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Dallas Social Security Disability Lawyer

No matter how carefully you plan for the future, sometimes life gets in the way. If you have recently become badly injured or otherwise disabled, you may understandably feel worried and have many questions. How will you provide for yourself and your family? Will you be able to retire? Is there any work you can still do? Read on to learn more about one option that could be available to you - Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - and then contact an SSDI attorney who can help you determine whether this might be a good option for you. 

Who Can Get SSDI? 

SSDI is intended to provide help to disabled individuals who meet the requirements of the SSDI program. Not everyone is considered “insured” under SSDI - adults must have worked recently and have paid Social Security taxes on their income. If you apply, you must provide extensive documentation about your work history and the condition that leaves you fully disabled. 


Plano Social Security Disability Attorneys

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a daunting task, especially for those who are dealing with mental health conditions. During the application process, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will follow a five-step procedure to determine whether an applicant is currently working, whether they have a disabling condition that prevents them from working full-time, and whether they have the capacity to work in jobs they have held in the past or other jobs that are available. During this process, the person's residual functional capacity (RFC) will be determined, which will provide an idea of what types of activities they can perform. For those who have mental health conditions that have led them to apply for disability benefits, understanding how mental RFC is measured can be crucial.

What Is Mental RFC?

Mental RFC is the SSA’s way of determining the extent to which a mental impairment affects a person's ability to work. RFC describes the extent of work a person can perform under the limitations placed on them by a health condition. In cases involving mental health conditions, the SSA will look at several factors to get an idea of whether a person can perform work-related activities on a regular and sustained basis.


Dallas SSDI Benefits AttorneyIf you are disabled and unable to work, you may be wondering if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The answer depends on a number of factors, including the condition from which you suffer and how it has affected your ability to maintain gainful employment. If you are approved for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must then determine the amount you will receive in monthly payments. An experienced disability attorney can help you understand how much you could potentially receive in Social Security disability benefits.

What Types of Medical Conditions Qualify for SSDI Benefits?

There are many medical conditions that may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, including those caused by physical, mental, or emotional issues. Those suffering from a medical disorder such as muscular dystrophy, a severe cardiovascular condition, lupus, diabetes, and certain types of cancers are likely to be eligible if the medical issue prevents substantial gainful activity for at least 12 consecutive months.

Medical impairments that are not listed by the Social Security Administration could still qualify if they are deemed to be the equivalent of an impairment listed under the guidelines. To determine whether or not you may qualify for SSDI benefits due to a medical condition, it is highly recommended that you seek help from an experienced disability attorney who can assess your disability situation and assist you in filing your claim.


Dallas SSDI Benefits LawyerFor those who are living with diabetes, gaining access to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can make a huge difference in their quality of life. But is diabetes alone enough to qualify you for SSDI benefits? The answer is yes and no. While it is possible to qualify for disability benefits based on diabetes alone, the reality is that most people who have diabetes must also have additional serious medical complications in order to be approved for SSDI benefits. An experienced disability attorney can help you better understand these requirements.

Complications That Could Qualify You for Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers several different types of complications that can be associated with diabetes when determining whether or not an individual should receive SSDI benefits. In general, these conditions include nerve damage, cardiovascular issues, kidney disorders, and vision problems. If a person has any of these complications as the result of their diabetes, they may qualify for SSDI benefits.

The biggest factor in determining whether a person with diabetes qualifies for disability benefits is how the person’s condition affects their ability to work. In many cases, diabetes can be controlled to the point that the person is able to maintain gainful employment. Sometimes, however, the condition—especially if there are complications—cannot be easily controlled, and the person may not be able to support themselves.


Collin County SSD Benefits LawyerMany individuals who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction are unable to keep a steady job due to their addiction. But does this mean that you can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits based on your addiction? The short answer is no, you cannot. However, it is possible to obtain SSDI benefits for other conditions—even if you have an addiction. Let’s look at what you need to prove in order to get disability benefits for a condition other than substance abuse or addiction.

What Does the SSA Consider a Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a disability as “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must prove that the impairments that prevent them from working were not caused by their own drug or alcohol abuse.

If Your Condition Is Linked With Addiction

In some cases, however, individuals with an addiction may still be eligible for SSDI benefits if they are able to show that their condition is linked with another medical issue, such as cancer or severe depression. In such instances, it is important for applicants to provide evidence—such as doctor's notes and medical records—that proves the connection between their addiction and the other medical conditions.


Plano SSD Benefits LawyerCrohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause severe abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, and diarrhea. It is a chronic condition with no known cure, and it can severely affect the quality of life for those who have it. If Crohn’s disease is preventing you from working and supporting yourself, we can also help you apply for Social Security disability benefits. If you think you may have Crohn’s disease or are just curious about what it is and how to recognize its signs and symptoms, today’s post will help you understand the basics.

How Does One Get Crohn's Disease?

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease remains unknown. However, research suggests that genetics play a role in determining one’s predisposition to developing the condition. It is likely caused by a combination of genetic factors, environmental triggers (such as smoking), and possibly dietary habits (such as eating foods high in saturated fat).

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Crohn's Disease?

The most common symptom associated with Crohn’s disease is persistent abdominal pain. Other common symptoms include bloody stools or diarrhea, fever, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, night sweats or chills, anemia (low red blood cell count), and mouth sores or ulcers on the lips or inside the cheeks near the gums. Additionally, people with Crohn's disease can experience nutritional deficiencies due to inadequate absorption of vitamins and minerals from food.


Dallas, TX SSDI lawyerIf you are disabled and filing for Social Security disability benefits, you may have heard the term “residual functional capacity.” But what does this mean? Residual functional capacity (RFC) is an important factor used to determine whether an individual is eligible for disability benefits. Understanding how RFC works can help you prepare your case and make sure that all relevant evidence is considered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

What Is Residual Functional Capacity?

Residual functional capacity (RFC) measures an individual’s ability to perform work-related activities, such as lifting, carrying, walking, standing, sitting, pushing, and pulling. The SSA uses these measurements to assess how well a person is able to handle tasks related to their job, if they were still employed. It also considers any activity limitations due to mental health or physical ailments. For example, someone with fibromyalgia might not be able to lift heavy objects or stand for extended periods of time.

When evaluating RFC, the SSA takes into account both physical and mental impairments, as well as any associated symptoms such as pain or fatigue. It also considers any medications taken and their demonstrable effects on a person’s ability to work. Additionally, it evaluates an individual’s past relevant work experience and education level when assessing their RFC.


Dallas, TX SSDI benefits attorneysIf you are suffering from a disability that prevents you from working and providing for yourself, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The process of obtaining your benefits, however, can be very difficult, and it is advisable to work closely with an experienced disability attorney. Finding the right attorney can also be a challenge, so here are a few tips that can help you make an informed decision about your disability attorney.

Research Your Options

There are thousands of lawyers in the Greater Dallas area, and it is important to research and compare different lawyers or firms before deciding on one. Keep in mind that some attorneys focus their practices on different areas of law, such as personal injury, family law, or criminal defense. You want to ensure that your attorney has specific and meaningful experience dealing with Social Security disability cases. Ask questions about their experience and success rate with prior clients who were facing similar issues as you are facing.

Seek Referrals

Another way to get a good lead on a reputable disability lawyer is by asking friends, family, or acquaintances if they have ever used one in the past or if they know someone who has used one recently. This will give you an idea of which attorneys are experienced and successful at handling Social Security disability cases. Ask about their experiences with the attorney and the law firm, as well as what kind of results were achieved in the case. 


Dallas, TX social security disability benefits lawyerIt is not uncommon for a person who files a claim for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program to be told that additional medical evidence is required. In many situations, applicants are required to undergo a consultative exam with a medical professional who is approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Generally, there are at least a few approved contractors in a given geographic area who can provide such exams, but according to several lawsuits that were filed recently, some of them may not be providing the level of honest care that applicants should expect. Such was the case, allegedly, for a woman in Kansas City who sought a consultative exam as part of her 2018 SSDI application process.

Questions About the Consultative Exam

According to local news reports and court documents, a Kansas City woman applied for disability benefits in 2018, stating she could not work due to a number of health issues, including neck and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip surgery, arthritis, and constant migraines. As part of the application process, she visited a particular SSA-contracted medical provider in Kansas City.


Dallas Social Security Disability Benefits lawyerWhen most people think about health conditions for which Social Security Disability benefits might be available, they often envision life-changing conditions such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, and severe, obvious injuries. In reality, however, nearly any condition that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment could potentially make you eligible for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. This includes repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and more.

Understanding Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are a type of condition that is caused by performing the same motions over and over again. This can happen at work if you have a job that requires you to perform the same task day in and day out. It can also occur during leisure activities, such as playing a musical instrument or participating in a sport.

These injuries generally affect muscles, tendons, or nerves and can lead to pain, inflammation, and even numbness or tingling. In some cases, RSIs can be so severe that they cause permanent damage. While RSIs can occur in any part of the body, they are most commonly seen in the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck.


Dallas, TX SSDI LawyerIf you suffer from lupus, you know how difficult it can be sometimes to do even the most basic things. Simply getting out of bed in the morning can be a struggle, let alone going to work and providing for your family. While there may not be a cure for this serious autoimmune disease, there are some things that may be able to help you. In addition, you might also qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

What Is Lupus?

In order to understand how lupus can affect your ability to work, it is important to first understand what the disease is. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. The immune system normally protects the body from infection and illness. However, in people with lupus, the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues.

This can cause inflammation and damage in various parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. Lupus can also cause mild to severe fatigue, as well as other symptoms such as fever, chest pain, hair loss, and headaches. There is no one test that can definitively diagnose lupus. Instead, doctors will often use a combination of tests and physical examinations to make a diagnosis. There is no cure for lupus, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms.


Dallas disability benefits lawyerIf you are already receiving Social Security disability benefits or you have a condition that should qualify you for such benefits, it is important to follow your doctor's orders for treating your condition. Failing to do so can result in a denial of benefits. A qualified Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) attorney from The Law Offices of Coats & Todd can help you understand the potential consequences of failing to follow a doctor's orders and what you can do to avoid a denial of benefits.

What Happens if I Fail to Follow My Doctor's Orders?

When you apply for SSDI benefits, you are required to provide supporting medical documentation about your condition and how it is affecting your ability to work. Part of that information should be the specifics of your condition as well as what is being done to treat it. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must follow your prescribed treatment if the treatment is expected to restore—even partially—your ability to work.

If you are applying for benefits and are not following your prescribed treatment without a good reason, you will not be found to be disabled. If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits and you fail to follow your doctor's orders, your benefits may be suspended or terminated. In some cases, you may be able to appeal the decision, but if you do not intend to follow the prescribed treatment, you must have a good reason.


Dallas SSDI benefits lawyerThe application and approval process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be time-consuming and stressful. Successfully navigating the process often requires the help of an experienced disability attorney. While we are happy to help our clients in obtaining the benefits they deserve, we are also excited when the Social Security Administration (SSA) takes steps to streamline the process.

Last month, the SSA announced additions to a specific program that has already accelerated the applications of about 800,000 Americans with disabling conditions. The additions come in the form of 12 new conditions that have been added to the Compassionate Allowance program, which expedites the processing of claims for applicants who are severely disabled.  

Compassionate Allowances

When a “normal” applicant for SSDI submits an application for benefits, the application must include documentation and proof of the person’s disabling condition. In most cases, this triggers a medical review by the SSA.


Texas SSDI benefit lawyerSocial Security disability benefits are generally available to disabled veterans, regardless of the war in which they served and how long ago the conflict was. Many disabled or wounded veterans are also eligible to receive disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). While the goals of these two programs are similar—that is, providing financial assistance to disabled individuals—there are some important differences.

If you are a disabled veteran who is looking to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, your first call should be to a qualified disability attorney at The Law Offices of Coats & Todd. We will help you work through your application and secure the benefits to which you are entitled under the appropriate program.

Definitions of Disability

Perhaps the biggest difference between SSDI and VA disability compensation is each program’s definition of “disabled.” To be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must show that you cannot perform “substantial gainful activity” as the result of a “medically determinable physical or mental impairment” that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or can be expected to result in your eventual death.


Dallas Social Security disability lawyerLife is often difficult for those who suffer from disabilities. One of the many forms of assistance offered by the federal government is financial help through Social Security. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two such programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The SSA gets tens of thousands of applications for each program every year, but not all applicants are approved. In many cases, the information provided in the application was either incorrect or insufficient to allow the claim to move forward. When you are applying for Social Security benefits, you need to have the required information prepared, organized, and included with your application.

Personal Data

The first set of required information is that which identifies you and provides details about your personal background. This includes your name, date of birth, place of birth, and Social Security number. You will also need to include your veteran status, if applicable. If you have a spouse and children, you must provide identifying information for them as well and include the date of your marriage or divorce if either of those applies to you.


Dallas Social Security Disability lawyerDo you suffer from back pain? Chances are, you do, since nearly everyone will experience some type of back pain in their lives. For many people, back pain is a chronic problem. According to experts, back pain leads to more than 264 million hours lost at work each year in the United States, making it one of the leading causes of missed work. In fact, back pain is the number one cause of disability in the world.

If back pain makes it unbearable for you to work, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits. A qualified SSDI attorney can help you understand your available options for seeking the benefits you deserve.

Understanding “Medical Determinability”

Social Security disability benefits are not typically available on the basis of mild, intermittent, or moderate back pain. In order to qualify, your back pain must be associated with an impairment that the Social Security Administration (SSA) finds to be “medically determinable.” Essentially, the SSA will not approve disability benefits based on your reporting that you have back pain. Instead, you must show that some type of detectable problem, condition, or injury is causing your pain.


TX disability lawyerHeart disease is no longer a “good ol’ boys club.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, responsible for one in four female deaths. Despite increased awareness, only 54 percent of women recognize heart disease as their number one enemy.

More alarmingly, women often differ from their male counterparts in terms of heart-related symptoms. Men often present with the classic, clutching of the chest while almost 64 percent of women with heart disease are unaware that they even have a problem. Women often present without any type of heart-related symptoms at all. For many, feelings of dull chest discomfort, pain in the neck or lower jaw, or pain in the upper abdomen or back are often dismissed or self-diagnosed as stress or anxiety.

Benefits Might Be Available

Perhaps what else may not be evident, is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes heart disease under Section 4.00 Cardiovascular System - Adult, Disability Evaluation Blue Book as an approved medical disorder possibly eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if all criteria have been met.


TX injury lawyerAccording to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, Crohn's disease, named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn in collaboration with colleagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, was first classified as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in 1932. Crohn's was later removed from the IBD classification and received its own designation as a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn's commonly affects those between the ages of 16 to 40 years of age. Even more interesting, Crohn's primarily affects those living in northern climates and is not gender-specific.

If you are living with Crohn’s disease, it can be difficult to maintain a “normal” lifestyle. With this in mind, you may be eligible for benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Common Indicators of Crohn’s disease

For the estimated 780,000 Americans who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s, the disease can be life-altering. Those living with this chronic condition usually find their lives disrupted by one or more of the following symptoms:


TX disability lawyerApplying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits does not automatically guarantee automatic approval. If fact, more than 50 percent of all claims are initially denied, leading many people to wonder what their next steps are. If you have been denied SSDI benefits, you should contact a qualified Social Security attorney before you do anything else. Your attorney can help you manage the appeals process, including a potential hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the Social Security Administration. As you prepare for your hearing, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First Impression

Although you are not required to retain legal counsel, it is almost certainly in your best interest to have an attorney by your side. From a practical standpoint, plan on arriving early. First impressions absolutely matter, and by appearing polished and ready, you can show the ALJ that the case is important to you. In addition, your manner of dress should be conservative, so avoid suggestive or informal attire.

Mindful Manners

Remember that you are appearing before a judge, and it is important to be respectful and polite. When addressing the ALJ, the use of “Your Honor” is expected. Also, be ready to stand when the ALJ enters the room, as this indicates a sign of respect.


TX disability lawyerLiving with Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating—and not just for the affected patient. The person’s family and loved ones often have a great deal of difficulty adjusting to the person’s new reality as well. Also known as “younger-onset” Alzheimer’s, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease was added to the list of disabilities and diseases covered by Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) just a few years ago.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is considered under the Compassionate Allowance Initiative of the Social Security Administration, which gives the same access for early-onset patients to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as traditional Alzheimer’s patients. The intent of the Compassionate Allowance Initiative is to allow patients with an extremely fast-moving degenerative disease (such as Alzheimer’s) to be fast-tracked through the approval process.

Important Considerations in Getting the Benefits You Need

There are specific guidelines meant to regulate the Social Security Disability application process for early-onset Alzheimer’s patients. The medical information that is needed to prove that you have been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s includes, but is not limited to:

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