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Midwest Disability, P.A.'s Blog

Are you a veteran with severe social anxiety?

After returning from active duty, many veterans find it hard to fit back into society. They just feel like they do not have much in common with people in the States. They feel like they see the world in a new and different way that people who never served just cannot understand.

In some cases, this manifests itself as social anxiety. It can be so severe that it prevents people from working and having personal relationships. Per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, some signs of severe social anxiety include feeling nervous:

  • When taking classes or attending meetings
  • When socializing with large and small groups of people
  • When attending parties and gatherings with friends
  • When talking to someone new
  • When getting up in front of a group to speak
  • When talking with someone in a position of authority
  • When it is time to be assertive or stand up for yourself
  • When going out on a to date
  • When it's necessary to start a conversation or maintain a relatively long conversation
  • When writing or otherwise performing important tasks in public

Supplemental Security Income went up in 2019, but not by much

It is true the amount of money paid out through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) went up for 2019, helping to make up for inflation and related issues, but it did not rise by all that much. It is important for those considering the benefits to know exactly what they may be able to get.

In 2018, the maximum amount paid out during a year (unrounded) was $9,007.46. It then went up 2.8% for 2019, bringing the unrounded total to $9,259.67. That is the amount for a disabled individual.

Retirement and Disability Benefits

As a general rule, you are unable to receiving disability benefits and retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) at the same time. This is true even if your retirement was due in part to being unable to work any longer because of a disability.

Can I get Disability for a Painful Skin Condition?

Social Security disability benefits are a definite possibility for individuals with painful and debilitating skin conditions, including burns. Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluators and judges will grant disability benefits to individuals who can demonstrate the medical criteria of one of the skin conditions listed in what is known as the SSA "blue book". Skin conditions listed here include ichthyosis, bullous disease, chronic infection of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurative, genetic photosensitive disorders, and burns. Even if the "blue book" criteria is not met, the SSA will grant disability benefits to individuals who are otherwise eligible for benefits and can show that they are unable work due to their skin issues

How does a disability change your home life?

Public spaces must be accessible for all, including those with disabilities. They have to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

However, many experts note that the same regulations do not apply to homes. This means that someone who suffers an injury and winds up with a disability may have the easiest time in public places, but their own home could present some of the biggest challenges that they'll face.

Housing and Disability Benefits

A constant source of confusion for many disability claimants is that they often qualify to apply for two different types of benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.

Despite the similar names and criteria, several major differences in how the programs operate can affect the amount of benefits you collect.

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that workers pay into, so their benefits are based on their income. It's possible to receive a monthly benefit of up to $2,861, but the average benefit is usually around $1,100 per month.

On the other hand, Supplemental Security Income is a need-based program. Your assets must be below a certain threshold to qualify, and the monthly benefit is capped at $771 as of 2019.

Because SSI is based on financial need, additional rules come into play for SSI beneficiaries. The most common issue is that an individual receiving SSI finds part time work and has their benefits reduced.

It's difficult to cope with war

Soldiers know what they're signing up for when they join the military, but that does not mean that they're ready to deal with the true experience of war, either mentally or emotionally. It's hard to say anyone is. War is very difficult, stressful and traumatic. Even a just war to protect the innocent, where the solider knows they are doing the right thing and feels proud of what they have accomplished, can leave someone with mental scars they carry for life. That's just the nature of war itself.

In some cases, these mental scars are so serious that they impact the person's life in very tangible ways for years to come. A few potential symptoms include:

  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Difficulty completing tasks
  • Fear about the future
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Emotional numbing
  • Apathy
  • Feeling powerless
  • General sadness
  • Clinical depression
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Changes to diet, such as a lack of appetite or extreme hunger
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Stomach problems
  • Headaches
  • Crying without any other apparent reason
  • Drug use
  • Excessive drinking
  • Feeling isolated
  • Actively withdrawing

When Should I Apply for Disability Benefits?

As with most legal matters, there's no specific formula to figure out when it's time to file a claim for disability benefits, just several factors to consider.

Probably the most important thing to remember is that the disability program is only for people who have stopped working, or whose earnings have dropped below substantial gainful activity ($1,220 per month as of 2019).

No matter what medical conditions you may have been diagnosed with, if you are working and your earnings rise above that amount, you do not qualify for Social Security disability.

Another factor to consider is your medical impairments and how often you are treating. Social Security rules require that your impairment must have lasted, or be expected to last, 12 months.

Successful cancer treatment could leave you with a disability

Cancer can be a devastating disease, and you may be disabled for the rest of your life regardless of the outcome of the treatment. Just going through chemo and everything else really takes a toll. You need an incredible amount of rest, you may feel weak and sick all of the time, and you may find that you absolutely cannot hold down a job.

Now, it all depends on the type of cancer. For instance, some skin cancers that get caught early just require minor surgery that is over in a few minutes and has no lasting impact. Other surgeries, especially for things like bone cancer, can result in the loss of a limb. There's a drastic difference in scale here, and it depends on how advanced the cancer is, what type it is, where it is located, how early you catch it and what type of treatment your medical team feels is best in your case.

Military members get injured or killed far from combat

When people think about the injuries that military members suffer, they often think of troops in a combat zone. They consider enemy fire, improvised explosive devices, and things of this nature.

While soldiers certainly do suffer serious injuries in combat, it is important to remember that many of them often get injured -- or even lose their lives -- far from the front lines. The military is a dangerous occupation on many fronts. Soldiers get hurt on the job in accidents that would never take place in another occupation -- and in some incidents that could also impact construction workers, field workers and others in more "traditional" jobs.

MIDWEST DISABILITY office locations

Midwest Disability, P.A.
408 Northdale Boulevard Northwest
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Toll Free: 888-351-0427
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