time activist, spoke to the panel about the scientific and clinical background of MS. Additionally, Dr. Booss offered a potential model to determine whether a person with MS should qualify for a compassionate allowance determination. Yvonne Brown, an activist from Maryland, spoke about her personal struggle applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, notably the years she waited to be approved. She pointed out that if the Compassionate Allowances program was expanded, less people would have to endure the extremely long wait-period to receive benefits. To see video of the testimony or download the presentations, click here.
The Social Security Administration is now in the process of consulting with other internal experts about the appropriate diseases to add to the Compassionate Allowances List. When a new version is released, the National MS Society will communicate the information to our activists.
|Dr. John Booss testifies at a Social Security Administration hearing|
|Yvonne Brown, MS activist, testifies at a Social Security Administration hearing|