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Midwest Disability, P.A.'s Blog

Veterans' issues | Get the help you need when you need it

It is safe to say that most Minnesota residents would agree that many of our nation's veterans are in crisis. They face a plethora of veterans' issues from physical disability to mental health problems to crippling financial problems. While we are all aware of these issues to at least a degree, our veterans continue to suffer while waiting for the benefits they deserve. It makes us wonder why this continues to be an issue.

Unfortunately, we do not have an answer to the question of why, but what we can say to these veterans is that you need help right now. You need an advocate who can assist you in getting the benefits you need and deserve. However, benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the veterans' issues that challenge many former service members. Some of the other issues our country's veterans face all too frequently include:

  • Divorce and child custody matters
  • Domestic violence
  • Alcohol and drug addiction
  • Chronic illness
  • Physical pain and disability
  • Lack of housing
  • Overwhelming debt

Can you get Social Security benefits for mental health disorders?

If you have a mental health condition, you may be interested in knowing more about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD). Mental health conditions are just as debilitating as physical conditions in many cases. As such, it's important that those who cannot work have an opportunity to get the benefits they need to support themselves as they address their mental health concerns.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides an income to people who aren't able to work due to a disability, either physical or mental. As of 2013, around 9 million people relied on SSDI as a way to increase their incomes or as a sole income. Of those individuals, around 35.2 percent qualify for SSDI as a result of mental health disorders.

The Disability Application and Gaps in Treatment

It takes a long time to get a disability case heard by an administrative law judge. In many cases, it's taking more than two years from the date of filing to get a court date in the state of Illinois.

Hurry Up and Wait!

When an insured individual is no longer able to work due to a disability, it is important to file a Social Security Disability claim as soon as possible to avoid any potential loss of benefits. Insured status for benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act has an expiration date, or "date last insured" (DLI) for the onset of disability, though an individual may file a claim at any time. Social Security Administration can pay up to twelve months of retroactive pay from the date filed, so a claimant who files long after their onset of disability may risk losing back pay.

Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a diagnosable medical impairment where blood pressure in the arteries is chronically elevated. Blood pressure is expressed as a ratio of two measurements: the systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) pressures. For most adults, normal blood pressure range is 100-140 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) systolic, and 60-90 mmHg diastolic. Clinicians consider blood pressure persistently over 130/90 to be hypertension. High blood pressure is a widespread medical condition in our country, given the abundance of risk factors such as unhealthy diet and excess body weight. According to the CDC, about 75 million American adults, or approximately 1 in 3, have high blood pressure. Although common, many Americans are still able to work with a diagnosis of hypertension. However, Social Security Administration may consider a diagnosis to be disabling if it has more than a minimal impact on the ability to perform basic work activities (SSR 85-28).

Denied disability? An appeal can be successful

If you have received a denial for Supplemental Security Income (SS) or Social Security benefits, you might think that there is nothing you can do. Fortunately, that's not the case. You have a right to appeal the decision made by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In doing so, you're asserting your right to have the case reviewed again and must make sure all the correct evidence is present.

To be successful in an appeal, you will need to review the denial letter. What didn't the Social Security Administration see that it needed in order to give you benefits? Did it claim you didn't complete the application? Was it denied for medical or nonmedical reasons? These questions help you focus on the part of the application that you need to adjust for a better chance at success.

How does the Social Security Administration define disabilities?

You served your time in the military, and you suffered the consequences. You struggle with a disability and need support. To obtain Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance, you'll need to qualify under the Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of disabled or ill. If your medical condition is on the agency's list or is comparable to one that is on the list, then you can obtain benefits. If not, then you'll be left fighting for the benefits you think are fair.

There are some impairments already listed, so that it's easier for people to obtain disability benefits. For instance, musculoskeletal problems, like disk problems, that affect a person's ability to work may qualify them for disability payments. Vision and hearing loss are considered to be disabilities in some instances. Other conditions that could help you qualify for disability include immune system disorders, digestive tract problems, blood disorders and even cardiovascular conditions.

Not disabled? You still need to understand disability benefits

Social Security disability (SSD) is there for people who get hurt and can't work to bring in an income. It's a way to make ends meet when you truly have no other options. People who take this benefit suffer a disability that affects them so severely that they can't work for a year or longer. Some people who claim the benefit have a condition expected to end in death.

Although many people aren't disabled and don't come into contact with disabilities regularly, the fact of the matter is that anyone can become disabled at any time. A 20-year-old worker has a 25 percent chance of suffering from a disability before he or she reaches retirement. That's what makes SSD so important.

Social Security changes are coming in 2018

You were at work when you suffered a life-changing injury. You didn't think that it would impact you initially, but once you discovered that you wouldn't be able to walk, stand or move in the ways you used to, you found that you couldn't work.

Chronic pain has become the norm in your life, so you filed a claim for Social Security Disability. You receive benefits monthly now, which helps you stay afloat.

MIDWEST DISABILITY office locationS

Midwest Disability, P.A.
408 Northdale Boulevard Northwest
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Toll Free: 888-351-0427
Fax:763-862-7521
Coon Rapids Law Office Map

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