Biggest Mistakes made when applying for Disability

  1. Not meeting with the Representative (Lawyer) at the beginning of your case. Your representative should explain the five step sequential evaluation process that the Social Security Administration uses in deciding your case as well as how the process works and answer any questions you may have. 3.3
  2. Not picking a “Lawyer” from the beginning to represent you. I am biased because I am a lawyer who has represented claimants for almost 20 years; however there are “representatives” who will offer to represent you but they are not attorneys and often do not know the numerous laws that can affect your case.3
  3. Not focusing on the medical conditions that really matter in your case. If you have high blood pressure, sure you have to treat that but because it rarely causes any real limitations in you ability to work it is usually not relevant in your case. You need to focus on treating the conditions that cause limitations that prevent you from working and you can never have too much of that kind of medical evidence if you want to win your case. Focus on objective medical evidence that clearly show your conditions and how they limit your ability to work.
  4. Not keeping your lawyer updated as to the new doctors you are seeing and any new objective evidence that will help win your case.
  5. Not meeting with your attorney prior to your hearing. I often hear from claimants that have never met the person representing them until about 15 minutes before you go in front of the judge. I always meet with my clients a day to a week before the hearing to make sure the record is complete and that we both understand the theory by which you may be granted benefits. It also can be helpful to answer any last questions a claimant my have with respect to the hearing as well as alleviate some of the anxiety that every claimant has before their hearing.

What Do you have to show to get Disability for an Intellectual Disorder?

12.05 Intellectual disorder (see 12.00B4), satisfied by A or B:

  1. Satisfied by 1, 2, and 3 (see 12.00H):
    1. Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning evident in your cognitive inability to function at a level required to participate in standardized testing of intellectual functioning; and
    2. Significant deficits in adaptive functioning currently manifested by your dependence upon others for personal needs (for example, toileting, eating, dressing, or bathing); and
    3. The evidence about your current intellectual and adaptive functioning and about the history of your disorder demonstrates or supports the conclusion that the disorder began prior to your attainment of age 22.

OR

  1. Satisfied by 1, 2, and 3 (see 12.00H):
    1. Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning evidenced by a or b:
      1. A full scale (or comparable) IQ score of 70 or below on an individually administered standardized test of general intelligence; or
      2. A full scale (or comparable) IQ score of 71-75 accompanied by a verbal or performance IQ score (or comparable part score) of 70 or below on an individually administered standardized test of general intelligence; and
    2. Significant deficits in adaptive functioning currently manifested by extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:
      1. Understand, remember, or apply information (see 12.00E1); or
      2. Interact with others (see 12.00E2); or
      3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace (see 12.00E3); or
      4. Adapt or manage oneself (see 12.00E4); and
    3. The evidence about your current intellectual and adaptive functioning and about the history of your disorder demonstrates or supports the conclusion that the disorder began prior to your attainment of age 22.

Try my FREE Disability Lawyer Evaluation to see if you may qualify for disability benefits.

What do you have to prove to get disability for Anxiety and/or Obssessive Compulsive Disorder?

12.06 Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders (see 12.00B5), satisfied by A and B, or A and C:

  1. Medical documentation of the requirements of paragraph 1, 2, or 3:
    1. Anxiety disorder, characterized by three or more of the following;
      1. Restlessness;
      2. Easily fatigued;
      3. Difficulty concentrating;
      4. Irritability;
      5. Muscle tension; or
      6. Sleep disturbance.
    2. Panic disorder or agoraphobia, characterized by one or both:
      1. Panic attacks followed by a persistent concern or worry about additional panic attacks or their consequences; or
      2. Disproportionate fear or anxiety about at least two different situations (for example, using public transportation, being in a crowd, being in a line, being outside of your home, being in open spaces).
    3. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, characterized by one or both:
      1. Involuntary, time-consuming preoccupation with intrusive, unwanted thoughts; or
      2. Repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety.

AND

  1. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning (see 12.00F):
    1. Understand, remember, or apply information (see 12.00E1).
    2. Interact with others (see 12.00E2). 
    3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace (see 12.00E3).
    4. Adapt or manage oneself (see 12.00E4).

OR

  1. Your mental disorder in this listing category is “serious and persistent;” that is, you have a medically documented history of the existence of the disorder over a period of at least 2 years, and there is evidence of both:
    1. Medical treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support(s), or a highly structured setting(s) that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of your mental disorder (see 12.00G2b); and
    2. Marginal adjustment, that is, you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands that are not already part of your daily life (see 12.00G2c).

Social Security Disabiltiy – The Grid Rules

There are special rules called “The Grids” These disability  rules recognize older individuals may have a harder time transitioning to other work if you have physical limitations that keep you from doing your past work or work similar to your past work.

Are you at least age 50 and unable to work?

If so, special rules, “The Grids”  may apply. You may be eligible for Social Security Disability(SSD)based on these rules.  Most people aren’t aware of the importance of age when applying for SSD.

SSA breaks work into categories: heavy, medium, light, and sedentary (or sit down work). In addition, work is categorized into skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled.  The general rule, is that once a claimant reaches age 50 and the most strenuous work he or she can do is sedentary, then the individual would meet the Grids and qualify for SSD unless an exception to the rule applies.

Exceptions to the Grids

The Social Security Administration  (SSA) reviews your work for the last fifteen years.  SSA will determine what physical level each of your past obs were performed at: heavy, medium, light, or sedentary.  Also, skill level will be determined for each job.  If the most physical a job you could do is sedentary and you have no skills that transfer to a sedentary job then you would be eligible for disability benefits.  You are awarded benefits, even though you might be able to do a sedentary job.  A person age 49 with the same limitations and past work as you would not be awarded benefits.  Education and other factors are also considered.   Determining  whether someone is eligible for benefits is very complicated, I am biased, but having a disability lawyer to represent you is very beneficial.   CLICK HERE to go to the free “Disability Lawyer Evaluation.”  Other factors that are considered are education level, other skills,  work history, non-exertional limitations and more.

What are you waiting for?

There is even a special rule called the “Worn Out Worker” rule.  It is based on having worked 35 years in very physically demanding unskilled.  These rules are what’s called a “special vocational profile” rule.  If you haven’t applied but have stopped working due to injury or illness earlier than you planned visit www.ssa.gov online and apply.  Try my free disability case evaluation. Click HERE!I

Getting the best results when applying for Social Security Disability Benefits!

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits can be a daunting task.  All the sudden you are unable to work and have no income.  You are faced with surviving while applying for benefits with the federal government’s largest agency.  The first thing to realize is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is focused not only on your medical conditions, but other factors as well.  The other factors that are important for your case is your age and past work experience from the last fifteen years.

Information with regards to your past work should be a brief summary of the jobs which you have done the last fifteen years.  Include information about how much you lifted, how much you were on your feet and how much you sat at your past jobs.  As for the lifting, don’t minimize the amount you lifted on a regular and occasional basis.  As for standing/walking and sitting, break your day down in the number of hours you were doing one or the other.  If your medical issues keep you from being on your feet, it is critical to show that you can no longer do those types of jobs.  As for sitting, keep in mind that if you had jobs where you sat most of the day or you are under fifty years of age, that your current impairments must keep you from doing even that.  That can include physical as well as mental impairments.

As for the medical information, focus on two categories.  First is a list of all medications taken and the dosage.  Constant changes in dosages of medications is also important, as it shows your current medical conditions are still not under control.  Second, list of all doctors and medical providers that you have seen in the last year.  Include any facilities that may have records such as: X-rays, MRIs, and lab results.  These may show objectively that you have the claimed impairment.  Also, any surgeries that you have had or are scheduled should be included.

Don’t forget to include any mental impairments as well.  If you suffer from depression, anxiety, etc., include those as impairments.  List any treatment and medications you take for your mental impairments as well.  If you have had any hospitalizations do to your condition make sure to list them.

Once you have a list of the above information call your local SSA office to schedule an appointment to apply for benefits or apply online at SSA.gov.  So then you may wonder, what happens next?  After you apply SSA will request your records and send your file to Disability Determination Services (DDS) in the state you live for review.  While it is under review, if you have new medical information, make sure to let SSA know.  Someone from DDS may contact you to discuss your claim further.  The process usually takes about three to five months for DDS to make a decision.  It could be shorter or longer, be patient.  After DDS reviews your claim they will issue a decision awarding you benefits or denying your claim.  If you are awarded benefits, congratulations!  If you are denied, DON’T GIVE UP!  You are not alone, and there is still hope.  If you are denied, you have the option to be represented.  I am biased, but I think hiring an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney can make all the difference.  If you  are reading this, go to the Disability Evaluation section of this website and submit your case for review by me.  In the alternative call me Chris L.Gore at 618-625-3525 for review of your case and a free consultation.

SSA Contact Information & Links

Disability Lawyer Evaluation Information

Here you will find some useful information with regards to Social Security Disability.  First,  find below a list of local Social Security Offices that serve Southern Illinois.  Second, find at the bottom of the page web links to useful sites including the Social Security Administration (SSA) online ssa.gov. Remember, you can apply online at ssa.gov.  SSI applicants often need to go to their local office to start or finish the process. If you have applied and been denied, try my Disability Lawyer Evaluation and I will evaluate your claim and email you or give you a call, your preference.

Don’t fall for those claiming to apply for you.  They do actually send the application in to Social Security, but after they collect the information from you, then mail you the application, to mail back to them, to send to SSA. Sounds confusing, right?  It is, and it wastes time.  In addition, if you are granted benefits, they get 25% of your back pay for doing something you could have done and faster.  If you have applied and been denied, try my Disability Lawyer Evaluation and I will evaluate your claim and email you or give you a call, your preference.

Information: Local SSA Offices Phone Numbers, Addresses, & Distance to the Law Office of Chris L. Gore

West Frankfort, IL – 14.3mi

1005 Factory Outlet Blvd

West Frankfort, IL 62896

(800) 772-1213

  • Mt. Vernon, IL – 17.6mi

105 S. 6th Street

Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

(800) 772-1213

  • Carbondale, IL – 27mi

250 W Cherry St.

Carbondale, IL 62901

(800) 722-1213

  • Harrisburg, IL – 37mi

18 Veterans Dr.

Harrisburg, IL 62946

(866) 366-3980

  • Belleviille, IL – 58mi

1670 Lebanon Ave.

Belleville, IL 62221

(800) 772-1213

  • Cape Girardeau, MO -61.3mi

2445 Cape Centre Dr.

Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

(866) 931-7077

 

Information:  Social Security & Related Website Links

Disability Lawyer Evaluation(this website)

Social Security Administration

Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation

Disability.gov

WebMD

Mayo Clinic Diseases Conditions

Are you OVER 50 and unable to work? by Disability Lawyer Chris L. Gore, Sesser, IL

Saturday, August 19, 2017
12:07 PM

Are you OVER 50 and unable to work? by Disability Lawyer Chris L. Gore, Sesser, IL (www.sesserdisability.com)
There are special rules called “The Grids” These Social Security Administration  (SSA) disability rules recognize older individuals may have a harder time transitioning to other work if you have physical limitations that keep you from doing your past work or work similar to your past work.
Are you at least age 50 and unable to work?
If so, special rules, “The Grids”  may apply. You may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability based on these rules.  Most people aren’t aware of the importance of age when applying for disability.

SSA breaks work into categories: heavy, medium, light, and sedentary (or sit down work). In addition, work is categorized into skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled.  The general rule, is that once a claimant reaches age 50 and the most strenuous work he or she can do is sedentary, then the individual would meet the Grids and qualify for SSD unless an exception to the rule applies.

Exceptions to the Grids
The Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews your work for the last fifteen years.  SSA will determine what physical level each of your past obs were performed at: heavy, medium, light, or sedentary.  Also, skill level will be determined for each job.  If the most physical a job you could do is sedentary and you have no skills that transfer to a sedentary job then you would be eligible for disability benefits.  You are awarded benefits, even though you might be able to do a sedentary job.  A person age 49 with the same limitations and past work as you would not be awarded benefits.  Education and other factors are also considered.   Determining  whether someone is eligible for benefits is very complicated, I am biased, but having a disability lawyer to represent you is very beneficial.  Other factors that are considered are education level, other skills,  work history, non-exertional limitations and more.
What are you waiting for?
There is even a special rule called the “Worn Out Worker” rule.  It is based on having worked 35 years in very physically demanding unskilled.  These rules are what’s called a “special vocational profile” rule.  If you haven’t applied but have stopped working due to injury or illness earlier than you planned visit www.ssa.gov online and apply.
Try my free Disability Lawyer Case Evaluation at www.sesserdisability.com

SSI Lawyer

If you are looking for a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) lawyer there are a few things you should know about SSI. Besides the income and asset guidelines to receive SSI, you must meet the medical rules just like you do with an insured disability (DIB, SSD, RSDI) claim. With SSI, if you have been found disabled your benefits may be payable in three ways.
First, if you haven’t worked at least five years out of the last ten years (doesn’t have to be consecutive) you most likely would be filing a Title XVI (SSI) claim because you won’t be eligible for an insured benefit.  In addition, your children would not draw a benefit because you are insured. An SSI lawyer will review your earnings record and verify your date last insured for benefits (DLI) to verify you are receiving the proper credit for earnings.
The second scenario occurs where you have an insured benefit that is less than the max SSI benefit. You would receive your insured benefit plus a partial SSI payment to get your benefit to the SSI maximum.   You would only get the extra amount in SSI if you meet the income and asset guidelines.

The last scenario covers the first five months of disability. Insured benefits are NOT paid for the first five months of disability. During that five months you can draw up to the max SSI if you meet the income and asset guidelines.
Most SSI lawyers that represent adults in social security disability cases also represent children. A parent or legal guardian would would file an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on behalf of the child. A child SSI lawyer will first review parent income and resource information to ensure benefits would be forthcoming if the child is found disabled.  Stay tuned for benefit types that children may be eligible for at different times in their lives.  Income guidelines are established each year by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  For a free Disability Case Evaluation click HERE.

SSI Lawyer

If you are looking for a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) lawyer there are a few things you should know about SSI. Besides the income and asset guidelines to receive SSI, you must meet the medical rules just like you do with an insured disability (DIB, SSD, RSDI) claim. With SSI, if you have been found disabled your benefits may be payable in three ways.
First, if you haven’t worked at least five years out of the last ten years (doesn’t have to be consecutive) you most likely would be filing a Title XVI (SSI) claim because you won’t be eligible for an insured benefit.  In addition, your children would not draw a benefit because you are insured. An SSI lawyer will review your earnings record and verify your date last insured for benefits (DLI) to verify you are receiving the proper credit for earnings.
The second scenario occurs where you have an insured benefit that is less than the max SSI benefit. You would receive your insured benefit plus a partial SSI payment to get your benefit to the SSI maximum.   You would only get the extra amount in SSI if you meet the income and asset guidelines.

The last scenario covers the first five months of disability. Insured benefits are NOT paid for the first five months of disability. During that five months you can draw up to the max SSI if you meet the income and asset guidelines.
Most SSI lawyers that represent adults in social security disability cases also represent children. A parent or legal guardian would would file an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on behalf of the child. A child SSI lawyer will first review parent income and resource information to ensure benefits would be forthcoming if the child is found disabled.  Stay tuned for benefit types that children may be eligible for at different times in their lives.  Income guidelines are established each year by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  For a free Disability Case Evaluation click HERE.

Disability Lawyer and ALJ Analysis of your Claim

5 Step Analysis

Every case is different, but the Social Security Administration, as well as a disability lawyer, uses a five step approach in determining whether an individual with a disability is eligible for benefits.  All of the rules that go into deciding each step would most likely fill a small library.

Here’s a simple test when looking for an attorney to represent you. Ask he or she to explain what a listing is and what SGA means?  While there is no guarantee if they answer tsem correctly that they can handle your claim properly, if they can’t then they probably do not know enough about the social security laws to represent you effectively.

The following is the basic analysis the Social Security Administration uses in evaluating each case:

Step 1: Are you working or have you worked since your alleged onset date?  If so, you will probably be denied at step one unless it is not considered substantial gainful activity (SGA).  SGA is determined by the type, amount, and earnings of the work you have done since your onset date.   In my experience, if your work is not considered SGA, the ALJ will more closely scrutinize your testimony in determining your credibility. If you are not working or your work is not SGA, the administration goes to step 2.

Step 2:  Is your medical condition “severe?”
If your condition is considered “severe”, the administration goes to step 3.

Step 3:  Does your medical condition (physical or psychological)  meet or equal an official “Listing” as described by SSA?  The simplest explanation of a listing is someone who is completely blind or deaf would meet a listing because those impairments are severe even though there are blind and deaf people who work.  There are listings for numerous conditions that generally only attorneys who routinely represent social security claimants are familiar with and the changes that regularly occur with them.  This list describes certain medical conditions that are considered so severe (terminal cancer, heart transplant, etc.) that they automatically mean that you are disabled as defined by law. It also lists other severe impairments relating to different systems of the body: musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, neurological, and psychiatric. If your condition is not on this list, or the medical equivalent of those on this list, the administration goes to step 4.

Step 4:  Are you able to do your past work?  Social security considers a specific number of years, looks at how you did the job, and also how it is classified in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT).  If you can, you will be denied. If you can’t, the Social Security Administration goes to step 5.

Step 5:  At this step, SSA will consider what you have the ability or inability to do considering your impairments, your age, your education, and your past work experience.  SSA will often attempt to identify jobs that a hypothetical individual (you) can do and if they identify jobs that exist, more than likely there will be some you have never heard of and did not realize that is what that job was called.

While I am biased, consider hiring a disability lawyer when filing an appeal after being denied your Social Security Disability Benefits.  Let the attorney focus on the appeal so you can focused on getting the medical treatment you need. Don’t forget to complete the Disability Lawyer Evaluation or if you haven’t applied for Social Security Disability and need to click HERE.

SSI Benefits To Increase In 2017 – Disability Scoop

SSI Benefits To Increase In 2017 – Disability Scoop

Monday, July 31, 2017
9:14 PM

Clipped from : https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2016/10/18/ssi-benefits-to-increase-in-2017/22898/

Individuals with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income or other Social Security benefits will see a small increase next year.
Payments will rise 0.3 percent in 2017, the Social Security Administration said Tuesday.
The bump up is due to an automatic cost-of-living adjustment, known as COLA, which is mandated by law and based on inflation.
The increase, which takes effect in January, will mean more money each month for 60 million Americans on Social Security and 8 million receiving SSI, officials said.
With the change, the maximum federal SSI benefit for individuals will be $735 per month, up from $733 in 2016. For couples, the highest federal payment will grow to $1,103 per month from $1,100.
Many states provide additional funding to SSI beneficiaries so actual payments could be higher.
Despite the modest increase, the adjustment is greater than what was announced at this time last year. Benefits for 2016 were unchanged compared to the year prior.

SSI Child Disability Benefits

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 1:07 PM
Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) Child Social Security Benefits
To apply for a child…
You will need to complete an Application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) AND a Child Disability Report. The report collects information about the child’s disabling condition and how it affects his/her ability to function.
At this time, only the Child Disability Report can be completed online. Please contact usby phone or in person to schedule an appointment to complete the SSI application. We will help you in person or by phone.
Steps to Apply
1. REVIEW the Child Disability Starter Kit. This kit answers common questions about applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for children, and includes a worksheet that will help you gather the information you need.
2. CONTACT Social Security right away to find out whether the income and resources of the parents and the child are within the allowed limits, and to start the SSI application process.
3. FILL OUT the online Child Disability Report. At the end of the report, we will ask you to sign a form that gives the child’s doctor(s) permission to give us information about his/her disability. We need this information so that we can make a decision on the child’s claim.

Applying for Disability

Applying for Disability

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
4:59 PM

What’s the best way to apply????….
Some firms offer (heavily advertise) to apply for you. Ultimately you will still be doing all the work including gathering your doctor, medication, and past work information. They will mail you paperwork.  All that wastes time.  I recommend you applying online or at your local office.  It’s faster and if you are approved, I don’t receive any of your back pay. You only need somone representing you if you are denied, in my opinion.  Start your application with your local office online first.  Check below to see if you qualify to apply online.  Anyone can help you type the basic information if needed.  Then follow up with your local Social Security Administration  (SSA) either by phone or in person.  NOTE: If any part of your claim is for Supplemental Security Income  (SSI), you most likely will need to visit the local office to complete the application for SSI. (Not sure what SSI is…check the “INFO” section of this website.)
If you meet the following, you qualify to apply online (except for SSI) : Just click HERE.
(You will redirect to the official SSA site)
• Are age 18 or older;
• Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
• Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death: and
• Have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. If your application was recently denied for medical reasons, the Internet Appeal is a starting point to request a review of the medical determination we made.
If you are denied contact my office and I will take it from there.  Call or visit the website. ww.sesserdisability.com or    www.sesserdisability.net  or CALL.

What’s the Difference Between RSDI, DIB, & SSI?

Basically RSDI and DIB benefits are based on your work record and how much you and your employer paid in on your behalf. Also, you must have 5 years of work in the last 10 years to qualify.  SSI is not based on your employment earnings but you must meet the financial need guidelines to qualify.  All require that your medical conditions are severe and keep you from working.

Difference: RSDI, DIB, & SSI?

Basically RSDI and DIB benefits are based on your work record and how much you and your employer paid in on your behalf. Also, you must have 5 years of work in the last 10 years to qualify.  SSI is not based on your employment earnings but you must meet the financial need guidelines to qualify.  All require that your medical conditions are severe and keep you from working.