If it doesn’t use the word “debilitating”, then it doesn’t have to be so. Impairment can be ever so subtle - you do not have to consider yourself “disabled”, neither does anyone else.
However, “motor sensory function” does not seem to make much sense to me, as a phrase. MS can cause motor problems, or sensory, or both. But as they are two different types of function, I’ve no idea what: “motor sensory” means. It’s a bit like saying: “visual walking difficulties” - er…Duh? Would that mean: “visual” OR “walking”, or both? It is my hope that by lumping them together like this, they actually mean either, and you do not have to prove both.
Having said that, motor impairment is a lot easier to prove. It should not be that hard to demonstrate you can’t walk, for example - and not that easy to fake. However, who else, apart from you, knows you have a pain, or a numb foot (sensory)? I know they can do the pinprick test, and all that (Oh how I loved it - NOT!) But as it’s not sharp enough to make you yelp, I suppose anyone so minded could pretend not to have felt it, when they did.
I think you are right that all you can do is get on and claim it - give as much supporting evidence as possible, and hope for the best. There is certainly no point in NOT claiming, just in case it’s unsuccessful. As long as you’ve been honest, there is nothing to lose by trying.
Mine was through work, at the time, which I had a bit of a niggle about, as the claims process meant you HAD to go through HR - so if you wanted the money, you could not exercise your right of not telling work about your diagnosis. It’s very unlikely I’d have done that anyway, as I thought having it on record would protect me, rather than the contrary - BUT the claims process should have been confidential between me and the insurer - not via HR, just in case I didn’t want them to know,
Anyway, the arrangement did at least let me speak to the HR lady, and I specifically asked her about that clause. She replied: “Obviously, I can’t go into details, but we’ve had other MS claims, and it hasn’t been a problem - they understand the nature of it.”
And so it turned out.
I ticked the box that said I wanted to see any report provided by my neuro, before it went off to them, just in case there was anything I wanted to take issue with. I was particularly concerned, like you, that he might say I had symptoms stretching back years, which, with hindsight, I did. However, there was nothing, at the time, that was obviously neurological, or that would lead any but the most paranoid of people to think it was anything as serious as MS. I’d had a few years of aches and pains, and feeling generally older than my years, but nothing more dramatic than that.
In the event, I never did see the neuro’s report, so I can only assume they never requested one. Copies of my diagnosis letter and the results of all the tests that led to it were in my GP’s file, so I think they accepted it was an “open and shut” case, and didn’t even want to speak to the neuro. Which was great as far as getting the money was concerned, but just a little bit of a shock they didn’t want to argue or ask any questions, as I’d been half-hoping they’d raise the possibility it might have been a mistake. When someone with every motive for quibbling says: “Yeah, that’s fine, you’ve clearly got MS”, it brings it home to you you really must have, and that nobody’s going to come along and apologise for the mistake.
I never seriously doubted my diagnosis, as it was the first thing anybody had said that really had the ring of truth about it - after years of being told my problems were all down to having one leg longer than the other, or even: “wearing silly shoes” (which I never had). But I suppose we all get that feeling of: “Maybe I’ll wake up and it won’t be real”, to some extent.
Anyway - sorry for the long ramble. Just get on and claim it - it might not be the problem you think. The only issue I had was they put the entire sum in my current account while I was on holiday in Turkey, without telling me they were going to settle! I didn’t find out until I got home, and saw an abnormally large amount of money in there. So thank goodness I didn’t get my bag snatched or card skimmed while I was abroad, as somebody could have cleaned out the whole lot, and I’d have been none the wiser it was ever there. Never did get a letter confirming - just the money. That will be interesting if the tax people ever want proof where it came from, because I’ve got nothing!