Slepian Smith, PLLC

Phoenix Arizona Disability Law Blog

Studies look at link between depression and chronic health issues

According to the federal government’s Census Bureau, the percentage of Arizona’s population with Asian heritage is on the rise, accounting for nearly four percent of our state’s residents. We also have a higher than average percentage of older folks in the Grand Canyon State, accounting for 17.5 percent of our population (the national average is 14.9 percent).

A pair of new studies could be particularly important for some members of those two groups. Researchers say that more than half of older Chinese American immigrants experience depression linked to disabilities and chronic health issues. As regular readers of our Phoenix Disability Law Blog know, depression is among the many serious, common health conditions that can prevent a person from working.

Alzheimer’s disease can be disabling and a basis for SSDI eligibility

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, meant to lessen stigma and increase public education about the challenging diagnosis. Alzheimer’s Disease International, referred to as ADI, created the month dedicated to this noble cause in 2012.

Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia can become disabling and prevent sufferers from working. Those patients may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, known as SSDI and SSI. Income from these benefits can be especially important with early-onset Alzheimer’s, when patients had planned to continue working to support themselves or their families.

Four disorders added to the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances list

It is no secret that it can take months and even years for approval of Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income claims. Both of these government benefit programs require that the applicant meet the federal definition of disability and it is this question that often takes so long to answer.

It tends to be more time-consuming for the Social Security Administration, the federal agency known as the SSA, to determine disability when impairments have more subjective symptoms that are harder to measure or establish like pain, fatigue, weakness, nausea, dizziness, difficulty with concentration, confusion and others as well as mental disorders.

SSDI and SSI: What to expect at your ALJ hearing

If the Social Security Administration, or SSA, denies your initial application for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, there are several levels of review and appeal you can request. The third level is an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge, often called an ALJ. While the thought of a legal proceeding may make you uncomfortable or even afraid, understanding what will happen and thorough preparation will help immensely.

Study reveals syndrome combining Parkinson’s and fibromyalgia

An Israeli research study found that some people with Parkinson’s disease, also referred to as PD, also have fibromyalgia, or FM, creating a unique syndrome. Many of these patients are women who also have depression or anxiety. This group tends to use more pain medication and more antidepressants as well as smoke cigarettes at a higher rate than people with PD only.

Researchers have dubbed the PD-FM syndrome FLISPAD or “fibromyalgia-like syndrome associated with Parkinson’s disease.” Patients with FLISPAD generally are diagnosed with FM at a later age than are those with FM alone.

Bill would end SSDI waiting period for terminally ill

Normally, when the Social Security Administration approves a disabled claimant’s application for Social Security Disability Insurance, called SSDI, the claimant must wait five months for monthly benefits to begin. This can be a hardship for a person without income because of disabling impairment as the bills have likely already started to pile up.

The waiting period seems especially harsh for those claimants with terminal illnesses, who may even pass away while waiting for payments to start.

SSDI and SSI: What are the listings?

Federal law specifically defines "disability" for purposes of eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, referred to as SSDI and SSI, respectively. As we have blogged about before, the Social Security Administration (SSA), uses a five-step process to determine whether a claimant meets the definition.

Impact of SSDI and SSI claimants' alcohol and drug use

Social Security laws have changed over the years in how they treat alcoholism and drug addiction when determining whether disability prevents working for purposes of eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, or SSDI and SSI, respectively.

It's worth talking to a lawyer about your SSDI or SSI application

You may think your disability is obvious and there should be no problem getting your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income - usually referred to as SSDI and SSI - approved. After all, your doctor may have ordered that you not work, or you may be unable to take care of your basic daily needs.

Arizona SSDI rejection rate high after doctors' file review

A recent investigative journalism piece revealed that some doctors hired to review applications for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income may be working too fast to achieve a high degree of accuracy. The Nashville Tennessean said in May that the federal government does not have data readily compiled about doctors in each state who review medical and other records to determine whether claimants are disabled and eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits.

When the USA Today Network made an information request about these doctors' workloads and the speed with which they work, the government said it would cost more than $2 million to compile the information requested.