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Work and Financial Life

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Multiple sclerosis impacts every aspect of life, including work and finance. It’s an expensive disease, and it can affect your ability to do your job. This makes it all the more important to plan ahead, research potential sources of support and learn to advocate for yourself. 
In this article

Protect yourself with sound financial planning and insurance management

When it comes to finances, it’s never too early to begin planning for the future. The added unpredictability of MS makes it even more important to do a personal inventory of your income, assets, debt, insurance coverage, employment benefits, disability benefit options and other financial resources. Start an emergency fund, and set short term and long term goals.
To accomplish all of this, you may get help from professionals such as a Social Security attorney, a financial planner or an accountant. An MS Navigator can help pinpoint the types of resources you might need.

Curb the cost of MS

A new study estimates the annual U.S. economic cost of MS at more than $85.4 billion per year. This underscores what many people with MS know all too well — MS is a highly expensive disease.
While we’ve long understood the financial burden on people with MS and their families, this study highlights the far reaching and considerable cost of this disease on the entire U.S. economy and the real impact these costs have on people with MS, their families and care partners. It highlights the urgent need for policymakers and other stakeholders to help lower the cost of care and treatment of MS. Through advocacy, we can help make this happen and lower the cost of MS for everyone.

Keep working with MS

MS is a complex and unpredictable disease that can have varying effects on a person’s ability to work. You may question whether you can continue in your current job, enjoy career advancement or find other work that suits you better.

There is no reason for you — or anyone else — to assume that you need to leave the workforce because you have been diagnosed with MS. But there are actions you can take in response to current symptoms. Review your employer-sponsored benefits, learn how to advocate for yourself in the workplace, consider when to disclose your MS in the workplace and research reasonable accommodations. If your symptoms begin to interfere with your job performance, you can explore other career options. An MS Navigator can connect you with resources to help with all of these questions.

  • Read “Work it” in Momentum Magazine.

Research college scholarships

If you’re a student with MS or you have been impacted by MS, you may be eligible for college scholarships to help with things like tuition, books, supplies and living expenses. The College Scholarship Resources page lists these opportunities, as well as scholarships for the general public, minorities, veterans and students affected by other chronic illnesses.

Additional resources

Find an MS care provider

The National MS Society’s Partners in MS Care program connects you to local health care providers and medical facilities that have demonstrated exceptional care, knowledge and expertise in treating patients with MS. All partners, whether they are a neurologist or social worker, have a strong relationship with the Society and connect their patients to the information, resources and support they need to live their best lives with MS. Find a Partner in MS Care.


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If you or somone close to you has recently been diagnosed, access our MS information and resources.

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© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.