Richard A. Gutstadt, P.C.
Northern California SSI & SSDI Appeals

Oakland Social Security Disability Law Blog

Noninjury related disabilities

Many disabilities are related to injuries, and may be covered by both Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance. A worker falls from a ladder and suffers a serious head injury, from which they never fully recover. A person driving home from work gets in a car accident, falls into a coma and wakes up a month later with issues that will never completely heal.

However, it's problematic to assume that all disabilities start with some traumatic event that changes a person's life. Many noninjury related disabilities include chronic medical conditions such as Diabetes,  or disabilities related to trauma that happened when the person was too young to remember it. Examples include:

  • Depression
  • Intellectual disability
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dyslexia
  • Spina bifida
  • Epilepsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism

Is depression a disability?

There are a lot of misconceptions about depression. People who don't experience it often equate it with a general sense of sadness, for instance, and they may think that people who suffer from the disorder just need to cheer up. They do not understand how detrimental it can be and how it is often out of someone's control.

My office has successfully represented numerouos clients who suffer from severe mental impairments, alone or in combination with other physical impairments.

It does not help that this is an "invisible" condition. From the outside, a person appears to be in great health. That doesn't mean that what you see is accurate.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through Social Security?

Social Security is a well-known government insurance program that involves a standard payroll tax deduction applied to working Americans. The government takes a certain amount from each paycheck, paid by both employee and employer, which varies depending on the worker's total income. Later in life, when those workers become disabled or choose to retire, they can draw Social Security insurance benefits that help them avoid outright poverty.

However, not all forms of Social Security come from direct contributions to the system. Individuals who have contributed little or who have not paid in enough via wage taxes to obtain Social Security benefits could still qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Individuals can receive both Socai Security Insurance and SSI if their disability or retirement payments fall below state guidelines.

If your appeal is successful, you can secure past-due benefits

When you apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you likely do so because you have no other means of supporting yourself and your family. When an injury or illness prevents you from working or caring for yourself, SSD can be the only viable option for income.

Receiving a denial for your initial claim can feel like an impossible hardship to overcome, but you have the right to an appeal. While it can be hard to focus on the big picture in moments of financial strain, it's important to realize that if you appeal your denial, you can receive back pay to cover the benefits you didn't receive during the appeals process.

What mental health concerns are qualifying conditions?

Data compiled by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) shows that nearly 9 million Americans currently receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). At least 35% of those individuals who received that support in 2013 were described as having a mental health condition.

Many of the individuals who receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) have been suffering from their condition for an extended period before it catches up to them and renders them unable to work.

Possible reasons why your disability benefits were denied

If you have recently applied for social security disability benefits, you are likely worried about your financial future. As a result, you will want to start gaining the benefits you deserve as soon as possible. If your initial application was denied, you may be worried that you will never be able to gain disability benefits.

Many people who are entitled to disability benefits have their initial claims rejected. This is often because they have provided incomplete or incorrect information. Therefore, you should not lose hope if you have had your application denied. The following are some of the most common reasons why disability claims are denied.

Are there more disabled workers today?

Disabilities happen for many reasons. They can be related to illness and disease. They can come from accidents -- everything from car accidents to workplace accidents. You can find disabilities tied to mental conditions, physical conditions, and more.

With so many different areas to take into account, you may assume there are more disabled workers in 2019 than they have been in previous years. After all, with the overall population rising every year, wouldn't that make sense?

Does a schizophrenia diagnosis qualify for disability benefits?

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is defined by the sufferer having a limited ability to understand reality. They may exhibit strange speech or have hallucinations that lead them to form confused beliefs about the world.

This can often mean that those who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia are unable to gain meaningful employment, and they, therefore, struggle financially. In some situations, schizophrenia sufferers can qualify for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The following is an overview of the defined qualifying criteria.

Am I eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits?

Gaining an income as a person with a disability can be very difficult. If your disability is preventing you from gaining a meaningful income, you should be able to gain benefits from the government. There are several benefits programs that you may be eligible for. One of these is Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSI is a federal benefits program that focuses on getting funds to people in need. Before applying for benefits from this program, you should find out whether you are eligible.

Appealing a denial of benefits with confidence

If you consider yourself to be disabled but you are struggling to successfully gain Social Security disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it is possible that you feel frustrated and defeated. After one or more denials, you may simply feel like giving up on the process altogether.

However, you must be persistent. A surprisingly high amount of people have their disability benefits denied after their first application, but many people go on to be successful when they make an appeal. Your benefits application may have been denied for an arbitrary reason, such as a mistake on your medical reports or missing information. The following are some things you can do to appeal an application denial with confidence.