Category Archives: Social Security Disability

Mar 16th, 2018

Disability Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

If you have tingling, numbness or weakness in your hand, thumb or fingers, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The disorder is also characterized by difficulty moving fingers and gripping objects, and is accompanied by pain in your fingers, hand, wrist or arm.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Pressure from repetitive motion injury creates swelling in the median nerve in the wrist. The swelling constricts the nerves, tendons and ligaments, leading to the symptoms described above. Repetitive motion injuries (also called repetitive stress injury or RSI) like typing cause carpal tunnel syndrome, and so does arthritis.

To obtain disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome or any disorder, patients must meet the criteria in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) book of impairment listings known as the Blue Book. Keep in mind that disability is determined by your inability to work due to your injury. Unfortunately, the SSA does not typically rule in favor of awarding disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome. They typically find that the disability is not severe enough to warrant disability payments, so they don’t have specific impairment listings for this disorder.

Other Ways To Obtain Benefits

However, there are three other ways you might qualify for disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome. First, if you can show that you equal or meet an impairment listing in another area, SSA might consider you for disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, you can apply under an impairment listing for soft tissue damage or nerve damage like peripheral neuropathy. The SSA requirements are still difficult to meet, but it is worth a try. Some people have obtained benefits this way, for severe nerve damage or for ligament damage that has caused them to lose function in the wrists and hands.

The second way you can apply for disability benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome is if your CTS is a secondary symptom of another disease such as arthritis. There are several diseases that include carpal tunnel as a symptom, including arthritis, diabetes and kidney failure, as well as lupus and scleroderma. You would apply for disability under the primary listing and list your carpal tunnel as a related condition.

The third is called a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment whereby you can show you’re your CTS creates limitations severe enough to leave you unable to work. SSA will assess your ability to perform your job and the level of physical exertion you are able to muster. Then, they’ll classify you in a range of jobs (sedentary work, light work, heavy work, etc.) and determine your ability to perform jobs in that category.

Medical Evidence

Regardless of how you file, you will need medical evidence. First, you’ll need a clear diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, which can sometimes be difficult to obtain. The SSA will want to see evidence that one or more of the following diagnostic tests has been completed:

· Electromyography to measure electrical activity

· Imaging, like ultrasounds and MRIs

· A thumb weakness test

· A pressure provocation test (wrist and hand)

· A Phalen’s test

· A tourniquet test of cuff pressure applied to the wrist

· Tinel’s sign test of the median nerve

· Nerve conduction study to measure nerve transmission through the wrist and hand

The SSA will also want to see that you’ve tried CTS treatments like wearing a splint or taking medication. In our experience, we’ve found that hiring a lawyer to obtain disability benefits is particularly useful in cases like carpal tunnel syndrome where the SSA does not list impairments and instead you have to qualify for the benefits in other ways.

Mar 13th, 2018

Disability Benefits for Coronary Heart Disease

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does allow disability benefits for coronary heart disease, as well as for several types of common heart problems and diseases. Keep in mind that the focus of SSA disability is a work-based focus, meaning they look at whether your ability to work is impacted by your heart disease.

Disability Benefits for Coronary Heart Disease

With coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease (CAD), your heart has reduced capacity; the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen to work effectively, so pumping is compromised.

SSA does need medical evidence of your CAD. Common tests include EKGs, cardiac imaging tests and exercise stress tests. All of these tests measure your heart’s condition to pump. The SSA also wants to see physician notes about any restrictions your doctor has you on, such as limiting exertion, exercise or heavy lifting. These test results are very important to the SSA in making their determination, so include everything possible for as long of a history as you possibly can. For example, evidence of an EKG will show lack of oxygen to the heart muscle, and results of a treadmill exercise tolerance test (ETT) (stress test) will show how much exertion you can do before having chest pain or shortness of breath. The SSA has very specific guidelines for disability, including the number of ischemic attacks you’ve had in the last year, values for the ejection fraction in your heart, and a specific level of result for the stress test.

All of this evidence will be factored in to determine your work ability. Basically, SSA will determine if there are any jobs you can do. They’ll evaluate your current work, your age and your education into this equation.

The SSA maintains a listing of disabilities called the Blue Book, and there are several heart conditions that qualify:

· Coronary heart disease (ischemia) caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle

· Chronic congestive heart failure involving compromised pumping action

· Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm)

· Aneurysms in the aorta

· Venous insufficiency in which the leg veins cannot pump enough blood back up to the heart

· Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) caused by obstruction of large arteries in the legs

Coronary heart disease is usually evaluated in its own category, but CAD can lead to other issues like congestive heart failure, so your case might be evaluated under that category. However, most people are evaluated under the ischemic heart disease category, particularly if you’ve had a heart attack. Note that SSA no longer has a disability category for high blood pressure (hypertension). Instead, if you have hypertension, SSA will evaluate you under the category that caused the high blood pressure.

CAD makes it difficult for many adults to work. If you don’t automatically qualify for disability benefits for coronary heart disease under the SSA Blue Book listing, you could qualify under a residual functional capacity (RFC) category. The SSA will rate you on the type of work they think you can do, considering all your medical evidence. These categories range from sedentary to heavy work. If your doctor has imposed strict limitations on your exertion, you might only qualify for sedentary work. If there are no jobs in your company that you can do, then you may qualify for disability benefits this way. People over age 55 with little education have the best chances at qualifying for the medical vocational allowance under the RFC ruling.

You can file for disability online at, or you can go to your nearest SSA center. Filing can be complicated and many people are initially denied for lack of compelling medical evidence. That’s why many people choose to hire a law firm like ours. We can help you find the right category for filing, and make sure the SSA has all the evidence they need to make their determination regarding your disability benefits for coronary heart disease.

Mar 8th, 2018

How to get social security disability for degenerative disc disease

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is characterized by deterioration of the discs between vertebrae, which causes significant pain and can even lead to loss of mobility. Tears in the outer disc can occur, with scar tissue forming in an attempt to heal the injury. Repetitions in the tears and scarring lead to degeneration over time. DDD can occur in the neck (cervical spine), lumbar (lower back) or thoracic (mid-spine) regions.

degenerative joint disease

DDD is also called spondylosis or degenerative joint disease, and is often just part of the normal aging process as discs wear down and become damaged. When the cushioning effect is gone, pain and inflammation occurs at the site of the degenerated disc.

DDD can become very severe. A person can have so much pain and inflammation that he or she becomes unable to perform any meaningful work. DDD patients have trouble sitting, standing, lifting and bending, making many jobs difficult. When an individual has been unable to perform work or is expected to be unable to perform work for 12 months or more, that person may be eligible for disability.

Disability benefits are a monthly amount of earnings determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA maintains a list of qualifying conditions called the Blue Book. Unfortunately, DDD is not listed as a disability. SSA has determined that most back pain associated with DDD is intermittent, so patients who do qualify have to have severe issues like assistance walking with a walker or other aid, or nerve problems caused by the DDD, like numbness and tingling, pain radiating down the legs, muscle weakness, or loss of reflexes.

If a patient can prove that DDD has led to nerve problems or even to other more serious back problems, the SSA does recognize these as a disability claim for degenerative disc disease. Bone spurs that cause spinal nerve root compression are covered, and so are herniated discs. Degenerative joint disease leading to spinal stenosis and arachnoiditis are also covered.

However, there is an alternative way to file a disability claim for degenerative disc disease under SSA’s medical-vocational allowance. If a person can show reduced functional capacity to work, you might be able to qualify.

To go this route, the SSA requires detailed doctor’s notes on functional limitations and restrictions. SSA needs objective medical evidence about the severity of the condition, how long the patient has had it, responses to treatments, and functional limitations. Remember you must have had the disability for at least 12 months, or show compelling evidence that a newer injury is expected to last for 12 months. You will need to produce clinical records like MRI, CT, or x-rays that have been done, blood work, and other records. The SSA will not accept medical evidence from chiropractors—only licensed physicians or specialists like orthopedists, neurologists, and other doctors. Medical evidence from any approved source (including a hospital or clinic) is acceptable.

If you don’t have sufficient evidence of ongoing medical treatment, SSA will require you to see a medical doctor hired by SSA to perform an independent medical exam. These exams are very minimal and definitely not as comprehensive as if you had your own physician’s records. The examiner gathers just enough information to make a decision. This may not be in your best interest because generally they do not approve disability benefits.

SSA will also rate you on your ability to do work (light work, medium work, etc.) For example, if you can only lift 25 pounds, SSA will rate you for light work only.

Age, education level, and past work experience are all factored in, and SSA prefers that you be retrained for another job that is within your ability. People over age 50, since they’re closer to retirement age, are more likely to be approved for disability.

Feb 21st, 2018

Low Cost Medicaid Coverage for Workers With Disabilities Empowers You to Keep Your Job

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Less than 50 percent of people with disabilities are covered by Medicaid. Yet, this health insurance option allows workers with disabilities to visit doctors and specialists — a privilege not readily available to the uninsured. Furthermore, Medicaid coverage for workers improves health and financial security.

medicaid coverage for workers

While some employer plans and individual health insurances provide options to workers with disabilities, these plans may come with high costs, plus coverage requirements and limits. Traditional Social Security disability plans require an applicant to not work.

However, the Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) program offers health insurance while encouraging individuals to work. This option offers health coverage at low premiums. Depending on your income, premiums range from zero to 55 dollars per month.

Let’s look at how to access this Medicaid coverage for workers with disabilities?

Qualifying for EID

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) offers Medical Assistance (a.k.a. Medicaid) to workers with disabilities through the EID program. This program covers you when you have no health insurance. It also supplements Medicare plans and private insurance.

However, not every worker with a disability gets approved. You must meet the following criteria to qualify for EID:

1)Be age 18 to 64 years old

2) Be a U.S. citizen or of “qualified alien” status

3) Meet Social Security’s medical criteria for a disability

4) Work for pay

5) Fall under the income limit

6) Meet the resource (asset) limit

Applying for EID

Like traditional Medicaid processes, you retain the right to apply for EID on your own or through professional agencies. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) or a disability law expert offers assistance in determining if you qualify for this Medicaid coverage for workers with disabilities. They also help with the application process.

To apply for EID:

1) Contact the Eligibility Determination Division (EDD) of the MDH’s Medical Assistance program.

2) Complete the online application or get assistance doing so if you do not have a computer.

3) Print and mail the application to the EDD, including required, supporting documentation.

4) Receive a decision within 30 days (for SSI or SSDI recipients) or 90 days for those new to the system.

5) Appeal the decision, if you are denied. Enjoy the coverage, if approved.

Receiving EID

Medical assistance through EID begins at the beginning of the month you apply. Typically, if you cooperate and provide the documents and information required, you pay no premiums until you are notified of eligibility.

For instance, if you apply on March 10, coverage (once approved) dates back to March 1. However, your first premium is due after you receive your approval letter, even if it arrives the following month or two.

However, if the delay in approval is because you did not get requested information to the EDD, you may be asked to pay premiums for the gap months. In the example above, your premium would date back to March 1. In reverse, you may also be eligible to get medical expenses covered during this period.

Finally, a redetermination is required every six months. This means you must update your online application, print it and resubmit with any new documentation. Saving your application on the computer makes the process quick and painless. With regular attention to these updates, coverage may continue until age 65, if you continue to prove eligible.

EID Coverage

EID covers most medical services, plus some disability services which traditional plans fail to cover. Other than your premium, you may also pay small co-payments for covered services, like prescriptions. If a service is covered and a provider accepts Medical Assistance, you pay nothing more.

For help with EID eligibility, contact us today.

Feb 19th, 2018

Medicaid for Aged, Blind and Disabled

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

When you apply for supplemental security income (SSI), one of the main benefits in addition to disability coverage is Medicaid for medical coverage. Medicaid is a federal health program offered to low income Americans. When you qualify for SSI, the state you live in allocates those payments, and Medicaid is a part of the SSI payments in most states. Indeed, Medicaid is one of the most important parts of the entire SSI program because it provides medical coverage for the aged, blind and disabled.

income requirement for medicaid

The federal agency that administers Medicaid is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Each state submits their Medicaid plan to CMS for approval. Each state’s plan is different, but all states provide Medicaid for at least some of their SSI beneficiaries. CMS receives state plans from the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, and a plan from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI).

Medicaid is the federal government’s medical assistance program. It is part of the Social Security Act (Title XIX). In most states, the program is called and known as Medicaid. It is called Medi-Cal in California and AHCCS in Arizona, for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

The Title XIX statute requires that Medicaid coverage be provided to certain mandatory groups in any state that has a Medicaid program, while states have the option to provide Medicaid coverage for other groups. This is the reason why the plans vary so much from state to state.

It can also get confusing because Title XIX also allows for states to provide medical assistance to individuals not eligible for SSI. Although these programs are medical, they are not under the Medicaid umbrella of coverage.

Medicaid is paid according to a cost-sharing between the federal government and states. The federal government pays about half of the administrative costs for each state.

Regarding eligibility, a person must first be in a category that is addressed by a cash assistance program (the mandatory needy disabled with low incomes, optional needy, and those individuals that qualify as medically needy under a Medicaid waiver). You can also be a family member in a family with dependent children that qualify for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. If you are not in one of these categories, you cannot get Medicaid.

In most states, your SSI application also serves as your Medicaid application. This allows faster processing of benefits if you do qualify for Medicaid. Upon qualifying, there is retroactive coverage of covered medical expenses that occurred up to three months before you submitted your SSI/Medicaid application if the individual would have been eligible at that time. There are also stipulations for benefits payout should the person die while the application is being processed.

When you’re approved for SSI, Medicaid is automatically granted in most states. A few states use the same SSI criteria, but make their own decisions about Medicaid eligibility:

SSI uses income, resource, and disability criteria to qualify you for both SSI and Medicaid. A few states make their own Medicaid eligibility decisions using the same federal SSI criteria: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah. This means that everyone receiving SSI should also qualify for Medicaid, but approval is not automatic and you have to fill out a separate Medicaid form. Finally, several other states have Medicaid criteria that are much stricter than the federal SSI criteria. The federal government does have rules for how restrictive states can be.

Regarding qualifying criteria, you must have proof of your disability and it must meet SSI criteria as outlined in the Blue Book which lists qualifying disabilities.

There is also an income requirement for Medicaid, and you must not exceed the Medicaid monthly income limits. There are rules for what counts as income, and there are also asset limits you must meet.

Jan 29th, 2018

Social Security Disability Advice

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

When you go through the Social Security Disability process, it can be intimidating. There are things that you can do to help get through this process easier. One of them is obtaining a qualified attorney to make sure that you address everything that you need to in your claim and have the highest chance of success. Most lawyers offer a free consultation for Social Security Disability cases, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with someone. As you move through the process, keep the things below in mind to have the greatest chance of success.

consultation for social security

Social Security Disability Advice:

- Don’t Wait to File.

As soon as you can you should get in your application for disability benefits. It is possible that your claim could take some time to process. This means that you may need to wait a while in order to start to receive benefits. When you’re not able to work, every day counts and diminishes your savings.

- If you have questions about the application, ask for help.

If you’re working through your application and have questions, it’s best to ask for advice. Filling out the application incorrectly can cause you to be denied when you should have been approved. You can get help from a lawyer in regards to your application.

- Work with an attorney that specializes in Social Security Disability.

You can obtain a lawyer right away, but it’s even more important if your claim is denied. It’s best to have representation as you go through the appeals process. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on the best course of action and help you with your hearing. If you go to a hearing without a lawyer, it can be detrimental to your case.

- Keep up with your medical care.

When you’re going through the application process, you need to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. It’s important to visit your doctor regularly as this will be evaluated when you apply. You also need to make sure that you’re following your doctor’s advice. If you’re not taking your medications, it will show that you’re not trying to improve your condition.

Make sure to follow the advice above and that of your lawyer. Remember that you can receive a free consultation for Social Security from us. Contact us with any questions.

Jan 25th, 2018

Getting Disability Based on Spinal Nerve Root Compression

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does provide benefits for spinal disorders. One of the main disorders that does qualify for benefits is the occurrence of a compression of a spinal column nerve root. Nerve root compressions result in constant pain, loss of feeling and muscle weakness. This type of nerve compression can be quite painful and quite disabling, severely limiting your daily activities.

disability benefits for spine disorder

Remember that SSA disability must be tied to your inability to complete job functions, so you must provide evidence to this effect. The SSA can provide disability support if the spinal disorder leaves you unable to work.

First, you must qualify medically. You must provide evidence of the reason that led to the nerve root compression—an injury, a disc issue, arthritis or another spinal diagnosis. The SSA maintains a list of impairments called the Blue Book; there is a section (1.04A) that lists disorders of the spine.

Basically, to qualify, you must experience significant pain associated with the nerve root compression and you must demonstrate that the pain, muscle weakness and loss of feeling causes a loss of motor function significant enough to prevent you from working.

You must show evidence that a doctor has examined you and done the required diagnostic tests to diagnose a nerve root compression. SSA needs several specific pieces of medical evidence:

· Physical exam evidence from your physician. His or her notes must show the cause of the nerve root compression as well as onset, how the issue has progressed, and a description and progression of your symptoms

· Evidence of muscle weakness, reflex issues, loss of feeling or muscle atrophy

· Descriptions of any complications to other systems, like neurological or circulatory

· Evidence of medical test results like imaging tests (MRI, CT, x-ray)

· Treatments prescribed (what worked, what didn’t work)

· Medications taken

· Prognosis from your doctor (both short-term and long-term), including a physician opinion about how long your period of disability will be

Also remember that when it comes to treatments your doctor prescribes, you must show evidence that you’ve followed the treatment plan. Failure to follow treatments is one of the main reasons people are denied benefits by the SSA.

If you have a lower back nerve root compression, the doctor must show results of the straight leg raise test, a measure of pain and other symptoms of lower leg function. SSA will not review your claim unless this test has been performed.

Disability claims and getting benefits for spine disorders is more complicated than other medical situations. Let us help you; we can be your advocate for a nerve root compression claim.

Jan 23rd, 2018

Non-Medical Requirements of Social Security Disability

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

There are other considerations besides medical paperwork and requirements that need to be considered when applying for disability benefits.

Qualify for Disability Benefits

There are two types of disability you can potentially apply for: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The two programs are different. SSI is a financial supplement designed to provide basic funding for individuals and families who earn low- or no income. SSDI is designed to provide disability benefits to people who have worked and paid into the social security system through their work history.

Each program has different eligibility requirements. Upon receiving your application, the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates the claim to determine your eligibility for either program. People aged 18 or over may qualify for SSDI benefits, but you have to have worked long enough to have contributed to social security to earn enough work credits, and you also must have a disability severe enough to prevent you from working. SSA will require that you submit your employment history as far back as you can. You must list all previous employers and your earnings history at each place of employment.

For SSDI, the main qualification is that you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes. Determining the number of work credits you have is the most important criteria. After you’re eligible, that’s when it is time to start pulling your medical documentation together to prove that your disability keeps you from being gainfully employed.

SSI is for people who likely don’t qualify for SSDI. As a federal program, it is paid for from general tax revenues and not from the social security fund. SSI helps low income, disabled and elderly people with basic funds for food, clothing and shelter. The program is needs-based, and it is important for you to know that you must meet very low income requirements in order to qualify. SSA counts any income, asset ownership, and any free services you are receiving (food or shelter donations, etc.)—there are very strict limitations. Under SSI, you are only allowed to own a single home and single automobile.

The SSA will evaluate your income and assets for this needs-based disability benefit. If you are not a U.S. citizen and you are applying for SSI, the SSA will first ensure that you are in a qualifying illegal alien category.

For both programs, most states do provide additional funds above the federal funds you will receive. Please note that some states–Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia—do not provide the additional funds.

For either program you apply to, the SSA will require that you submit the following information: Social Security ID (SSN), date and place of birth, and proof of US citizenship. You must also provide this information for present and past spouses and all dependent children.

After you submit your claim, a SSA claims representative will review the claim. The claim agent will first look at your non-medical eligibility—things like income, work credits and the other requirements we’ve outlined above. If you appear to be eligible for either SSDI or SSI, the claims representative will then transfer your file claim to your local Disability Determination Services (DDS) where another claim examiner specific to either SSDI or SSIs will take the reins and process it from there. From this point, the claim examiner will now start to review the medical evidence to decide whether you meet the eligibility for disability benefits from a medical point of view.

SSDI claims are denied if you don’t have enough work credits, meaning you haven’t worked long enough to draw social security disability; basically it means that you haven’t paid in enough to receive disability payments.

SSI applicants are typically denied because they earn too much money or have too many assets.

Both of these are considered technical denials, and in both cases, you get your notice fairly quickly.

For SSDI, the examiner will look at whether you are currently employed and earning an income. It is definitely a factor, because if you’re currently employed, you will likely be given a technical denial by SSA because your disability will appear not serious enough to keep you from working.

After you meet these initial non-medical requirements, both programs will require different medical information. SSI requires less information because it is in place to provide basic needs. SSDI does require detailed medical information because the benefit is based on your inability to work. As such, your SSDI application requires medical information such as records of medical diagnosis, tests performed, hospitalizations, medications prescribed, and any other pertinent detailed medical notes.

Any other benefits you might be receiving, such as military veteran benefits, worker’s compensation or any other similar benefit, will be factored into SSA’s evaluation of whether you will receive SSDI or SSI.

If you’re trying to determine which program you qualify for,give us a call today and we will help you determine your eligibility.

Jan 18th, 2018

Learn About Retroactive SSDI Benefits

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Retroactive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments are monetary benefits that are paid to a disability applicant to cover the time that has passed between the onset of the disability and the date the application was accepted.These payments can cover up to one full year before the application was passed. Here is some important information for you to know about retroactive SSDI payments.

retroactive SSDI benefits

Factors for Retroactive Pay

The amount of money you would receive for your retroactive benefits is dependent on the following factors:

- Date your condition began

- Your application date

- The waiting period.

If you do not know the onset date of your condition, or if it cannot be determined, it will default to the date of your initial application. That date is then known as the alleged onset date (AOD). If your disability occurred a long time before you applied for benefits, then you will need to prove the onset date and then obtain a new established onset date (EOD).

Waiting Period

All applicants for retroactive pay must go through a mandatory five-month waiting period after the onset of the disability. During the waiting period, you will not receive benefits. So, your payments will begin on the first day of the sixth month after your application has been accepted.

Eligibility Requirements for Retroactive Payments

Not everyone is eligible for retroactive SSDI payments. To qualify for them, you must meet the following conditions:

- Your disability claim has been approved

- At least five months have passed since your EOD

- There are no reasons to withhold your payments.

Important Time Frames of Which to be Aware

If you are eligible for retroactive benefits, please be aware of the following time frames that can affect the receipt of your benefits.

- Payments are allowable for up to 12 months, subtracting the five-month waiting period. So, at least 17 months need to have passed from your EOD and approval date of your application.

- Payments can only be made for a maximum of one year. So you will not receive benefits for any time before that 17-month period.

Determining Your EOD

After you apply for your retroactive benefits, the judge will take your request into consideration. To determine if you can receive these benefits, the judge will look at your medical and employment records. After analyzing the data within this information, the judge will determine the EOD of your disability. This determination will dictate your eligibility for retroactive benefits.

The Difference Between Retroactive Pay and Backpay

Retroactive pay and backpay are similar. However, they are awarded under different circumstances. Retroactive benefits are meant to cover the time during which you were disabled, but had not yet submitted a claim. Only those who apply for SSDI benefits are eligible for retroactive pay. However, backpay is meant to cover the gap that exists between the time you applied for benefits and the time your application is accepted. So, receiving backpay makes it like you started receiving benefits from the first day you submitted an application. Backpay is available to both SSDI and SSI applicants.

Work With a Disability Lawyer

Getting retroactive SSDI benefits is not a simple process. It is not advisable to apply for retroactive benefits on your own. Instead, it is best to work with a qualified disability lawyer who can help you through the process. Not only can an experienced attorney help you through the legal aspects of getting your benefits, but he or she can also be an invaluable resource for answering all of your questions. Some other tasks an attorney can help you complete include:

- Ensuring the proper documents are submitted with your application

- Ensure a proper and effective case is presented to the judge

- Help you determine the amount of benefits you can request

- Knowing how to make the transition from EOD to AOD seamlessly and without errors.

If you have questions about applying for retroactive SSDI benefits or if you would like to start an application, contact Fred London Law today.

Jan 16th, 2018

Disability Benefits for Brain Injuries

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

People can qualify for Social Security disability benefits after suffering traumatic brain injuries that leave them incapacitated enough to no longer work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers many different types of traumatic brain injuries when considering a person for disability benefits.

brain injuries

Types and severity of TBI can vary. It is very typical immediately after the injury for the patient to have a headache, or be dizzy or nauseous or even vomiting. The person might even be unconscious. Blurry vision and problems with motor coordination is another classic sign.

When you seek medical treatment, a TBI diagnosis will be made based on clinical evidence of these signs. If you are able, the doctor will ask you to perform a neurological examination to check your pupils in your eyes for a normal response to light. Other motor coordination tests are done as part of this exam as well.

The doctor will also likely use an imaging method–x-ray, CT scan or MRI–to look for evidence of the brain injury. Later, the doctor will likely ask you to do cognitive tests to determine whether the TBI has had any long-term effects on your memory or your ability to normally process information. If the TBI is severe, you may need physical and cognitive rehabilitation therapy.

The SSA uses a manual called the Blue Book to assess disability claims; this book contains a list of qualifying impairments. While traumatic brain injury (TBI) does not have its own listing, TBI is considered as part of other disabilities like brain trauma, head trauma, stroke and seizures. The TBI listings in the Blue Book fall under the general category of neurological and mental disorders.

In the SSA Blue Book, you will likely see traumatic brain injury (TBI) also referred to as intracranial injury. SSA defines these injuries as an injury that results “when an external force causes brain trauma”. The older term “head injury” is often generally used, but refers to a much broader range of injuries that SSA uses to describe structural defects and congenital disorders rather than trauma.

SSA looks at the extent of brain injuries, as well as the severity of the injury and how debilitating it is, as well as the duration you’ve had the injury.

When the SSA reviews disability claims, they look in the Blue Book for the closest matching condition that fits your symptoms. SSA will generally classify your TBI under the following categories:

· Convulsive epilepsy

· Non-convulsive epilepsy

· Stroke or stroke-like complications

· Organic mental disorders

The SSA might classify you under multiple listings to fit all of your symptoms into their review.

Even if you don’t meet one of the above Blue Book listings, SSA can still review your claim for disability by performing a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment to gauge your ability to perform job tasks. Approval—or denial—of your claim largely depends on SSA’s determination of your RFC that remains after you’ve suffered a TBI.

The SSA always needs as much detailed medical evidence as you can provide when you file a claim. Specifically for brain injuries, there are several types of evidence the SSA will review: doctor’s diagnosis, detailed notes about medical tests performed, a list of prescribed medications, and doctors’ reports regarding his or her (or their) professional opinion about your functional limitations and the impacts of those limitations to your ability to adequately perform a job.

Your comprehensive medical evidence is important when submitting your disability claim to SSA for any injury but particularly for brain injuries because of the way SSA classifies it under the Blue Book listings. If you haven’t hired a disability attorney, consider calling Fred London Law today. Our firm will provide you with a qualified legal representative to gather your required TBI evidence and help you submit your disability claim.