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Dallas Social Security Disability Law Blog

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.

Who makes the decisions about disability benefits?

For many people, the process of securing Social Security disability benefits seems shrouded in mystery, a complex process that only a limited group of people can readily comprehend.

While it's certainly understandable why people might feel this way, it is by no means the truth. Indeed, behind the myriad considerations and arcane language, the underlying question is always the same in every case: Are you disabled?

In the interests of shedding some light on this issue, today's post, the first in a series, will explore who exactly makes the decision as to whether you are disabled and the matters taken into consideration when making this decision.

SSA report examines decisions of 44 disability judges

There has been a rigorous debate on Capitol Hill over the several years as to whether the administrative law judges employed by the Social Security Administration to hear disability cases are now under too great of pressure to reduce the agency's enormous backlog of appeals.

In particular, some of this debate has centered on whether some disability judges are perhaps approving more cases than they should be just to keep things moving.

While this notion of "rubber-stamping" among disability judges is perhaps aggrandized by critics, there are several arbiters who have been reprimanded or removed for this type of conduct over the years.

Interestingly, the SSA's inspector general recently published its own report on this issue and the results are interesting to say the least.

A carpal tunnel diagnosis doesn't mean you are out of options

Whether we realize it or not, many of us perform repetitive motions at our jobs day after day, sometimes doing the exact same activity -- typing, answering phones, driving, drilling, hammering, etc. -- for years on end.

While most of us experience no real consequences from this reality-- outside of perhaps a little bit of boredom -- others are not so lucky.

Indeed, everyone from office workers and nurses to truck drivers and machinists may someday be diagnosed with a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that can cause both weakness and loss of feeling in the hands, making it virtually impossible to pick up or even grasp objects. 

Study links rheumatoid arthritis to elevated risk of heart disease

Statistics from the American College of Rheumatology show that well over one million people here in the U.S., the majority of them women, suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

For those unfamiliar with this systemic inflammatory disease, it affects the lining of the small joints in the hands and feet, resulting in a painful swelling that, according to the Mayo Clinic, can eventually result in joint deformity and even bone erosion.   

Interestingly, a recently released study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine found that those people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions attributable to a malfunctioning immune system like psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are at an elevated risk of suffering a heart attack, cardiac arrest or stroke. 

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