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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.

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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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TX disability lawyerHeadaches are among the most common ailments people suffer, but for many with chronic headaches or migraines, it can be a debilitating condition. Many people with severe migraine problems have difficulty working or carrying on in the same capacity before the migraines increased to such severity. If this describes your situation, it might be possible for you to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and a qualified disability attorney can help you through the application process.

What You Should Know About Chronic Headaches

Those who suffer from migraines know how painful and distressing they can be. Common symptoms of severe migraines include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, dizziness, fever, blurred vision, and an intense sensitivity to light. All of these, of course, can impact a person’s ability to work.

A migraine, however, is just one of three types of severe headaches that a person can get. Others include tension headaches and cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are “described as having a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant.” These usually last a short time, but many patients report that the cluster headache returns periodically throughout the day. A tension headache tends to increase and wane over prolonged periods of time and can affect a person’s ability to fall or stay asleep and result in general achiness and weariness.

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TX SSDI lawyerQualifying for Social Security benefits can be a long and complicated process, no matter what your specific situation may be. If you or a loved one is a dependent—either under 18 years old, under 22 years old and attending school, or require full-time care—the process is different than for independent adults. As a result, the application process is different and requires a different set of considerations.

Important Considerations for Minors Seeking SSI Benefits

For a child to qualify, according to the Social Security Administration, he or she must be either blind or disabled. The child can begin to receive Social Security Insurance (SSI) benefits as soon as he or she is born, and the child does not have to be of a certain age before he or she is able to begin receiving benefits. Once the child is 18, the SSA can reevaluate the circumstances to determine whether or not the child should continue to receive SSI benefits.

Disability Concerns

For a disability to qualify for SSI benefits, the impairment must be expected to last at least 12 months or have existed for 12 months. Unlike the standard requirement for SSI disability benefits, there is no duration requirement for SSI blindness. If the child lives at home with parents who do not receive SSI benefits for themselves, the parents’ income and finances are considered when determining whether or not the dependent will qualify for SSI. If the child lives away from home—at a special school, for example—the time that the child is home is considered differently, as the child will be subject to his parents’ finances during that time. The process of considering a parents’ income is called “deeming.”

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TX disability lawyerApplications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) have maintained an award rate of around 35 to 45 percent since 2001, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the rate of applicants who are awarded benefits at the reconsideration level is significantly less, which makes it important to understand reasons why a claim might be denied and what can be done to have the application reviewed again.

If your SSDI claim has been denied, you or your legal counsel will receive a certified letter from the SSA detailing the reason for denial. You do have a right to file suit within six months of the mailing date if you are not in agreement with the decision, but first, you or your attorney must file a request for reconsideration.

Qualifying for Disability Benefits

The SSA has a list of disabilities and impairments that fall under the scope of approval. An applicant may receive benefits if he or she:

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