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Oklahoma City Social Security Disability Law Blog

Does Social Security Disability cover cancer?

A cancer diagnosis can be life-altering. You may unable to work depending on the severity of your condition. If you were employed full-time leading up to your diagnosis, then the best-case scenario is that your employer has been making Social Security deductions from your paycheck all of these years. If that's the case, then most likely you've paid into the system enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

If you've been working in a freelance capacity and have been paying your own self-employment taxes, then it's likely that you've been paying into the system too.

Why do Social Security Disability applications get denied?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives countless applications for disability benefits on an annual basis. The federal agency denies at least 50% of the ones that they receive. There are varied reasons as to why these denials occur.

Each application for benefits that an individual submits to the SSA is assigned to a reviewer. That individual is responsible for looking at an applicant's medical records to see if they adequately support their diagnosis and to see if it's included on the listing of impairments. An applicant may only be approved to receive benefits if their condition is listed there and it's deemed to be terminal or to affect that person's ability to work.

How often the Social Security Administration reviews your file

If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), then it's not abnormal for you to be asked to submit for a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) on occasion. What you may not be aware of is what the Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking for when they perform this review and how often they tend to ask you to submit to one of these.

The SSA regularly performs CDRs of either a recipient's medical or work situation or both. The whole purpose of the medical review is for the SSA to make sure that your condition is severe enough that you warrant continuing to receive SSDI benefits.

Your medical records will support your disability claim

When you are preparing to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, gathering the medical records to support your claim is an important first step.

You want the records to provide comprehensive information about your physical or mental impairment, showing that you cannot work for a year or longer.

Do you qualify for SS benefits as a “worn out worker”?

The Social Security Administration has a little-known opening for benefits often described as the “worn out worker” rule.

Along with the ability to meet other requirements, you may qualify if you have a work history of 35 years or more performing arduous physical labor.

How debilitating is schizophrenia?

If there's such a thing as a minor mental health disorder then schizophrenia is not one of them. This condition is included in publications such as the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Listing of Impairments largely because it's a chronic and serious mental disorder. Individuals who suffer from schizophrenia often appear to others as if they live in their own world. This condition can adversely impact an individual's feelings, behaviors and reasoning abilities.

Perhaps one of the most notable difficulties that individuals with this brain disorder have is trouble telling what's fantasy and reality. Those who suffer from this condition are generally disorganized and have difficulty regulating their emotions. All of this can make it hard for them to make sound decisions. Individuals with schizophrenia also often hear voices in their heads. This causes them to fear that someone can read their mind, control or harm them.

Don't lie about how bad your disability is

A Georgia woman who had long received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for her apparent debilitating depression and anxiety agreed to plea guilty to Social Security fraud this week. Court filings in her case highlight how the woman had long told doctors that her mental health concerns were so crippling that she was barely able to leave her room at her house. She also told doctors that she couldn't work. Social Security Administration (SSA) investigators discovered that she was employed at an exotic club though.

The now 31-year-old woman first started receiving SSI benefits for her combination panic and major depressive disorder back in July 2010. She was instructed to report any income that she made to the SSA at that point. She never did though.

The 11 categories of mental conditions

Mental conditions can be categorized in a number of different ways, but, for the sake of seeking benefits, it is important to know that the Social Security Administration puts them into 11 general categories. These help to give structure to the process, and they also categorize other types of ailments.

For mental conditions, the 11 categories are:

  1. Trauma- and stressor-related disorders
  2. Autism spectrum disorder
  3. Somatic symptom and related disorders
  4. Neurocognitive disorders
  5. Intellectual disorder
  6. Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
  7. Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders
  8. Depressive, bipolar and related disorders
  9. Eating disorders
  10. Neurodevelopmental disorders
  11. Personality and impulse-control disorders

Your fibromyalgia doesn't have to be a barrier to employment

Fibromyalgia is a serious illness that can cause individuals to experience significant fatigue and chronic pain. Some people can work either part- or full-time while suffering from this debilitating condition. Many individuals can do this because their employers make modifications to their employee's job tasks, work schedule or their workplace to better accommodate them. You may be able to ask the same of your employer so that you can remain gainfully employed here in Oklahoma City.

One of the best things that you can do as someone who's been diagnosed as having fibromyalgia is to become better at managing your everyday stress levels. This is why you should your diagnosis with them. You'll want to let them know how stress exacerbates the typical stiffness, fatigue and pain that you already feel. You should let your bosses know that your symptoms may change from one day to the next.

If you have asthma or bronchitis, you may qualify for SSD

If you suffer from chronic asthma or asthmatic bronchitis and have attacks despite the treatment prescribed for your condition, you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability.

You will find asthma listed in the Blue Book under Respiratory System impairments. However, to become eligible for SSD, you must meet certain criteria.

The Law Center for Social
Security Disability

414 NW 4th Street Suite 140
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Phone: 405-896-8852
Fax: 405-272-0367
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