Seelig Law Offices

ALS Patients Get Faster Access To Disability Benefits

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2021 | Disability |

It’s been 6 years since the “ice bucket challenge” went viral. In case you don’t remember, it was a fundraiser for ALS research that required you to video yourself getting an ice cold bucket of water dumped on your head, while challenging those who watched and enjoyed your distress to donate money to support research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The disease rapidly progresses and robs those afflicted with the ability to walk, talk, and breathe on their own, ultimately leading to death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no known cause or cure, and veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population.

According to the ALS Association, “…donations from the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled The ALS Association to increase its annual funding for research around the world by 187 percent. During this time, ALS researchers made scientific advances, care for people living with ALS expanded and investment in disease research from the federal government grew.”

Thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge, “…the pace of discovery has increased tremendously, bringing ALS researchers closer than they have ever been to real breakthroughs in diagnosing, treating, and eventually curing this disease,” said Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of The ALS Association.

The challenge also did more to raise awareness of ALS than anything since New York Yankee’s first baseman Lou Gehrig announced that he was suffering from this debilitating disease, which many people still refer to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. One good thing that came out of the push for more attention to ALS is a new law that allows those diagnosed with the disease to quickly access Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare benefits.

People who are diagnosed with ALS no longer have to wait to apply for SSDI or Medicare benefits. After a diagnosis, a person with ALS can immediately apply for benefits. The SSA then acts as quickly as possible to get eligible applicants the benefits they deserve. The application is speeded by the fact that the SSA defines ALS as a disability and the new law waives the typical waiting period as a “compassionate allowance.” This is a small silver lining in the otherwise dark cloud of an ALS diagnosis.

If you or a loved one in Manhattan has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, the last thing you need to do is waste time and energy filling out a bunch of paperwork. However, the benefits you get from applying for SSDI and Medicare are worth the hassle. Seelig Law Offices can help you tap into the benefits you need without spending your limited time jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Contact us today for assistance with your application for SSDI and Medicare benefits, or questions you have about these programs.