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Staten Island Workers' Comp and SSDI Law Blog

How to prove disability for a mental health condition

Whether you are born with a disability or acquired one during life, chances are that it presents some challenges to your life. Suffering from a mental condition can completely disrupt an individual's life. He or she may struggle to maintain healthy relationships, obtain an education and find and hold employment. Under these circumstances, individuals may find themselves facing difficulty not only in paying their medical expenses but also their living expenses. Social Security disability seeks to provide relief to these individuals, but they, like other SSD claimants, must show that they meet the federal requirements necessary to be deemed disabled.

To prove disability for a mental health condition, an individual must submit both medical and non-medical evidence to the Social Security Administration. The medical evidence may include one's medical history, and laboratory results,and imaging tests. The evidence submitted can also include courses of treatment that have been tried and how the claimant's condition reacted to that treatment. Non-medical evidence, which may include statements from the claimant and people who know him or her, help give the SSA a sense of how the medical condition has affected the individual's ability to partake in daily activities, including working.

What are the workers' compensation death benefits in NY?

Injuries can fall anywhere on a large spectrum from relatively minor and non-life-altering, such as minor bruises, to those that can completely alter an individual's life. The latter types of injuries can leave a victim with not only extensive physical limitations but also emotional turmoil, which can be exacerbated by financial hardship. This financial hardship can be caused by massive medical expenses and lost wages due to an inability to work. At least with regard to this aspect, there is good news in that these individuals may be able to recover Social Security disability benefits.

These benefits may be especially important to those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, as the costs associated with such an injury can be excessive. However, just like with any other injury or illness, in order to qualify as a disability, a sufferer must show that he or she meets certain federal requirements.

The differences between workers' comp and SSDI

If you or a loved one sustains an injury on the job and cannot work, benefits may be available. Many individuals are aware of workers' compensation and SSDI. However, not everyone understands how they work separately as well as together.

Though both programs assist individuals with injuries or disabilities, they do still have their own specific functions. It is important that you understand the proper implementation of each one.

What are the workers' compensation death benefits in NY?

Employees across the nation face unpleasant events in the workplace. Some of this could seriously impact their lives, such as a serious accident. A workplace accident can leave an individual with significant injuries, requiring him or her to incur extensive medical expenses and lost wages. As burdensome as this can be, it pales in comparison to the losses suffered by family members that lost a loved one in an on-the-job accident. In addition to the emotional pain and suffering they may face, these surviving family members can face extensive financial losses that can affect them both short and long-term.

Perhaps the one piece of good news for these families is that they may be able to recover death benefits through the workers' compensation system. Under New York law, surviving spouses, children, parents, siblings, grandparents and even grandchildren may be eligible to receive death benefits depending on the circumstances at hand. These benefits can include funeral costs and lost wages. However, the amount actually recovered varies depending on the circumstances at hand.

What is a schedule loss of use benefit?

For many New Yorkers, going to work is just part of their daily routine. Yet, when an unexpected workplace accident leaves them injured, their routine may be thrown out the window. These injured workers may find themselves unable to work and in need of extensive medical care if they hope to recover from their harm and get back to work. However, oftentimes workers who suffer an on-the-job injury are unable to fully recover.

Those individuals whose body fails to recover to its full, pre-accident ability may be able to obtain additional benefits from the workers' compensation system. This benefit, known as a schedule loss of use, can apply to many body parts, including eyes, ears, legs, hands, toes and fingers, shoulder, ankles and knees. In order to recover this benefit though, an individual has to show that the injury, such as vision or hearing loss, is permanent.

New York firm fights for its clients' disability benefits

As previously discussed in this blog, many Social Security disability claims are denied. There is a variety of reasons for this, but in most instances, disabled individuals are unable to convince a claims adjudicator that his or her medical condition meets federal requirements necessary to be deemed disabled. Other claimants see their claims denied due to their lack of work history or a filing error. Regardless of how it comes about, a denial can leave a disabled person desperate for the assistance they need.

Fortunately, the Social Security disability system has an appellate process. This means that claimants who have had their claim denied can challenge that decision, sometimes at multiple levels, all the way up to federal court. Of course, in order for the decision to be reversed, an individual must put forth compelling evidence as to how he or she meets all federal requirements. To do so, many disabled individuals will need to gather medical records, beneficial testimony and craft strong legal arguments that support their position.

SSD benefits are often initially denied

No one expects to become disabled. Yet, every year a significant portion of the population finds themselves with a debilitating injury or illness that renders them unable to work. For these individuals, their financial security can be put in jeopardy. Not only are they unable to obtain a wage, but they are usually also in need of significant medical treatment. This is why it is critical for these individuals to seek Social Security disability benefits, which may provide them with money to help cover their lost wages and medical expenses.

Since the mid-1990s, the Social Security disability rolls have ballooned, making it a hot topic amongst politicians. This significant increase may make it seem like it is easy to obtain these benefits, but the truth of the matter is far different. In fact, only about 40 percent of applicants are deemed eligible to receive SSD benefits, and the process can take up to two years. However, with careful planning, persistence and strong evidence supporting their claim, those suffering from a disability can position themselves well to recover benefits.

What are the most common injuries nurses suffer from?

Nursing is a demanding profession, and whether you are an RN or CNA, you likely know that the job is often just as strenuous as it is rewarding. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nursing boasts more nonfatal occupational injuries than any other profession, so medical providers should be proactive in protecting themselves.

There are a number of injuries that nurses might be particularly vulnerable to. If you are a nursing professional who has been hurt on the job, you should be aware of the most common injuries that occur in your field, including these top three. If you have been hurt on the job, though, it is important to get treatment and legal representation.

What are SSD compassionate allowances?

Going through the process of qualifying for Social Security disability benefits can be tiring. The adjudication process can be long and drawn out, especially when a denied claim needs to be appealed. This can be frustrating on many fronts. After all, disabled individuals who suffer from an injury or illness that leaves them unable to work need financial assistance in order to make ends meet. This can be especially hard to deal with when an individual suffers from a severe medical condition that, on its face, is obviously disabling.

Fortunately, these individuals may be able to receive SSD benefits much quicker than they would if they were to pursue the tradition claims adjudication process. The Social Security Administration has a compassionate allowance program, which seeks to quickly identify medical conditions that are obvious disabilities based on easily accessible objective evidence.

Qualify for SSD benefits when suffering from lymphoma

Cancer is something that we all hate to think about. Yet, at one point or another, it will touch most of us in a very personal way. For those of us who are unlucky enough to contract the disease, our lives can be turned upside-down. Not only can it affect our health, but it also can affect our daily activities, including going to work. Those who find themselves so sick that they are unable to work likely face another challenge: paying their bills. With unexpected medical expenses and lost wages, cancer sufferers may find themselves overwhelmed, not knowing where to turn for help. Fortunately, relief may be found through Social Security disability if an individual meets the Social Security Administration's definition of "disabled" for his or her condition.

As an example, let us look at lymphoma. In order to be deemed disabled by this condition, the SSA must see one of four things. First, an individual can qualify if he or she has non-Hodgkin lymphoma evidenced by an aggressive cancer that continues even after treatment, or an indolent lymphoma that has received one form of treatment that has failed within its first 12 months. Second, an individual may be deemed disabled if a Hodgkin lymphoma fails to reach clinical remission within a year of treatment.