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dallas disability lawyerA physical or mental disability can be a serious issue that affects a person’s health, well-being, and quality of life. In addition to causing pain and discomfort and affecting a person’s relationship and home life, a disability may make it impossible for a person to maintain employment. This can put a person and their family in a difficult financial position, especially if they have additional expenses related to medical treatment or assistive devices and other accommodations in their home and vehicles. Fortunately, those who suffer from disabilities that affect their ability to work may be able to receive disability benefits through Social Security. 

There are two types of disability benefits offered by Social Security: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Of these, SSDI is often the preferable option, since it provides benefits based on the income a person has earned in the past, while SSI provides assistance on a needs-based basis for people without a significant work history. To qualify for SSDI, a person must have earned sufficient “work credits” throughout their career. By understanding how these credits are calculated and the number of credits that will qualify for disability benefits, a person can make sure they will be able to receive the financial assistance that will address their needs.

Calculating Social Security Work Credits

Most people pay Social Security taxes on the income they earn, and by doing so, they earn work credits that count toward their eligibility for Social Security benefits. A person can earn up to four work credits each year. The amount of income required for a work credit is adjusted each year in accordance with changes to average income levels in the United States. For 2021, a work credit is equivalent to $1,470 in income.


shutterstock_1711076632-min.jpgThere are multiple types of disabilities that can prevent a person from pursuing or maintaining gainful employment. If you have serious and ongoing health issues, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. In addition to disabilities related to physical conditions such as injuries or illnesses, these benefits may also address mental health issues that affect your ability to work, including depression. Since mental illnesses are not always as outwardly obvious as other types of disabilities, it is important to understand the requirements that must be met in order for a person to receive benefits through Social Security.

When Is Depression Considered a Disability?

Clinical depression is a serious mental illness that can drastically affect a person’s ability to perform work, complete daily tasks, and maintain relationships with others. A person may be diagnosed with a condition such as major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder if they experience symptoms such as irritability, extreme sadness, a lack of interest or ability to take pleasure in activities they had previously enjoyed or participated in, decreased energy, difficulty maintaining body weight, problems with concentration, social withdrawal, or suicidal thoughts or actions.

Social Security will evaluate the symptoms a person has experienced due to depression. To be considered disabled, a person will need to provide medical documentation showing that they have experienced at least five of the following symptoms:


Dallas County Social Security disability denial attorney prescribed treatmentThere are many different types of health issues that may cause a person to be disabled. For those who suffer from serious health conditions, government benefits can be an essential resource that will allow them to cover their ongoing expenses. Social Security disability benefits can provide much-needed assistance, but to qualify for these benefits, a person will need to demonstrate that they meet Social Security’s standards for disability. One issue that can affect eligibility for benefits is whether a person has followed the prescribed medical treatment for their condition.

When Social Security May Consider a Failure to Follow Prescribed Treatment

If a person does not follow the treatment plan prescribed by a doctor, this may affect their ability to receive disability benefits. However, Social Security will only consider a failure to follow prescribed treatment in certain situations. This issue may be considered when determining whether a person’s condition is included in or is functionally equivalent to an entry in the Listing of Impairments. If a person would not meet the criteria for a listing if they had followed a doctor’s prescribed treatment, disability benefits may be denied. This issue may also be considered when determining whether a person has the residual functional capacity to perform work that is available. If Social Security determines that a person would be able to work if they had followed a doctor’s prescribed treatment, they may be denied disability benefits.

In these situations, only certain types of prescribed treatment may be considered. Social Security will look at a failure to follow prescribed treatment if all of the following conditions are met:


Dallas County Social Security Disability Attorney

People who experience serious injuries or illnesses may rely on government aid to meet their needs. Social Security disability benefits may be available to a person who has suffered from a disabling health condition that has affected them for at least one year or is expected to last for 12 months or more. To demonstrate that they qualify for disability benefits, a person will need to provide medical evidence, and in some cases, Social Security may also require them to be examined by an independent medical professional. In some cases, these professionals may come to different conclusions, and applicants should understand how Social Security will consider opinions from different sources.

How Social Security Weighs Medical Opinions

Social Security may look at reports provided by multiple different types of medical professionals. A professional must be considered an acceptable medical source, meaning that they can provide reports that are relevant to a person’s disabling health conditions. These sources may include medical or osteopathic physicians, licensed psychologists who can assess a person’s mental health issues, optometrists who can address visual impairments, podiatrists who can assess disorders affecting the feet or ankles, speech-language pathologists who can address language disorders and related impairments, audiologists who can assess hearing loss, physician assistants who can assess impairments within their licensed scope of practice, and licensed advance practices registered nurses (including nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists).


Dallas County ssdi attorney

While there are multiple types of health conditions that can affect a person, issues affecting the skin may seem to be relatively minor. Rashes, bumps, or irritated skin can be troublesome, but these issues do not significantly affect most people. However, there are some cases where skin disorders are severe enough that they affect a person’s ability to work and their overall health and well-being. In these cases, a person may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Social Security Listings for Skin Disorders

As with other types of disabilities, a skin condition must be severe enough to limit a person’s ability to maintain substantial gainful activity before they will be able to receive disability benefits through Social Security. The Listing of Impairments, which details conditions that are severe enough to be considered disabilities, includes a section for skin disorders, and it notes that a person’s condition is evaluated based on the frequency and severity of the skin lesions a person experiences, while also considering factors such as how a person reacts when exposed to toxins or allergens, whether there is any seasonal variation in their condition, and whether they need to remain in a protected environment.

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