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For those living in the Biloxi-Gulfport Mississippi Coast, Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm can help you understand how to qualify for disability. A disability, according to the Social Security Administration, is an inability to work due to a permanent (expected to last at least twelve months or terminal) “medically determinable physical or mental disability(ies).” A different definition applies in some cases, such as a child under 18 or a blind adult over 55. The SSA further defines work, or substantial gainful activity (SGA) as a job that pays enough to lift the applicant, and any dependents, above the US government poverty line.

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So, for all practical purposes, a Social Security disability has a medical and an economic meaning. In this post, we’ll examine the medical part. We’ll examine the economic aspect in a later post. The proof for both economic and physical qualifications required do vary. If applicants have presumptive conditions, such as terminal cancer, they must only establish a diagnosis. Blue Book – or diagnosed listed conditions – require proof of diagnosis and inability to work. Non-listed conditions require proof of diagnosis, symptoms, and inability to work. You will probably need an SSI lawyer near me to navigate these waters, because going it alone can lead to wasted time and energy; the Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm is here to help you.

Emotional/Behavioral

Almost everyone has experienced an emotional or behavioral condition, such as anxiety, depression, autism, or OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). But, if the symptoms are so bad, and so regular, that you cannot make it to your job on a regular basis to work, you may have an SSA disability. 

Many emotional or behavioral disabilities begin in childhood. For one reason or another, they may not have been treated effectively to resolve the condition or trauma. Over time, the condition can become ongoing and chronic (happening on a regular basis) and therefore disabling.

This profile is very common. Most people don’t immediately reach out to a Social Security Disability attorney at the first sign of a work-impairing disability. Instead, they keep trying to work because bills need to be paid, and financial stability is very important. Unfortunately, many will only partner with lawyers when the disability becomes overwhelming. It is always best to call Heermans while you are still working and seeing your doctor for your condition, even if you are sometimes missing work. In some cases, back pay may be available. A doctor diagnoses the condition, assesses the symptoms, and determines the date of disability. Benefits may be retroactive to that date.

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Sensory

Similarly, most people have experienced some sort of sensory impairment. Vision and hearing are the most common sensory impairments. Others, which normally result from illness or injury, include smell, taste, and touch. These impairments are sometimes age-related as well. Our senses may decline over time from underlying physical conditions and illness as we get older.

Also, as outlined above, the sensory issues must be bad enough, and consistent enough, to prevent full-time employment. On a similar note, a Social Security disability is an all-or-nothing designation. You’re either disabled or you aren’t. The SSA doesn’t distinguish between partial and total disabilities. And, unlike the Veterans Administration, the SSA also doesn’t rate impairments (e.g., 20 percent, 50 percent, and so on).

The sensory or other condition must be disabling even if the applicant takes medicine and/or receives treatment. For example, Jim might be legally blind without his glasses, but if he wears them, he can see well enough to work. Therefore, his condition is not disabling because his glasses give him enough eyesight to perform his job. 

Another thing to take into consideration, if you live in Gulfport Mississippi, is if treatment and medication is available to some people, but not available/effective for others. Take for example, if Jim has a different condition, like epilepsy, but he is not able to tolerate the medication. The medication makes him dizzy and weak, therefore he doesn’t take it, but without the medication he has epileptic seizures that prevent him from working. In this case, the SSA will almost certainly deny his claim because he is not taking his medication as prescribed. So, in this example, a doctor must confirm that there are no other medications available to Jim, and the cure (medication) is worse than the disease.

Physical 

Injury-related claims, mostly car crashes, account for about 15 percent of physical disability SSD applications. The vast majority are related to a long-term illness, such as:

  • Musculoskeletal: Severe arthritis and severe back pain are both very common and very difficult to treat. People who cannot sit or stand for more than a few minutes at a time are basically unemployable.
  • Circulatory: Although the percentage has dipped in recent years, heart disease is still one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Other circulatory issues, which may be disabling, include atherosclerosis, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, stroke, and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
  • Nervous System: These conditions could be illness or injury-related. The most common nervous system disorders are infections (meningitis and polio), functional disorders (epilepsy and neuralgia), degenerative diseases (multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease), and structural disorders (Bell’s palsy and brain or spinal cord injuries).

Generally speaking, a physical disability is a condition that impacts a person’s physical abilities, stamina, and/or mobility, including the ability to move and use the hands.

Developmental

Childhood developmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cerebral palsy (CP), and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are extremely common. Usually, the symptoms are mild or moderate. ADHD kids have trouble staying on task and CP kids often have issues with fine motor skills (e.g. buttoning their shirts).

In other cases, developmental and other disabilities are severe and chronic, and therefore possibly disabling according to the SSA, because of the way they limit a person’s life. They can impact self-care, learning, mobility, self-direction, economic self-sufficiency, receptive and expressive language, and independent living.

The best way to know if you are suffering from a disabling condition in the Biloxi-Gulfport Mississippi Coast that might qualify for Social Security Disability is to get a FREE Heermans disability evaluation. For more information about the SSD / SSI process, contact a disability lawyer in Gulfport, MS at Heermans Disability. Call or text Heermans Law Firm 24/7 at (901) 244-0057. More value added FREE information can be found in our online article library.

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