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The wait for SSDI benefits is shorter for people with ALS

ALS is a nerve disease that progresses quickly. To date, there is no known cure for you or others who have been diagnosed. This disease attacks the nerve cells that allow you to move your voluntary muscles. These are the muscles in your arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes and more.

The Social Security Administration has changed its processing procedures for people who have been diagnosed with ALS.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) definition

This disease, also called “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” causes you to lose muscle control. It affects nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord. You may have noticed weakness in your arm or leg. Your speech may have sounded slurred.

Some additional symptoms you may have noticed include:

  • Tripping or falling
  • Weakness or clumsiness in your hands
  • Having trouble walking
  • Feeling weak in your leg, ankles or feet
  • Muscle cramps and twitchy tongue, arms and shoulders
  • Crying, yawning or laughing inappropriately
  • Changes in your behavior and ability to understand

Waiting period for ALS disability claims is eliminated

The Social Security Administration eliminated its five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits. The “ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019” dropped the waiting period for applicants who were approved for benefits on July 23, 2020, or after. You still need to go through the disability and determination processes.

The Social Security Administration also streamlined its ALS processing system. This used to be done manually. Now applications may be processed in just a few days.

Why you may need Social Security Disability benefits

Being diagnosed with ALS means you suffer a disability severe enough that disability benefits become a necessity. Because ALS moves quickly, destroying nerve cells, you may need disability payments so you can stay current on your bills. The previous waiting period and denials meant that applicants just gave up. By learning more about the new approval process, you may hear good news about your benefits.