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Austin Social Security Disability Law Blog

Tips to avoid denial of a Social Security disability application

Those of our readers who are familiar with previous posts here know that an application to receive Social Security disability benefits can include voluminous details. The initial application for SSD benefits is crucial, as this is the point in the process where applicants usually have their best shot at being approved to receive benefits. But, as most Social Security disability attorneys in Austin know, there are certain points in the application process that can result in a denial of benefits.

For starters, it is important to make a preliminary determination as to whether or not an applicant has the requisite number of working credits. Making this calculation can be difficult for someone who has no work experience, as that individual may not have contributed anything monetarily towards Social Security.

Can a person with HIV/AIDS qualify for SSD benefits?

There are a wide variety of illnesses that could be debilitating for Texas residents, leaving them unable to work. For some of these individuals, the illness may be short-term in duration, and they will eventually be able to either return to the job they held previously, or at least find another similar job. However, many people suffer from illnesses that leave them disabled for long periods of time -- some of them for the rest of their lives.

For thousands of Americans, the long-term disease they suffer from is HIV/AIDS. Although there have been many advances in the treatment of this particular illness over the last two decades, anyone who has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS will likely suffer in some form or another for the rest of his or her life. These people may be wondering, "Can I seek for Social Security disability benefits?"

An overview of heart disease in America -- Part III

In Parts I and II of this multi-part series, we took a look at the issue of heart disease in America. As we have seen, heart disease is a huge public health concern that affects hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country, including those in Austin, Texas. In fact, heart disease is a health condition that can leave many people disabled and unable to work. Here, in Part III, we will wrap up our overview of heart disease in America with a focus on what people can do to lessen their chances of suffering from this deadly disease.

As with most health issues, moderation is crucial, especially when it comes to diet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages Americans to stick to a diet that is low in salt, fat, cholesterol and saturated fat. What should people eat more of? Well, we've all been hearing it since we were children: fruits and vegetables.

An overview of heart disease in America -- Part II

In Part I of this multi-part series, we began to take a look at some of the statistics regarding heart disease in America, and the numbers were staggering. Heart disease is a prevalent problem in Austin and across our country, and millions of Americans deal with this potentially deadly disease. For some, heart disease is ultimately the cause of death. In Part II of this series, we will continue to examine some of the key statistics regarding heart disease, particularly what some of the most common risk factors are.

Ethnicity and family history play a role in a person's potential to suffer from heart disease, but there are other risk factors as well. Among the most common factors that could lead to heart disease are: smoking, high LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure.

An overview of heart disease in America - Part I

The medical care that people receive in America is widely lauded as some of the best care in the world. Our country is always at the cutting edge of medical advancements, whether that comes in the form of researching illnesses and injuries or inventing new medical devices and medications. However, the American population is also widely known as one of the most unhealthy populations in the world. One of the primary reasons is the prevalence of heart disease. When it comes to heart disease amongst the American population, the statistics paint a grim picture.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the cause of approximately 25 percent of deaths in America each year. A whopping 610,000 people die each year because of heart disease, and the CDC estimates that each year approximately 735,000 people in America suffer a heart attack.

Dispelling myths about Social Security Disability

For most of our Austin area readers, the stories they hear about Social Security Disability are encouraging. SSD benefits help millions of Americans make ends meet as they deal with the limitations imposed upon them by their disability. However, as most Social Security Disability attorneys would probably be able to tell our readers, there are probably just as many people who have heard nothing but negative news when it comes to SSD benefits. For those people, it is important to dispel the myths.

For instance, many people may believe that if they are one of the six out of 10 applicants who are denied on their initial attempt, there is no point in taking the matter any further. They believe that they should just give up; that they are out of options. However, that is usually not the case. The Social Security Administration has an appeals process that anyone who was denied on their initial application can use. During the appeals process, the applicant may be able to provide more detailed information that could lead the SSA to a different determination.

Can a work-related injury qualify a person for SSD benefits?

Most of our Austin area readers probably know that millions of employers throughout the country are required to have workers compensation insurance coverage. For employees who suffer a work-related injury, this means that they will receive the medical care they need, while also receiving a portion of the wages that they lose from being unable to work due to the injury. But, what if the injury is severe? What if the worker is unable to ever return to work because of the effects of the injury? Can a work-related injury qualify a person for SSD benefits?

The short answer is yes. However, there are some nuances. In the case of a severe, disabling injury that occurs on the job, a person will oftentimes receive a lump-sum payout from workers compensation. That compensation will usually be factored into the person's SSD benefit amount if they qualify due to the injury.

Social Security Administration process for determining disability

Many Texas residents find it hard to come to grips with the need to file for Social Security Disability. Everyone wants to work to earn their income, and realizing that you have an injury or illness that simply will not allow you to return to work can be a hard thing to admit. But, what most Social Security Income attorneys would probably tell our readers is that Social Security Disability is a monthly benefit that workers earn - it isn't some kind of "freebie." A person's history of work is one of the most important qualifications for receiving SSD benefits.

But, figuring out if a person is qualified to receive SSD benefits from a work history standpoint is the easy part of the application process. The part that can be tricky in the evaluation process is determining whether or not the person's medical condition actually qualifies as a disability.

Social Security Administration accepts online appeals

Any of our Texas readers who are familiar with previous posts here know that the application process for attempting to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits can be difficult. Most estimates state that approximately six out of 10 applications for benefits are denied. Of course, all hope isn't lost on an initial denial for benefits, as the Social Security Administration does allow for an appeal of an initial denial. A recent report noted the SSA's achievement in streamlining the appeals process through online submissions.

According to the report, it would seem that ever since the Social Security Administration began accepting appeals online in 2007, it has been getting better efficiency out of the process. In fact, the report indicates that approximately 90,000 people submit appeals via the online process every month. The online interface has been changed over time in response to consumer input, resulting in a more streamlined and accessible process.

Evidence required in an application for SSD benefits

Any of our readers who are familiar with previous posts here know that putting together an application for Social Security Disability benefits can be complex and time consuming. Most Social Security Disability attorneys would be able to tell a person who is attempting to put together such an application that there are certain medical requirements that must be met in order to qualify for approval of benefits. If those requirements are not met on the initial application, the applicant could receive a notice of denial. At that point, there is a string of appeals procedures that the person could go through to get the initial denial reversed, but wouldn't it be easier to just get approved on your initial attempt?

To do so, providing the most comprehensive medical evidence in the initial application is crucial. Documentation must be provided that shows that the applicant has indeed been diagnosed with a medical condition that has led to disability, as well as documentation showing the severity of the disability.

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