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Recent Blog Posts

How Long Do I Need to Work to Qualify for SSDI Benefits?

 Posted on December 03, 2021 in Social Security Disability

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.

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Can I Qualify for Social Security Disability if I Have Depression?

 Posted on November 23, 2021 in Social Security Disability

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.

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How Can Prescribed Treatment Affect a Social Security Disability Claim?

 Posted on November 16, 2021 in Social Security Disability

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.

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How Will Medical Opinions Affect a Social Security Disability Case?

 Posted on October 27, 2021 in Social Security Disability

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).

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Can I Qualify for SSD Benefits Because of a Skin Condition?

 Posted on October 11, 2021 in Social Security Disability

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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What Is Residual Functional Capacity in a Social Security Disability Case?

 Posted on September 23, 2021 in Social Security Disability

Dallas County Social Security RFC attorneyWhen applying for Social Security disability benefits, a person will need to provide multiple forms of medical evidence. To determine whether a person is disabled and qualifies for benefits, Social Security will evaluate their residual functional capacity (RFC). Understanding what is meant by this term and how it is determined will ensure that a person can demonstrate that they are disabled and need SSD benefits to help them meet their needs.

Determining Residual Functional Capacity

A person’s residual functional capacity refers to the maximum amount of work they are able to do with the physical or mental limitations they are experiencing. To determine RFC, Social Security will look at a person’s medical records, including those provided by a person’s own doctor as well as reports from medical examinations from independent doctors. Social Security may also consider a person’s own explanation of their limitations and how their conditions have affected them, as well as statements from family members, friends, or others who may be able to provide insight into the case.

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What Is the Process for Appealing a Denial of SSD Benefits?

 Posted on September 09, 2021 in Social Security Disability

Dallas County Social Security Disability attorneyFor those who suffer from physical or mental conditions that affect their ability to work, Social Security disability benefits can provide much-needed assistance. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of disability claims are denied. However, a denial does not mean that it will not be possible to receive SSD benefits. An applicant can appeal the decision to deny a claim and provide additional medical evidence or other information showing that they qualify for disability benefits. During these types of cases, an applicant can work with an attorney to ensure they meet all of their requirements, and they will want to understand the process that will be followed during their appeal.

Steps in a Social Security Disability Appeal

When appealing the denial of a SSD claim, a person will generally proceed through the following steps:

  1. Reconsideration - Within 60 days after the denial of a disability claim, a person can file a Request for Reconsideration. During a reconsideration, Social Security may perform a case review in which a person will look at the information provided in the initial application and any supplemental information provided by the applicant. In some cases, an applicant may request an informal or formal conference where they can speak to the person reviewing the case and witnesses can be questioned. The person reviewing the case will issue a decision on whether to grant or deny disability benefits.

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Common Reasons Why Social Security Disability Claims Are Denied

 Posted on August 09, 2021 in Social Security Disability

Plano TX Social Security disability attorneyThose who suffer from serious injuries, chronic illnesses, or other health conditions may be unable to support themselves financially, and they may apply for Social Security disability benefits to receive assistance with their ongoing needs. However, many Social Security disability claims are denied. By understanding some of the most common reasons for the denial of these claims, applicants can avoid issues that may affect their ability to receive benefits.

Denial of SSD Applications

A claim for Social Security disability benefits may be denied based on:

  • The length of time a condition has lasted - To qualify for disability benefits, a health condition must last for at least one year. If an applicant has not been affected by a disability for at least 12 months, or if their condition is not expected to last for a total of 12 months or more, they will not be able to receive disability benefits.

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How Is Hearing Loss Evaluated in Social Security Disability Cases?

 Posted on July 23, 2021 in Social Security Disability

Dallas County SSDI attorneyThose who experience health issues that prevent them from being able to maintain gainful employment may be able to receive disability benefits through Social Security. There are multiple different types of health conditions that are recognized as disabilities by Social Security, but an applicant for disability benefits will need to meet specific requirements to demonstrate that they are disabled. People with hearing impairments will need to understand how these disabilities are addressed in the listing of impairments used by Social Security.

Hearing Loss Without Cochlear Implants

For those who have not had surgical implants to correct hearing loss, the determination of whether they are disabled will depend on the results of medical examinations and hearing tests. An otologic examination must be performed by a licensed physician, and it will look at a person’s medical history and the ways hearing loss has affected their life. A doctor will examine the person’s external ears, the eardrum, and the middle ear to look for abnormalities or issues that may affect the person’s hearing.

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What Is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI Benefits?

 Posted on July 09, 2021 in Social Security Disability

Dallas TX Social Security disability attorneyPeople in the United States who are unable to work may be able to receive benefits through the federal government. Social Security offers disability benefits to those who experience physical or mental conditions that prevent them from earning enough income to support themselves, as long as a person’s condition has lasted or is expected to last for 12 months or more. There are two different types of Social Security disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Understanding the differences between these two programs will help a person with a disability understand the types of benefits they may be able to receive.

Qualifying for SSDI With Work Credits

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, provides benefits based on a person’s work history. To qualify for SSDI, a person must have earned sufficient work credits throughout their career. A person can earn up to four work credits per year, and these credits are based on the amount they earned in a particular year. For 2021, earnings of $1,470 will constitute one work credit, and a person will earn all four credits for the year once they make $5,880.

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