If your specific disability is not included in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments, one of the ways that you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits it to prove that your disability is medically equivalent to one of the listings in the Blue Book.
According to Social Security regulations, your disability must be at least equal in severity and duration to a disability that is included in the Blue Book. You may prove that your condition is medically equivalent by proving that:
The determination of medical equivalence will be made by considering all of the evidence in your case record and the opinions of medical and psychological consultants. Your education and work experience are irrelevant to the determination of medical equivalence.
You must set out a strong argument with the right evidence in order to get your application approved. Our board certified lawyers can advise you of your rights and help you get the benefits you deserve. To learn more, please contact us directly via this website or by phone to set up a meeting.
Generally, you will be able to keep your Social Security disability payments in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. However, Social Security disability benefit payments may be relevant to two aspects of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case and it is important to get answers to these questions so that you can understand your rights and keep the benefits to which are legally entitled.
You may only file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case if you pass a means test to prove that you do not have sufficient income to pay your creditors. Generally, Social Security disability benefits are not considered to be income for purposes of the Chapter 7 means test and, therefore, should not impact your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, all of your non-exempt assets are part of your bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy trustee will take all of your non-exempt assets and distribute them among your creditors to satisfy your debts. Federal law exempts Social Security disability benefits from your bankruptcy estate in most cases. Therefore, your Social Security disability benefits are likely to be safe from your creditors during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
It is important to inform your bankruptcy attorney about your Social Security disability benefits and your Social Security disability lawyer about your bankruptcy. If your legal team has full knowledge about your other legal proceedings, they can make sure that all of your rights are protected.
If you would like to learn more about your rights to Social Security disability benefits, we encourage you to read our free book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, and to contact us via this website or by phone to schedule your initial consultation with a board certified Social Security disability attorney.
The Social Security Administration understands that a joint condition can significantly impact your ability to function and, therefore, your ability to work. Accordingly, loss of function due to a musculoskeletal condition, such as a joint condition, is one of the first things that is defined in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments.
Loss of function associated with a joint condition, or any other musculoskeletal condition, is defined as follows in Section 1.00B of the Blue Book:
The inability to ambulate effectively on a sustained basis for any reason, including pain associated with the underlying musculoskeletal impairment, or the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively on a sustained basis for any reason, including pain associated with the underlying musculoskeletal impairment.
Your inability to ambulate effectively or to perform fine and gross motor tasks effectively must have already lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 months.
The term “ambulate effectively” refers to your ability to walk. Generally, this means that you can’t walk on your own without an assistive device that uses both of your hands (such as a walker rather than a cane). You can “ambulate effectively” if you can maintain a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to carry on with the activities of daily living.
Similarly, the inability to perform fine and gross motor movements must interfere with your activities of daily living in order to be considered disabling. Such activities could include things like pushing, pulling, feeding yourself, and taking care of your personal hygiene.
If you believe your joint condition has resulted in a loss of function, it is important to prove that in your Social Security disability application so that you can be found eligible for benefits. Documentation that might be important to your application includes your medical records and a detailed account of how the loss of function impacts your activities of daily living.
A loss of function may mean that you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. If you experience loss of function, as described above, and you have the documentation to prove it, you should contact a board certified Social Security disability lawyer as soon as possible so that you can get the benefits you deserve. Please contact us today via this website or by phone to learn more.
This is a really important question, because if you do not have the right documentation to support your Social Security disability application, your application for benefits will likely be denied. Many musculoskeletal conditions improve over time and are not life threatening or completely and permanently disabling. Accordingly, if you are going to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you are going to have to prove that your condition qualifies you for such benefits.
Section 1.00H of the Listing of Impairments the Social Security Administration describes the documentation that you will need to prove that your musculoskeletal disorder makes you eligible for Social Security disability benefits. That documentation includes:
However, you don’t need to worry if you don’t have every type of documentation described above.
An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you determine what is important to submit with your Social Security disability application and what information is not necessary to a finding of eligibility. To get started, contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule your first, no-obligation meeting with a board certified lawyer who is committed to helping you get the benefits that you’ve earned and that you deserve.
No. Some legal actions, such as personal injury cases, have statutes of limitation which require you to file your case by a certain date or lose the right to pursue legal action. The same is not true, however, for Social Security disability benefits. You may apply for Social Security disability benefits whenever you are ready to do so.
There are two important reasons to file for Social Security disability as soon as you think that you might be eligible for benefits. Specifically:
Despite these advantages, however, you may still be anxious about going through the Social Security disability application process.
Once you learn more about how the Social Security disability application process works and about how a board certified lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve, you may feel less anxious about getting started with your own claim.
Accordingly, we encourage you to read our FREE book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, and to contact us directly via this website or by phone to schedule your personal and confidential meeting with a board certified Social Security disability lawyer. Your lawyer will handle the details of your application while you concentrate on your health and living your life. Contact us today to learn more.
It is expected that ABLE accounts will be available in Texas during 2018. However, these accounts won’t be available to everyone. They serve a specific purpose as defined by the federal government when the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) legislation to create these accounts was passed in December 2014 and by the Texas state government when the legislation to create these accounts was passed in May 2015.
You may be eligible for an ABLE account if you became disabled by the age of 26 and you currently qualify for Social Security disability, Social Security Supplemental Security Income, or you can obtain a disability certification pursuant to rules that are expected to be written by the United States Treasury Department.
If you qualify, you may open an ABLE account. The ABLE account is a special type of savings account that you can use for disability-related expenses. These expenses include things that are related to maintaining or improving your health, your independence, or your quality of life. More specifically these expenses could include, but are not limited to, education, housing, health care costs, assistive technology, and legal fees related to your disability.
You may only have one ABLE account. However, anyone can deposit money into your account and all withdrawals are tax free if they are used to pay for qualified disability expenses. Additionally, any earnings on the investments in your account will grow tax free.
Social Security disability is not a financial need based program. Thus, your savings accounts—whether ABLE accounts or other accounts—should not be considered in determining whether or not you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
All of this information can be confusing and it can be difficult to know what to do if you become disabled. We encourage you to learn more about your options so that you can make the right choices for you. For more information about ABLE accounts in Texas, you can visit the state’s Texans Achieving a Better Life Experience website and for more information about Social Security disability, you can contact us directly via this website or by phone at your convenience.
It may be difficult to get up for work after a night without sleep. However, when one night turns into many consecutive nights and you’ve gone a month or more suffering from lack of sleep, you may be suffering from chronic insomnia. Then, instead of it being difficult to get up and go to work, it may be close to impossible.
While insomnia is not listed as a disability in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments, there are ways in which you may qualify for benefits. Specifically, you may be eligible for benefits if:
However you qualify, you may have a difficult time convincing the Social Security Administration of your disability.
Before you submit your application for benefits, you must make sure that you have all of the medical evidence that the Social Security Administration will be looking for and you must be sure that it can be presented in such a way to convince the agency of your disability. This is difficult to do for anyone with a disability, but it is even more challenging for people suffering from a condition such as insomnia. Thus, before you submit your application for benefits it is important to consult with a board certified Social Security disability lawyer who can help you prepare your application and fight for the disability benefits you deserve. To learn more, please contact us directly via this website or by phone to schedule an initial consultation.
The extent of your heart failure made you a candidate for a heart transplant. After significant physical and psychological evaluations, you were able to get a heart when one became available and you are likely very grateful for the opportunity that it has provided you. However, a heart transplant does not always mean that you will be able to go back to work after surgery.
Generally, if you cannot work after a heart transplant surgery, you may be eligible for Social Security disability in one of the following ways:
However you may qualify, you will need to present convincing evidence to the Social Security Administration. This will include medical records and other documentation. Our board-certified Social Security disability lawyers can help you submit a complete application and can help get you the benefits for which you qualify as quickly as possible. To learn more, please contact us via this website or by phone at your earliest convenience.
No. The severity of your disability may impact whether or not you are eligible for Social Security disability, but once you are found eligible for benefits, the severity of your disability will have no impact on the amount of money you receive each month.
The severity of your disability is not a factor because it has already been accounted for in determining your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. Only people who are totally disabled are eligible for benefits. If you are partially disabled, you will not qualify for benefits.
However, you will not receive the same amount in Social Security disability benefits as everyone else. Instead, the Social Security Administration will make a unique determination about your benefits based on a specific formula. That formula takes into account your average lifetime earnings before you became disabled and other government provided disability benefits.
The only difference in how Social Security disability benefits are calculated is for people who are blind. If you qualify for Social Security disability because you are blind then you may be entitled to additional monthly compensation.
In 2017, the average monthly Social Security disability payment for someone who was disabled but not blind was $1,170 and the average monthly Social Security disability payment for someone who was disabled by blindness was $1,950.
Just because your Social Security disability benefits are determined according to a formula does not mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to their determination. Instead, when you present evidence about your eligibility for benefits you should also make sure that you present evidence about your work history so that a proper determination can be made.
For more information about how to protect your rights, about how to be found eligible for Social Security disability, and about how to get the benefits you deserve, please download a free copy of our book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, and contact us directly via this website or by phone to get your questions answered.
If you suffer from a digestive condition, you may be eligible for Social Security disability pursuant to a specific listing in Section 5.00 of the Listing of Impairments. Since many digestive disorders get better with appropriate medical treatment, the Social Security Administration is going to want to see evidence that you have tried treatment and information about how the treatment affected you.
According to Section 5.00(C) of the Listing of Impairments, here’s what you need to know about digestive condition treatment and Social Security disability eligibility:
Generally, the Social Security Administration is going to want treatment information over a period of time so that it can determine whether the effects of treatment are short-term or long-term.
According to Section 5.00(C)(6), you may not be able to meet the eligibility criteria described in the digestive condition section of the Listing of Impairments if you do not get treatment. However, you may be eligible for benefits if you can prove that your condition is equal in severity to another listing or if you can be considered disabled based on your residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience.
Additionally, there are some exceptions to the treatment requirement. For example, if you cannot afford treatment or the proposed treatment plan is against your religion, you should make sure that the Social Security Administration knows about these extenuating circumstances.
Every detail on your Social Security disability application is important—including the information about your treatment plan. Before you apply, contact a board-certified lawyer to review your application and to make sure that your rights are protected. Please contact us any time via this website or by phone to learn more.