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Social Security, Age, and Grid Rules

We’ve all heard the saying “age is just a number” and, in many cases, it’s true. But, when it comes to Social Security claims, age can be a very important number.

It’s important to note that age is not the only consideration used to determine if a person is disabled. There are several other factors considered, too. Age is just a part of the equation. It plays a part just like work history, education, and the type of work an individual has performed throughout their life. But age is still an important consideration.

The general rule for age is that the younger an individual is, the more difficult it is for them to get approved.  SSA assumes that it is more difficult for a person age 50 or over to learn a new job or a new skill.

You may have heard the term “grid” used in Social Security. Social Security generally uses the grid rules (commonly referred to as the “grids”) only after it has determined that you can’t do the jobs you’ve done in the past. While it would take days to explain in detail how the grids work in a Social Security case, the important thing to remember is that age isn’t the only consideration. Once again, age, education, work history, and your residual functional capacity all play a part.

While an individual who is older may be more likely to get approved, it’s still possible for a younger person to be approved, too. For instance, a person who is 25 with several physical and mental disabilities and a lot of evidence/medical treatment is more likely to get approved for a claim that a person who is 45 with no medical treatment and little to no disabilities.

Getting approved for Social Security Disability often takes a combination of several factors. That’s partially why it takes so long to get a claim approved. Every aspect of a person’s health, age, education, work history must be taken into consideration.

If you feel overwhelmed by the Social Security process, and would like guidance through the maze, call our office today for a Free Consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so that we can call you at a better time.

How Age Impacts A Social Security Claim

We’ve all heard the saying “age is just a number” and, in many cases, it’s true. But, when it comes to Social Security claims, age can be a very important number.

It’s important to note that age is not the only consideration used to determine if a person is disabled. There are several other factors considered, too. Age is just a part of the equation. It plays a part just like work history, education, and the type of work an individual has performed throughout their life. But age is still an important consideration.

The general rule for age is that the younger an individual is, the more difficult it is for them to get approved.  SSA assumes that it is more difficult for a person age 50 or over to learn a new job or a new skill.

You may have heard the term “grid” used in Social Security. Social Security generally uses the grid rules (commonly referred to as the “grids”) only after it has determined that you can’t do the jobs you’ve done in the past. While it would take days to explain in detail how the grids work in a Social Security case, the important thing to remember is that age isn’t the only consideration. Once again, age, education, work history, and your residual functional capacity all play a part.

While an individual who is older may be more likely to get approved, it’s still possible for a younger person to be approved, too. For instance, a person who is 25 with several physical and mental disabilities and a lot of evidence/medical treatment is more likely to get approved for a claim than a person who is 45 with no medical treatment and little to no disabilities.

Getting approved for Social Security Disability often takes a combination of several factors. That’s partially why it takes so long to get a claim approved. Every aspect of a person’s health, age, education, work history must be taken into consideration.

If you feel overwhelmed by the Social Security process, and would like guidance through the maze, call our office today for a Free Consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so that we can call you at a better time.

What are dedicated accounts for Social Security?

I write for all three of our lines of business, but my background is predominantly in VA Disability. With that in mind, we didn’t have to deal with cases involving children in VA. Obviously, you have to be an adult to join the military, and thus the youngest person that can file a claim for VA disability is 18 years old. So when I started writing about Social Security Disability I started noticing that we represented minors. For the most part, there are a lot of similarities between a social security claim for adults and kids. However, one of the big differences is what happens when these individuals get approved. This was something that really made sense to me when I thought about what would happen if you gave a child several thousand dollars and let them be on their way. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea. Because children should not be held responsible for their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, the SSA has something called Dedicated Accounts.

As a representative payee for a disabled child under age 18 who is eligible for large past-due SSI payments (usually any payment covering more than six months of the current benefit rate) you are required to open a separate account at a financial institution, which is referred to as a “dedicated account”.

The past-due payments will be deposited directly into that dedicated account. These funds can only be used for expenses directly related to the child’s disability.

The requirements of a dedicated account are:

  • It must be separate from the account used for the regular monthly benefit payment and can only be a checking, savings, or money market account.
  • Other funds, except for certain past-due SSI benefits, cannot be combined with the funds in the dedicated account.
  • It cannot be in the form of certificates of deposit, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, or trusts.
  • The title on the dedicated account must show that the child owns the funds, including interest.

Dedicated account funds can be used for the following expenses:

  • Medical treatment; and Education or job skills training.

The Social Security Administration will allow the following expenses if they benefit the child and are related to the child’s disability:

  • Personal needs or assistance (e.g., in-home nursing care); special equipment; housing modification; therapy or rehabilitation; or other items or services approved by your local Social Security office, like legal fees incurred by the child in establishing a claim for disabled child’s benefits.

Dedicated accounts may not be used for basic monthly maintenance costs such as food, clothing, or shelter. The regular monthly benefit received for the child should be used for all monthly maintenance costs.

The Social Security Administration requires you as representative payee to complete a yearly report on the use of the dedicated account funds as well as the regular monthly benefits received on the child’s behalf.

It is important to keep receipts, bank statements, and maintain an expense record for at least two years as verification of expenditures. You, as representative payee, should be able to provide SSA with an explanation of any expenditure and how it relates to the child’s disability.

If you’d like to know more about this subject, or if you’d like a free consultation, call us today. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form, and we will call you at a better time.

Signs of Nursing Home/Elder Abuse

At the age of 14, when other teens were hanging out at the mall, going to dances, and being social, I was visiting my father in a nursing home. When most people realize that I was only 14 and had a parent in a nursing home, they assume that my father was one of those new age senior citizens who have children well into their sixties. Unfortunately, that was not the case with my dad. He was only 41. His body was weak from two years of battling brain cancer and having multiple surgeries. We had tried taking care of him in-house, but it became too much for us. We decided that a nursing home was our best bet to give him proper care. It turns out we might have been wrong. I recall going to the nursing home one day to visit my father and I saw what would eventually be the beginning of the end.

Due to my father’s chemo, and the fact that had tumors in his brain, he was weak. He could not get in and out of bed on his own. One day in August we were visiting him. The nursing staff was helping my father back into bed when they didn’t give him proper care. Instead of laying him in the bed gently they let go early, and his head went crashing into the headboard. I was sitting next to the bed and saw it all happen. My father’s head hit on an edge of the headboard, near where he had surgery recently. Granted, this was 18 years ago, and I am no Doogie Houser, but I believe this impact caused my father’s shunt to quit working. Five months later we were planning his funeral.

What I described was a not typical case of Nursing Home Neglect, but it’s too painful for me to discuss some of the other things I witnessed. At the time, nursing home neglect was not as mainstream as it is now, and we were not the type of family to sue anyone. We had just lost the patriarch of our family after a very long and stressful two-year battle with a terrible disease. Now, in 2017, the Statute of Limitations has passed, and all I can really do is educate other people about the subject, and tell you what to look for with your loved ones.

Nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect are broad terms used to define a variety of offenses within the nursing home abuse. They can refer to something as simple as not attending to patients on a regular basis, to sexual abuse and rape. The subject is truly disturbing to talk about too.

Instead of examining specific cases of nursing home abuse, let’s look at things in a little more general fashion today. What are some signs of Nursing Home/Elder Abuse you should be on the look out for with your loved ones?

–      Emotional or social neglect, where the elder person is repeatedly ignored, left alone, or accidentally snapped at by an overstressed nursing home staff

–      Personal hygiene neglect, where patients do not receive adequate help with laundry, cleaning, bathing, brushing their teeth, or other forms of hygienic practices

–      Basic needs neglect, where the nursing home neglects to provide reasonable food, water, or a safe and clean environment

–      Medical neglect, where the nursing home fails to provide adequate attention, prevention, or medication for concerns such as bed sores, infections, cuts, diabetes, cognitive diseases, and mobility concerns

Warning signs of nursing home neglect include:

–      Sudden weight loss

–      Bedsores, or pressure ulcers

–      Injuries from nursing home falls

–      Dehydration

–      Malnutrition

–      Withdrawn elder behavior, or unusual changes in behavior

–      Changes in personal hygiene or appearance efforts

–      A growing lack of friendly interaction with the nursing home staff

–      A growing lack of friendly interaction with the other nursing home residents

–      Environmental hazards, such as poor lighting, slippery floors, unsafe mobility equipment, or unsafe furniture in the nursing home patient’s room

If you suspect a loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or elder abuse, report it to the proper authorities. If you’d like to know more about your legal options, give us a call today for a FREE consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form, and we will get back to you.

5 Tips to Keep Your Social Security Case On Track This Summer

Memorial Day just passed, all of the kids are out of school, and we no longer need to pack a hooded sweatshirt when we venture out for the day. Though summer officially starts in three weeks, the unofficial start is here. I just got back from a weekend road trip, and I am eagerly planning a trip to central Ohio later this month. There is so much to do in the summer time regardless if you are planning trips, being one with nature, or even getting pumped for all of the great shows on Netflix. Summer is a lot of fun, but it’s also an ideal time to get distracted from your social security claim that can have negative ramifications in the long run. Today, let’s talk about 5 ways to keep your social security case on point during the summer.

  1. Schedule your appointments accordingly. Just like you and I can’t wait to go on vacation, your doctor likes to go on vacation too. For many smaller offices, the entire staff usually goes on vacation at the same time. So, there may be weeks during the summer that your doctor’s office is not available. However, if your doctor’s office is open during holiday weeks like the 4th of July or Labor Day, you may be able to get in at the last minute if you need to. The bottom line is to keep your appointments up during the summer. You need to have evidence to get approved, so don’t let your appointments slip due to distractions.
  2. Keep up on paperwork. My post office box is about to burst. I am probably the last person who should talk to you about getting the paperwork back into an office. But, once again, it’s easy to get distracted.
  3. Attend your hearing. It takes a very long time to get a hearing scheduled in the first place. If you cancel your hearing with the SSA, it may be several months or more before you actually get rescheduled. Is that extended time worth skipping?
  4. Take your medication as prescribed. This can be difficult for someone like me to preach, but it can negatively impact your health if you don’t take your medication on a regular basis. Now that everyone has smartphones, it’s easy to set an alarm to remind yourself to take your meds.
  5. If you move, tell someone. Most people move in the summer, especially July, so if you happen to move, call your attorney or the SSA and let them know. Failing to do so can result in lost paperwork and missed appointments. A simple phone call can alleviate these issues.

We know summer is supposed to be a time of fun and great memories, we just don’t want your case to slip by the wayside. If you want to have some help with your claim for social security disability, give us a call today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form, and we will call you back at a better time.

5 Tips to make the Social Security Process Simpler

We know that no one pursues a Social Security disability claim because they think the experience is going to be fun. In fact, it’s the furthest thing from fun. FilingWhy does Social Security Have a 5 Month Waiting Period for Social Security disability is going to be long, frustrating, and at times, it may even upset you. Sure, maybe it’s not as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest or exploring Antarctica. However, when you think about what you are actually doing when you file for social security, it can be downright scary.  Simply, if you’re filing for Social Security disability, your future is really dependent upon the outcome of your claim. Don’t fret, though, there are some ways to make things less scary and put you at ease. In the past, we called these things tips. Now, people refer to them as hacks. Regardless, here are 5 ways/tips/hacks to make your disability claim process simpler.

  1. Ask questions. It’s just like going to the doctor or learning a new subject in school. It’s important to ask questions. Asking will help you better understand the process. A lot of people hesitate to ask questions because they are afraid of sounding unintelligent. There is no need to worry about that. The person you’re speaking to at the SSA may be well versed in social security disability, but they too have been in situations that were unfamiliar to them. I consider myself to be very knowledgeable about cars. However, when I go to the mechanic, I still ask plenty of questions so that I better understand what repairs are being made to my car. Keep in mind, part of the job of the people you deal with at the SSA is answering your questions.
  2. There are so many good online resources for social security disability. Even the SSA website has good information. Researching topics within social security will help you better understand what will happen. Our firm, Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, started practicing back in 1994. Over the past 22 years, we’ve heard a lot of the same questions from new social security clients. So, we decided to make a book to help people learn the basics of social security. It’s really helpful, and many of our clients have claimed to understand more about the process once they read the book. If you’d like a FREE copy of this book, click here to request one.
  3. Talk to people who have been through the process before. You’ll often hear us say that every case is different. That is true. However, a lot of cases have a lot of the same aspects too. Talking to someone who has been through the process before will help you in many ways. First, it will help you realize that you’re not alone. This can be a friend, a family member, or any person who has been through the process. I’ve had several family members file social security Now, they often help each other. This is especially helpful when a younger person files.
  4. Get continuous treatment. Regardless if you’ve just filed your claim, if you’ve been denied, or if it’s months after you were approved, continuous treatment will be beneficial for your case at all stages. The way any person gets approved for social security is by means of medical evidence. Some argue it’s the most important part of any case. Often, the more medical evidence you have the better it is for your Plus, better understanding your disability will help you better communicate with people at the SSA.
  5. Look into hiring an attorney. Granted, we are a little biased here, but we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe it helped people. Also, after 20 years, and thousands of satisfied clients, we must be doing something right. However, hiring an attorney isn’t just about winning or losing a claim. It’s about peace of mind. For instance, we can assist clients with filing claims, fill out paperwork, pursue appeals, representation at hearings, and much more. Plus, each of our clients is assigned case managers to help them with questions every step of the way.

While the process can be daunting, review these 5 tips to see if they will help you. Try implementing them. Start with one of the simpler tasks, like researching social security disability online, and then go from there. If you want to know what it’s like to have an attorney, call us. We’d be happy to give you a free consultation. Just click here, or call 1-877-526-3457.

How Cars, Boats and ATVs Impact your SSI Claim

I take a lot of pride in the work that I do. March will be my six-year anniversary with the firm, and I still find this work rewarding. Something that a lot of my fellow coworkers will tell you is that we often get stopped outside the office by citizens who have questions. Many of us own garments that read “Jan Dils Attorneys at Law.” So, we get stopped a lot. We are always happy to answer questions. Recently while shopping at a grocery store, I was approached by a woman who had questions about her son receiving Social Security. Naturally, I was happy to help her.

She mentioned that her son was in his mid-thirties and had some developmental disabilities. He never really worked for a company or paid taxes. He lived on her property but in a trailer of his own that was recently given to him. A few months back he hurt his back while working on a car. She said she didn’t think that he’d ever be able to work.

When an individual comes to us to seek representation, we will complete a formal review asking a series of questions. However, when someone stops you in the middle of Kroger, you have to use your knowledge of the process. Two things immediately stuck out to me. For one, since he never had a traditional job, he wouldn’t have any work credits. Thus, Social Security Disability Insurance would not likely be a route he could pursue. Instead, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a needs-based program, would be his best option. However, when she stated that he hurt himself working on a car I asked a follow-up question. “Did he enjoy working on cars?” She responded that he did, and he had several old vehicles on their property that he had restored. This was a big red flag for me. It actually pertains to a rule with the SSA that I am not a fan of, but I understand why it is in place.

Under the SSA’s rules for assets, an individual may own one vehicle, regardless of value, and not be required to count that vehicle as an asset. However, if he or she owns two vehicles, one will, in most cases be counted as an asset. In the eyes of the SSA, you can own a brand new $90,000 Cadillac Escalade, and face no penalty, but if you own two 2004 Toyota 4Runners valued at $20,000 you will face a penalty.

SSDIWhen you call us or come see us in person regarding a Social Security claim, we discuss everything regarding assets in more detail. However, I want to focus on vehicle ownership because this one impacts a lot of our clients. It’s not just a car that can be counted against you, though. Many people here in Parkersburg, and really, most of the people in West Virginia, like to ride ATV’s. Thus, a lot of people own them. Well, an ATV can be counted as a vehicle, and it can be counted as an asset if you’re applying for SSI. The same can be true for certain types of motorcycles, RVs, and even animals.

I understand why the SSA has to have certain limits for assets. It wouldn’t be fair to let someone who has 10 cars worth over a million dollars draw SSI. Once again, it is a needs-based program. Then again, it’s not fair that a person with an $8,000 truck and a $3,000 ATV are penalized. I wish the SSA would simply set a monetary limit for all vehicles. For instance, why not say all vehicles can’t exceed $50,000?

Overall, it’s important to be educated about how all assets can impact your claim for SSI. If you are interested in learning more about the process, call us today for a FREE consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so that we may call you at a later time.

When You’re Pursuing Social Security Disability, the Waiting is the Hardest Part

The Great American lyricist Tom Petty once wrote that “the waiting is the hardest part.” Mr. Petty, who I believe is wise beyond his years, states that this song is Why does Social Security Have a 5 Month Waiting Periodso popular because it applies to many situations. While I believe we are safe to assume Mr. Petty was not actually writing about Social Security Disability when he wrote his song, it does apply. Recently, while talking to some colleagues about Social Security, I was curious about what the hardest part of a Social Security case was for our clients. They responded, almost in unison, by saying that waiting is the hardest part of a Social Security case. Many individuals seeking Social Security disability are aware that waiting is a big part of a case, but they may not be aware as to why. Further, the wait appears to be getting longer. Let’s discuss this in more detail now.

The problem.

When examining the Social Security timeline, it’s important to know that there is not one single issue contributing to the long wait. There are actually several different reasons why cases take so long and why the wait seems to be getting worse. When most people hear that the backlog of cases is getting worse, they assume that there must just be more people filing for disability claims. That is not the case, though. As a firm, we have not seen a dramatic uptick in cases, and the industry as whole backs this up too. New applications are steady, but there is a not a dramatic difference between now and years past.

The Huffington Post reported the following in October of 2015. The number of requests for hearings has increased, the federal judges who hear appeals have become less productive, there are fewer attorneys on staff who could decide cases without going through the lengthy hearing process and fewer judges overall. All of these reasons are contributing to a longer wait for a hearing. Here we are a year later, and not much has changed. It’s still over 430 days for a hearing. For most of the clients we represent, we tell them to expect at least a 12-18 month wait after the hearing request is filed.

Can anything be done?

A lot of people assume that hiring an attorney will automatically get them approved for their Social Security benefits. Trust me, we wish this were true. A lot of people also assume that hiring an attorney means your case will get fast tracked. This is not true either. Hiring an attorney can be beneficial for your case in many ways, but we can’t guarantee a win, and we can’t speed up your case. What we can do is help you file for your benefits, file appeals, review/submit medical records, represent you at your hearings and answer questions you have along the way. We also keep our clients on track by creating follow up letters and help you get secondary opinions when necessary. The development of your case is key and our office has over 20 years of experience to do so.

You may also wonder if the problems are going to be fixed by anyone. Well, it’s complicated. We can’t really speculate on why judges aren’t being replaced. Obviously, the budget is a concern. With our country going through a transition in leadership, it’s hard to tell what the future holds for the SSA. We hope that the problem is resolved soon.

What should I do?

We are very upfront with all our clients regarding the Social Security backlog. We try to keep expectations in check. We’ve been doing this since 1994, so we know what to expect. However, we understand that this is a difficult time for you and there is a lot of uncertainty during this time. With that in mind, there are a lot of things you can do to help your case during the backlog. For one, continuous treatment will be beneficial for your case. Making and keeping appointments with your medical care professional are among the top things you can do help your case. Being up front with your healthcare provider about how your disability is impacting you will also help you with your case.

If you work with an attorney, it’s important to stay in touch with their office. We encourage our clients to let us know if they move, change phone numbers, have changes in their household and any updates regarding their medical treatment. Our offices utilize case managers too. Case managers are great because they can answer questions for our clients and assist in the development of our clients’ claims throughout the entire process. We encourage our clients to contact us if they have any questions. We want our clients to be educated in the claims process and know we are by their side the entire time.

Overall, the backlog does not appear to be going away anytime soon. Once again, we’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and we know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Which reminds me of another Tom Petty lyric, “I won’t back down.” Social Security cases are tough, but you can’t give up. We are upfront with our clients. If we identify obstacles in your case that makes an approval difficult, we will be upfront with you. However, if we took your case, we believe in it. So, don’t give up. We’ll do whatever we can to help you get approved.

All About Social Security Disability Lawyers

The United States Social Security Administration has developed disability programs that help workers with physical or mental disabilities access the cash benefits that they offer. The establishment of this program is very commendable as they have a very positive impact on the lives of people living with disabilities. Once a person is disabled, they tend to lose hope as they see themselves as a burden to those living with them.

A program that enables such people to be financially stable is very noble. The Security Administration only gives these benefits to eligible claimants that have met the Social Security Administration’s standards and qualification criteria. They have instituted their medical criteria to ensure that only the rightful persons get these benefits. When cases of disabilities occur, both the affected individuals and their doctors may not know the right procedures to follow so as to access their benefits.

In such a scenario, the people interested in claiming the social security benefits should consult the services of a social security disability lawyer in Charlotte, NC even before taking any other step towards the application process. These lawyers help the applicants go through the application process, which would be very complicated if they did it on their own and they can help with appeal cases of applicants who have been denied.

The monthly supplemental security income that the Social Security Administration gives to persons with disabilities are a lifesaver to thousands of families and thus denying such people their rights to these income benefits would be a significant act of injustice. Some have children to raise and many other expenses to pay for. While many are aware of the social security benefits, there are some who completely lack the knowledge of accessing these funds or lack of awareness about these social security incomes is another factor that makes individuals with disabilities miss out on their benefits. The social security disability attorneys sensitize their clients on their rights concerning this fund.

The Purpose of the Social Security Program

Since disabled persons are unable to work, the social security program supports these people financially by giving monthly social security incomes to those who qualify. This support is done through the federal insurance program, which enables the disabled to meet their needs and provide for their families. For this reason, every taxpayer contributes towards the social security program for people with disabilities from what they earn. Since not everybody qualifies to benefit from this program, the social security claims should be filed carefully to reduce the chances of making any mistakes. A simple mistake might have fatal implications on the applicants such as delaying the disbursement of the funds. When the applicants, through the help of the Social Security Disability Lawyers Charlotte NC, follow the right guidelines of benefiting from this program, they live a much better life.

Charlotte, Social Security Disability lawyers, offer their services to people with the following cases of disability:

People with Mental Disabilities

The mentally disabled individuals require special attention and care. Studies have shown that this severe challenge is a result of many different causes such intense anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The condition makes it difficult for the person to work without supervision. It also becomes a challenge for the individual to work together with other workers in their places of work.

For this reason, the individual might be forced to quit working and start depending on other people so as to meet their daily needs. Charlotte Social Disability lawyers represent such individuals and assist them in accessing their social security income benefits with the recommendations of their doctors.

Physical Disabilities   

Illnesses such cancer, diabetes and injuries from accidents can create disorders that make people physically unable to work. Some of them may lose some parts of their bodies or injured in such a way they cannot do any job. People living with the physical disability need assistance in getting their social security funds from the Social Security Administration. Understanding their plight, Social Security Disability lawyers in Charlotte help the physically challenges with claims for orthopedic conditions, fibromyalgia and any other kind of physical disability.

The process of filing claims and obtaining benefits might be a long one and even sometimes a very frustrating one. When these applications reach the social security administration, many of them are initially rejected. Only a good follow up would help ensure that the applicants receive what rightfully belongs to them. Trying to negotiate this process without the aid of a disability lawyer would be a significant disadvantage to the applicant. Before approving the SSD benefits, the administration puts in place two primary conditions. The applicant must have been unable to work for at least a period of twelve months due to an injury and recommendation from a qualified doctor ascertaining that the individual has been unable to work for the last twelve months.

Act as a link between the applicant and the security administration

Social Security Disability lawyers serve as the contact people who link the applicant to the SSA. They pass the information from the administration to the applicant and also inform the administrators of the applicant’s condition. The disability lawyer plays a crucial role in enhancing a good channel of communication between the applicant and the Social Security Administration.

Filing the Claims

Social Security Disability lawyers also help their clients file their claims and send them to the proper authorities. By doing so, they help ease the whole process which would have been very hectic if left for the clients to file and forward them on their own. They get the necessary medical documents from their clients’ doctors and present their cases to the social security administration.

Making Appeals

The Social Security Administration has a tendency of denying some applicants benefits by rejecting their claims. In such an occurrence, getting a lawyer to represent such applicants would be a very prudent decision. They handle the appeal process of their clients and follow up until the SSA makes a decision. Since the level of denial is very high, the lawyers are consistent and vigilant in their efforts to ensure justice is given to the applicants.

Social security lawyers are committed to better the lives of people who live with different disabilities. Such services require experienced attorneys who have dealt with these cases before and who maximize the chances of having the benefits disbursed within the shortest time possible.

Schizophrenia and Social Security Disability

Schizophrenia

Although schizophrenia seems like it should be enough for a person to qualify for social security disability, the truth is that it is only one determining factor in an evaluation. In fact, the existence of most mental illnesses is not in and of itself enough for a person to qualify for SSD. To help shed some light on the complex social security disability benefits evaluation process, here is a look at how mental illnesses like schizophrenia play a role in it.

Meeting the Requirements

In order for someone to be recognized as having schizophrenia, or any mental illness for that matter, they must prove that they’ve suffered from one or more symptoms from the Social Security Administration’s “blue book.” While there are a variety of different symptoms and associated illnesses described in the blue book, here are a few that relate back to schizophrenia: suffering from hallucinations, having illogical thoughts, and being in a catatonic state.

Simply suffering from these symptoms isn’t enough for someone to qualify for an illness though, as they must also go on to prove that the symptoms caused a severe reduction in a person’s potential productivity. If a person is able to overcome their illness and continue to work or function normally, then they cannot qualify for SSD based on their illness.

Residual Functioning Capacity

If someone doesn’t quite suffer from the symptoms of an illness as outlined by the blue book, then the next step of the claims process is to instead have someone from the Social Security Administration evaluate their residual functioning capacity. Put simply, this is simply a measure of the person’s ability to function as normally, regardless of existing mental problems.

Medication and Benefits

When a claim is submitted to the SSA, they will request medical records detailing any medications that a person takes to address their illness. If a person is found to be intentionally ignoring their prescriptions, then their claim can be rejected on the grounds that they are not adhering to their treatment. Unfortunately, the SSA can also use a person’s medication as an excuse to not give them benefits too. If a person is found to be too functional while on their medication, then they can be denied their benefits as well. It’s for this reason that it’s always a good idea to have an experienced social security disability benefits lawyer by your side, so that they can argue on your behalf whenever the SSA tries to avoid paying benefits.