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Los Angeles California Social Security Disability Insurance Law Blog

Social Security Disability benefits have a long waiting time

When you have a disability, your financial future can feel incredibly uncertain. After all, a disability will likely preclude you from keeping a job, especially a good-paying job. Thankfully, the Social Security Disability program allows people who have worked their entire adult life to claim benefits when they end up disabled as the result of an injury or an illness.

Most people understand that the application process for Social Security Disability benefits is a difficult one. However, few people really understand the delays, hardships and red tape that people with disabilities must go through to connect with the benefits they deserve. It can take months or even years for someone with a serious disability to connect with the benefits he or she needs to survive.

Overcoming your physical disability and finding contentment

You have suffered a recent injury that has left you learning to cope with a new physical disability. As you start the process of healing and learning how to function with your new limitation, you will also be faced with the task of overcoming emotional setbacks as you create new goals for yourself and accept your new situation. At Disability Rights Law Center, we have helped many people in California to get compensation in circumstances where their personal injury was the result of some kind of accident. 

According to helpguide.org, one of the biggest challenges you will face is learning to accept your disability and not let it affect your attitude or determination to live a successful and happy life. Some of the things you can do to facilitate this acceptance include the following:

  • Learn about your disability and how it may affect you. Collaborate with people who have experienced the same injury and get their advice and support. 
  • Keep your goals realistic. If you have an ultimate goal, set smaller goals along the way and celebrate with each little accomplishment.
  • Discover new hobbies or interests that you have and spend time doing them. This can be a productive distraction from the emotions you may otherwise be experiencing.
  • Acknowledge your emotions and take the time to process them. Consider working with a mental health professional to receive help in overcoming roadblocks.

Traumatic brain injuries can lead to many types of disabilities

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) impact everyone a bit differently. This can make it hard to know which treatments will work best and what type of recovery to expect. There are numerous factors involved, such as:

  • The general health of the person who suffers the injury
  • That person's age at the time of injury
  • The area of the brain where it occurs
  • The severity of the damage after the incident

A minor brain injury to a healthy, young individual may completely resolve within weeks, while a serious injury to an older person with diminished health could lead to a permanent disability.

Publicized coverage of suicide may have damaging consequences

There are many individuals in California who struggle with anxiety and depression to the point that it is crippling. The debilitating emotion they feel every day can cause them to feel so unhappy that they seek alternatives to surviving their situation. The ever-growing problem of suicide is highlighting the need for intervention and resources providing support for people who are victims of mental disabilities. When addressed in a timely manner, the loss of a person's life may be avoidable. 

In a recent report that discussed the seemingly growing prevalence of suicides around the nation, experts expressed concern that highly publicized reports of suicide could actually be triggering suicides elsewhere. The study comes on the heels of the suicides of popular designer Kate Spade and executive chef Anthony Bourdain. Crisis hotlines reported an exponential increase in the number of calls they facilitated since both of the deaths and saw similar trends following the deaths of other popular figures including Robin Williams and Chester Bennington.

Construction accidents can likely be prevented

Construction workers should be able to go to work at the start of a shift and not worry about whether they are going to make it home at the end of the shift or not. Their employers should ensure that they have a safe environment to get the job done. When this doesn't happen, workers are the ones who might suffer physical injuries.

Some accidents in the construction industry are more common than others. There are four types that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have dubbed the "Fatal Four" because they account for such a large portion of the accidents that can occur in this industry.

Helping teens combat depression in a healthy way

For many California parents, there are few thoughts more concerning than the health and well-being of their children. Often, during the teenage years, children face a variety of obstacles and challenges that can create mental instability. Parents who understand how to help their children cope with difficult times, how to recognize depression and what to do to combat it productively, can act as advocates and facilitate a healthy recovery. 

According to Web MD, parents may begin to be concerned and suspect that their teenager is depressed if their child begins to isolate him or herself. If this kind of behavior becomes noticeable, parents should try to reach out to their child and involve him or her in exciting family activities. They may also sit down and talk with their child to find out which types of activities he or she finds entertaining. If they provide opportunities to do those things and the child still prefers isolation, he or she is most likely depressed and the issue should be addressed accordingly. 

What are your rights when you return to work after a TBI?

As the victim of a traumatic brain injury in California, you have spent significant time in rehabilitation to help you relearn important skills. You are learning to cope with limitations you may not have experienced before and are doing your best to thrive despite the changes that have occurred. Recently, you have decided to return to work. This time can be both exciting and terrifying at the once. However, when you understand what your rights are, you can be aware of the treatment you should receive to help you be successful in your career. 

According to brainline.org, if you experience significant challenges with day-to-day functions in relation to your TBI, returning to work could be significantly more difficult than someone who has suffered a less-severe TBI. Fortunately, with the right resources at your disposal, you can excel even if you are still recovering. Some of the resources you should have access to include the following:

  • A supportive work environment where you feel safe and appreciated.
  • Access to training to help you strengthen your cognitive function and skills. 
  • Technology that has been designed to supplement areas where you may need additional assistance. 
  • On-the-job training to help you learn about your responsibilities and how to effectively complete them.
  • Access to counselors who can provide support and encouragement as you return to work. 

The challenge of being approved for Social Security benefits

When you have a condition that disables you, it may make it impossible for you to work. This puts you in a difficult position because you need to have an income. One of the options that you have is to file for benefits from Social Security.

Even though these benefits are here to help you, it isn't easy to get approved. There is a complex process before you can get the benefits, so don't count on this as a quick way to have an income.

Amputees do not automatically qualify for SSD benefits

At the Disability Rights Law Center in California, we often help injured people review their cases and file for Social Security disability benefits. If you have recently suffered an amputation, you may have visited the SSA website in hopes of identifying whether your situation qualifies for disability benefits. 

Unlike eligibility for workers' compensation, it does not matter if your injury happened at work or somewhere else. The primary consideration is whether it keeps you from maintaining employment that can support you and anyone who depends on you. The SSA does have specific criteria for amputees to meet before they can receive benefits. You can find this information under the category, 1.00 Musculoskeletal System. 

Social Security disability for mental health conditions

Physical disabilities aren't the only types that can qualify a person for Social Security disability benefits. It is also possible for people who have mental health disorders to qualify in some cases. It might prove to be a bit more difficult to accurately show how the condition impacts you since there aren't always outward signs of the disability like what you might have with a physical one.

Having documented visits with a mental health professional and any other doctors who care for you can go a long way in these cases. Here are some points to remember about mental health conditions and Social Security disability:

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