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Oklahoma City Social Security Disability Law Blog

Legal help with understanding available SSD benefits programs

Oklahomans who have mental illness, an injury or condition that leaves them disabled might be able to get Social Security disability benefits. However, many are unaware of the programs that are available to them, let alone how to take the necessary steps for an approval. Understanding the basics is the first step. Once a prospective claimant knows what programs the Social Security Administration offers, it will be possible to decide which one is applicable and move forward with the process.

The SSA provides benefits through several programs. A disabled person who meets the criteria should be able to get benefits. All programs require that the person be disabled for a minimum of 12 months or that the impairment will result in his or her death. There are two basic programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With SSDI, benefits will be paid to those who are disabled and worked for the required amount of time and paid Social Security taxes so that they are "insured." SSI is based on need regardless of the work history. SSI also available to people who are blind, disabled or 65-years-old or older. If there is a disabled child within a family that has limited financial resources, the child can get SSI.

What is bipolar disorder and the requirements for SSD benefits?

A problem frequently experienced by Oklahomans who are suffering from mental illness is that they are unaware of the exact problem they have or that they can seek Social Security disability benefits because of it. Filing for disability benefits for a mental illness such as bipolar disorder has certain requirements, but for a person who is suffering from the disorder, it is quite beneficial to understand the criteria and move forward with an application.

First, it is imperative to understand the symptoms of depression, bipolar and other similar disorders. A person who is irritable, depressed, has an elevated or expressive mood, or has lost interest or pleasure in nearly all activities and it leads to a significant reduction in functioning, might have this issue. The following symptoms are common: problems sleeping, feeling hopeless or guilty, thinking of suicide, changes to bodyweight, changes to appetite, a rise or decrease in energy, a reduction in impulse control, euphoria, and sadness. There are others.

What should I know about SSI benefits when I turn 18?

Disabled individuals in Oklahoma who are receiving Supplemental Security Income through the Social Security disability program should be aware of the rules that go along with their benefits. This is particularly important to people who have received benefits while under the age of 18 and have issues that will continue and warrant benefits after they turn 18.

When the claimant turns 18, there will be a redetermination. The case will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration and it will be decided whether the person meets the rules for an adult to receive SSI benefits. This includes eligibility rules that are not connected to the medical issues. The person will be contacted within a year of reaching age 18 about the redetermination. A letter will ask for the following information: what medicines are being taken; if there have been hospitalizations and surgeries; details about doctor and clinic visits; if there was any work activity; if counseling and therapy was given; if there was schooling and special classes or tutoring; and if there were counselors and teachers who are aware of the claimant's condition.

The difference between SSI and SSDI

If you need to apply for disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration, know that there are two main benefits programs that many people often confuse. Some of the confusion stems from the fact that the acronyms used to identify Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income differ by only one letter.

Whatever the reasons, it is important to understand the other differences between the two so you know which type to pursue. Here are some of the primary differences between SSDI and SSI.

Understanding anxiety disorders

Life is not always easy, and there undoubtedly will be stressful times in one's life, times when nervousness or anxiety creeps in, whether it is before a job interview, taking a test, or the purchase of a new home. But for many Americans, including some living in and near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the surrounding area, there are instances where these feelings of anxiety are more than just occasional feelings. Many of these people may be victims of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders can have a serious effect on a person's day to day living, including the ability to do work. Anxiety disorders can take a few different forms. They may include panic disorders, which often occurs at random, causing several symptoms including chest pain, palpitations and feelings of a heart attack. Another form are social anxiety disorders, or social phobias. These generally occur during social interactions, when a victim may feel as if he or she is being judged. Victims may worry excessively, feel self-conscious and embarrassed.

The basics of cardiovascular diseases

The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body, providing blood flow throughout the body. On average and under normal conditions, the heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute, and as much as 100,000 times per day. It should go without saying that when there are issues with the heart, it can lead to serious, catastrophic or even deadly results to the victim.

There are several cardiovascular illnesses that could lead to serious or even life-long disabilities, including but not limited to abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias, congenital heart disease, heart muscle disease, also known as cardiomyopathy, pericardial disease, aorta disease and Marfan syndrome and vascular disease or blood vessel disease.

How common are traumatic brain injuries?

While many people have heard of traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, you might be alarmed at just how frequently they occur in the United States, including the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, area. The brain is located in the skull, which is part of the head, which sits on the neck at the top of a person's body. It should come as no wonder then, that the brain is vulnerable when a person is involved in an accident, whether it is a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall accident, an accident at a worksite, or even an accident while playing sports.

According to statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as much as 30 percent of all injury deaths involve injuries to the brain. This accounts for approximately 153 people dying in the United States from injuries that include a traumatic brain injury every day. In 2013, there were approximately 2.8 million visits to a hospital emergency room for victims of a TBI injury. This resulted in nearly three hundred thousand hospitalization stays. A majority to traumatic brain injuries are the result of a fall at 47 percent, while the second leading cause was being struck on the head with an object.

Know the facts about SSI or SSDI for mental health disability

Social Security benefits are available for many people who have mental health conditions which limit their ability to hold a job. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that about 35.2 percent of all recipients who receive Social Security Disability Insurance qualify for disability due to mental health conditions.

Social Security Income provides financial need to low-income disabled individuals, based on current income and assets. On the other hand, SSDI requires a disability and minimum past work requirements.

How Social Security Disability benefits can help you

For over 80 years, the Social Security program has helped millions of Americans through many stages of life. Today, among the many benefits that the Social Security Administration offers are multiple programs designed to help Americans in need. Their Social Security Disability benefits programs are designed to help Americans who are disabled and unable to work.

A disability can take many forms. It could be a serious illness such as cancer or lung disease, it could be a mental condition like depression or panic attacks or it could be a serious injury such as a back, brain or neck injury. Regardless of the type, if the injury is serious enough that you are unable to maintain gainful employment, and the condition is serious enough that it is expected to last at least a year or end in death, you may qualify.

Considering the feasibility of working with osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a potentially debilitating disease that affects the joints, cartilage and bones in the body. It can occur in many areas, but it is most commonly found in the hips, thumbs and knees. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is the most common joint disorder found in patients within the United States, but the symptoms can make work difficult for many  sufferers.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you should consider whether continuing to work is the right choice for your health. It may become increasingly difficult, but there are several options that you should be aware of.

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