Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
When a person sustains a physical injury that prevents him or her from working, that person may be entitled to Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. These benefits are designed to financially help people who can’t work because of a physical injury. If you are uncertain if you qualify, contact Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, Tony Adderely today for a free case evaluation.
COMMON PHYSICAL CONDITIONS AND DISABILITIES
There are many types of physical conditions and disabilities that would qualify for SSD benefits – they include fibromyalgia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, lupus and lung cancer. This list is by no means all inclusive and is only a partial list to show the wide range of disabilities and conditions that are covered.
DIABETES – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that almost 26 million Americans, more than 8 percent of us, suffer from diabetes. With the proper treatment, most diabetes sufferers are able to live nearly normal lives, work or attend school, and raise families like the rest of us. But for some people, the disease is catastrophic and disabling. These people find that diabetes prevents them from working or from living anything that resembles a normal life. When diabetes strikes this severely, victims may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. If you have diabetes and it is keeping you from working, you should speak to an experienced disability attorney. You may qualify for SSD benefits, but proving your case to the Social Security Administration may be a challenge.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS – In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers may qualify to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. RA is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the tissues of the synovial joints. It leads to swelling, stiffness, and inflammation. In severe cases, RA causes deformity of the affected joints by damaging the soft tissues and eroding the bones. Fingers and toes can become swollen, crooked, and curled. RA may also affect larger joints like knees, elbows, and shoulders, and it can inflame the membranes around the lungs and the heart.
Typically, the Social Security Administration provides SSD benefits only in the most severe cases of RA, when the disease has caused visible, physical deformity. Most RA sufferers who receive SSD benefits continued working for several years subsequent to the onset of the disease and stopped only when advanced RA caused frequent, unpredictable flares or severe physical impairment. Eventually, manual labor becomes virtually impossible for RA sufferers, while others whose work is less physical may remain employed for a period of time.
LUPUS – Persons, who suffer from Lupus, may suffer from pain, and inflammation in various parts of the body. Symptoms may flare and subside. There may be periods of exacerbated symptoms, and periods where you feel much better. That, by itself, makes it difficult for you to recover disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. The Social Security Disability Insurance program will require a claimant to prove that the condition has lasted for 12 months, or is expected to last 12 months in order to be eligible for disability benefits.
LUNG CANCER – Lung cancer is a leading killer of both men and women in southern California. It causes more deaths than colon cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer combined. If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you should apply for Social Security disability benefits. Depending on the stage of the cancer, your application may be expedited for review by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
CROHN’S DISEASE – Victims of Crohn’s disease are unable to perform full-time work. Symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease can vary, but common symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue, weakness, fever, abdominal pain, and sudden, substantial weight loss. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes gastrointestinal disorders in its Listing of Impairments. Many Crohn’s disease patients, however, do not meet all of the specific requirements of this listing. In those cases, you and your attorney must show that the symptoms you experience reduce your “Residual Functional Capacity” (RFC) so that you cannot perform all of the duties required of a full-time job.
FIBROMYALGIA – Those suffering from or disabled by fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and other symptoms, are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain Social Security disability benefits. Usually, Social Security judges award benefits only to claimants who can provide extensive medical evidence to support their claims. Because fibromyalgia is so difficult to diagnose and document, claims examiners and administrative law judges are usually reticent to approve fibromyalgia claims, even if the claimant has been treated for the condition by a doctor.
One of the difficulties in obtaining benefits is that medically speaking, fibromyalgia is classified as a “syndrome,” not as a disease. It’s a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas of the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips called “tender points.” While a disease is a condition with a clearly identifiable cause, a syndrome is a set of symptoms that define the condition without a single identifiable cause. While the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia can differ from person to person, there is one common symptom that all agree on: pain. The pain can feel like a deep bone ache, a stabbing pain, or a burning pain. For some the pain is mild, but for other fibromyalgia patients, at times it is so severe that it becomes unbearable.
For a fibromyalgia-based disability claim to succeed, first you must obtain the right medical attention: a full diagnosis and routine treatment from a rheumatologist. Document your case as extensively as possible with the pertinent medical records, lab test results, doctors’ statements, and anything else that might be helpful. You can win a fibromyalgia disability case, but if you suffer a related condition that is easier to diagnose and confirm objectively – such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory arthritis – it might be more productive to base your claim on that condition.
As a general rule, the SSA only approves applications for benefits when the applicant’s reported disability or condition will prevent or is expected to prevent the person from working for at least 12 months. Even though they may be diagnosed with a qualifying condition, SSD applicants may be unsure or confused about the application process, or how to go about compiling the evidence required to appease the SSA’s application review officials.
AN EXPERIENCED LOS ANGELES SOCIAL SECURITY ATTORNEY
Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, Tony S. Adderley and his team of top notch legal professionals are experienced benefits attorneys who can guide applicants through every step of the SSD benefits application process. His team can also help applicants compile the necessary proof of disability or medical condition required by the SSA. Whether they have never applied for SSD benefits or if they have applied and been denied, Tony Adderley can help individuals with physical injuries get the SSD benefits they deserve.