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St. Louis Social Security Disability Law Blog

What happens after a disability benefits application submission?

When you file for Social Security Disability (SSD), you'll generally be asked to undergo testing or medical examinations before a decision is made whether to approve or deny your application for benefits. It's the responsibility of each state's Disability Determination Services (DDS) to determine whether your condition qualifies as a disability under existing Social Security laws.

After you submit your application for SSD, DDS will contact you by mail to provide you with the address of where your appointment will take place and when it will occur. It's important that you try your best to not miss your scheduled appointment time.

Can I get Social Security Disability based on depression?

When most people think of a disabling condition, they tend to think of physical problems such as a bad back or a serious disease. A mental health condition can affect your ability to work just as much as a physical one. If your depression causes diminished functioning that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits based on a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. 

To increase the chances of a successful claim, it is important to prepare proper, extensive supporting documentation. 

Changes are coming to Social Security in 2019

Each year around mid-October, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announces how its benefits programs will be changing during the following year. These updates often have to do with what it takes to qualify for benefits and how much of increase in payments beneficiaries may see. There are at least a half dozen changes that are expected in 2019.

One of the well-publicized changes this year has to do with a cost-of-living (COL) adjustment. Those who receive Social Security benefits will see the amount they receive increase by 2.8 percent, the highest increase since 2012. The increase in housing and energy costs motivated the SSA to offer this larger COL increase in the coming year.

Poor documentation leads to Alzheimer's disability claim denials

Early-onset Alzheimer's Disease is one of few conditions that the Social Security Administration (SSA) includes on its Compassionate Allowances list. Anyone with a disease listed here can have their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits application expedited.

The SSA allows only those who meet the federal government's criteria for a disability to be eligible to receive SSI or SSDI.

Chronic pain can make it impossible for you to work

Most medical professionals refer to any pain that lasts in excess of three months as chronic. Data published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2015 showed that 11 percent of all Americans experience daily pain that lasts for at least three months. For most people, this discomfort requires them to go about their lives differently than what they were previously accustomed. But for numerous others, it affects their ability to work.

While it may be debilitating, chronic pain typically does not qualify applicants to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). They, however, may qualify for these benefits if they have another condition that causes them to experience the pain, e.g., peripheral neuropathy, inflammatory arthritis, systemic lupus or spinal disorders.

Social Security recipients to receive a cost-of-living increase

The amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security that recipients get each month is slated to increase by 2.8 percent in 2019. This cost-of-living increase is an automatic adjustment that is happening because of the current inflation in the country and because it's mandated by law.

Dates on when this increase will go into effect show it will be staggered. The 8 million Americans who receive SSI will see their payment increase starting on Dec. 31. The 62 million people who receive Social Security each month in this country won't see their pay raise until Jan.

What can make your anxiety levels increase?

If you are prone to anxiety attacks, you know how debilitating they can be. In some cases, they turn into full-blown panic attacks, and it's impossible to do simple things until you get through them.

To reduce the odds of such an attack, it is important to understand what triggers your anxiety and makes it worse. Naturally, this is different for everyone. You may have specific triggers that no one else does. Below are a few of the most common ones:

  • Spending too much time by yourself. While getting out on your own can help calm you down in some cases, spending all of your time alone just gives you too much time to think. Problems seem to grow in your own mind, and it is hard to break out of that cycle.
  • Spending too much time with negative people. Don't assume that all human interaction will help, though. People who put more pressure on you, stress you out or make you feel worse about yourself are just going to increase your anxiety. Know when to leave a social situation.
  • Drinking too much coffee. Caffeine can really make your problem worse. It's not just coffee. You also want to avoid soda and energy drinks.
  • Trying to turn off your brain. Attempting to stop thinking often only makes you fixate on the problem. It's a vicious cycle when you start getting more stressed out about the very fact that you feel anxious.

Are non-citizens eligible for Supplemental Security Income?

If you are living in the United States as a non-citizen, you may have a disability that prevents you from working. There is also a chance that you applied for Social Security Disability Insurance but received a denial. However, if you meet certain qualifications, you could still qualify for Supplemental Security Income.

Becoming a qualified alien

Can I receive both Veterans' and Social Security Disability?

Disabled veterans struggling to make ends meet on the monthly Veterans Administration (VA) stipend they receive may find it refreshing to learn that they too may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments.

While any member of the armed forces who was injured while on active duty will generally qualify for VA benefits, the requirements that an individual must meet to receive SSDI benefits is different. A veteran's condition must serious enough that it makes it impossible for them to work in order to qualify for SSDI.

Common symptoms of a panic attack

Those who have never suffered from panic attacks often do not realize just how debilitating they can be. They are absolutely overwhelming. People suffering from them do not just feel nervous or frightened, they often cannot even speak. These attacks take over your life, making you live in anxiety about the next time one occurs.

To better understand what they feel like, here are a few of the most common symptoms people tend to experience:

  • Feeling as if you are about to die. Many people note that it feels very similar to suffering a heart attack.
  • Sweating profusely, regardless of the temperature.
  • Feeling your heart racing or pounding in your chest.
  • Having trouble breathing or catching your breath.
  • Shaking uncontrollably or at least trembling during the panic attack.
  • Becoming very dizzy and unable to stay on your feet.
  • Feeling light-headed, like you are about to pass out.
  • Feeling like you are losing control of yourself mentally, as if you are "going crazy."
  • Losing physical control of yourself. You may be unable to tell people what is happening or to seek help on your own.
  • Feeling a sense of fear or dread.
  • Suffering from chills and hot flashes, similar to when you have a fever.
  • Feeling a tingling or a numbness in your toes or your fingers.