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St. Louis Legal Issues Blog

Can I get SSD benefits for a skin disorder?

Skin conditions can reach a level where they are affecting a person's ability to function normally and hold a job. Fortunately, it is possible to receive Social Security Disability for skin disorders. Regardless of the illness the person suffers from, a skin disorder can warrant Social Security Disability benefits for illness provided it meets certain criteria. The Social Security Administration will assess the severity of the disorder and then decide.

The severity of a skin disorder is generally based on skin lesions and their extent, how often they flare up, what the symptoms are, how they limit the person, what treatment is given and how the treatment affects the person. If the skin lesions are extensive, it means that they will be located on multiple areas of the body or a critical area of the body and cause severe limitation. Examples include lesions impeding joint movement, lesions on the palms of both hands and lesions on the soles of both feet or other areas that stop a person from effective ambulation.

What evidence is needed for bipolar disorder?

There is an increased awareness that those who are suffering from mental illness may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits. Since these issues can be so debilitating, people who are living with them need to be aware of what needs to be shown to get an approval from the Social Security Administration. Bipolar disorder is a problem that could warrant SSD benefits. Missourians with symptoms of bipolar or who have already been diagnosed should understand what documentation is required before applying. There are three categories labeled A, B and C. To receive benefits, the applicant must satisfy the requirements of A and B or A and C.

Bipolar disorder will be classified by certain difficulties than the person will have. For category A, to receive SSD benefits there must be evidence of three of the following: pressured speech, flight of ideas, inflated self-esteem, a reduction in needing to sleep, being easily distracted, taking part in activities that can result in painful results that have not been considered or a rise in goal-directed activities or psychomotor agitation.

Legal help after a denial of SSD benefits for a mental disorder

It is never easy to be suffering from a medical issue that makes it impossible for a St. Louis resident to work. Social Security disability is in place to help those who are experiencing an injury, illness or condition and when that claim is denied, it can be a blow. It is important to remember that there are certain rules to receiving benefits. With Social Security disability, one of the more difficult issues for which to receive benefits is if there is a mental condition. With an illness such as cancer, the medical reports will generally prove that it exists. With many injuries, it will be there for all to see. For qualifying mental conditions, however, the diagnosis can be more nuanced. This might lead to the case being denied by the Social Security Administration. Knowing what to do if this happens is key to perhaps getting the decision reversed on appeal and receiving Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions.

Since dealing with the SSA can be so complex, it can be hard to get the necessary benefits. In many instances, particularly with a mental condition, the case might be denied for a variety of reasons that have little to do with the SSA and its representatives actually delving deeply into it. This happens even if a person is clearly disabled. Without medical care and income that comes from disability benefits, it is all-but impossible for the person to get the necessary treatment and survive. There are options for those who have had their claim denied.

Are you fighting two wars: One in the military and one in court?

You've done everything you can to be the best parent you can be, including taking on jobs to make ends meet that requires courage and dedication, such as service in the U.S. military. You knew when you got divorced that things wouldn't be easy. After all, it's challenging enough being a single parent in Missouri with a civilian job without factoring in the logistics of active duty deployments and potential changes of residence if you're orders take you somewhere else.

You should not need to worry about child custody issues while you're serving overseas. However, if a problem like this has indeed arisen in your life, you are not alone. Many other soldiers face contentious child custody battles when they were unable to participate in court proceedings due to their deployments.

Facing disability from a rare disease

The diagnosis of a rare and debilitating disease is stressful enough. You are probably spending hours trying to find information about your condition online, speaking with specialists and looking for support. You may also be dealing with emotions from family and friends who want to be helpful but may not know how.

Trying to find help on your own may be exhausting, and while emotional and medical support is important, you are likely going to need financial assistance too. If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you are probably ready to investigate the process of applying for benefits.

Rule change might affect Social Security disability applicants

Missouri residents who are suffering from an illness, condition or injury that they believe warrants receiving disability benefits through Social Security must follow the federal regulations to be approved. Understanding these rules is often a key and failing to adhere to them or meeting the requirements might result in a denial. Bearing in mind any rules changes that come about when seeking Social Security disability benefits is also important. This is why it is imperative to have legal advice when applying for SSD benefits.

The Social Security Administration has put new rules into effect that eliminate what was known as the "treating-physician rule." Prior to this change, those who decided on whether a claimant had proven that he or she was disabled were able to rely heavily on a report provided by the physician. That is no longer the case. Those who are against this rule change believe that it will make it more difficult for people to prove they are disabled.

Backlog and staffing problems hinder disability applications

The idea behind disability benefits for illness is to provide for those whose medical issues have left them unable to work. Missouri residents who believe they qualify for Social Security disability benefits should not hesitate to apply for them. However, it is also important to understand that there are certain problems that have arisen for other applicants. One is when a person has all the requirements to receive SSD benefits for illness, but is stymied by a backlog of cases the Social Security Administration has yet to hear.

A 53-year-old woman is suffering from tumors and cysts that have rendered her blind in one eye, damaged her memory and resulted in seizures. The medical problems and medications she takes to treat them have harmed her short-term memory. Even with these clear problems and medical documentation that they exist, she has not been able to get an approval for disability benefits. The reason for her failure to get benefits is believed to be a lack of funding for staff to hear and process all the applications for benefits.

Federal regulations prevent dying woman from getting her benefits

When people in Missouri and across the nation have an illness, condition or injury that renders them unable to work, they may have the option to seek assistance from the federal government. Social Security disability benefits are meant to help these individuals and leave them free of worry as to how they are going to make ends meet as they try to improve sufficiently to get back to normalcy. In some instances, the person is suffering from a terminal disease like cancer that will not get better. Federal regulations allow those in this situation to have their benefits approved rapidly based on compassionate allowance. However, there are sometimes problems with this that make it necessary to have legal assistance.

A woman who is suffering from terminal cancer is waiting for her disability benefits even though she has been approved for benefits. The government has a waiting period for her and thousands of others who are in a similar situation. Many will never see one cent of their benefits because they will not live long enough. The woman, 49, gets chemotherapy to treat her ovarian cancer. It is at Stage IV and has spread to other parts of her body.

Can I get disability for disorders related to trauma and stress?

St. Louis residents might be under the impression that Social Security disability is for those who have obvious conditions that render them unable to work and that qualifying mental conditions are limited to those with disorders that are clear to the eye. However, people who have suffered from trauma or stress and subsequently develop mental disorders can seek Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions. Understanding the criteria is key before applying.

Disorders linked to trauma and stress stem from the person experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or stressful event. It is also related to learning of a traumatic event that happened to a family member or close friend, causing a psychological impact with clinical issues with functioning after it has happened. There might be dreams, flashbacks, worrisome memories and other problems related to the traumatic or stressful experience. They might avoid certain situations and show a reduced interest for participating in various activities. The person could have negative emotional states and a failure to feel positive emotions. There could be anxiety, irascibility, aggressive behaviors and trouble sleeping. The person might be quicker to startle and have trouble concentrating.

Can you appeal a denial for SSD benefits?

Having a disability can often make many tasks in life challenging. You may have a disability that makes it impossible for you to carry out necessary duties to hold down a steady job. As a result, you may face financial hardships. Of course, benefits programs exist that could help individuals in your type of situation gain monetary assistance.

Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for much-needed assistance. Though you may feel Social Security Disability benefits could provide the help you need, Disability Determination Services could deny your request. Luckily, you could take steps to appeal the denial of your application.

Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
225 South Meramec Avenue, Suite 426
St. Louis, MO 63105

Toll Free: 800-652-5775
Phone: 314-925-0242
Fax: 314-727-5297
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