Social Security Disability Archives

Pregnancy and Disability

Some individuals mistakenly believe that Social Security will pay them benefits if they miss work due to a pregnancy or childbirth. While pregnancy can greatly impede one's ability to maintain full time employment, it is generally not considered a disability under the Social Security Act. Social Security's disability program only applies to long-term medical conditions. To establish a disability, a claimant must demonstrate a severe medical impairment expected to result in death or lasting at least twelve continuous months. A pregnancy or childbirth will not meet the duration requirements for disability benefits, unless the child is born with a permanent disability or giving birth causes a long-term impairment.

When do SSD payments begin after approval?

It takes time and effort on your part, but you eventually do get approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. What you're wondering, almost immediately, is when the payments actually start. When will you get the money they approved for you? When does that coverage begin? Could it be prior to your approval date?

Handling unfavorable medical expert testimony at your hearing

Social Security disability hearings will almost always involve the judge and the claimant's attorney taking testimony from the claimant and from a Vocational Expert (there are other blog posts here that discuss the role of the Vocational Expert in detail). However, you may also have to contend with the testimony of a medical expert. The medical expert (or "ME" in disability law circles) is a physician brought in by the Social Security Administration to review the medical records from your numerous providers and give an opinion on what the totality of the medical evidence supports as far as diagnoses and related limitations. Whether or not there is a medical expert present at your hearing depends in large part on which judge is assigned to hear your case. Some judges seem to find medical expert testimony very desirable, while other judges rarely make use of these experts. Medical experts are more common in cases that involve less common disabilities, where judges are more apt to feel that their understanding of the case can benefit from the expert's testimony.

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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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