Slepian Smith, PLLC

Phoenix Arizona Disability Law Blog

What are my options after my disability claim is denied?

If your initial disability claim with the Social Security Administration was denied, you are probably wondering if you have any options left or if you just have to take the denial and live with it. The good news is that you still have several chances to have the application approved.

Asking for reconsideration

Raising awareness on traumatic and acquired brain injuries

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, so it is a great time to discuss how brain injuries occur, how they affect people’s lives and how people with brain injuries can get the support they need.

There are two types of brain injuries: traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI). As you may have guessed, TBI is caused by an external force that causes brain damage when the brain moves inside of the skull or the skull is damaged. When most people think about brain injuries, they think of TBI.

Working with doctors is important when applying for SSD

It’s extremely important to work with your doctors when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. This is especially true if your benefits application has been denied and you are filing an appeal.

Your doctors will help convey the severity of your condition and provide the necessary medical records that are required to have your application or appeal approved by the Social Security Administration.

Which digestive disorders can lead to disability benefits?

Severe digestive disorders can impair a person's ability to work and function normally, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) knows this. That's why sufferers can be approved for Social Security Disability benefits if they are able to meet the SSA's application requirements.

Digestive diseases are found under Listing 5.0 of the SSA's Listing Of Impairments and include:

  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhaging from any cause that requires blood transfusion
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn's disease
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Weight loss caused by any digestive disorder
  • Liver transplants

What is the Compassionate Allowances list?

The Social Security Administration created the Compassionate Allowances program to help expedite the application process for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for those with specific conditions so serious that they have been determined to meet the SSA's requirements.

The SSA approves these applications based on a much smaller amount of objective medical data, such as medical records confirming the condition. The application process can take as little as 10 days; in 2018, the average processing time was 19 days. The goal of the program is to get benefits as soon as possible to disabled people who need them most.

SSA asking for comments on its treatment of pain conditions

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is asking the public for feedback on how it considers pain and the documentation of pain in disability claims. The solicitation of input is an effort to make sure that the application process is fair for applicants with more subjective pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. Members of the public have until Feb. 15 to provide comments.

Understanding postpartum depression

Many women experience intense emotions after giving birth, including sadness that is often referred to as the "baby blues." The baby blues can include bouts of crying, trouble sleeping, anxiety and mood swings and usually lasts up to two weeks after the birth. But for some women, the symptoms evolve into something much more: postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is more severe and longer-lasting than the baby blues. It is not something women should be ashamed of, nor should it be ignored. It is like any other complication that can occur with childbirth and, like other forms of depression, treatment is available.

When is depression bad enough to qualify for SSDI?

You might already know that depression is considered a disabling condition that can qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits, but maybe you are not sure how severe the depression has to be to qualify for benefits.

Because sadness is a normal human emotion, most of us feel depressed from time to time, especially after a difficult life event. But the disabling condition known as depression is more than just feeling sad. Major depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder that should be diagnosed by a doctor.

Recognizing Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day

Today is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day, which is a time to spread the word about the condition and how it affects sufferers.

The Arthritis Foundation explains that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1.5 million people in the United States. It is much more common in women than men and usually begins between the ages of 30 and 60 in women and later in life in men.

Too many Americans are dying waiting for SSDI

Last month, USA Today published a heartbreaking investigative report on how thousands of Americans die each year waiting for their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) appeals to be decided. Advocates say this should not be happening, considering that SSDI applicants have paid into the SSDI insurance fund through employment taxes.

More than 800,000 people are waiting for rulings in SSDI appeal cases. USA Today reported that in fiscal year 2016, 8,699 people died while waiting and in 2017, 10,002 died while waiting. There is concern that the numbers could continue to rise each year if nothing is done to improve the system.