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Austin Social Security Disability Law Blog

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.

What is the SSA's disability determination process?

Most of our readers know by now that the first step in any attempt to secure Social Security Disability benefits is to submit an application. But, how does the Social Security Administration go about actually determining disability?

Most Social Security Income attorneys would probably be able to tell our readers that when an application is submitted, the first stop is an SSA field office. At this stop, SSA representatives will make sure that the application includes all of the relative non-medical data, such as an applicant's age and employment history, as well as verifying marital status and whether or not the applicant is already receiving some other form of Social Security benefits. From there, the application is forwarded to a Disability Determination Services, or DDS.

What is the progression of liver disease?

There are many different types of illnesses and diseases that could qualify a Texan to receive Social Security Disability benefits. Liver disease can be one of them, especially if it is in an advanced stage. So, what exactly are the stages in the progression of liver disease?

The liver is actually a pretty incredible body part. The primary function of the liver is to clean a person's blood and fight infections. And, the most amazing thing about the liver is probably its ability to regenerate if it suffers damage. However, this ability can be outpaced, leading to liver disease.

Number of Americans receiving SSD benefits decreases

Many of our Texas readers may not have known this, but for about the past 30 years the number of Americans who receive Social Security Disability benefits has only increased. There are many potential reasons for this, with some citing the increase in the number of elderly citizens, some citing an increase in awareness of how Social Security Disability can help people and others citing just a general increase in the population at large.

Now, according to a recent report, there is news of a bit of a turnaround. The recent report noted that for the past six months in a row the number of people who receive SSD benefits has actually declined. If that is the case it is almost unprecedented, and many people are giving the credit to a labor market that has improved over the past several years after the economy bottomed out in 2007 and 2008.

Questioning your denied claim for SSD benefits

Most people have experienced disappointment at some point in their lives, but when that disappointed is due to a denied claim for SSD benefits, it can really hit hard. Despite all of the work that millions of Americans put into their application for benefits each year, most Social Security Disability attorneys would probably be able to tell our Texas readers that about 60 percent of them will be disappointed with the results. But, the process doesn't have to stop there.

Our readers may not know that after a denial of a claim for SSD benefits the applicant is entitled to have their documents reviewed a second time - or even more, if that is what it takes. After an initial denial, the applicant can request what is called "reconsideration." This is essentially just a second look at the same initial application - but the second time around the application is reviewed by someone who did not take part in the initial denial.

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