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Los Angeles Social Security Disability Law Blog

Severe arthritis could be a disability

There are many people who probably believe that suffering from arthritis is just a part of getting older. Arthritis is, after all, a fairly common ailment. However, what some people may not realize is that arthritis can actually become a quite serious health issue. And, if it is bad enough, arthritis could even become a disability.

For those who don't know, arthritis is a painful condition that is the result of joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Where it is most acutely felt is typically in the hands, as those are the joints that many people will use the most in any given day. Any pain, swelling or stiffness that makes it more difficult to use your hands is obviously a major health concern.

Know what medical evidence you will need for SSD benefits

Many people will, at some point in life, find themselves disabled and facing a complete inability to work. These people will be searching for answers, chief among which might be "How will I support myself and my family financially"? If you are unable to work and earn an income, the answer to this question might not be all that easy. That is where Social Security Disability comes in.

An applicant for SSD benefits can be approved to receive those benefits if they provide the right information to the Social Security Administration. This information should include the details regarding how the disability started, when it started and how it is keeping the applicant from maintaining gainful employment. As many of our readers would likely guess, this means that quite a bit of medical evidence needs to be included in the initial application for benefits.

Important facts for those who suffer from silicosis

If you work in certain industries, there are risks that are taken in the materials you work with. As an employee, you have the right to expect your employer to be aware of these and meet the regulations set by the government. Silicosis is a disease that is commonly seen in workers in certain industries, including sand blasting, ceramics work, stone cutting, quarrying, glass manufacturing, mining, construction and tunnel work.

Social Security Administration facing hiring freeze

When Los Angeles residents are approved to receive Social Security Disability benefits upon their initial application, they probably consider themselves lucky. Lucky in the sense that many people know that the majority of initial applications are rejected: somewhere in the 60 percent range. And, lucky that they don't then have to go through the process of appealing the initial rejection - especially since the appeals process is bogging down throughout the country.

According to a recent report, the appeals process to get in front of an administrative law judge can, in some cases, take over a year to be reviewed. Many point to the lack of availability among these ALJs, as they are called, to hear Social Security Disability appeals. The Social Security Administration had planned to hire more ALJs in order to address the growing backlog, but the recent federal hiring freeze may put an abrupt halt to that plan.

Is SSI a Social Security benefit?

Previous posts here have detailed the differences between Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income. But, confusion may still linger. After all, if Supplemental Security Income is a program managed by the Social Security Administration, doesn't that make SSI a form of Social Security benefit?

The simple answer is "no." As a recent article pointed out, Supplemental Security Income came into existence in 1973 when Congress passed legislation to standardize and provide stability to welfare programs that, prior to that year, were administered by each of the different states. In deliberating on how this new national welfare program would be best administered, the Congress settled on the Social Security Administration. Why? Because the SSA already had a nationwide infrastructure in place, and the job the SSA was doing -- distributing Social Security benefits to eligible participants - was similar to what was going to need to occur to evaluate applicants for SSI benefits and then distribute those benefits.

A closer look at the eligibility details for SSI-related benefits

By now most of our readers probably know that Supplemental Security Income is different from Social Security Disability benefits. SSI benefits can be awarded to those who qualify, regardless of their work history. SSD benefits, on the other hand, are reserved for those who have the requisite amount of work credits on their record, as well as a qualifying disability. Although knowing the difference between these two federal benefits is important, it is a good idea to take a closer look at some of the eligibility details for Supplemental Security Income in particular.

For starters, those who may qualify for SSI benefits must be either blind, disabled or over the age of 65. Next, the applicant must also have extremely limited financial resources, such as limited income and a lack of financially valuable assets. These are the two most important factors in determining eligibility for Supplement Security Income.

Qualifying for SSD benefits due to a mental impairment

Millions of Americans suffer from mental impairments that have a major impact on their daily lives. For some, it is anxiety. For others, depression. Many of these people are able to take prescription medication, attend counseling sessions and then move on with their lives. However, there are some people who face mental impairments that can be somewhat all-encompassing. People who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or post-traumatic stress disorder may be unable to work as a result of their mental conditions.

Los Angeles residents who are unable to work due to suffering from PTSD or schizophrenia may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability. In many cases of schizophrenia, a person may have lived for years as the condition developed. They weren't always unable to work due to the condition, but over time the symptoms may become overwhelming.

5 workplace injuries that can leave you unable to work

Whether you work as a cashier in retail or in a dangerous job like demolition and construction, the chances of injuries are always there. While you do all you can to comply with safety regulations that keep you and your co-workers safe, there are times that you are simply unable to stop things from happening. Injuries and illnesses caused on the job can lead to life-changing problems that make it impossible for you to work or earn an income. These five injuries are all too common in the workplace today.

The waiting time for Social Security Disability benefits

Anyone who is familiar with previous posts here knows that there is quite a bit of work to be done when Los Angeles residents find themselves in a position where they need to file for Social Security Disability benefits. The initial application for SSD benefits requires copious amounts of information, including information about the disability in question, how the disability affects the applicant's life, how the disability prevents the applicant for working and documentation that shows that the applicant has earned the requisite amount of work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Putting all of that information together can be time-consuming and mentally exhausting, but once everything is put together the application can be submitted for review. But, what then?

According to a recent report, there are over a million cases that are considered "backlogged" at the Social Security Administration as applicants await final word on whether or not they will receive SSD benefits. Fortunately, these aren't cases waiting for an initial review; they are cases waiting for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Our Los Angeles readers who are familiar with previous posts about the appeals process know that this is a stage in the process that occurs after an initial application for SSD benefits has been denied.

What do workplace injury and illness statistics tell us?

Every worker in Los Angeles and throughout California deserves to have a workplace that is free from the potential of causing injuries or illness. When workers aren't able to work in a safe environment, the consequences can be severe: accident injuries, occupational illnesses and even complete disability. Needless to say, Los Angeles residents who are injured or who become ill due to on-the-job concerns may be unable to work for an extended period of time.

So, what do the statistics show us about workplace injuries and illnesses in America? First and foremost, the rate of non-fatal illnesses and injuries that were reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2015 fortunately showed a continued decline in the rate of these incidents. Unfortunately, there were still 2.9 million such incidents in 2015.

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