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Social Security Disability Benefits for Skin Disorders
Posted December 07, 2017

Social Security Disability AttorneyMost people have experienced minor skin problems that may appear unsightly, but get better with time. However, there are certain skin disorders that can reduce your ability to work, such as inability to hold or firmly grip items with your hands and cause restricted movements. If you are suffering from a skin disease that hampers your ability to fully utilize your work capability, there is a good chance that you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

What you need to Qualify for SSD Benefits for Skin Disorders

You must establish that you are under the care of a physician or specialist, and have been diligently following their instructions pertaining to treatments and medications. Often times, this is the most difficult requirement for claimants to fulfill, especially when they do not have extensive health insurance coverage, as dermatological treatments are generally expensive to administer.

However, regardless of your specific situation, the Social Security Administration requires you to provide accurate information about:

  • Presence of skin disorders in family
  • The appearance of skin lesions
  • The size and location of the condition
  • A complete list of stressors that may have caused your specific skin problem
  • A history pertaining to any allergens, toxins, or irritants that you have been exposed to
  • A complete description of ability to work when you are not exposed to any special environments
  • Documentation to highlight the effect of changing seasons on your skin disorder

What Skin Disorders Qualify for SSD Benefits

The Section 8 of the SSA’s Blue Book features a list of skin orders with details and basic requirements for eligibility for SSD benefits. They are as follows:

  • Dermatitis: It covers numerous skin conditions, and to be eligible for SSD benefits, you must have skin lesions for at least three consecutive months.
  • Burns: To be eligible for SSD benefits due to burns, there must be skin lesions that have lasted for 12-months or more.
  • Ichthyosis: Skin lesions must be spread over extensive parts of the body for three months or more.
  • Chronic Mucous Membrane: This refers to skin infections with extensive skin lesions that are fungating or ulcerating for more than three months.
  • Bullous Diseases: This entails having skin lesions for at least three months over extensive body parts.
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa: Both inguinal areas and both axillae must be affected for at least three months to qualify for SSD benefits with this condition.
  • Genetic Photosensitivity Disorders: You can qualify for SSD benefits automatically if you are suffering from xereoderma pigmentosum. This is because such skin conditions are generally present from the time you were born. If not, your physical condition and medical reports should show that significant parts of your body are affected by skin lesions and the condition is expected to last or has lasted for 12 months or more.

Other skin conditions that are known to cause disability to some degree and make you eligible for benefits include:

  • Shingles
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Chronic Skin Diseases
  • Cellulitis

While there are well-defined guidelines for what is considered eligible for acquiring SSD benefits, the SSA conducts strict checks that make qualifying for benefits difficult. However, if you make your application in the right way and present all the supporting evidence while fulfilling the SSA’s requirements, you can drastically improve your chances of eligibility. It is recommended to work with an experienced Social Security disability attorney who can help you navigate through the process. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

How can a Personal Injury Settlement Affect your Disability Benefits?
Posted November 09, 2017

Disability AttorneyA majority of the government financial assistance programs provide monetary relief to eligible individuals on a monthly basis, but have strict criteria and limits for qualification. If you have been injured in an accident and have received compensation for your damages, there is a possibility that it may impact your ability to qualify or continue to get disability benefits. It is essential that you discuss this with your personal injury attorney before reaching a settlement. This is because without proper planning, your personal injury award can affect your disability benefits, or deprive you of the monetary support for a specific period.

What Disability Benefits Might be Affected by a Personal Injury Settlement

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are generally two benefits that people suffering from a disability may be given, based on whether they meet the eligibility requirements. SSDI is an entitlement program that provides workers benefits because of their disability, rendering them unable to work. It kicks in when a taxpayer sustains a disabling injury or is diagnosed with such a disease.

SSDI does not takes into account personal resources or income – instead, it considers the ability of an individual to perform their work duties after they have experienced a mental or physical impairment. Since it is a federal entitlement program and not a needs-based program, your personal injury award will not affect the disability benefits you are availing through SSDI. This means that you do not have to worry about losing SSDI benefits when you receive the settlement reward.

On the other hand, SSI is a needs-based program that provides people monetary support when they reach a certain income level or have cross the poverty line. You are not required to have an employment history to be eligible for these benefits – instead, the qualification requirements are based on your amount of income and assets. When you receive a personal injury settlement reward, your income level change and move above the preset limits, disqualifying you or reducing the amount of disability benefits you are getting under SSI.

How to Protect Your Disability Benefits

It can be catastrophic for people receiving disability benefits to be stripped of their monthly source of income on which they depend for numerous daily life necessities. Some of the critical medical expenses, such as therapy, prescription medications, nursing, home modifications, and surgical procedures that are covered by such benefits can quickly consume the settlement proceeds. However, the good news is that there are several ways to prevent this from happening.

Establishing a special needs trust can help disabled individuals to keep their settlement reward into a trust, allowing them to preserve their disability benefits. However, since it is a complex process to establish a special needs trust, you may have to work with your attorney to help you understand the rules and regulations, and the right way to enforce this trust.

Every case is different, and it is best to work with an attorney who have sound knowledge of Illinois laws and regulations pertaining to disability benefits and personal injury, and how they may affect each other. Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd. has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years to get their rightful benefits. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

What you Need to Know about the Worn-Out Worker Rule in SSD Claims
Posted October 05, 2017

Social Security Disability AttorneyA majority of workers are unaware of the little-known provision of the SSA, known as the worn-out worker rule. This rule applies to disabled workers who have an extensive employment history comprising of unskilled physical labor work. The worn-out worker rule provides employees with disability a good chance for claiming Social Security disability benefits that otherwise would be denied.

Understanding the Worn-Out Worker Rule

The SSA has set many checkpoints for workers to obtain disability benefits, one of which is the ability of an application to continue working. Several tests give priority to work that the applicant might have done in their employment history. If they do not find anything suitable, the caseworker will consider any kind of job that matches with the skills and education of the applicant. However, the caseworker runs out of options when the applicant does not have any specific skills or academics applicable to their situation.

This is where the worn-out worker rule is taken into consideration. The statutory guidelines for this rule can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations in Section 404.1562. The worn-out worker rule applies to a narrowed class of workers to determine whether they are eligible for disability benefits. There are three conditions that an applicant must satisfy:

  1. Marginal Education: The applicant must only have a marginal education. If a worker has studied till sixth grade, they will be considered eligible under this rule.
  2. Work Experience: The applicant must have an employment history of at least 35 years comprising of arduous unskilled physical labor only. According to the SSA, arduous work is defined as a job entailing physical work that primarily require high level of endurance or strength. However, there are no specific exertional level or physical actions that comes under the definition arduous work. Moreover, the SSA has not put any requirement that unskilled physical work for 35 years should be continuous – it can be divided into intervals.
  3. Severe Impairment: The worker must no longer be able to perform any kind of work due to a severe impairment expected to go on for at least a year. The impairment can either be mental or physical, or a combination of both, having more than a minimal impact on the worker’s ability to perform work-related tasks.

 

If an applicant meets the above criteria, they will not have to undergo a diagnosis to find out if they have any disability that is mentioned in the Listing of Impairments. They will not be assessed for Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) either. The caseworker will automatically classify them as disabled, and will not see if they can perform any kind of lighter unskilled work.

If a worker is eligible under the worn-out worker rule, it can increase their chances of receiving disability benefits. However, they will have to go through a lot of interpretation of the caseworker. It is important to retain the services of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to develop a deep understanding of the worn-out worker rule and improve your chances of qualification by the SSA. Contact Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd. today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

What to Expect from a Social Security Disability Interview
Posted September 18, 2017

Social Security Disability AttorneyIf you suffer from a disabling injury or medical condition, you may have several questions about filing for Social Security disability benefits and how the process will go forward after your application has been approved. Generally, the first step involves giving an initial interview to a Social Security representative. It is best that you prepare for it prior to going to the interview to increase the chance of your receiving SSD benefits.

What to Prepare

The Social Security representative requires a claimant to provide two important pieces of information: a complete work history and a full medical record comprising of the treatments you have received for your disability. The SSA uses this information to determine the eligibility of a claimant for disability benefits. It is recommended to provide as much and accurate information as possible to increase your chances of approval. Here are a few things that you should provide:

  • Names and contact information of medical institutions and doctors who have treated your disability
  • The dates for medical testing and when you received specific treatments
  • A list of all medications you were prescribed and are currently taking

It is important that the information you provide comprises of the data and record of the past 90 days. This is indispensable to showing that the disability still exists and affects your ability work. Moreover, your work history for the last 15 years will be required as well. You should write down these things on a paper or notepad and bring it with you so that you do not miss any important points during the interview.

What Happens During the SSD Interview?

Generally, a Social Security interview lasts for about an hour, considering that the claimant is prepared and has all the required information about medical and work history at hand. It is important to know that the purpose of this interview is to get the facts of your disability straight, and at that time, no final decision will be made regarding your claim.

The representative from the SSA will inquire about your past 15 years of work history, the duties you performed during that period or at each job, how you got the disability, the medical treatments you have received, and the medications you have been taking for it. They may also ask about personal information, such as past military service, marital status, children, and any workers’ compensation benefits you are receiving for your injury.

In summary, important things to bring with you at the SSD interview includes:

  • Personal information
  • Medical records
  • Account information for payments
  • Information about workers’ compensation
  • Medical release form

To ensure you are fully prepared for the SSD interview, you should discuss your case with an experienced and reliable Social Security disability attorney. They will provide you tips to excel at the interview and work with you to collect information you will need to present to the SSA representative. Contact Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd  today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

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