Although every person is unique and different in his or her own way, we all share a number of things in common that make us human – some things that are complex, and some things that are very simple – things like eating, breathing, and going through each day interacting with the world around us and the things in it. Many of us do these very basic things without a second thought. For others, however – those who have chemical sensitivities, these simple activities can become very problematic, and harmful to day-to-day health and well-being.
What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Anyway?
It’s possible that you may be one of those people who suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (or MCS) without even realizing that there was a specific name to describe your condition. Also often called Chemical Injury Syndrome or Environmental Illness, this condition is characterized by an extreme sensitivity to chemicals in the environment that the average person typically isn’t bothered by. For these individuals, there is typically an initial allergic reaction to the chemical in question, followed by reactions to even very small amounts of that chemical any time after that.
MCS can be caused by a wide variety of chemical exposures, depending upon each person’s unique sensitivities, although there are some sensitivities that are more common, including sensitivities to things like gas and paint fumes, furniture polish, cleaning products, medications, body care products (such as shampoos and body washes), sugar, pesticides, and more. Reactions as a result of exposure can range from symptoms similar to those associated with allergies to far more serious symptoms like muscle pain and stiffness, neurological problems, seizures, and more.
If I Have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Can I Qualify for SSDI Benefits?
If you suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity to the point where you are unable to continue working your job, it is possible that you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Typically, there are two ways to establish that you qualify for SSDI – the first, is to prove that you have a medical condition recognized by the Social Security Administration as an impairment that qualifies for disability.
In the case of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, simply stating that you have MCS is often insufficient to establish that you qualify for benefits. It is typically necessary to provide medical proof that you have another condition that is a direct result of the MCS – asthma, dermatitis, epilepsy, vertigo, chronic pulmonary insufficiency, or another condition that may fall within the impairments accepted by SSA. A qualified and experienced attorney will be able to help you review your medical records and determine if you meet one of these criteria.
If you do not meet one of those criteria, however, don’t feel as if you have no hope of qualifying for benefits. In addition to looking through the list of qualifying impairments, SSA will also look at your physical and mental abilities using what is called a Residual Functional Capacity (or RFC) form. Those who have MCS may be able to provide medical proof to establish that they have physical and/or mental conditions that prevent them from being able to return to any sort of gainful employment, despite any sort of reasonable accommodations that might be offered.
If, for example, you have a sensitivity to carpet fumes, and that was preventing you from working in your carpeted office, a reasonable accommodation might be to provide you with an office without carpet. In such a case, your condition would not be an impairment that rose to the level of preventing you from working at all. On the other hand, if you had multiple sensitivities that simply prevented you from being able to return to the workspace despite any accommodations, and you could provide medical proof that this was the case, you may very well have a strong claim for disability benefits.
Call the Law Office of Daniel Berger Today
If you live in New York, and you suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities, you should spend your time focusing on your health and well-being, instead of devoting it to worrying about how to obtain the disability benefits you need and deserve. That’s where we come in. At the Law Offices of Daniel Berger, we are passionate about offering the best possible representation to our clients as they seek the compensation they need to care for themselves and their families. We firmly believe that those with disabilities are entitled to dignity, and we will fight for that on your behalf with compassion and professionalism each step of the way.
If you are ready to begin the process of applying for benefits because you suffer from MCS, we’re here for you. Call us at (855)444-7024, or visit our website at www.nydisability.com. Together, we can discuss your circumstances, and work toward pursuing benefits on your behalf. We look forward to speaking with you and learning how we can help.