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December 2019 Archives

Obesity

It is nearly impossible to live in the United States today without taking note of the extreme increase in the rate of obesity across the population. Today, over 39% of the adult population qualify as obese, as defined as a BMI of > 30. (This equates to a weight of approximately 186 lbs. for an individual who is 5'6"). Over 6% of the population are morbidly obese, with a BMI of > 40, which would correlate to a weight of 248 for that same 5'6" individual. The increasing prevalence of obesity among adults is particularly striking when noting that it was only 33.7% a decade earlier.

Medical Sources

Understanding the term "medical source" might seem self-explanatory, but Social Security Administration does not recognize every type of provider as an approved medical source (AMS) for the purpose of determining whether a claimant has disability.

Hearing Testimony: Tips and Tricks

When an individual is denied social security benefits at initial and reconsideration, their case is then set for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Having to attend a hearing is very common. In fact, a hearing is set in majority of social security disability cases. Hearings help a judge understand how disabling an individual's physical and/or mental conditions are. At the hearing, most judges will directly question the individual before their attorney has a chance to question them. Basically, the judge wants to understand how these conditions affect the individual's ability to work. Many judges will start off by asking the individual the all-encompassing question of: "In your own words, what prevents you from working at this time?" It is important to be detailed with the symptoms of your diagnosis that affect your ability to work, however stay away from just listing diagnosis. For example, an individual should not just say "I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia" Instead, saying something along the lines of "the constant aching pain in my shoulders, neck, and back cause me to have issues with sitting/standing/walking as well as cause me fatigue throughout the day" is more helpful. Remember, the judge has access to all of the medical records prior to the hearing so he/she will be aware of the all of the specific diagnosis. Therefore, what the judge really wants to know is how these diagnosis affect the person's everyday life as well as their ability to work a full-time job. The judge may also ask several questions regarding the individual's ability to do chores, sit, stand, walk, and lift. The judge may also have questions regarding an individuals ongoing treatment. For these questions, it is important to not exaggerate, but to be truthful. Overall, the questions asked will differ in each case and an experienced attorney will be able to advise and prepare an individual for their hearing.

A disability is about more than an injury

The Social Security Administration (SSA) carefully evaluates every single case that they get when people claim they are disabled and can no longer work. Every case has its own set of facts and important details. Do not assume that any two cases are the same or that an injury will absolutely qualify just because you know someone else with a similar injury or you read a news report about that type of injury.

Disability Benefits and Inflammatory Arthritis

According to the CDC, 23% of all adults in the United States have arthritis. It is the leading cause of disability preventing Americans from working. Inflammatory arthritis is a group of diseases characterized by inflammatory of the joints and often other tissues (Arthritis Foundation). These include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic lupus, and others.

Somatic Symptom Disorder

A somatic symptom disorder (formerly known as "somatoform disorder") is a mental illness characterized by the manifestation of physical symptoms such as pain, weakness, pseudoseizures, sensory abnormalities, or gastrointestinal issues. These physical symptoms are neither feigned nor intentionally produced and cannot be fully explained by another medical condition, mental disorder, or drug effect. They may or may not be associated with another medical impairment, but the body's reaction to such distress is extreme and disproportionate.

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Contact us online or call our offices directly at 888-351-0427 for a free case evaluation. All cases are taken on contingency, meaning there are no fees until we recover benefits for you.

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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.

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