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Do Migraine Headaches Count as an Impairment for SSDI?


Migraine headaches are estimated to impact nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population, approximately 36 million people.1 However, migraine headaches are one of many serious medical conditions that are not specifically “listed” by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Listings & Meeting A Listing Impairment One way to establish disability as defined by the SSA is by “meeting a listing impairment.” To meet a listing impairment, medical records must demonstrate a specific level of severity. If you meet a listing, you will be found disabled. The diagnosis of a condition alone will not suffice: your condition must be [...]

Do Migraine Headaches Count as an Impairment for SSDI?2019-04-11T00:50:22+00:00

Fibromyalgia and Social Security Disability


Fibromyalgia is a potentially debilitating disease that affects over 5 million Americans. The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, though it has been linked to factors such as repetitive injuries, traumatic events, and prolonged illness. Certain diseases also make it more likely that one will also suffer from fibromyalgia, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and spinal arthritis. Even if its exact causes are not completely understood, the effects of fibromyalgia are all too real, such as muscle pain and tenderness over the entire body, fatigue, stiffness, tingling in the hands and feet, and headaches, as well as [...]

Fibromyalgia and Social Security Disability2019-04-11T00:52:56+00:00

What Is a Severe Impairment?


Step two of the Social Security’s 5-step sequential evaluation process, is that a claimant must demonstrate that he or she has at least one “severe” impairment. Severe vs. Non-Severe Impairments For an impairment to be “severe” it must limit an individual’s physical or mental ability to perform basic work activities on a sustained basis. A "severe" impairment is more than a slight impact - an impairment is considered ‘non-severe’ if it is a slight abnormality that only minimally affects the ability to do basic work activities. While many claimants suffer from multiple severe impairments, it [...]

What Is a Severe Impairment?2019-04-24T19:02:39+00:00

How does Social Security Determine a Listing Impairment?


Social Security decides whether you are disabled using a five-step process called the Sequential Evaluation Process. The third step in the five-step process asks whether your conditions meets or equals a “Listing Impairment.” There are separate listings for children and adults, which can be found on Social Security’s website. Meeting The Listing Impairment Meeting a Listing Impairment can be hard, but if you do meet a listing, you automatically qualify for benefits. Social Security has very strict standards about what illnesses or conditions meet which listing. Just because you have been diagnosed with a disease [...]

How does Social Security Determine a Listing Impairment?2019-04-24T18:47:57+00:00

How Does Social Security Determine My Residual Functional Capacity?


In making a decision on your claim, Social Security will determine your maximum Residual Functional Capacity, or RFC. Your RFC is the maximum functional ability that you retain when considering the combined effects of all of your medical impairments. RFC Is A Way Of Documenting What You Can and Can't Do The Residual Functional Capacity is used by the Social Security Administration when trying to determine if an applicant is "disabled" by their definition. It is primarily used when an applicant's conditions do not meet a listed impairment to see if the applicant should still [...]

How Does Social Security Determine My Residual Functional Capacity?2019-04-24T19:19:15+00:00

Listing Impairment: Intellectual Disability


Under Social Security Listing Impairment 12.05, a claimant can be found disabled due to an intellectual disability.  Establishing Disability: Meeting or Equaling The Listing To meet or equal this listing, the claimant will need to demonstrate or have evidence to support that their symptoms began during their developmental period, which Social Security states is before the age of twenty-two.  After demonstrating that their impairment began during their developmental period, the claimant must satisfy one of the prongs below set by Social Security: Providing evidence that the claimant is dependent upon others. Examples of this [...]

Listing Impairment: Intellectual Disability2019-04-05T21:44:19+00:00

Lupus and Social Security Disability


Systemic lupus erythematosus, better known just as lupus, is a painful and often disabling auto-immune disease that causes inflammation. Determining A Diagnosis of Lupus Lupus is diagnosed through a series of tests, including an antinuclear antibodies test, an Anti-Smith antibody test, and an anti-RNP test, among others.  A positive antinuclear antibodies (“ANA”) test means antibodies are present and is an indicator of lupus.1 A positive result for anti-Smith antibodies is consistent with a diagnosis as well.2 An anti-RNP test is used to determine the presence of connective tissue disease for patients with a positive ANA [...]

Lupus and Social Security Disability2019-04-04T14:39:51+00:00

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Disability


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive (worsening) disease that makes it hard to breathe. It can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness amongst other symptoms. Cigarette smoking and long-term exposure to lung irritants – such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust can contribute to a COPD diagnosis. Does COPD Qualify Me For Disability? COPD can qualify you for disability benefits, but it's not necessarily and automatic approval. COPD develops slowly and worsens over time by

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Disability2019-04-05T22:08:08+00:00

Herniated Disc and Social Security Disability


A bulging or herniated disc is an extremely painful and often disabling condition.  Also referred to as a ‘slipped disc,’ a herniated disc occurs when the cushions between the vertebrae in the spine rupture. Herniated Discs Symptoms and Diagnosis Herniated discs that pinch a nerve usually cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms or legs, which can affect your ability to walk, stand, sit, and lift. Herniated discs can be diagnosed by reviewing your medical history, performing a complete physical exam, as well as performing one or more diagnostic tests, such as an MRI [...]

Herniated Disc and Social Security Disability2019-04-04T14:44:53+00:00

Depression and Social Security Disability


Millions of Americans suffer from the effects of chronic depression. Symptoms can include a loss of interest in activities, appetite and weight change, interrupted sleep, low energy and motivation, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, poor concentration, hallucinations, or even suicidal thoughts. How and When Depression Can Qualify for Disability When these symptoms result in significant limitations in the ability to perform daily activities, maintain social functioning, maintain concentration, or cause repeated episodes of decompensation, then the Social Security Administration may find that you automatically qualify for disability benefits. Even if you don’t meet all of [...]

Depression and Social Security Disability2019-04-04T15:49:54+00:00