Slepian Smith, PLLC

Phoenix Arizona Disability Law Blog

New treatment could make migraines less disabling

People who experience frequent, debilitating migraine headaches can struggle to perform even the most basic daily tasks as a result of nausea, pain and sensitivity to light and sound. Under these circumstances, holding down a job can be all but impossible.

However, recent research has led to some promising results that could help migraine sufferers find some relief from their symptoms. 

Fibromyalgia: Understanding the basics

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects the entire body. It's a complicated disorder that can be hard to diagnose. While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, symptoms may begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or following psychological stress.

It's also a disorder that can make it difficult or impossible to work. Given the severity of fibromyalgia, it is important to get a proper diagnosis, especially if you are seeking Social Security disability benefits.

Challenges to expect when the SSA evaluates your ability to work

One of the most difficult elements of applying for Social Security disability benefits is being able to prove not just that you cannot perform your job, but that you cannot perform any type of job on a full time basis. 

This can be very frustrating because the decision on whether you have the ability to work is left in the hands of a complete stranger who sees countless applications that may look very similar to yours. This is just one of the challenges you should expect if you are filing a claim for disability benefits. Below are some others. 

Can I receive disability benefits for stress?

Millions of Americans struggle with stress to some degree. For some, it is a passing, if frustrating, condition that is well managed. For others, stress is a pervasive and debilitating condition. Many people fall somewhere in the middle.

This means there is no easy answer to the question posed above. However, if you suffer from stress, then there are a few things you can ask yourself to better understand your options with regard to disability benefits.

Can I collect SSI?

People who are disabled and cannot work are often eligible to receive some type of financial support. However, there are different types of support available, which people fail to recognize.

For instance, if you or a loved one is disabled and cannot work, you might think that collecting benefits through Social Security Disability insurance is your only option. But in reality, a number of people do not qualify for SSDI because they have not accumulated enough work credits. Under these circumstances, you should examine the eligibility criteria for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.

Can I avoid or minimize long wait times for SSDI benefits?

Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are currently waiting to learn if the Social Security Administration will approve or deny their applications for disability benefits. This is a massive backlog that can be incredibly frustrating for the disabled applicants who deserve and need financial support.

As frustrating as these long wait times can be, they are unavoidable for many people. However, there are some ways you can shorten your wait time and/or prevent unnecessary delays in the process. 

Getting disability benefits for back pain

If you have severe back pain and are struggling to work, you may be wondering what you are going to do. Going to work each day can cause you to feel debilitating pain. You cannot simply keep calling off sick or asking to go home early. 

You may be wondering if you qualify for Social Security benefits for your back pain. Back injuries can be disabling conditions and may get you the compensation you need. Here is how to approach the filing process. 

What can I expect from the SSDI application process?

Question: About ten years ago, I was in a serious accident. I was hurt pretty bad--in fact they weren't sure I would make it. As a result of that accident, I've been struggling with anxiety and depression and although I have taken two separate leaves of absence from work, the time away is not helping. My counselor has suggested that I apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. What is the process? I have so little energy, I worry about being able to complete it.

Answer: Depression and anxiety can be debilitating conditions. That's one of the reasons the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits for severe mental health conditions. It's clear that people such as you need help just as much as people with physically disabling conditions.

Preparation Helpful for Social Security Disability Hearings

If an Arizona resident of average working age is incapable of engaging in gainful employment tasks due to a physical or mental impairment, he or she may be eligible for certain benefits. The process involved in filing for Social Security Disability benefits is often complex, and not every request is granted. If a particular claim is denied, it may be appealed, and if, upon reconsideration, a second denial is issued, a request for an administrative hearing may be filed.

Chances of success would likely not be very high if a person were to enter hearing with little to no preparation. In fact, without acquiring adequate information ahead of time regarding the process, one might not even understand events as they unfold inside a courtroom. This is why most people choose to enlist the aid of experienced attorneys before heading to court.

Can my regular doctor fill out my disability forms?

If you are considering applying for Social Security disability benefits, you may wonder whether your regular doctor can help with verifying your condition, or if you must visit a special doctor.

The good news is that in many cases, it is perfectly fine, even encouraged, for your doctor to help. After all, this is the person you have been seeing for some time and who has the most documentation of your situation. Do keep a few things in mind, though.