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Dallas Social Security Disability Law Blog

Do you understand the difference between asthma and COPD?

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that roughly 15 million adults here in the U.S. are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while another 19 million adults suffer from asthma. Furthermore, CDC statistics show that while roughly 3,500 people die from asthma every year, more than 130,000 people die from COPD every year.

As astounding as these figures are, many of us might be lacking a real understanding of what the difference is between these two respiratory conditions.

Dedicated to helping those with heart problems

Before February draws to a close, our blog would like to address how these 28 days have officially been designated as American Heart Month.

While you may question why it is that an entire month has been devoted to raising awareness about the importance of maintaining good heart health, consider that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified heart disease as the leading cause of death, meaning it is behind one out of every four deaths here in the U.S.

Will Congressional gridlock threaten disability benefits?

According to the Social Security Administration, $141 billion in disability benefits were paid to 11 million beneficiaries and their families in 2014. While figures like this are certainly eye opening as far as money is concerned, they are also eye opening in that they provide insight into just how many Americans are currently suffering from some sort of physical or mental disability that prevents them from working.

The reality, however, is that with this large number of disability recipients comes questions about the long-term solvency of the disability insurance trust fund, which is currently on pace to be drained of sufficient funds by the end of 2016 unless some sort of remedial measures are taken by Congress. 

Providing some insight on lupus, a debilitating autoimmune disease -- II

Today we'll resume our previous discussion of lupus, an autoimmune disease that affects millions of Americans. Specifically, we'll continue providing some basic background information with the aim of helping the public better understand this debilitating and sometimes deadly condition. 

The basics of the SSDI claims evaluation process

When it comes to the SSDI claims evaluation process, it is important to have a clear understanding of what the Social Security Administration takes into consideration. SSDI claimants all have to go through the same evaluation process, and having a firm grasp on what the agency is looking for can help one to develop the best possible claim.

What exactly is considered in the SSDI evaluation process? First of all, the agency will look at the claimant’s current income level. If it is too high, the claim is rejected. Next, the agency will look at the severity of the condition, and whether it meets the qualifications of an entry in the agency’s official listing of impairments.  

Will getting workers' compensation affect my SSD benefits?

When you are unable to work, the bills seem to pile up faster than usual, don't they? The rent is due, the medical bills need to be paid, the credit card debt is growing and the groceries must be purchased.

Because so many expenses tend to accumulate, it's no surprise that most people want to make the most of every opportunity for obtaining financial help and benefits. One of the questions you may be asking yourself is, "Can I still get Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits if I'm already receiving workers' compensation benefits?"

Minimizing the risk that your SSDI claim will be denied

Social Security Disability Insurance is a safety net that nearly every working American should have access to if they need it. Unfortunately, the vast majority of SSDI claims are denied the first time they are submitted.

There are multiple opportunities to appeal a denied claim, but this takes considerable time and energy. If you know the common reasons why claims get denied, you may be able to prevent some of these missteps.

Providing some insight on lupus, a debilitating autoimmune disease

Statistics show that as many as 1.5 Americans are currently living with lupus and that there are over 16,000 new cases of this debilitating disease diagnosed here in the U.S. every year. Yet despite the prevalence of this condition, many people across the nation know relatively little about what it is and how it is treated.

In recognition of this reality, today's post -- the first in a series -- will outline some basic information about lupus in the hopes of helping the public understand more about this sometimes life-threatening disease.

Lupus: An overview

In general, the body's immune system wards off germs, bacteria and viruses through proteins commonly known as antibodies. In people diagnosed with lupus, which is classified as an autoimmune disease, their immune systems and the antibodies they produce are unable to differentiate between the healthy tissues of the human body, and germs, bacteria and viruses.   

Who makes the decisions about disability benefits? - III

In today's post, we'll conclude our ongoing discussion regarding what officials are responsible for making the decision as to whether a person is disabled and what they take into consideration when making this decision.

It's our sincere hope that these last few posts have helped shed some much-needed light on a process that can see mysterious and even a bit intimidating to the average person.

What's the next step after the DDS finds my condition "significantly limits" my work activities?

If the officials with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services' Division for Disability Determination Services find your condition to be severe, they will proceed to determine whether your medical condition is on the List of Impairments.

Who makes the decisions about disability benefits? - II

In our last post, we discussed how even though the process of securing Social Security disability benefits might seem incredibly complex thanks to the myriad considerations and arcane language, the underlying question is always the same in every case: Are you disabled?

We also started discussing what officials are responsible for making these disability decisions and what matters are taken into consideration when making these decisions.

Where does the DDS start when making its disability determination?

As we discussed last time, the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services' Division for Disability Determination Services, located in Austin, is the state agency tasked with making disability determinations.

The first inquiry made by the DDS relates to whether you are working and, if so, how much you are earning.

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