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Recent Blog Posts

Can My SSDI Benefits Be Denied for Failing to Follow My Doctor's Orders?

 Posted on October 13, 2022 in Uncategorized

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.

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New Conditions Added to Accelerated Social Security Disability Approval Program

 Posted on September 21, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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.

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Social Security Disability for Military Veterans

 Posted on September 08, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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.

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What Information Is Needed in My Social Security Disability Application?

 Posted on August 22, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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.

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Obtaining SSDI Benefits for Back Pain

 Posted on August 11, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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.

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Heart Disease: Find Out If You Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance

 Posted on July 22, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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.

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Crohn’s Disease and Social Security

 Posted on July 07, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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:

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Preparing for an SSDI Appeal Hearing

 Posted on June 21, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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.

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Applying for Social Security Disability With Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

 Posted on June 06, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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.

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Could Chronic Headaches Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

 Posted on May 20, 2022 in Social Security Disability

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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