Ataxia Support

Earning Income

Many times I have called lawyers to help get Social Security and always getting turned down. I apparently haven’t acquired enough work credits. I have been disabled from Cerebral Ataxia, came aware of it quite a few years back when I was slurring my speech and started having balance issues. The doctor who did an MRI many years ago said she found nothing to be alarmed about. It started getting worse and the neurologist I had at that time sat me and my wife down in his office and told me that there wasnt really anything that can be done, basically saying I have to live with it. My wife was fuming. Within the following year we packed up and moved to Columbus to be near the neurologist at OSU. He is a very nice and positive outlooking. So long long story short, can anyone help or suggest any possible way to get Social Security and/or suggest a way to bring in some income. My wife is currently working two jobs and we have a son. Any suggestions or support would really help at this point. Thanks

I’ve heard of some folks doing work at home using their computer. Take a look at insurance companies.

Thanks, Chas521. I will look into it. Have a nice day.

There are specific diagnosis that the Social Security Administration will entertain. You may want to google search these criteria. Some of the DX specific for us are following; 11.17 Neurodegenerative disorders of the central nervous system, such as Huntington’s disease, Friedreich’s ataxia, and spinocerebellar degeneration , characterized by A or B:

A. Disorganization of motor function in two extremities (see 11.00D1), resulting in an extreme limitation (see 11.00D2) in the ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities.


B. Marked limitation (see 11.00G2) in physical functioning (see 11.00G3a), and in one of the following:

  1. Understanding, remembering, or applying information (see 11.00G3b(i)); or
  2. Interacting with others (see 11.00G3b(ii)); or
  3. Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace (see 11.00G3b(iii)); or
  4. Adapting or managing oneself (see 11.00G3b(iv)).

Link from SSA on neurological disorder.https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/11.00-Neurological-Adult.htm#11_17

It’s hard to rely on social security, even if you get approved. The income will not be enough to support you but it would likely be a helpful supplement. I actually don’t think our society is set up to support people with physical atypicalities or inconsistent capacity. Instead, I think we need extra gumption! Just when we’re worn out, we need to somehow summon the energy to figure it out…it’s our catch 22.

What I’m hoping is that there is some thing you can figure out for yourself that you can do from home. So many careers are at distance these days and don’t require you to go to an office. Think about your skill set and get your computer skills up to snuff. Then, be creative in how you might use your skills. Maybe it’s as an employee but more likely I think it will be as an independent contractor or someone who is self-employed.

I’m sure you have many skills that could be useful via computer. See if you can hone and market those. Good luck and let us know if you figure something out!


PS: I started my own company before I became symptomatic. Now I need extra staff to help me keep running it but I can still help teach an online course; everyone just knows that my speech will be variable.

You are right. Social Security is just a supplemental income that many in the US completely rely on.For many, it’s not enough to maintain a family. But it’s something. It came about after the great depression in 1935 but was signed in to law in an expanded form by LBJ in 1965.

1 Like

You shouldn’t need to go through a lawyer. Like previously stated that Social Security automatically considers some consitions and CSA are considered a neurological condition and should be covered. Make sure you have medical documentation. Social Security is based on what you have worked in you lifetime.

Thanks, everyone for responding to my email. I was in the publication/printing industry for over twenty years, doing page building as a desktop technician. I was also an account exec/Graphic Artist with a company for 5 years. I have tried to do freelance on the computer but haven’t got a bite on that. I am thinking of finding a free online course that I would be able to do from home. Any suggestions?. It would more than like likely need to be hands-on since my speech is so bad. Thanks, for any of your thoughts.

I have been in your place over 20 years ago. I have had sporadic ataxic that long now and am just getting a scooter. Still use a walker. I found a lawyer who claimed she was going to help, but was rejected three times. The fourth time I did receive the benefits. **KEEP TRYING Job at home might be an answer or if you know someone who “knows someone” they might hire you. It is what is is, which is not fair. Best of luck to you and your family. I cannot imagine the stress you are going through.