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Los Angeles California Social Security Disability Insurance Law Blog

Qualify for Social Security Disability benefits

Given the frequency of the rhetoric thrown around about how Social Security funds are being drained, many in Los Angeles may believe to currently be easy to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The fact that the Social Security Administration itself confirms that 10.1 million people received such benefits in 2017 alone seems to support this assumption. Yet in reality, the SSA has established very strict requirements for SSD qualification in order to prevent abuse. 

Most may think that a simple diagnosis of a debilitating condition from a doctor may be enough to justify federal benefits, yet even confirmation that one has a disabling condition right now does not necessarily mean that it's effects will not abate and allow whoever is suffering from them to be able to return to work in the future. If one's disability is not projected to be long-term, there may be other benefit programs that they can turn to for a few months of financial assistance. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome impacts many office workers

People who work in offices might think that they are much safer than people who have other professions. While they may not have to deal with the same risks, there are some specific dangers that do need to be considered.

One potential injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is commonly associated with people who work primarily on computers. This condition doesn't usually come on all at once. It is a cumulative trauma injury, so it starts off as a minor bother and progressively gets worse.

On-the-job traffic crashes and disability

Every day, people who are employed in many different fields find themselves on the road as part of their job duties. Those who drive large trucks, delivery trucks or taxis may become involved in a work-related traffic crash. It is important to understand that many other fields may involve the risk of a traffic accident for workers in Los Angeles and all across California. For example, someone who is part of a road construction crew may be hit by a vehicle, or someone who works in an office could be struck by a reckless driver while they are running an errand.

Sadly, on-the-job crashes can be especially devastating and happen unexpectedly. Someone who is perfectly healthy and capable of performing their job responsibilities well may all of a sudden find themselves hospitalized and unable to walk, let alone work. Under these circumstances, the physical, financial and emotional impact of such an event can be overwhelming. Fortunately, certain options may help victims recover from these crashes, such as disability benefits.

Veterans might qualify for 2 types of disability payments

People who have served honorably in the military sometimes suffer from injuries that prevent them from being able to continue their service. Many of these individuals will be able to receive disability payments from Veterans Affairs. If you are among these individuals, you should know that you may also be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. These two programs won't affect each other, which can be a big help to veterans.

There are some important points to consider if you are thinking of applying for both types of benefits.

Important points to remember about disability applications

The process for applying for disability is a long one. Many different factors can have a part in just how long you have to wait. One thing that you shouldn't do is to count on a quick approval because this likely won't be forthcoming and your financial state can decline quickly while you await the outcome of your application.

If you need to file for Social Security Disability Insurance, make sure you are prepared.

What symptoms of depression may indicate suicide?

If you know someone who you are concerned is depressed, it may not be unusual for you to notice that he or she seems to be withdrawn, unwell and unhappy. However, it is vital that you are aware of the signs of depression that could indicate that someone you care about in California may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. 

At some point in their life, everyone will experience times of sadness or times when things are less-than-ideal. However, if you notice that someone you care about is suffering from these negative emotions for an extended period, he or she may be depressed. According to Web MD, if you suspect that your loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts that are connected to the depression that is being suffered, here are some of the things you should watch for:

  • A very noticeable and fast switch from a downtrodden and unhappy demeanor to a calm and joyful one. 
  • Discussions about death and suicide. 
  • Frequent conversations about feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in regards to their situation getting better. 
  • Risky behavior that could ultimately result in death.

Understanding bipolar disorder

Mood swings can be attributed to almost anyone. That may be the root cause of the problem in dealing with people who have bipolar disorder. Many of those that we here at the Disability Rights Center work with who are stricken with this condition often find it difficult for others to empathize with their situations. You spouse, boss or coworkers might claim to understand what it is like to have mood swings, yet since they are able to set them aside and remain productive, they may expect the same from you. What they do not understand is that your bipolar disorder goes way beyond simple changes in mood. 

The word "bipolar" itself means relating to two different extremes. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, your bipolar disorder causes you to easily shift between periods of manic excitement and enthusiasm to extended episodes of depression and lethargy. Maintaining a "middle ground" may be next to impossible (although some manic and depressive episodes may be less severe than others). The effects of these episodes are not just psychological; they typically manifest themselves in your everyday actions. Although the emotions experienced differ, some of the physical symptoms indicating a manic or depressive episodes are shared, such as: 

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability 
  • Problems with focus and concentration

Facts about carpal tunnel syndrome

Californians afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience symptoms in their hands such as weakness, numbness/tingling or loss or coordination. According to the Mayo Clinic, several factors can contribute to the development of CTS. For example, women are more likely than men to develop CTS, and the condition often occurs during pregnancy. Other medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, kidney failure, rheumatoid arthritis, neurological conditions or menopause, can also play a part in the development of CTS. People who are obese also face a greater risk.

The carpal tunnel is a structure within the wrist that allows the median nerve, which runs the length of the arm, to pass into the hand. According to WebMD, the median nerve controls the movement of all the fingers, except the pinky, and also controls feeling in the thumb. Swelling of the carpal tunnel can cause it to narrow, which puts pressure on the median nerve. Pressure on the nerve prevents it from functioning properly.

Interesting facts about Social Security Disability Insurance

People who work hard might look at their paycheck stub and notice that they are paying a FICA tax. This is a broad term for a group of taxes covered by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. These include the Social Security taxes that are formally known as the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance taxes. Medicare taxes also fall under this category.

While you might not want to see this money come out of your check, it does serve an important purpose. The FICA taxes help to cover Social Security Disability Insurance payments for workers who become disabled and have worked enough to meet specific criteria. They also cover the Medicare program that helps these workers to get the medical care they need once they are receiving SSDI. Here are some important points to know about these matters:

How is PTSD diagnosed and treated?

California residents who have been the victim of a crime, served in combat or experienced an accident may develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. If you have experienced a traumatic event, you may suffer from symptoms such as anxiety, flashbacks or nightmares. These symptoms may be severe and disrupt your activities of daily living.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you do not have to experience the inciting event yourself in order to develop PTSD. Even witnessing a traumatic event may be enough to evoke the symptoms. PTSD frequently affects those repeatedly exposed to details of traumatic events, such as soldiers and first responders. While onset of symptoms may first appear within a month after the traumatic event, sometimes years may pass before the disorder begins to manifest.

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