St. Louis Social Security Disability Law Blog

What is a consultative examination?

If you've filed for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you may not have enough medical evidence to prove your case -- but that doesn't mean that you aren't disabled.

In order to try to get the proof that they need to either deny or approve your claim, the claims examiner may decide to send your for one or more consultative examinations.

Social security disease: What's a neurocognitive disorder?

According to the United States Social Security Administration, in order for individuals to receive permanent disability benefits, they must have a disabling condition. Certain disabling conditions are already codified and classified by the SSA in a long list of qualifying diseases. The classification "cognitive disorders," for example, has been defined by the SSA for this purpose.

A cognitive disorder relates to a clinically significant reduction of cognitive ability. The symptoms of this condition could relate to memory disturbances and executive functioning problems related to higher mind functions. Specific problems may relate to lack of attention, inability to plan, decision-making problems, visual-spatial reasoning issues, language and speech decline, loss of perception, loss of insight, lack of judgment and not being sensitive to social standards.

Thousands pass away waiting for Social Security disability

Thousands of people who are on the waiting list for Social Security disability payments will pass away before they find out if they are approved or not.

There are a few reasons for this, starting with the size of the list. The backlog, as of recent reports, is now over 1 million people. It takes time to process so many applications, and that time is more than a lot of the people who have applied realistically have remaining.

Have you been denied Social Security Disability benefits?

If you're applying for Social Security Disability benefits, be prepared for a long wait -- especially if you aren't approved early on in the process.

Once a disability case is set for a hearing, time seems to stop moving for most applicants. Wait times to see an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), have a hearing and get the decision (which is not issued the same day but can take several months after the hearing to be issued) are at a record high across the nation.

Disability onset date: what it is and why it's important

For the person living with a disability or serious injury that forever changes their life, the moment that the disability or injury left them unable to work is crystal clear to them. They will never forget it. But how you personally feel about your disability and the moment it started affecting you may not align with how the Social Security Administration views your disability or injury. In fact, these dates are often quite different.

We are referencing the "disability onset date," a crucial piece of information that is determined by the Social Security Administration when they review your application for Social Security Disability Insurance. It is the date, as determined by the SSA, when you became unable to work as a result of your disability or injury. The SSA then uses the date to determine your eligibility and your payment period.

What you should know about filing for Social Security Disability?

Taking the leap to file for Social Security Disability benefits? If so, there are a few things that you want to make certain that you understand before you start.

Here are some tips that will help you understand the process of filing and make it easier to get an approval:

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).

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