The Importance of Disability Insurance for MS

Colorful umbrellas overhead
Disability Insurance – The Umbrella for MS, Image by Pixabay

If you have multiple sclerosis or any other chronic or progressive degenerative disease, you must have disability insurance. Short-term medical disability is limited in time and will not cover you indefinitely. Still, it should help bridge the gap between earning a paycheck and being approved for Social Security’s disability insurance or SSDI. If SSDI denies your application, appeal it. MS is a disease patients often have to fight to qualify for disability.

To see what level of benefit you may qualify for, you can check out the SSDI calculator. You will need a more significant income than SSDI provides to live comfortably. Long-term medical disability insurance is offered through some employers or can be purchased individually, but most likely not if you are already diagnosed with a disabling disease. Therefore, you should seek employment with an employer that offers medical disability in their benefits package. Many state and federal jobs have this benefit.

Prepare for Medical Disability Today

Okay, so you feel pretty good right now. Why should you be preparing for medical disability today? Because tomorrow is not guaranteed, and things can change overnight.

Begin by keeping track of medical appointments and records. Every time you see a specialist or have a test done that is not with your general practitioner, sign a request for the records form when you sign in for the appointment. Keep these records with notes about why you saw the doctor or had the test done.

I knew medical disability was possible for years before I applied, so I gathered my records along the way. When fatigue and memory issues made teaching impossible, I applied for medical disability at the end of February and received my approval letter in early April. The speedy approval came because I prepared ahead of time.

Prepare for medical disability financially, too. Live your financial life with one eye on the possibility of disability. Pay off your debts. Do not finance long-term if you can avoid it. Ensure you have long-term disability insurance, read the policy, and know what it will and will not cover. Invest in hobby materials to have something to do when you are no longer working. I purchased fabric, sewing notions and machines, beads, and a quality camera to ensure I had things to do when I had time.

Making New Jeeper Friends

Melissa Cook & Jeanene Lundsford smile for the camera
Melissa Cook & Jeanene Lundsford

Surrounding myself with supportive people who make me happy is important to me. Too many days I spent alone in Alaska while on medical disability. No more. Spending time with friends Jeeping or playing outside gives me something to look forward to each week. Having a support system is extremely important for people with multiple sclerosis.

Typically, I spend most of my free time running around with Wyoming Jeepers Dan & Elaine Flores, but they haven’t been able to play for some time now. Not being one to sit around, I am out making new friends. I know Dan and Elaine will love these new Jeeping friends we have when they can get back on the road. Roger & Jeanene Lundsford and Jason Pinder enjoy the backroads as much as we do. Look at the mud we caked onto our tires last weekend. The child inside of all of us really does like to play in the mud.

Miss you, Elaine & Dan!

Melissa Cook & Jason Pinder in the Wyoming Badlands
Melissa Cook & Jason Pinder in the Wyoming Badlands
Three Jeeps with muddy tires
Wyoming Jeepers Hit the Muddy Roads


Cottonbro Studio. Image of Doctor. (accessed February 13, 2023).

Pixabay. Umbrellas Image. (accessed February 13, 2023).

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.