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Los Angeles Social Security Disability Law Blog

Arthritis and your chances of qualifying for SSD benefits

Many elderly people in Los Angeles suffer from arthritis. Some will simply accept that this is part of the aging process for some people. However, while there may be many health issues that can be attributed to "old age," the reality is that arthritis is a medical condition that could become a disability for some people.

For those who suffer from some of the worst instances of arthritis, the symptoms can be overwhelming. A person's joints could feel like they are on fire with pain, as bone rubs against bone. The pain can lead to tenderness and then to stiffness. Arthritis can be felt in a person's hands, feet or knees, among other areas. From there, it is easy to see how a person's ability to work could be limited from such a disease. If a person can't stand or use their hands comfortably - without pain - how could they be expected to work 40 hours a week?

Once approved, will you receive SSD benefits for previous months?

Our Los Angeles readers know that the application process for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can take quite a bit of time to complete. First, there is the process of gather all of the documentation that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will need to review, as well as filling out the initial application. Then, once the initial application is submitted, it can take a few months for the SSA to complete the initial review process. From there, applicants can expect to either be approved or denied for SSD benefits.

But, if an applicant is approved, will that person receive SSD benefits to cover the months before that approval is finalized? Fortunately, the answer is "yes," but only if the SSA determines that the applicant was suffering from the disability during the months prior to approval of the application. In fact, the SSA may award benefits for up to 12 months, prior to approval of the application.

3 things you can do to get approved for your SSA Disability faster

There are currently about 9 million Americans on Social Security Disability. Such a large number makes it sound like obtaining your SSA disability should be a fairly straightforward feat. However, if you look a little closer at the numbers, the levels of people who actually receive their SSA disability have actually been in decline for several years.

If you are planning to apply for your SSA disability, you should expect the process to take some time, with the potential to be rejected and even the requirement of waiting through the lengthy appeals process. Yet, there are a few things you can do that may help your claim for disability move along a bit faster through the process. 

Critical factors in processing your application for SSD benefits

When a Los Angeles resident finally submits a complete initial application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it can probably feel like a large part of the ordeal is done. However, the reality is that even after all of the hard work of gathering information and documents for the application, the submission of the application is just the starting point. Federal regulations require a rigorous screening of applications by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

As a result, the actual processing time for an application for SSD benefits can vary. But, as a recent article noted, the typical goal is for an application to be processed within a three-to-five month timeframe. A variety of critical factors can play a part in the time it takes to process an application, though.

Tackling the initial application for SSD benefits

Mental illness is usually something that builds over time, gradually becoming more of a problem if the Californian who has the condition does not get the appropriate help and medication. As time goes on, a mental impairment may become so serious that the individual is no longer able to work to earn an income. If this occurs, such an individual may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

However, applying for SSD benefits can be quite complicated. A person who is suffering from a mental health condition may find the process even more confusing. Nonetheless, it is a step-by-step process, and each step has its own challenges.

How addiction or alcoholism affects SSD benefits applications

There are millions of people in America who struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism, including many people in Los Angeles. Addiction is a powerful force in many people's lives, and for many, it becomes the defining characteristic of who they are. However, the reality is that it seems that addiction and alcoholism can happen to anyone. It can happen to Los Angeles residents who have worked and been successful for years, only to find themselves in a difficult position due to addiction.

When people who suffer from addiction or alcoholism become disabled, how will their applications for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits be affected? It would be a mistake for our readers to think that addiction and alcoholism do not play a role in the ultimate determination of whether an application for SSD benefits will be approved.

A guide to preparing for the SSD process

The Social Security Disability (SSD) hearing is typically the most stressful segment of the process for those hoping to receive disability income. This is due to the discussion of how much your life has been impacted by your conditions. Luckily, there are some steps you can take prior to entering the hearing that can help you relieve stress and ensure the SSD application process is followed

Children who suffer from cancer may be eligible for SSI benefits

All types of cancer are pervasive in America. Many of our Los Angeles readers probably know a friend or relative who has battled some form of cancer, be it skin cancer, lung cancer or a blood and bone cancer, like leukemia. The people who find themselves in the unfortunate position of trying to treat cancer face the challenge bravely. But, the challenge can be even more overwhelming when the person who is suffering from cancer is a child.

It is heartbreaking to see a child suffer from cancer. The child's family members will do whatever it takes to see that the child gets the necessary treatment. However, for many families, the expense of medical treatment can be financially crippling. And, many people may not realize that children who suffer from cancer may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Replacing income with SSD benefits

Most Los Angeles workers probably do not even think about the fact that some of the deductions that are taken out of their paychecks are contributions to the Social Security Disability (SSD) fund. That is, they probably do not think about it until they find themselves in a position where they need to rely on SSD benefits. For those Los Angeles residents who have earned enough work credits and who have a disability that will keep them from returning to work for at least 12 months, it can be a good idea to apply for these benefits that they are entitled.

In an ideal world, the benefits that are paid out to disabled workers by the Social Security Administration (SSA) would be enough to completely compensate for the lack of an ability to earn an income. Replacing income with SSD benefits when the need arises is one of the goals of the Social Security Disability program. But, in many cases, the benefits that are paid out are not quite enough to match the income that was being earned prior to the onset of the disability. When that is the case, many people will have to make changes.

Are some forms of cancer actually blood diseases?

Many Los Angeles residents may only think about Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in terms of work-related injuries. However, a person may be eligible for SSD benefits, regardless of how a disability arises. In many cases, the disability may arise from a disease that has nothing to do with the person's occupation. Blood diseases, for instance, are a type of illness that may qualify a Los Angeles resident to receive SSD benefits. And, there are many different types of blood diseases.

In fact, some people may wonder -- Do some forms of cancer fall into the category of blood diseases? The short answer, "Yes." Diseases, like leukemia and lymphoma, are cancers that are found in a person's blood and plasma cells. These diseases are not only debilitating, they are potentially deadly as well.

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