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Oklahoma City Social Security Disability Law Blog

Living situations and evidence of disability with mental issues

Suffering from a mental condition is something that affects many people in Oklahoma. These issues can be so severe that the person cannot hold a regular job and needs to apply for Social Security disability benefits. When the Social Security Administration decides on the case and assesses whether the person's problems meet the criteria for qualifying mental conditions, numerous factors are considered. One is the applicant's living situation.

Psychosocial supports, structural settings, living arrangements and treatment are part of the evidence that is used to come to a decision and it is important for the applicant to understand the details of this and how it will influence their application. Family members or others might assist the person in their daily life. As a person receives treatment for the mental disorder, the living situation is factored in as to how it might help the person survive. There will be reports regarding the person's functioning from the individual or others who reside, check in on or treat them.

Don't make these mistakes with Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is the insurance the federal government provides if you become disabled. No one wants to think about this possibility, but, unfortunately, the reality is that many people will have to face it as they age.

Even if you are not currently disabled, it is important you understand what you can do now to help your case if you should become disabled in the future. Certain actions you take or do not take now could have an effect on your future ability to collect Social Security Disability Insurance, commonly known as SSDI.

How to survive when waiting for the outcome of an SSDI case

Social security benefits are available to people who have been seriously injured and will most likely be unable to work ever again. While it helps people stay afloat, a recent article in The Washington Post shows how many disability recipients never lose the desire to get back into the workforce. 

However, it can take over a year to hear a decision once you apply. This puts applicants in tricky situations because they cannot work to earn a living, but they still have bills to pay. Fortunately, there are ways you can bring money into the household while you await the SSDI decision. 

Can a youth set for release from foster care apply early for SSI?

When a disabled youth is in foster care in Oklahoma and is approaching the time when they will be released from the foster care system, they may be concerned about receiving Supplemental Security Income when they reach legal adulthood. To prevent a gap between the release from foster care and the beginning of SSI benefits, it is important to apply for the benefits before the anticipated release from foster care. Understanding the details of how to handle this issue is key.

If a disabled or blind youth is nearing the age of 18, it is generally not possible to gain eligibility for SSI before the foster care payments have ceased. With foster care ceasing at age 18, the Social Security Administration will allow a youth to apply for SSI-related benefits up to 180 days prior to foster care eligibility ending.

Understanding past work experience with SSD benefits

When seeking Social Security disability benefits in Oklahoma, the sequential process used by the Social Security Administration is imperative to the case. Step 4 is important as it assesses the past work experience of the applicant and determines if the past work is relevant to the current case. There are certain criteria that must be met to move forward with the case.

The SSA will examine how demanding the recent past work was and make a comparison with the current ability to do various work activities. The only past work that will be considered is work that is considered relevant. By that, it means that it must have been done in the previous 15 years; must have required significant and productive mental and physical activities that were done for pay or profit; and must have been done long enough for the applicant to have learned how to do the job. Once it is determined that the previous work is relevant, the capacity to work will be compared with how the person did the work and how that work is done in the current economy.

A lawyer can help avoid mistakes when applying for SSD benefits

It is an unfortunate reality that a large portion of Oklahomans and people across the nation who seek Social Security disability benefits are denied these benefits. The reason for the denial is not because their medical issues are not sufficient enough to be approved, but because they failed to follow the proper procedures when applying. People who make mistakes on the application or during the process find themselves deprived of SSD benefits they sorely need and have to restart the process or become discouraged and quit entirely. To avoid this fate, it is wise to have legal help from the start and to follow the basic steps.

It is crucial to have all the necessary information that the Social Security Administration wants for a claim. This will include the last day the applicant worked and when the disability came about; income levels if the person is still working; how income can affect Supplemental Security Income; all the necessary medical documentation and the information therein; and a statement from a medical professional saying why the claimant cannot work.

Top 3 reasons for denial of SSDI benefits

Applying for social security disability benefits seems daunting for anyone even if they are completely in the right to apply. The fact that everyone pays into the program makes it seem all the more frustrating that it can take over a year to hear a decision. The program is also facing an unprecedented backlog of applications to file through. 

A majority of people who apply for SSDI benefits receive a denial the first time around. This does not mean all hope has become lost. The person can file an appeal to have their records reviewed once again. However, it is beneficial to understand why many applications receive a denial the first time around to try to avoid those pitfalls for yourself. 

Mental impairments covered by SSDI

When most people think of applying for Social Security disability benefits, they assume they require a physical impairment that limits their ability to work. However, employees can also seek SSDI if they suffered mental impairments due to effects of the job. 

Unfortunately, others typically cannot see evidence of mental disorders, so it can be difficult to prove that one suffers from a mental illness. It is critical for everyone to receive the assistance they need, and a doctor can attest to the fact if an employee has developed a mental disorder over the course of employment. Certain conditions remain protected under Social Security disability. 

What should I know about SSD benefits for veterans with P&T?

Veterans who are deemed to have 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) disability might be able to get Social Security disability benefits. Oklahomans who served in the military and were injured or became ill as a result and are given this designation should be aware of the rules for SSD benefits. Disability benefits are paid by the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration. There are, however, different criteria for the claimant to get benefits. There is no guarantee that a person who is declared 100 percent P&T will get SSD benefits.

To get SSD benefits, the person must meet the SSA's definition of disability. The following must be in place: the person cannot perform substantial work due to the medical problem, and the condition must have lasted or be expected to last for a minimum of one year or end in the person's death. Those who are getting compensation from the VA will not have this influence their ability to get SSD benefits.

Strategies that might decrease the wait time for SSD benefits

Oklahomans cannot help but see the repeated news reports about the extensive wait time that applicants for Social Security disability benefits must endure. It can be problematic for people who need the assistance that comes from SSD benefits to wait for time periods that can reach years. However, as the issue becomes more pronounced and the Social Security Administration is under greater scrutiny for it, people are actively seeking methods to get beyond the wait time if possible. While it can be difficult, there are circumstances under which it might be possible to decrease that wait time.

One case that sparked concern over the wait time involves a woman whose husband died as he waited for a decision. In 2016, an estimated 7,400 people who were on wait lists for SSD benefits died. There are more than 1 million Americans who wait an average of two years to get a hearing. In Texas, where the woman whose husband died lives, has a wait time of nearly 500 days. Ironically, this is shorter than much of the U.S., according to the SSA. But there is hope for people who are experiencing this issue.

The Law Center for Social
Security Disability

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Entrance on East Side of Building
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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