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Significant legislative changes have taken place in the 10 years since the first edition of this book. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Availability Act (Kassebaum-Kennedy or HIPAA) are the best known of these innovations. Despite these legal advances, many of the problems faced by people with MS have remained unaltered. Because of the variability of symptoms, both from person to person and over time within each patient, no one's experience is identical to that of anyone else. This presents special difficulties in planning for the future. Where you are in your life in school, employed, married, divorced, with or without children and what you hope to achieve may influence how you are affected by the disease. Even so, there are important steps that everyone can take to help ensure that the hand of cards he/she is dealt is well played. Ironically, new legislation like ADA, FMLA, and insurance reform have both helped and complicated the planning process. For example, you fear you are about to be laid off.;Is it time to consider ""retirement"" and file for Social Security disability benefits, which require that you be unable to perform substantial gainful employment? Or do you try to continue working with a disability through the protection of the ADA? What can you do to give yourself the best chance to get or keep vital insurance benefits? How can you keep a good relationship with your doctor and enlist his aid in making decisions about work and disability claims? The authors make the case that the key to designing your future is educating yourself, thinking for yourself, and acting in your own best interests. This book is meant to give you the tools to do exactly that.