Slepian Smith, PLLC

Phoenix Arizona Disability Law Blog

Part 2: How does the SSA evaluate fibromyalgia?

Today we continue our look at fibromyalgia, a potentially disabling illness that afflicts many of our clients. We work with them and their doctors to solidly establish their disability before the Social Security Administration (SSA) in their applications for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, known as SSDI and SSI, respectively.

As we explained in part 1, fibromyalgia can be one of the harder impairments to prove because of the subjectivity of most symptoms, including pain, fatigue and problems with concentration and clarity of thought.

Part 1: Fibromyalgia and recent medical advances

Fibromyalgia is a serious disease that can prevent people from working. At our law firm, we regularly represent Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Insurance claimants with fibromyalgia in their struggle to prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that their symptoms and limitations are disabling.

We have written about fibromyalgia in this space before, but recent medical research merits that we revisit the topic.

What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?

Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, known respectively as SSDI and SSI, are benefit programs based on disability and administered by the federal Social Security Administration. The two programs, however, differ in terms of eligibility based on financial condition and work history, while sharing important aspects of eligibility based on disability.

The devastating effects of Huntington’s Disease

May is Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month, which is a time when advocacy and support groups throughout the world raise awareness about the condition.

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is often compared to having the symptoms of ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s all at once, which makes it a devastating disease. It impairs a person’s ability to think, talk and walk.

What happens at a Social Security Disability hearing?

If your Social Security Disability application is denied, you have the option to ask for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, who will reconsider your application and evidence surrounding your claim.

It is wise to request a hearing after an initial claim and reconsideration are denied because a large percentage of claims are initially denied, but then approved after a hearing. In fact, statistically speaking, a disability claim has the highest chance of approval at a hearing.

Why is it so difficult to get disability benefits for depression?

Depression is a common condition cited on Social Security Disability applications, but that doesn't mean it's easy for people with depression to secure benefits.

Like other conditions with symptoms that are based on emotional distress, a disability based on depression can be difficult to prove to the Social Security Administration because the symptoms are often difficult to measure.

Dell plans to expand hiring program for adults with autism

Some adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have long and fulfilling careers without many problems, while others struggle with holding down employment.

In fact, Autism Speaks reports that more than half of young adults with autism do not find jobs or attain higher education in the two years after high school, and only 58 percent of autistic adults in their 20s are employed.

When is the best time to apply for disability benefits?

Many people hold misconceptions about when to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, and you may have heard some of them and be holding the misconceptions yourself.

For instance, there is a rumor that applicants should wait a certain length of time before applying, such as five months or one year after becoming disabled. But this is untrue and, unfortunately, causes unnecessary delays in securing benefits.

What are primary immunodeficiency diseases?

Primary immunodeficiency diseases (PI) include more than 350 chronic and rare disorders that result from the body's immune system not functioning as it should.

April happens to be Primary Immunodeficiency Awareness Month, so we thought now would be a great time to discuss PI and how Social Security Disability benefits may be available to sufferers.

Actress Selma Blair shines spotlight on MS

March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month, and a well-known actress has been bringing a lot of attention to the condition.

Selma Blair, known for starring in movies such as "Cruel Intentions," "Hellboy" and "The Sweetest Thing," recently revealed that she was diagnosed with MS in August 2018 after visiting a doctor for what she thought was a pinched nerve.