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St. Louis Social Security Disability Law Blog

Musculoskeletal conditions that qualify you to receive disability

A musculoskeletal condition that your doctors may classify as disabling may not be viewed the same way by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

It helps if your condition is included on SSA's Listing of Impairments (although that isn't always essential). Your condition should be expected to last at least 12 months and be so crippling that it renders you unable to work any type of job, sedentary or otherwise.

Could a big change be coming to Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) often gets targeted in politics because some groups consistently see the disability programs as overly wasteful -- even though the vast majority of applicants don't get approved, and the rest are subject to strict limitations. However, if the current federal administration's 2020 budget gets approved as planned, Social Security Disability (SSD) applicants may again feel the pinch of cutbacks.

Instead of targeting the flaws in the system that keep legitimately disabled individuals from receiving much-needed benefits for months and years while they wait on an approval, the budget will actually target those who are eventually approved for disability. Essentially, it would penalize them for waiting to file a claim by reducing the number of retroactive payments they are currently due.

Mental health patients struggle to qualify for Social Security

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), over 9 million Americans currently receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). As of 2013, 35.2 percent of those who received benefits were listed as having disabling mental health conditions. While some understand that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has its own list of disabling conditions, many aren't aware of where mental illness falls on that list.

If you ask anyone who has applied for SSDI for their mental health concern, then they'll likely tell you that it's not easy to qualify to receive benefits.

Getting your doctor's support when you're disabled

Contrary to what a lot of people seem to believe, you do not need your doctor's consent to file for Social Security Disability benefits.

In fact, you may find it hard to actually get your doctor's consent -- but that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't get your doctor's support. You just need to understand the difference between the two.

Missouri struggles to finance federal guarantees for health care

Health care is one of the most important investments that people or their governments can make. It is comforting for workers, the elderly and people with lasting disabilities that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is prepared to offer them much needed financial assistance. Many also become concerned if the likelihood of a successful claim goes down.

Missouri is struggling with working out how to pay for its spending connected to the federal Medicaid program. The Show Me State is home to more than $10 billion in spending on health care and medical coverage for low-income families. An expansion of the Social Security program led to more people being eligible for Medicaid within a decade of the program's creation.

Social media may keep you from receiving disability payments

If you have a debilitating injury or illness that prevents you from working, then you'll want to use caution when you post on social media. A report published by the New York Times just this week chronicles how the current Presidential Administration has been secretly crafting a proposal that would require Social Security disability examiners to review recipients' social media pages to see what they've been up to.

When discussing the budget last year, some members of Congress vowed to support any legislation that would expand the Social Security Administration's (SSA) review of Facebook or Twitter pages in making disability determinations. Many of them agreed that this was one approach that had the potential of improving the SSA's ability to identify fraud and thus improve the program's integrity.

Experts say people claim Social Security too early

Are you thinking about claiming Social Security in the near future? If so, you may want to think about it carefully, considering your age and the potential benefits that you could get. A new report just came out with some experts saying people often do it too early.

Per the report, roughly 33 percent of women and 29 percent of men filed to get their benefits when they were 62 years old in 2017, the most recent year with complete statistics. That makes it the most popular age, and it is also the soonest that you're allowed to file. It makes sense. People are simply waiting for the first day that they can claim, and then they do it.

Can your job cause arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term used to describe over 100 different kinds of joint disorders. Over 53 million adults suffer from arthritis of some kind, and it is important to receive testing from a doctor to see if you have it. It is particularly important for older Americans to see their doctors to see if they have the condition. 

Arthritis develops due to wear and tear forming in the joints. It can occur over time naturally from aging, but certain practices can exacerbate the problem. Some people have jobs that worsen arthritis, and these people may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits or other compensation if they become unable to work. 

Multiple sclerosis flare ups can last several months

Just this week, actress Selma Blair appeared at The Oscars. Many fans of hers were shocked to see her using a cane. Even more people were dumbfounded when they heard her speak during interviews in the days afterward. Many wondered if she'd had a stroke or if she'd been in some accident that hadn't heard about. It then came out that she's been privately battling Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

In some of those interviews, you could see her struggling with to pick up a leg to walk, to lift her arms and to get words out. She acknowledged that she has learned from her doctors that these are all effects of an MS flare-up. She's asked those who interviewed her to return in a year and suggested that they'll see that she'd doing remarkably better then.

What's considered a disability isn't always intuitive

If you ask around enough, while someone in your immediate group of friends may not be on disability, it's likely that they have a friend or relative who is.

The reasons that people became disabled and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may surprise you.