December 2011 Archives
Every day in my practice, I talk to people whose disabilities affect them in many different ways. My clients who suffer from arthritis usually have pain all over their bodies, and that pain keeps them from being able to function in their daily lives. My clients' complaints include pain in their hands and fingers, in their backs, in their joints, and in parts of their bodies they injured a long time ago. If you have arthritis, you may have difficulty holding a cup, picking up coins, or buttoning your shirt. You may also have pain that keeps you from being able to sit, stand, or walk for extended periods of time. If you are unable to perform these basic activities, you likely are unable to do many of the tasks required in order to obtain and maintain full-time employment. Therefore, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize arthritis as a disabling condition, and it may be in your best interest to apply for disability benefits if your arthritis keeps you from being able to work.
"Arthritis" is a broad term for inflammation of the joints, usually because the cartilage in that joint has broken down. However, there are many types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, but there are other types of arthritis caused by autoimmune disorders, broken bones, or infection. Regardless of the cause, people with arthritis usually suffer from symptoms including, but not limited to:
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Impaired movement of the joint
- Joint stiffness
The SSA has a Listing of Impairments in which it describes specific diagnoses, findings, and symptoms for conditions it deems to be disabling. Two sections of the Listings address arthritis: Listing 1.02: Major Dysfunction of a Joint; and the various listings under 14.00: Immune System Disorders, including 14.02: Systemic Lupus Erhthematosus, 14.04: Systemic Sclerosis, and 14.09: Inflammatory Arthritis. In order to be found disabled under the Listings, your medical records must show that you meet or equal the criteria set out in an individual listing.
Even if you do not meet one of Social Security's Listings, you may still be found disabled if your arthritis symptoms keep you from being able to perform work. During the application process, you will have the opportunity to explain to the SSA how your pain and decreased mobility keep you from being able to do normal daily activities, but you will also need to have medical records to back up your statements. Social Security will look at x-rays, MRIs, and doctors' notes. They will also consider the medications you are taking, treatment you have received, and any surgeries or procedures you have had. In representing my clients, I have found that statements from your treating physicians regarding your symptoms and physical limitations can be very helpful in proving to Social Security that you are disabled. Those statements are even more helpful when they come from specialists, such as orthopedists or rheumatologists, who have been treating you on a regular basis. Good medical records can be the key to winning a Social Security disability claim.
At My Indiana Social Security Disability Hearing The Judge Said I Need A Representative Payee, What Does That Mean?
If you were at your Social Security disability hearing and the ALJ recommended that you be assigned a representative payee there can be a few reasons why this has happened. In disability attorney Scott Lewis' experience the main reason a representative payee is recommended is that the ALJ believes you are unable to manage your own funds. Many times this may be due to a mental condition that makes it difficult for the Social Security disability recipient to take care of their own money.
While the individual receiving benefits may be able to designate someone as their representative payee, if the Social Security Administration does not approve of that individual, the SSA may appoint someone entirely different. The Social Security Administration (SSA) usually looks to family and friends to be assigned as an individual's representative payee. If family and friends are not available the SSA may look to various organizations to help in this capacity.
If you have been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits you can contact Indianapolis disability attorney Scott D. Lewis for a free case evaluation. Mr. Lewis has experience with Social Security disability appeals and understands what Indiana residents are going through. Call (317) 423-8888 and talk to Mr Lewis and his staff and receive your free consultation.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can take a toll on various body parts. Lupus can result in swelling and inflammation effecting joints, skin, the heart, kidneys, and various other body parts. Many individuals suffering from Lupus complain of pain and various other symptoms. While the exact cause or causes of Lupus are still unknown, many physicians believe it may be a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does acknowledge Lupus in its Listing of Impairments under Listing 14.00 Immune System Disorders. Not all individuals may meet or equal a listing to receive Social Security disability benefits. If you do not meet a listing, you may have such a reduced physical residual functional capacity that you are unable to work a full time job and this could entitle you to benefits. At times, an individual's inability to sit, stand, walk, and lift may be so diminished due to the effects of Lupus that they are simply unable to work. Pain may also be taken into account when the Social Security Administration is assessing your inability to work.
If you find the symptoms of Lupus or any other disabling condition is preventing you from working you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Scott D. Lewis is an experienced disability lawyer and handles a wide variety of disabling conditions including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression just to name a few. Mr. Lewis and his staff provide a free case evaluation by calling (317) 423-8888.
Indianapolis Social Security Disability Attorney Scott Lewis Comments on Possible New Hearing Policy
Why could this potentially be a problem? Experienced Social Security disability attorneys like Scott Lewis represent individuals numerous times in front of the same Administrative Law Judge and become accustomed to exactly what that particular Judge is looking for at the hearing. To help create and ensure judicial efficiency, Mr. Lewis attempts to prepare his cases in a manner for particular Judges that will cut right to the main issues that particular Judge may focus on. While most of Mr. Lewis' case files are prepared in a similar fashion, there are times that when Mr. Lewis knows a certain Judge has been assigned to a claim, Mr. Lewis focuses on certain documents he knows a Judge will closely analyze.
Why is this happening? The only reason put forth thus far is that attorneys are "shopping" Judges. When a video hearing is scheduled, the representative or claimant has the ability to deny such a hearing and request to be in front of an Administrative Law Judge in person. Without pointing fingers, one could argue while certain attorneys are shopping Judges, we must also consider why there is a particular item no one wants to buy. It could be asserted that this is a two way street.
In the end who gets hurt? Mr. Lewis believes good prepared qualified attorneys and Judges and above all claimants will find this decision only muddies the waters on a long drawn out and sometimes confusing process. Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis believes preparation is one of the keys to a successful Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. If you have questions concerning your disability claim, contact Mr. Lewis and his staff today for your free case evaluation at (317) 423-8888.
Asperger's Syndrome can range widely in its severity. While one individual may suffer from very mild symptoms another individual may be very severe. Asperger's Syndrome may be hard to detect in very young children, but many times symptoms are noticed as children enter kindergarten and start interacting with their peers. The symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome may vary from individual to individual but some common symptoms can include but are not limited to:
- Problems with social interaction. This usually includes the inability to identify social cues.
- Unusual facial expressions and may attempt to avoid eye contact.
- Heightened sensitivity to textures, tastes, sounds, and light.
- Repeating words in a formal manner, and also may talk excessively about one subject.
- Some individuals may find a change or routine very disturbing.
IF you are having difficulty finding an attorney due to the fact it is a child's Social Security disability claim or are just frustrated with the claims process contact Mr. Lewis for a free case evaluation. Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis has represented and won claims for Asperger's Syndrome. Call (317) 423-8888 and receive your free telephone consultation today!
While the underlying question of how severe the disability is can be similar to an adult disability case, the question of whether or not the individual can work is generally not an issue in a child Social Security disability claim. Instead, the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at six (6) different domains when determining a disabling condition for a child:
- Acquiring and using information.
- Attending and completing tasks.
- Interacting and relating with others.
- Moving about and manipulating objects.
- Caring for yourself.
- Health and physical well being.
If you find your child is not performing at an age appropriate level and/or has a physical or mental disability that you believe should qualify him/her for disability payments contact Mr. Lewis for a free case evaluation. Mr. Lewis and his staff take great pride in helping individuals with disabling conditions. Call (317) 423-8888 for your free consultation.
Individuals with advanced breast cancer or individuals undergoing treatment for breast cancer may find it difficult to maintain employment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes cancer in its Listing of Impairments under Listing 13.00 Malignant Neoplastic Diseases. Specifically Listing 13.10 outlines breast cancer and details what is needed for an individual to meet this listing. It is important for individuals attempting to receive Social Security disability to not only get proper medical testing to support their claim, but also see qualified medical professionals to document the progression and prognosis of the cancer.
When applying for Social Security disability it is important to remember there are not only medical qualifications that must be met, there are also financial and work related qualifications that may be crucial in a valid claim. If you are frustrated by the disability process or simply have questions regarding the process you can contact Mr. Lewis for a free case evaluation. Most questions can be answered over the phone and if you hire disability attorney Scott Lewis you pay nothing unless your claim is approved. For your free consultation contact Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis and his staff at (317) 423-8888,