Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Depression and SSDI
Depression can be a disabling condition on its own, but it also can play an important part in claims were it is caused by
other chronic medical conditions. Many people with chronic pain from another medical condition often develop some degree
of depression as a result of the chronic pain and change in daily activities. If you have a chronic medical condition
and you are also be treated for depression it is a good idea to include depression in your claim for Social Security disability.
Depression often results in what is called non-exertional limitations. These are limitations such as difficulty
with memory, concentration, and getting along with others. Even if these types of limitations are not the sole reason
for you being unable to work Social Security will look at theses limitations in combination with your limitations from your
other medical conditions to determine if you can work. This is why it is very important to include depression in your
claim if you are being treated for it even if it is not your main disabling condition. You should make sure you get
Social Security all your treatment notes for depression. It can also help quite a bit if you can get a report or RFC
form from your doctor which shows your limitations from depression.
5:30 pm edt
Monday, March 23, 2015
Social Security Disability Hearing Check List
So you got your SSDI hearing date and you are not sure what to do next. I will go through certain things you can check
to make sure you are ready for your hearing. First, make sure you have all your relevant medical evidence in before
the hearing if at all possible. Judges do not like to leave the file open to wait for medical evidence. Second,
it is a very good idea to have a report, RFC or both from at-least one of your treating doctors. This opinion evidence
will help show your doctor's opinion of the severity of your condition and the limitations on you from those conditions. Third,
review the Social Security laws that apply to your case. Know what you have to prove to win. Be ready and able
to present your case in a way that shows you are disabled under SSDI rules. If you have no experience with this you
should get an attorney to help you. Lastly, read your notice of hearing to see if there will be experts at your hearing.
If there is a vocational or medical expert you should be prepared to cross examine them unless you have a lawyer and
then they will handle that. This is not everything but it is a great start to giving yourself a good chance of winning at
your SSDI hearing. Even though these hearings are informal it can be intimidating if you are not used to them, but if
you are prepared it will be much easier to handle.
3:52 pm edt
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Treating Doctors and SSDI Claims
When trying to get Social Security Disability it can be extremely helpful when your treating doctor believes you are unable
to work and is willing to help with your case. By law Social Security is supposed to give more weight to your treating
doctor's than consultative doctors. This is because your treating doctors are the doctors most familiar with your condition
and care. This is why it is important to get a report or RFC from your treating doctor if they are willing to help.
A report should contain what the doctor is treating you for, medications you are taking, other treatment you are getting
for your conditions and how it affects your ability to work. If your doctor feels you meet a Social Security Medical
Listing they should explain which listing and why. The report should also be accompanied by your treatment records and
any test performed. An RFC is a form which if filled out by your treating doctor will show what your doctor believes
your limitations are from your condition. If you have any questions feel free to send me an e-mail or call at 1-877-527-5529.
5:13 pm edt
Thursday, March 12, 2015
When to Apply for Social Security Disability
I am often asked when is the right time to apply for SSDI. To answer this you need to know that to be eligible for Social
Security Disability you need to be out of work for a year or more or be expected to be out of work for a year or more due
to your medical conditions. At first you might think this means you need to wait a year from when you stopped working
to apply but this is not the case. If your medical conditions are expected to keep you out of work for a year or more
then you can apply after you stop working. If you are applying shortly after you stopped working it can be very helpful
to have a report from your doctor explaining you will be out of work for at-least a year if not longer and it should explain
your medical conditions and why you cannot work.
4:07 pm edt
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Social Security Disability and SSI
Many people use the term SSI when they are talking about Social Security Disability. They are actually two different
programs. Social Security Disability Insurance also called SSDI requires you have enough work credits to be eligible.
In other words, when you work and pay taxes you also pay into the Social Security system. If you become unable
to work due to your medical conditions the amount you get for disability will depend on the amount you have paid into the
system. SSI on the other hand is a needs based program. SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Your
eligibility and the disability benefits you get under SSI are determined by how much resources and income you have. SSI
payments are paid out of the US Treasury Funds and not the Social Security program. The test to determine if you are
disabled is the same under both programs. For more on these different programs see my web page on my website that describes
all the different programs.
4:48 pm est