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St. Louis Social Security Disability Law Blog

Non-medical reasons for a denial

Naturally, your Social Security Disability (SSD) claim can be denied for medical reasons, often indicating that you are not actually considered to be disabled. You do have the ability to appeal this decision if you believe the medical records actually show that you are disabled.

One important thing to note, though, is that non-medical denials are also issued. This could mean that you qualify as being disabled and still are not entitled to payments. As you may have guessed, you can also appeal this decision.

Mental illness and Social Security disability benefits

Social Security, the U.S. federal government's safety net for personal support, contains several options for Americans who need or additional income. Although the most common and familiar form of benefit is for retired or aging Americans, people suffering long-term disabilities that prevent them from working, including those diagnosed with mental disorders, are also eligible from Social Security benefits and related aid.

The Blue Book, which outlines administration guidelines for Social Security, contains a section regarding mental disorders under which a person may apply for Social Security benefits. Nine categories - including anxiety, autism, schizophrenia and organic mental defect or retardation - may be evaluated by medical professionals.

New confidence scam targets Social Security benefits

Social Security benefits are always hard-won by past contributions and often hard-won in the tough claims process for disability. This is why beneficiaries and their families must be exceptionally vigilant for attempts to defraud or steal Social Security payments from them.

A new confidence scheme has come to the attention of the Social Security Administration (SSA), which has issued some tips on how to avoid it. The scheme involves impostor agents calling senior citizens for private information, purportedly to authorize a cost-of-living increase on future benefits.

Verifying disability benefits in Missouri

Social Security is a federal program, with national guidelines on how qualified workers may claim disability benefits due to permanent or temporary work-preventing illness and injury. Qualifications for disability funds are universal, while each state has its own procedures for verifying claims.

Federal law requires that all applications for disability under Social Security are reviewed by Disability Determination Services specific to the state. There is no single Disability Determination Service in Missouri; one of five regional offices handles disability claims.

Medical ailments that qualify as Social Security disabilities

There are various physical and mental health concerns in the Social Security Administration's "Listing of Medical Impairments" that it deems to be disabling. Within that blue book, the SSA lists the medical condition as well as the criteria that patients must meet for their illness to be considered disabling.

The conditions listed must be met for an individual to quality to receive either Supplementary Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Claiming benefits for mental health disabilities

Suffering from mental health disorders is very common and is nothing to be ashamed of. It is important to seek help if you think that you may be suffering from a mental health condition, and in this case you may also qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This blog gives an overview of what types of benefits the SSA offers and which types of mental disabilities are covered.

Which mental disabilities does the SSA cover?

Do factitious disorders disqualify you from drawing benefits?

A factitious disorder is a condition where patients consciously and deliberately act as though they have an actual mental or physical illness, but they really do not. At face value, it would seem that would disqualify them from drawing Social Security benefits. But it is a bit more complicated than that.

A factitious disorder is a form of mental illness and is often accompanied by additional mental disabilities or emotional difficulties. Personality disorders are often a co-diagnosis.

What is Social Security's family maximum?

Social Security is in place to help workers receive disability and retirement benefits. Family members can receive children's, spousal or survivor benefits based on a worker's Social Security record. There are limits, though, to how much the Social Security Administration (SSA) will pay on one person's history of work. This is called the family maximum limit.

The family maximum limit is a complex, computed amount that the SSA will figure out each year. It is based upon how much money the worker earned over his or her lifetime. While the family maximum limit can lower the amount that some family members will receive, there are sometimes things that can be done to reduce the family maximum limit.

Does pain impact loss of function?

You're seeking out Social Security Disability (SSD) payments because you believe you've suffered a significant loss of function. However, what you're wondering about is how the government technically defines loss of function. Does pain play into it, or do you have to physically be unable to move?

It's a valid question. What if you feel like you've lost some ability but the government says you haven't? What if they say you just have to deal with the pain, but the ability to function is still there?