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Los Angeles California Social Security Disability Insurance Law Blog

Musculoskeletal conditions and Social Security Disability

When California residents realize they can no longer work because of a disability, they usually have many questions about what will happen next. Although many people can receive Social Security disability benefits, there are certain kinds of conditions which the Social Security Administration considers disabilities. If people want to receive disability benefits, it is important for them to know whether their condition will qualify. 

The SSA typically gives Social Security benefits to people who have a qualifying disability. According to the Social Security Administration, people usually need to have a disability that keeps them from working. This may mean that people cannot do new kinds of work or that they can no longer perform their old job. Additionally, any qualifying disability generally needs to be long-lasting and affect a person's life for one year or more.  

Employees suffering from depression may have disability rights

Physical injuries and illnesses, and the way that they affect a person's ability to do their job, tend to be easy to understand. For example, if a construction worker has injured their back, it is easy to see why they will not be able to continue their job, and why they should subsequently be deserving of disability benefits.

When a person is suffering from a mental illness such as depression, it can be equally as difficult for them to carry out their job. However, many people suffering from mental illnesses find it difficult to gain sympathy and recognition from their employers. Mental illness under the law is essentially treated on equal terms as any debilitating physical condition. Therefore, it is important that you take the time to understand your disability rights as a person suffering from depression.

Broken bones can heal but may also cause permanent injuries

Even the most common injuries can range in severity depending on the individual who gets hurt and the circumstances. Injuries that one person could recover from quickly could leave someone else unable to work for a prolonged period of time.

Similarly, an injury that might heal cleanly and safely in most cases, like a broken bone, can occasionally also lead to disabling injuries. The discrepancy in the severity of injuries and the effects that they have on a person's livelihood and daily life are one of many reasons why disability decisions get made on an individual basis, not based on a diagnosis.

Your awareness can help you to manage your anxiety

Anxiety may be something you have lived with your entire life, or it could be a relatively recent challenge that you have begun to recognize. Anxiety can be caused by traumatic life events, medical issues and even genetics. Its triggers vary from person to person, and while you may be aware of which risks cause you to feel anxious, learning to manage your anxiety can be a definite learning experience. At the Disability Rights Law Center, we are committed to helping people in California who suffer from mental illnesses. 

Having a strong support system is critical to your ability to manage and cope with the consequences of your anxiety. It is important that you be upfront and honest with your family members and friends about your condition so you can avoid the fear and stress of managing your anxiety on your own. According to Psychology Today, some of the ways that you can keep your anxiety from overtaking your life include the following:

  • Reduce the amount of caffeine that you consume. Various components of caffeine can initiate the fight or flight response in your body and trigger a panic attack. 
  • When you are having a moment where you are panicking, remember that it is temporary and that you will feel better again. 
  • Learn about breathing and relaxation techniques that can encourage your body to be still and calm down in situations where your anxiety is getting out of control. 

Being mindful while exercising could decrease injuries

When people in California are preparing to try a new exercise or movement for the first time, they are automatically at a higher risk of experiencing an injury. Their ability to protect themselves depends on how much attention they put into preparing to try something new, as well as their willingness to seek instruction from sources that can provide valuable suggestions for completing the exercise safely and effectively. 

A rather new phenomenon is the term 'conscious movement' where experts recommend that people be mindful of what they are doing and how their body is operating to reduce their chances of injury while optimizing their workout routine. While this concept has recently gained interest from a majority of fitness gurus, its origin goes back hundreds of years to the foundation of practices like Tai Chi. In addition to recognizing how their body is moving, people can benefit from learning about how their body parts work together to complete each exercise they are doing. 

Back injuries shouldn't be common in the workplace

Workers should always have a safe place to their job duties. While many employers tend to focus on the major hazards in the workplace, there are some less serious ones that aren't always considered. Back injuries, for example, aren't always considered but this doesn't mean that they will be minor. In fact, back injuries can debilitate workers.

Trying to prevent workers from suffering from back injuries requires a comprehensive program that includes safety procedure reminders and the tools necessary to remain safe. It is still possible that employees will suffer injuries, but it is less likely if there is a program in place that is being followed by everyone involved.

Using positive thinking to stay motivated during an injury

When people in California experience a back injury, it could be the result of a car accident, repetitive stress at work or improperly lifting an object. Despite the cause, dealing with an injury that causes intermittent or continual pain can be discouraging and cause people to lose hope that they will recover and be able to resume their normal activities. While recovering from their injury is an important task alone, staying motivated during that time is also critical for people to be able to heal successfully. 

According to verywellhealth.com, there are two primary types of back pain including non-specific and specific. Simply put, specific back pain has a diagnosed cause including diseases such as osteoporosis and scoliosis. If a person has back pain associated with poor posture or tasks they have to do at their job, these would be classified as non-specific causes. 

Schizophrenia, homelessness and social security disability

According to the Social Security Administration, California residents who have a serious mental disorder are particularly vulnerable to homelessness. In fact, according to one study, just 16 percent of the total U.S.A. population lives with a disability, compared with nearly 40 percent of the homeless populace. While assistance is often available to these individuals, the nature of one's illness often prevents one from qualifying or applying for financial aid. Two mental conditions that make applying for government assistance difficult include schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia. The two conditions together affect approximately one in 100 individuals.

Technically speaking, individuals of the schizophrenic population should be eligible for supplemental security income or social security disability. However, because of the nature of their impairment, inflicted individuals often face many obstacles to completing the SSI or SSD applications. For an applicant to qualify for SSA assistance, he or she must present thorough evidence in the form of doctors' reports, psychological evaluations, CT scans and other forms of medical documentation.

A torn anterior cruciate ligament can end careers

Some workers are at risk of serious knee injuries because of their job duties. These can be painful and are sometimes activity-limiting. Serious injuries and ones that occur to people who have intense jobs can also end careers.

One injury that is particularly troublesome is a torn anterior cruciate ligament. This is commonly associated with a sudden stop in movement, having to jump, or making quick changes in direction. Using proper body mechanics and having proper safety gear can help to prevent this injury.

What are compassionate allowances?

If you need to apply for Social Security Disability in California, you may want to check into compassionate allowances. According to the Social Security Administration, compassionate allowances are a quick way to identify qualifying medical conditions. If your disability obviously qualifies, you may fall under the compassionate allowances program.

To get SSDI, you have to have a qualifying medical condition. It can take some time to go through the application process because the SSA must verify your condition meets the requirements to qualify for SSDI. However, with compassionate allowances, if you have certain conditions, there is no need to run them through the qualification process, so your application may get approval much quicker.

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