Yes, Tourette syndrome can be considered a disability. Tourette syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. To be eligible for benefits, the individual must have experienced tics that significantly impact their daily life, including their ability to engage in activities, socialize, and work for at least 12 months or more.
Tourette syndrome is recognized as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which means that individuals with Tourette syndrome are protected from discrimination in areas such as employment, education, and public accommodations. They may also be entitled to reasonable accommodations to help them overcome barriers in these areas.
What is Tourette’s syndrome?
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations known as tics. Tics are sudden, rapid, and purposeless actions that occur repeatedly.
They can vary in severity, frequency, and complexity. While tics are the defining feature of Tourette syndrome, individuals with Tourette’s syndrome may also experience other associated symptoms and conditions.
Symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome:
The onset of symptoms usually occurs during childhood or adolescence, and the severity and frequency of tics can vary widely from person to person. Some common symptoms associated with Tourette’s syndrome include the following:
- Motor tics: These involve sudden, involuntary movements such as eye blinking, facial grimacing, head jerking, shoulder shrugging, or repetitive movements of the limbs.
- Vocal tics: These involve involuntary sounds or words, including throat-clearing, grunting, coughing, sniffing, or repeating words or phrases (known as echolalia).
- Complex tics: These are coordinated patterns of movements and vocalizations. Examples include jumping, touching objects, hitting oneself, or blurting out offensive words (coprolalia, which occurs in a minority of individuals with Tourette’s syndrome).
- Premonitory urges: Many individuals with TS build up tension or discomfort before a tic, which can be temporarily relieved by performing the tic.
- Associated symptoms: Individuals with Tourette’s syndrome may also experience attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, depression, or learning difficulties. These conditions often coexist with Tourette’s syndrome and can significantly impact daily functioning.
Causes of Tourette’s syndrome:
The exact cause of Tourette syndrome is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some key factors associated with Tourette’s syndrome include:
- Genetics: TS may have a genetic component, as it runs in families. However, the specific genes involved still need to be fully understood.
- Neurochemical imbalances: Tourette’s syndrome may be related to abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine, in the brain.
- Structural and functional abnormalities: Some studies have shown differences in brain structure and activity in individuals with Tourette’s syndrome, particularly involving regions responsible for motor control and inhibition.
- Environmental factors: There are some environmental factors that can potentially lead to the development of Tourette syndrome, including prenatal or perinatal complications, infections, or exposure to certain toxins. However, further research is necessary to determine any definitive causal relationships.
Can you get disability benefits for Tourettes syndrome?
Yes, it is possible to receive disability benefits for Tourette’s syndrome. The severity of symptoms can vary widely from person to person, and in some cases, the condition can significantly impact an individual’s ability to work and perform daily activities.
To qualify for disability benefits, including SSDI or SSI, you must meet the eligibility criteria set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA considers factors such as the severity of your symptoms, the functional limitations they impose, and your ability to engage in substantial gainful activity.
If you are seeking disability benefits due to Tourette’s syndrome, you must provide comprehensive medical documentation and evidence to support your claim. Those documents may include medical records, test results, treatment history, statements from healthcare professionals, and information about the condition’s impact on your daily life and ability to work.
Need Legal Help? Contact a Disability lawyer.
If you have a disability and are facing challenges, it may be helpful to seek the guidance of a disability attorney. They can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the legal process.
Whether you are dealing with issues related to employment discrimination, denial of disability benefits, or accessibility concerns, an experienced Baton Rouge disability attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system. They will work diligently to protect your rights, gather necessary evidence, and represent your best interests in negotiations or court proceedings.