When many individuals hear the term disability, they immediately think of physical ailments. However, the reality is that a variety of severe mental health conditions exist as well, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Can you receive disability for PTSD? How should you apply? We will go over the process below.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe medical condition that might limit your capacity to work. If this transpires, you may qualify for Social Security disability for PTSD.

Unfortunately, proving that you have PTSD and therefore qualify for Social Security disability may be challenging. Among these symptoms are the following:

Memories that are intrusive: 

Flashbacks, nightmares, and reliving a traumatic incident all have the potential to impair one’s potential to function properly in daily life. If these memories are intense, they might lead you to lose sleep and avoid interaction with the outside world.

Avoidance and numbing of the emotions: 

This group of PTSD symptoms is connected with how you perceive and interact with your environment. For instance, you may make considerable efforts to avoid discussing or even thinking about the triggering incident. Additionally, you may notice difficulties with memory and focus. Personal connections may be challenging, and you may feel pessimistic about the future.

Anxiety or impulsive behavior: 

Additionally, PTSD might impair your emotional reactions to regular events. For example, you may experience unreasonable anger, difficulty sleeping, being easily frightened, or even seeing and hearing things that are not there. You may experience defeat as a result of guilt or regret and may even engage in self-destructive actions.

Any of these symptoms, if severe enough, might constitute a disability. Due to the difficulty in documenting PTSD symptoms, many qualified candidates are refused Social Security disability compensation.

Qualifying For Disability For PTSD

Social Security may determine your disability based on PTSD in two ways. The first step is for you to meet the conditions of Social Security’s new PTSD disability listing. The second option is to apply for a “medical-vocational allowance” by demonstrating that your limitations prohibit you from working full-time.

PTSD was added to the disability listings in 2017 as listing 12.15, Trauma- and stressor-related conditions. To be eligible for the listing, you must have medically documented evidence of the following:

  • Exposure to death or danger of death, significant harm, or violence
  • Subsequent unintentional re-enactment of the tragic incident (for example, intrusive memories, dreams, or flashbacks)
  • Avoidance of outside reminders of the events
  • Disturbances in mood and behavior
  • “Arousal and reactivity” levels rise (for example, exaggerated startle response, sleep disturbance).

In addition to demonstrating the above, you must demonstrate that you have severe or profound limits in particular areas. You must have a severe restriction in one of the following categories or a “marked” (severe) limitation in two of the following:

  • Adjusting or controlling oneself (governing one’s emotions, adapting to changes, possessing practical personal skills such as cooking, cleaning, and dressing appropriately)
  • Conversing with others (in socially appropriate ways)
  • Focusing attention on tasks (being able to finish work at a reasonable pace)
  • Gaining knowledge, comprehending it, and remembering it (including following instructions and applying new knowledge to tasks).

If you don’t presently have any extreme or severe limits in the above areas because you live in a highly protected or monitored environment or are receiving intensive rehabilitation, you may produce specific documents to meet the listing requirements. You must demonstrate:

  • Your PTSD has been severe and chronic for at least two years.
  • You are getting continuing medical treatment or mental health therapy or living in a highly structured or protected environment.
  • Your adaptability is fragile, which means you have a limited capacity to adapt to changes or new demands.

Suppose you do not meet the requirements of the listing. In that case, you may still be eligible for benefits through a medical-vocational allowance, which is a type of approval that takes into account your work history, age, education, and Residual Functional Capacity, or what you can do despite all of your impairments.

Hire A Skilled Disability Attorney

Do you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? If this is the case, contact The Law Offices Of Karen Kraus Bill for assistance in collecting the SSDI payments you deserve. Applying for SSDI benefits is a stressful and challenging process that you should not go through alone. Allow us to help you through the processes and fight hard to get the SSDI benefits you are legally entitled to.

If your Disability for PTSD claim has been denied, our attorneys may also help you in appealing the SSA’s decision. Contact The Law Offices Of Karen Kraus Bill to schedule a free evaluation of your case.

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with schizophrenia? If you have, you are aware that schizophrenia is a serious condition that results in hallucinations, paranoia, speech difficulties, and disordered thought processes.

Numerous antipsychotic medications are successful in the treatment of schizophrenia, but they often have serious adverse effects. Certain people may not respond to the drugs well enough and continue to have symptoms.

Whether your medications are ineffective or your prescriptions keep you from working, it’s important to consider that you may qualify for Social Security disability for schizophrenia.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder in which the diagnosed person’s mental and emotional processes break down, making it impossible to distinguish reality from delusions. The condition often progresses slowly, taking months or even years to manifest into disabling symptoms. People with schizophrenia sometimes struggle to behave appropriately in social contexts and may also struggle with self-care.

The cause of schizophrenia is unknown. It often manifests itself throughout adolescence but may also manifest during childhood or adulthood. Genetics, environment, infection, or family dysfunction may all play a role in producing the condition. Schizophrenia is classified into four types:

  • Paranoid schizophrenia
  • Disorganized schizophrenia
  • Undifferentiated schizophrenia
  • Catatonic schizophrenia

Residual schizophrenia is a term referring to a condition in which a person has a good handle on most of their symptoms but even so exhibits residual symptoms.

Getting Disability For Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is considered a disability if you fulfill the criteria set out by the Social Security Administration in Listing 12.03, schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, of the Listing of Impairments.

Schizophrenia is often diagnosed by psychiatrists and is typically determined using verbal interviews with both the patient and any close family members. The psychiatrist will assess the symptoms mentioned, the person’s behavior since the symptoms were first detected, the person’s medical and family history, as well as the person’s reaction to the medicine given to treat the symptoms.

Although no medical tests may be used to diagnose schizophrenia, a diagnosing psychiatrist may conduct a CT scan to rule out other physical illnesses that may produce comparable symptoms.

Schizophrenia manifests itself in a number of ways. Due to the slower progression of schizophrenia, symptoms may initially be very minor or mirror common conditions such as stress, sleeplessness, or difficulty focusing. 

The condition’s symptoms, such as social disengagement or trouble establishing and retaining friends, are sometimes misdiagnosed as shyness or social ineptness. However, as the illness advances, psychotic symptoms often manifest. These include hallucinations, delusions, flat affect (the appearance of no feeling), catatonic behaviors (social withdrawal), and distorted thinking.

Filing For Disability For Schizophrenia

Under Section 12.03 Schizophrenia, Paranoid, and Other Psychotic Disorders, the Social Security Administration (SSA) covers applications for disability benefits based on a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

To qualify for disability for schizophrenia, a person must establish the following: 

  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Conduct that is disorganized or catatonic
  • A pattern of irrational or incomprehensible thought 
  • Isolation and disengagement from a social connection on an emotional level

Additionally, you must be able to demonstrate, through medical documentation, that your symptoms significantly impair your ability to perform routine tasks and to obtain and retain gainful work. Suppose your symptoms are not severe enough to need full-time care but are severe enough to prevent you from working. In that case, the SSA specifies a second set of criteria for eligibility for disability for schizophrenia.

While medical records often include symptoms and accompanying limitations, they frequently do not detail how a condition prohibits you from working and may not be adequate to establish disability under SSA guidelines. Due to the complexity of schizophrenia and the difficulty of establishing your inability to maintain gainful employment solely through medical records, it is frequently highly recommended that claimants hire a Social Security Disability attorney to assist them in establishing and presenting their case.

Hire An Experienced Disability Attorney

Applicants with significant mental conditions such as schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders should consider hiring a skilled disability attorney. Not only is schizophrenia a severe illness, but individuals who suffer from this disorder have significant disadvantages when it comes to self-representation, especially given the constraints placed on focus, memory, and logical reasoning.

A disability lawyer may assist the applicant in obtaining relevant medical documents and managing the hearing procedure.

Contact The Law Offices Of Karen Kraus Bill to help you throughout the application process or if you have been denied and want help with your appeal.

Many of us have had discomfort or tingling in our hands and wrists, maybe as a result of spending too much time on our smartphones, typing on computers or working with tools. In other situations, this tingling and discomfort are caused by a disease known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome may result in a variety of symptoms. It may even impair your ability to do fundamental tasks such as typing, gripping a pen or pencil, or lifting and carrying items. If your carpal tunnel syndrome is severe enough that you are unable to work, you may be asking, can you get disability for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? 

What Is Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel is inflammation of the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel, a tiny canal enclosed by bones and ligaments. Carpal tunnel syndrome produces numbness, tingling, and arm weakness. A person with CTS may also lose strength in their hands and drop items. Causes of CTS include health issues, repetitive hand movements, and wrist structure.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the nerve is squeezed. Thanks to the median nerve, you can feel your thumb and fingers (other than the little finger). It also tells muscles surrounding your thumb’s base to move.

Obtaining Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Disability Benefits

To be eligible for Social Security Disability payments, you must demonstrate that you fulfill the requirements in one of the agency’s impairment listings (from the “blue book”), that your symptoms are substantial “equivalent” to the criteria in one of the impairment listings, or that you are unable to work any job due to your restrictions.

Unfortunately, Social Security claims examiners seldom conclude that the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome alone are severe enough to warrant disability. However, many disability applicants have been successful in obtaining disability payments on appeal by using one of the strategies listed below.

Meeting or equaling the requirements of an Impairment Listing

Carpal tunnel syndrome is not listed as a disability, but if there is nerve damage, your disease may be classified as peripheral neuropathy. However, the listing standards for peripheral neuropathy are very tough to achieve, much more so for someone who has carpal tunnel syndrome. When the carpal tunnel ligaments lead you to lose functional use of your wrists and hands, your condition may be classified as a soft tissue injury.

Alternatively, carpal tunnel syndrome may be a symptom of another condition that is listed as an impairment. Among the mentioned impairments that may cause or contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome are the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • Renal failure

Medical Proof

Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome might be difficult. Numerous test findings may increase the likelihood of a diagnosis of CTS. CTS is diagnosed by demonstrating three components: common symptoms, specific physical evidence, and aberrant electrodiagnostic test results, such as electromyography. 

While a diagnosis of CTS is beneficial, it is not sufficient to establish disability. You must establish your inability to work. Grip strength and dexterity tests may be used to demonstrate a decline in your ability to utilize your hands and fingers efficiently.

Inability to Work Due to Physical Impairments

If your carpal tunnel syndrome is severe enough, you may be eligible for disability payments if you demonstrate an inability to work. Social Security uses the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) evaluation to determine your physical and mental capacity to do a job.

Carpal tunnel syndrome primarily impairs your physical skills, but the discomfort associated with it may impair your mental skills as well, such as your ability to focus.

Physical exertion and constraints

Social Security will evaluate your capacity to work depending on the degree of physical effort you are capable of doing. Social Security considers your capacity to lift, carry, and hold objects, as well as to conduct delicate manipulation with your fingers when determining your physical ability with your arms.

For those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, difficulty with fine motor skills encompasses all tasks that require the use of one’s fingers. This makes performing a job that requires these skills nearly impossible. Additionally, weakness in your hands may make grasping and carrying things difficult, preventing you from doing tasks that need you to use handheld tools or pick up items with your hands.

Allowance for medical-vocational

Social Security recognizes that the loss of fine motor skills may severely limit the types of jobs available to persons who can only do sedentary or light labor. If your carpal tunnel syndrome is severe enough that your ability to use your hands is severely restricted, and Social Security believes your diagnosis of CTS and functional restrictions are believable, the agency may agree that you are unable to do any tasks that require “less than sedentary” employment. As a consequence, you may be eligible for benefits via a medical-vocational allowance.

Can You Get Disability For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome By Hiring An Attorney?

While the ailment is often manageable, it may develop serious enough that a person is unable to work due to discomfort and limits in their ability to use their hand and arm. If your CTS prevents you from working, you may be eligible for compensation.

At The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill, we are committed to assisting those with disabilities who are unable to work. Contact our office to schedule a consultation and answer the question, can YOU get disability for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! We will assist you in gathering documents and assembling a compelling application for benefits, as well as advocating for you throughout the process!

According to the Internet Stroke Center, approximately 795,000 people in the United States experience a stroke each year. According to the CDC, 34% of stroke victims are younger than 65 years of age. If you’ve had a stroke before the age of retirement and are unable to work, you may be facing the difficulty of figuring out how to make ends meet. Does a stroke qualify for disability? The Social Security Administration (SSA) disability insurance programs, either one or both, may provide the solution you’re looking for. Disability benefits may be available if your stroke led to the development of additional medical conditions and/or a limitation in your ability to work, and the experts at KKB Law can help you apply for disability benefits.

When A Stroke May Cause Disability

A stroke can be caused by either a brain hemorrhage (hemorrhagic stroke) or a blocked blood vessel (ischemic stroke), both of which result in decreased blood supply to the brain and can cause damage. Speech, walking, and vision problems can all be various impacts of a stroke. Stroke patients commonly have muscular weakness, generally on one side of the body, as well as numbness and sensory loss. For some, the damage is temporary; for others, it is permanent. For some stroke sufferers, the lingering symptoms of the stroke make it impossible to return to work. In these cases, a stroke may qualify for disability benefits. 

Financial Impact of a Stroke

According to the CDC, “stroke-related costs in the United States came to nearly $46 billion between 2014 and 2015.” Medical treatments, health care services, prescription drugs and missed work hours for all impacted adults each year all go into this total. Diagnostic and early treatment costs, as well as long-term or permanent deficiencies, are all things to consider when it comes to your direct personal costs. Initial diagnosis and treatment expenses are influenced by the kind of stroke. In many cases, patients are simultaneously suffering from a variety of other ailments, such as heart disease, diabetes, or a traumatic brain injury.

Main Qualifying Factors for a Stroke

Similar to other types of disabling conditions, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. SSDI may be available to you if you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for five of the previous 10 years. If you are under the age of 31, you may not be required to have worked for as long. The SSA will use a five-step process to determine eligibility, including asking questions like:

  • Are you currently working?
  • Is your condition severe?
  • Is your condition included in the Blue Book list of disabling conditions?
  • Can you do the work you did previously?
  • Can you do a different type of work?

Many people want to know “does a stroke qualify for disability” and there are three basic ways people qualify:

  • You meet or equal disability listing 11.04, Vascular insult to the brain
  • You meet another disability listing
  • You are not able to perform your past work or any other work based on your physical and mental limitations

Let The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill Help You Apply for Disability Benefits

Having a disability attorney by your side during the application process for Social Security disability benefits can increase your chances of being awarded benefits by ensuring that all deadlines are met, accurately and favorably completing the complex paperwork, and providing representation at a hearing. Reach out to one of our qualified disability attorneys today.

Are you someone who has been diagnosed with kidney disease? Wondering if you can get disability for kidney disease? The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work on a monthly basis. Although kidney disease does not automatically qualify for benefits, thousands of individuals who have been out of work for a year or longer due to kidney disease may qualify.

Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides two kinds of payments to disabled individuals: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is a work-based program, while SSI is need-based.

You must be determined disabled through the SSA’s Five-Step Sequential Evaluation to be eligible for any benefit. The first step is to apply for disability benefits either online or with a local Social Security Administration office. You may seek the advice of a disability attorney to file your initial application for disability for kidney disease. 

Kidney Failure: Acute vs. Chronic

Kidney failure may be acute or chronic (prolonged). Acute kidney failure may be caused by a decrease in blood flow to the kidneys, medication/infection/toxin damage, or a blockage. You may experience difficulty urinating and have swelling in your extremities if you have acute renal failure. Although most patients recover from acute kidney failure, persistent kidney damage may occur, resulting in chronic renal disease.

Chronic kidney disease lowers kidney function over time and, depending on severity, may need dialysis or a kidney transplant. As waste builds in the body, severe chronic kidney disease produces electrolyte imbalance and edema (swelling). 

Disability For Kidney Disease

The SSA Blue Book defines the conditions that are qualified for disability payments and the test results or symptoms that must be present for the condition to be recognized as a disability. To qualify for disability compensation, you must generally meet or exceed at least one of the requirements.

Kidney disease is covered in Section 6.00 of the Blue Book under Genitourinary Disorders. For the SSA to consider your kidney condition a disability, at least one of the following must be true:

  • You suffer from chronic Kidney (renal) disease and need dialysis.
  • You have chronic kidney disease and had a kidney transplant within the last year.
  • You have chronic kidney disease with decreased kidney function and at least one of the following symptoms:
  1. Renal osteodystrophy: a bone disease caused by failing kidneys, characterized by significant bone pain and anomalies.
  2. Peripheral neuropathy: a nerve disease that causes pain, numbness, tingling, and muscular weakness throughout the body as a result of toxins that the kidneys were unable to filter out.
  3. Fluid overload syndrome: a disorder in which water and salt are retained in the body, resulting in unusually large blood vessels, high blood pressure, skin inflammation, or a BMI of 18.0 or less due to weight loss.
  4. Anorexia with weight loss measured by a body mass index (BMI) of 18.0 or below, calculated at least twice in a 12-month period at least 90 days apart.
  • You have nephrotic syndrome (where protein is lost in the urine), as shown by testing twice a year, at least 90 days apart, and skin inflammation for at least 90 days.
  • You have chronic kidney disease and have been hospitalized at least three times in the last year as a consequence of complications. They must occur at least 30 days apart and last at least 48 hours, including time spent in a hospital emergency room prior to hospitalization.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will administer a Residual Functioning Capacity (RFC) assessment, which is a questionnaire that assesses your capacity to stand, sit, walk, lifting weight, and complete other daily tasks. Even if you do not fit into any of these categories, you may be eligible for disability for kidney disease if treatments prevent you from working. If your kidney disease prevents you from performing a job, you may be eligible for disability benefits.

Hire an Experienced Disability Attorney

While qualifying for disability for kidney disease is frequently straightforward, not all applicants have a fast or easy case assessment. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor to record your condition and ensure that the SSA has all the necessary information and medical documents to assess your claim. You may also want to seek the assistance of an experienced Social Security advocate or attorney, particularly if your kidney condition prohibits you from working but does not fall under one of the Blue Book categories described above.

Our Columbia, MO disability attorneys want to help you secure the Social Security Disability benefits you need and deserve. Visit our website today to learn how to receive a free evaluation!

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to handle and absorb glucose (sugar) sufficiently due to inadequate insulin production or insulin resistance. Diabetes comes in various forms, including Type I, Type II, Type III, and gestational. So, can you get disability for diabetes?

Types Of Diabetes

Type I diabetes, also called Diabetes Mellitus, often develops during childhood. This usually indicates that the pancreas is producing insufficient insulin to metabolize the blood glucose, which may occur due to pancreas-related damage or illness. Type I diabetes patients need insulin because their bodies do not manufacture enough insulin.

Type 2 diabetes, known as adult-onset diabetes, develops when the body’s cells develop insulin resistance and therefore cannot metabolize adequate glucose. Type 2 diabetes is most prevalent in adults over 45 and is closely connected with obesity, hypertension, and a sedentary lifestyle. Additionally, genetic factors contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

Type 3 diabetes is a suggested name for Alzheimer’s disease, caused by insulin resistance in the brain. It is not yet a recognized medical term or illness, but it is being utilized in studies into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that may develop in women who do not already have the disease during pregnancy.

Symptoms Of Diabetes

The common symptoms of diabetes vary by individual. Still, the commonalities often include frequent urination, blurred vision, excessive thirst, dark skin patches, constant hunger, lethargy or exhaustion, and tingling in the hands or feet. These symptoms, which can be severe, leave diabetic patients unable to work and lead them to ask an attorney, “can you get disability for diabetes, and how do you qualify?”

Numerous diabetic patients have neuropathy (nerve damage), which most often affects the hands and feet. Diabetes may also result in severe eye issues, such as retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, and blurred vision. Because of their blood sugar levels, people with diabetes often have a more difficult time recovering from infection or skin lacerations. Additionally, if a diabetic patient has neuropathy, they may not detect an injury as quickly as ordinary individuals, particularly to the foot. These variables predispose diabetes patients to acute infections, which may result in amputation and other catastrophic consequences. Diabetic patients are also at a higher risk of developing kidney disease, ketoacidosis, hypertension, and stroke.

Can You Get Disability For Diabetes With Complications?

Diabetes is covered in Section 9 (Endocrine) of the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” listing of debilitating ailments under paragraph 9.B5 (Diabetes mellitus and other pancreatic gland disorders).

Although a diagnosis of diabetes does not automatically qualify a person for SSDI benefits, any of its complications may very likely qualify a person for SSDI payments. These complications include:

  • Neuropathy
  • Retinopathy
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetic Kidney Disease
  • Vascular Disease
  • Hyperglycemia that persists
  • Hypoglycemia on a long-term basis
  • Coronary arteriopathy
  • Cognitive impairments

Among other complications, they are all included in a diabetic disability claim.

Suppose you have uncontrolled diabetes and have been unable to work for at least 12 months or anticipate being unable to work for at least 12 months. In that case, you may qualify for Social Security disability (SSDI/SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. To qualify for disability benefits, however, the damage caused by diabetes must significantly impede your capacity to work, or you must have problems that meet the criteria for one of Social Security’s disability categories.

If your diabetes is uncontrolled as a result of your failure to adhere to your doctor’s advised medication, you will not qualify for disability.

How Limiting Is Diabetes For You?

Even if you do not fulfill a listing, can you get disability for diabetes? To decide if your diabetes significantly impairs your everyday functioning to the point that you are unable to work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) or state agencies (referred to as Disability Determination Services, or DDS) will examine your residual functional capacity (RFC). Most individuals who apply for disability payments based primarily on diabetes are first refused benefits and must submit an appeal to get a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Your RFC is a measure of the amount of activity you can continue to do while having diabetes. For instance, an RFC may determine that you are competent in undertaking a medium-level job, light-level labor, or sedentary work. The SSA will consider your medical history, doctor’s opinion(s) (if they specify your functional limits and are supported by medical evidence), and comments from you, your family, and friends in determining your RFC.

The SSA is also interested in your ability to concentrate on duties, work well with others, and report to work on a consistent basis. For instance, if your glucose levels are poorly maintained during the day, the insurance adjuster may discover that you cannot focus for extended periods. If you are suffering from depression or excessive exhaustion, your RFC may claim that you are unable to work consistently and regularly.

Applying For Disability Benefits

If you are unable to work due to health impairments caused by Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

Proving disability due to diabetes and its associated conditions can be complex. Working with your doctors and a qualified Social Security Disability attorney can help ensure that your disability case has the best possible chance of success. Contact The Law Offices Of Karen Kraus Bill to help get you the benefits that you not only need but that you deserve!

Cystic fibrosis (CF) may make earning a living more difficult. Complications such as shortness of breath, the need for rest intervals, and unexpected hospital admissions are also frequent. Certain occupations provide you more flexibility than others, but even in a best-case scenario and with reasonable workplace modifications, maintaining regular employment may be too taxing for someone with cystic fibrosis in the long run. If you are living with cystic fibrosis and are unable to work, you may be asking, does cystic fibrosis qualify for disability benefits? In this article, you can find the basics of cystic fibrosis and qualifying factors for disability benefits. 

Qualifying Factors For Cystic Fibrosis Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration assesses your application for benefits using a set of criteria. Even if you suffer from a severe impairment, you must present evidence to substantiate your claim. The Social Security Administration will evaluate and accept your claim based on the facts you submit and its consistency with their definition of cystic fibrosis disability.

A doctor from the Social Security Administration, or a team of physicians, will examine your medical records to determine if you qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Blue Book contains the following criteria for determining does cystic fibrosis qualify for disability benefits:

  • It is determined that your FEV1 (a measure of the amount of air you are able to push out of your lungs in a single second) is less than or equal to a number stated in the Social Security Administration’s tables for your age, gender, and height.
  • Within one year, you have had three exacerbations or problems necessitating at least three hospitalizations of any duration, spaced at least 30 days apart.
  • Spontaneous pneumothorax that required a chest tube insertion.
  • When a patient has a severe respiratory failure that necessitates the use of mechanical ventilation, noninvasive ventilation with BiPAP, or a combination of both therapies for a continuous period of at least 48 hours, or for a continuous period of at least 72 hours if the patient is postoperative.
  • Hemorrhage in the lungs that need vascular embolization to keep the bleeding under control.
  • Within one year (incidents must be at least 30 days apart), you have peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) readings less than or equal to the values listed in the SSA’s table.

You have two or more of the following in a 12-month period:

  • Pulmonary exacerbation
  • At least 90 days of daily supplementary enteral feeding or parenteral nourishment through a central venous catheter is required to counteract weight loss.
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage
  • CFRD requiring 90 days of daily insulin treatment.

The Social security administration will need the following medical proof to record and evaluate the severity of your adult CF symptoms:

  • Detailed medical history
  • Any recommended therapy and how you responded
  • Physical examination results
  • Imaging results
  • Lab test results
  • Pulmonary function test results

Medical-Vocational Allowance

Even if you do not fulfill the Blue Book criteria, you may still be eligible to receive benefits. It is possible to qualify for a medical-vocational allowance. This benefit may be available to individuals who are still able to do some form of employment, but not the type of labor that they used to perform. “Residual functional capacity” is the term used to describe this.

How To Apply For Disability Benefits 

Application procedures may be strenuous, and it entails a great deal of documentation, including medical records and, sometimes, expert testimony. It will take some time to collect all of the necessary information and complete the entire application process. This is one of the reasons many applicants seek support from an experienced disability attorney. A disability attorney knows all of the necessary steps to take and the documentation required to increase the chances of approval for benefits on the first try. They can also help gather information and present in a way that makes the strongest case for you. 

Applying Or Denied? We Can Help! 

At The Law Offices Of Karen Kraus Bill, we know that obtaining disability compensation is not simple, and the process may be complicated, but our office is here to help. We’ll answer any questions you have and ensure that you completely understand the status of your case.

If you or a loved one is considering filing for disability benefits or has already been denied, contact us immediately for a dependable local social security disability attorney. Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation!

Hearings on disability are used to determine how disabling your condition is. An SSD hearing is used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine if your condition is too debilitating to work. If you have specific questions about what happens at a disability hearing, it is best to speak with your disability attorney

Who Will Be Present At A Disability Hearing?

Although the majority of Social Security hearings are the same, there may be minor differences based on the judge’s preferences. The first thing to keep in mind is that your disability hearing will not be like the ones you’ve seen on TV dramas. Most disability hearings by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) are held in modest conference rooms. 

A vocational expert (VE) and a court reporter are ordinarily present during your hearing. On some occasions, a medical specialist will also be present.

What Will Be Discussed At A Disability Hearing?

You and the VE will be sworn in by the court reporter. The judge may begin by questioning you about your previous work and restrictions. The ALJ will often pose hypothetical questions to the VE regarding what jobs someone with your disabilities might be able to undertake.

They are merely trying to gather all of the information needed to determine whether or not you are eligible for disability compensation. It’s critical that you respond honestly to the judge’s inquiries and give clear examples of how your disability affects your capacity to do daily tasks.

What Is Your Attorney’s Role At A Disability Hearing?

At disability hearings, lawyers have been trained to question expert witnesses. The SSA may call a medical expert and/or a vocational expert to your hearing. The medical expert (ME) will examine the medical data in your case and determine whether you fulfill the criteria for a disability listing in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments. The listings cover a wide range of medical illnesses and the conditions that must be met in order to be considered disabled. 

A medical expert’s testimony can be vital to your disability claim. Your attorney has the opportunity to cross-examine the ME if the ME testifies that your abilities don’t match the disability requirements.

At your hearing, the SSA will almost always call a vocational expert (VE). The ALJ will use the vocational expert’s evidence to determine whether you can perform your previous duties and whether there are any jobs you can do despite your impairment. The ALJ’s decision on whether you are capable of performing any tasks will most likely determine the outcome of your disability case. 

It is not uncommon for an ALJ to ask a VE questions that lead to more jobs or skills than an individual is able to perform.  During the hearing, your lawyer can detect these legal issues and object to these questions. Your lawyer will also have the opportunity to ask the VE additional questions to ensure that the VE has taken into account all of your limitations as a result of your impairment. Cross examining the VE requires the knowledge and experience of someone who understands the complexity of Social Security disability law. 

Call the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill 

To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the definition of disabled as set forth by the Social Security Administration and provide documented proof. Understanding social security disability requirements can be challenging and intimidating. Therefore, it is wise to have professional social security disability representation. If you still have questions about what happens at a disability hearing, contact The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill for a free consultation.

For some people who have been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, such as epilepsy, their lives may be negatively affected in a significant way. The symptoms someone with epilepsy experiences can range from staring spells to intense convulsions and loss of consciousness. So for those whose lives are dramatically affected by their seizure disorders may wonder, “can you get disability for seizures?” 

What is a Seizure Disorder?

Seizures occur due to uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. Normal brain function requires an orderly, coordinated discharge of electrical impulses. Those who have seizures experience disturbances in this electrical activity which causes temporary brain dysfunction. When these unexpected disturbances occur in the brain, a person may experience unconsciousness, uncontrollable movements, or may stop moving all together. Sometimes seizures can be triggered by lack of sleep, stress, low blood sugar, flashing lights, or repetitive sounds. Sometimes a seizure will occur with no obvious trigger present. Those who experience recurring seizures may be diagnosed with what is called a seizure disorder. 

Do Seizures Qualify for Disability?

The Social Security Administration maintains a manual called the Blue Book, which lists all qualifying disabilities. Both convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy are included. The main qualifying factor is that the epilepsy is severe and cannot be controlled by medications, as proven by your medical records and after strictly following your doctor’s treatment recommendations and still having seizures. 

Convulsive Seizure Qualifications

According to the SSA, those with convulsive seizures must meet these criteria:

  • Nighttime seizures that cause severe complications for you during the day, such as thinking clearly, staying awake, or coordinating your physical movements. 

OR

  • Daytime seizures that result in convulsions or loss of consciousness 
  • To qualify, a person must also continue to have seizures a minimum of once per month after being on anti-seizure medication for at least three months. 

Non-Convulsive Seizure Qualifications

According to the SSA, those with non-convulsive seizures qualify for disability if they meet the following criteria:

  • Seizures occur during the day or night. 

AND

  • The seizures cause pronounced issues after the seizure, such as trouble thinking, difficulty staying awake, lack of energy, unusual behavior, or other symptoms that interrupt daytime activities.
  • A qualifying person will meet both of the above requirements and continue to have seizures a minimum of once per week after being on anti-seizure medication consistently for at least three months. 

Apply to Get Disability for Seizures

If you experience seizures and meet the above qualifications, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits. Living with a seizure disorder that negatively impacts your life can make it difficult to work and earn money to support yourself and your family. Suppose you have epilepsy but don’t quite meet the SSA Blue Book qualifications, but you are still unable to work due to your condition. In that case, you may still be able to qualify by going through a RFC, or residual functional capacity analysis. An RFC requires you to fill out “functional reports” with your doctor. Friends, family, or caregivers may also be asked to fill out a report to help the SSA understand your illness and how it affects your everyday life. 

Get Assistance Applying for Disability Benefits

If you live with a seizure disorder and your life is significantly impacted because of it, you may qualify for disability benefits. Reach out to the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill to speak with one of our experienced disability attorneys and get a free evaluation.

Special Rules for Social Security Disability Over Age 50

Did you know that there are special rules for Social Security Disability programs for people age 50 and over? At age 50 and over, having a medical condition that limits your ability to work could qualify you for disability benefits even if you have been denied in the past. 

How Does Age Affect Social Security Disability?

After you turn 50 years old, your age becomes an important factor when filing a Social Security Disability claim. In fact, it can sometimes be easier to be awarded disability after 50. Those under age 50 are considered “younger individuals” and must prove the inability to perform any competitive employment to be awarded disability benefits. Generally speaking, individuals aged 50 and over might not be required to adjust to a different type of work even if physically able.

Rules for Social Security Disability After 50

When applying for disability benefits, your medical condition will be assessed by the Social Security Administration so they can determine if your condition qualifies as severe enough to receive benefits immediately. By working with a social security disability attorney, you can determine if your condition is listed in the SSA Blue Book and then proceed to go through the application process. If your medical condition does not qualify, you may still be eligible for benefits. The SSA uses the “grid rule” to help them determine eligibility. 

What Is The Social Security Disability Grid?

The Social Security Disability grid has rules that help evaluate the level of disability individuals may have, regardless of any diagnosis or medical condition. There are four factors that the grid rule analyzes, including residual functional capacity (RFC), education, previous work experience, and transferable skills. 

Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

RFC evaluates the amount of strength-related work an individual can perform. It will assess whether an individual can push, lift, walk, and stand. For individuals who have a low capacity to perform these actions, their chances of being awarded disability after 50 are increased. A person’s RFC is classified into four categories:

  • Heavy: able to lift more than 50 lbs
  • Medium: able to perform frequent lifting of 25 lbs
  • Light: can lift 10 lbs but no more than 20 lbs occasionally
  • Sedentary: unable to lift more than 10 lbs

Education

A person’s level of education is a factor in determining eligibility for disability after 50. In general, less education means the chances of being approved for a disability claim are increased. The levels of education are classified in four different ways:

  • Individual has completed a recent educational program that serves as skilled job training
  • Individual is a high school graduate or higher
  • Individual has a limited education level of 11th grade or less
  • Individual is illiterate or unable to communicate

Prior Work Experience

The assessment of an individual’s previous work experience includes how they performed in their last job. An applicant will be classified as either unskilled, semi-skilled, or skilled. The less experience an individual has, the more likely it is that they will qualify for disability after 50. For individuals who are unskilled or can only perform light work, the eligibility for benefits may increase. 

Transferable Skills

The number of skills an individual has gained from previous jobs will have an impact on disability benefits eligibility. The SSA will determine if there are skills obtained at a previous job that are transferable to a new position that is similar to the last one. Those with fewer skills may have an increase in eligibility. 

Need Help Applying for Social Security Disability?

Sometimes it can be difficult to ask for help when you need it. If you are 50 or over and need assistance in applying for social security disability benefits, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill. During tough times, you may be unsure where to turn and feel like all hope is lost. We’re here to tell you it’s not. Our attorneys are dedicated to representing people just like you. Schedule a free evaluation today to find out whether or not you are eligible for disability benefits.