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Los Angeles California Social Security Disability Insurance Law Blog

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you know someone who you are concerned is depressed, it may not be unusual for you to notice that he or she seems to be withdrawn, unwell and unhappy.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.

What happens after an injury on the job?

When you went to work on that fateful day, you felt great. In fact, you thought that the workday would go quickly and that you'd soon be heading out on your week of vacation.

You almost couldn't believe it when you noticed your coworker making a basic mistake on the job. You quickly ran over to stop them, but it was too late. In just seconds you were both involved in a serious accident, and you have injuries to deal with. You're both rushed to the hospital and require months of surgeries, therapies and other assistance.

What if the SSA denies my claim for benefits?

After you file a claim to receive Social Security disability benefits in California, someone from the Social Security Administration will review the information you provided and either approve or deny your request.

If you receive a denial letter, you have the right to appeal the decision through the process the SSA has set up for this purpose.

The shipping industry has major risks for workers

The shipping industry is a huge part of the Los Angeles economy. Many workers in this area depend on the ports as their source of income. Companies that hire these workers take steps to ensure that the working conditions are as safe as possible but all risks are impossible to eliminate.

Workers who are heading to the jobsite should make sure that they are aware of the hazards they face. Some are easy to spot, but others are more hidden.

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