Can you receive Social Security Disability Benefits for Social Anxiety?

Can you receive Social Security Disability Benefits for Social Anxiety?

While many people are affected by high levels of stress and anxiety in their daily life, there are others who suffer from anxiety on a regular basis. Anxiety is a mental condition that is marked by extreme fear and worry in the midst of everyday activities that can lead the person to seek complete control over everything that goes on during their day. In some cases, this anxiety can be so severe that it interferes with your daily life, inhibiting your ability to function in a workplace and secure gainful employment. When this occurs, you may be entitled to seek out social security benefits as long as your anxiety meets the medical and other qualifying requirements.

Symptoms of Severe Anxiety

It is easy to become stressed and anxious when you are in a situation that is out of your control. But for those who suffer from severe anxiety, they have an extreme fear of public humiliation and judgment of others. This level of anxiety can be either mildly or extremely disabling for the individual. In fact, people who suffer from extreme anxiety are likely to underperform or underachieve so that they can fly below the radar and go unnoticed by others. They also may try to protect themselves by limiting their activity, sometimes even confining themselves to their homes to avoid public places such as grocery stores. 

When severe anxiety occurs, it can have major effects on an individual’s physical and mental behavior. Some of the symptoms of severe anxiety include:

  • Flushing in the face
  • An increased heart rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tense muscles
  • Inability or difficulty speaking
  • Irrational fear in common situations
  • Avoidance of people or places
  • Problems concentration or focusing
  • Fear of crowds
  • Feelings of extreme panic
  • Feeling faint
  • Hypervigilance
  • Difficulty staying on task
  • An inability to perform activities at home, work, or school

Anxiety disorder is most often diagnosed by a psychologist or psychiatrist, once they have completed a full evaluation. After diagnosis, they will often use cognitive-behavioral techniques and therapies, counseling, and medications to reduce symptoms. While these can minimize symptoms, sometimes the side effects of the medication can cause problems as well. 

Medical Evidence Needed to Support an Anxiety Disorder

Anyone who gets anxious from time to time may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but for your anxiety to be classified as severe and possibly grounds for disability, there are some medical parameters that will need to be satisfied first. Your doctor or psychologist will need to diagnose you with a specific form of anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can be classified as:

  • General Anxiety Disorder: Which includes symptoms of anxiety during daily activities with no underlying cause specifically to blame. 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: This is marked by stress related to recurring thoughts about a past event that was stressful.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Which can involve obsessing over and repeatedly performing simple tasks. 
  • Panic Disorder: This is marked by a physical response even when no actual danger is present.
  • Agoraphobia: This can involve the avoidance of public places and even result in self-confining to one’s home. 

To be approved for disability, SSA will look for evidence of both psychological evaluations and testing to show that the diagnosed case is present. It is also important that disability is made aware of what the possible ramifications of your illness would be if you were in a workplace. Would you have a hard time concentrating? Would you avoid customers and coworkers? Would workplace stress trigger your condition? Would you experience limited functioning if your anxiety was triggered?

Qualifications Under Social Security’s Listing of Impairments

In order to qualify for disability, your doctor’s diagnosis will have to characterize your anxiety as causing three or more of the listed conditions.

  • Difficulty concentrating or staying on task
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Muscle tension
  • Becoming easily fatigued

Once three or more of the above characteristics have been established, it will need to be proven that your anxiety inhibits normal function. You will need to have demonstrated extreme impairment in one of the following areas listed below or a serious problem in two or more of the areas.

  • Problems comprehending, retaining, or using information, inhibiting your ability to follow instructions, exercise good judgment, or learn new things.
  • Difficulty interacting with others, preventing you from exercising socially appropriate behavior.
  • Problems staying on pace or concentrating on a task, leading to your inability to complete them.
  • Difficulty adapting to change which can cause behavioral problems.
  • Problems with self-care.

If you have already been in a protected and structured situation such as intense therapy or receiving an immense amount of psychological support, these issues may be diminished, but that does not mean you won’t necessarily qualify. If our doctor determines and has documented support that the above conditions are likely to exist if you are removed from your protected setting and put into real-life situations, you may still qualify. 

Medical Eligibility Requirements

There are also medical eligibility requirements that will have to be met in order for you to qualify as disabled due to anxiety. You will need to be able to meet these Blue Book listings regarding your anxiety disorder as well as have historical documentation of all your associated symptoms that could limit your capability to work. There are different requirements based on the specific disorder you are diagnosed with, but you will be required to meet at least two of the following criteria below.

  • Demonstrated restrictions in the activities involved for daily functioning.
  • Severe difficulties functioning in a social setting.
  • A significant difficulty in maintaining pace, concentration, or persistence.
  • Experiencing repeated episodes of decompensation.

To qualify, you will need to have experienced these difficulties and been unable to work for at least a twelve-month period. You can either apply for Social Security Income or Social Security Disability dependent on your current income levels and what is included in your work history. 

Residual Functional Capacity

There are cases where your anxiety disorder would not be considered to be severe enough to prohibit you from working, but may still limit you. In these instances, you will be given a “mental residual functional capacity” statement from the Social Security Administration. This statement will detail the type of work that you are capable of performing and how often you can perform these tasks. For example, a diagnosis of panic disorder could lead you to concentration problems as your panic will take over in certain situations. Your statement may prohibit you from performing complex tasks but allow you to perform shorter takes that are simpler and can be learned in less than a month. They can also put more restrictions in place, such as no contact with the general public and limited contact with other employees. 

In this situation, you would likely be denied benefits as you can still perform minimal tasks, but if your panic attacks were to become more frequent, limiting your concentration level to around eight hours, then it is likely that you would be unable to perform any type of employment and could be awarded disability. 

In short, to be awarded disability benefits, your residual functional capacity deemed by the SSA will need to limit you from working any jobs that you have previously had, and from performing been simple tasks available to unskilled workers in the United States. 

Making a Disability Case fo Anxiety

Even if you meet the requirements, obtaining Social Security Disability for an anxiety disorder can be a long and difficult process. Since there are no definitive medical tests to diagnose anxiety, it can require months of medical history, a significant amount of testing, and multiple assessments for a diagnosis to be accepted by SSA. Additionally, the process can take months to complete, and there is a higher percentage of applications that are denied initially. This does not mean that you should avoid applying for fear of denial. If at first denied, you can go through an appeal process that can allow you to address the concerns in the denial and prove your case.

Since the application process can be long and difficult, and often result in the need for an appeal, you will have the best chance of securing benefits if you seek out the services of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. The experienced attorneys at Lilac City Law know the ins and outs of the disability process and can help to better prepare you for the case. By better understanding the process and what to expect, you will have a greater chance of obtaining the benefits you need. Contact Lilac City Law today to discuss the particulars of your case. 


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Do You Qualify for Disability? 5 Ways You Can Tell

The 40 million Americans who have a disability are often unable to work. Fortunately, those with disabilities can receive assistance through Social Security Disability programs. 

Disabled Americans may either qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) depending on their situation.

But if you have a disability, how do you know if you qualify for help? These guidelines will let you know if you qualify for disability. 

Your Condition is Considered Disabling

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a list of disabilities that are severe enough to qualify for benefits. These physical and mental conditions can be so disabling that they keep you home from work. 

Here are just some of the categories of conditions that may qualify you for benefits: 

  • Heart conditions
  • Lung diseases
  • Cancers
  • Immune system illnesses
  • Mental health issues
  • Kidney disease
  • Vision, speech, or hearing impairments
  • Chronic syndromes
  • Skin conditions
  • Digestive disorders
  • Neurological disorders

Keep in mind that your condition does not have to be included on the SSA’s list in order for you to get disability. As long as you can prove that your physical or health condition significantly impacts your ability to work, you might be able to receive benefits. 

You Aren’t Engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

SGA is one of the most important guidelines for receiving disability. If you make more monthly income than a certain amount, then you are engaging in SGA.

As of 2019, the monthly SGA amount for those who are not visually impaired is set at $1220. For those who are blind, the monthly amount is $2040. 

Earning over these amounts means that you cannot qualify for benefits. However, if you are not able to engage in SGA, you can get approved for disability. 

You Can’t Work in Your Former Careers

Your previous work history has to justify that you are unable to work.

The SSA will look at the job description of your previous jobs, along with the challenges you faced working there, and how physically taxing the jobs were. The SSA will also consider what aspects of your disability hinder your ability to complete these jobs.

You Struggle with Daily Activities

The SSA will also want to see how your disability impacts your capability of getting through the day. You are more likely to be eligible for disability if you struggle with the activities of daily living (ADLs) like cleaning, cooking, walking, communicating, and getting dressed. 

You Are Unable to Do Any Type of Work

When examining your case, the SSA will determine if you can be placed in another type of job that is more accommodating to your impairment. If your disability prevents you from doing any other type of job at all, you may be qualified to receive disability. 

During this process, the SSA will take into account what type of disability you have, your age, your skills, as well as your education. This helps them figure out if you are capable of having another job. 

Find Out if You Qualify for Disability

Applying for disability can be challenging, especially if you are currently suffering from a medical condition. Hiring a lawyer to guide you through each step can make the process a lot less stressful. 

Contact one of our experts today to see how you can qualify for disability. 


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7 Possible Reasons You Were Denied Disability

Just over 30% of people who file for disability benefits get their claims successfully approved.

The rest of the applications are all denied disability for a variety of factors ranging from technical to medical. After all this, the median percentage (across the US) of those who do get accepted through a reconsideration is just eight percent!

If you were denied there are a number of reasons why this happened. But do not worry, by knowing what the reasons were, it improves your chances for improving your claim in future.

You Have Been Denied Disability Before

Being denied for disability before may seem like a petty reason, but it is true. Many people who are processing claims will reject them if they see you have already been denied before.

The unfortunate part is, because of the high-volume of claims they receive every day, they likely do not have time to see why your claim was denied.

If you fall into this category, your best option is to actually go through the appeals process with updated information.

You Earn too Much

Income is a definite factor when taking your claim into consideration.

If you applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI), then it will depend if you have attained enough work credits to qualify.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on the other hand is for exclusively low-income individuals and those who may be out of work for 12 months or longer.

You can also not be earning a monthly amount equal to SGA, or substantial gainful activity.

You Have Not Followed Procedure

If you were asked to bring in documentation or attend a medical exam and failed to do so then you risk being immediately denied.

The whole disability claims process may be frustrating and even seem like a waste of time, but if you do not keep in contact with the person handling your claim and follow the rules then you are just guaranteeing yourself a denial.

You Did Not Stick to Your Treatment

To prevent people from taking advantage of the Social Security system, it is a standard procedure for doctors to report those who do not show up for treatment.

If a doctor cannot assess if you are able to work or not, then the claim handler has no choice but to deny you. If you feel like you were mistreated or there was a misunderstanding you can always speak to the same doctor and use his testimony in your appeals process.

There is Not Enough Medical Evidence to Prove Your Disability Claim

It is essential that your primary care physician provides written proof for each time they have seen you about a condition that affects your ability to work.

Word of mouth will not suffice so ensure you have enough proof that your issue has been long-lasting and will continue to do so.

Along with medical evidence, it is important to have your doctor also write a letter stating his or her opinion about your disability and whether or not you are able to work with your condition.

Make sure you are completely honest with your healthcare provider. Also, do not exaggerate or play down your condition. Your doctor needs to know everything about your disability to give you the best documentation to submit to Social Security.

Your Disability is Not Severe Enough

If you will be out of work for a short period of time but will recover soon then you cannot get coverage.

The requirements stipulate:

  • The condition must completely prevent you from working for a minimum of 12 months. YOu can either have been out of work for 12 months already or be predicted to be out of work for a minimum of 12 months.
  • The condition must be severe enough to have a significant impact on your ability to do basic work-related tasks.

Administrative Errors

Of course, human error is also a potential factor. Maybe there was a smudge on a copy you sent. A clerk could have misread a key piece of information. 

Whatever happened, be sure to check your application thoroughly and see if there were any errors or misunderstandings that could have lead to your claim being denied.

Be Patient

Just because you were denied disability does not mean you have to give up.

This time around read through the documentation and make sure you are checking every box. For the appeals process, it helps to enlist the help of people who know the system.

Feel free to contact us if you want a free consultation, otherwise, check out our other blog posts for more useful information.

We help people like you get their disability appeals granted every day. 

Contact us today!


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5 Mistakes to Avoid Preparing for Your Social Security Disability Appeal

Filing for social security benefits can be a daunting task. Making it more daunting is the high probability you will get denied.

Preliminary claims have a denial rate of 67%, while reconsiderations – which are the first step in a disability appeal in Washington – have an increased rate of 87%.

However, with the right guidelines to follow, you can make filing for a disability appeal a little easier.

Many people make really simple mistakes that will have them sent another denial letter.

You can change that by knowing what the most common mistakes are and what you can do to avoid them.

What You Need For Your Disability Appeal

You can find the list of what is needed on the Social Security website. You need to gather your medical information, which may include tests, medications, and a list of your doctors. Be sure you have notations of any changes to your work, medical condition, daily activities, and even education.

You also need to provide any documents to support your claim of an appeal. Just note that the online appeals process can take about an hour to complete.

Mistake 1: Not Enough Information

One of the major mistakes people make when filing an appeal is they fail to provide enough contextual information for their case.

As mentioned above, the possibility of winning an appeal is slim. The burden is on you to provide as much information to present the most ironclad case possible. Save copies of any and all medical records and submit them into the appeals process.

Mistake 2: Deadlines Are Important

If you were initially denied, filing an appeal should be of utmost importance. According to the Social Security website, you must file for an appeal within 60 days of the date of your denial.

You can send your appeal via snail mail, though we recommend going through the online appeals process, which is faster.

Mistake 3: No Doctor Support

Failing to get your doctor’s support is a major flaw for your appeals process. Reiterating mistake one, you need as much information as you can to build a solid case.

If you are in communication with your doctor, who can provide an expert opinion on your disability, it adds up to building an ironclad claim.

Mistake 4: Failure to Be Completely Honest

Lying during the appeals process can land you in serious hot water. If you are found to be withholding, fabricating, or misrepresenting information pertinent to your case, you can find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

Make a mistake and you could face prosecution for fraud, which comes with either a stiff fine, jail time or both. Go over your information carefully and remember to not skip over any detail that pertains to your case.

Mistake 5: Not Consulting With A Lawyer

If you ever are in need, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consulting with a lawyer can ease the process of filing a disability appeal, and they provide a wealth of information.

If you need help on where to start on the appeals process, contact us to speak with someone who can help you right away.


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Do SSI Lawyers Really Help With Your Disability Claim?

If you find yourself in need of assistance for a social security disability case, it is important to get help from an expert.

Many people make the error of representing themselves. While you may know your rights, it is always advantageous to reach out to one, or several social security disability law firms to increase your overall chance of success.

Follow the tips below to learn more about the importance of hiring the right SSI lawyer for your situation.

SSI Lawyers Increase Your Chance of Success

When you need a payout for your social security disability case, the last thing you want to deal with is personal doubt and uncertainty at each step of your claim. Hiring a competent disability lawyer will help you wipe away a lot of this doubt since you will have professional advocates on the case for you.

A great team of SSI advocates will work to clarify any questions the SSA has about your medical condition, employment status, medication and treatment, and any other concerns that arise. They will be there every step of the way working on your behalf to convince the Social Security Administration (SSA) that your claim is appropriate and should be granted.

A Great Team of SSI Lawyers Can Speak For Your and Explain the Details of Your Case

Knowing the law is one thing, but you also need a professional that can articulate it on your behalf.

When you start shopping around for various SSI lawyers, gauge how each one of them explains your situation to you. You want a lawyer that will explain everything about your claim, and the work they will do for you clearly, and also answers all your questions.

Remember, your lawyer will argue on your behalf that your condition meets the standards of a disability as defined by the SSA. They will further prove that your state hinders your ability to work and earn a living. It is vital that you can communicate with your lawyer if you ever expect them to be able to convey your situation accurately and compellingly for you.

SSI Attorneys Ease the Application Process

With social security disability cases, you are always subject to lulls in claim turnaround time. One of the best things you can do to get your claim approved as fast as possible is to retain a good SSI lawyer. Hiring a lawyer improves your chance of getting accepted in the first wave of the application process – which can help you get your claim approved in months rather than fighting for years over why it was not accepted in the first place.

You will also get another set of eyes on your initial disability application.

You Will Get Paid What You Deserve

In most cases, you can expect your social security lawyer to take up to 25% of your payout (up to $6k). This rate is the maximum rate an SSI lawyer can charge to assist you as an advocate. But there are some ways that firms can slip other fees by you. Even though it seems like everyone charges the same thing, you can still find there is a difference at the end of the day (in your bank account) if you don’t shop around.

Get the Professional Help You Need

We have years of experience and would love to hear from you. We’re passionate about helping you to know more about your claim – you can see this by visiting our blog.

But we can also show you by meaningfully connecting with you beyond this article. Contact us and get advice and help on your disability claim today!

Contact Lilac City Law For Disability Help Today


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What to Look for in a Great Disability Lawyer

Have you submitted a disability benefits claim and are waiting to hear whether or not it’s been approved? Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against you. Only 23% of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims are approved at the initial application stage. Sometimes, even less if you did not use a disability lawyer.

Of course, you can always appeal a denial of disability, but even then, you’re facing an uphill battle. The total number of approvals, whether initially or upon appeal, is only about 34% of all claims filed.

Is there a way to improve your chances of receiving disability benefits? Luckily, the answer is yes. You can hire a disability lawyer to help you navigate this complex process.

A Successful Disability Lawyer Has Medical Knowledge

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cases are particularly tricky because they require an in-depth understanding of medical conditions that can interfere with a person’s ability to perform their job duties. Therefore, the lawyer that you choose must be experienced in the specialty of disability law.

You are most likely not going to get the results you are looking for if you hire your tax lawyer to tackle your disability case. Look for a law firm whose lawyers have experience litigating medical-related cases. Ask them how many disability cases they have handled and if they have dealt with your particular disability before. 

A Successful Disability Lawyer Understands the Law

This statement should go without saying, but the complexity of disability cases means that a lawyer must know the Social Security system’s requirements inside and out.

In all disability situations, your lawyer will be seeking to demonstrate one, or all, of the following:

  • your medical condition meets the criteria of a condition that is among those described by the Social Security Administration (aka a “disability listing“)
  • you cannot perform your previous work in accordance with Social Security’s “grid” system, which classifies exertion associated with job duties
  • you cannot work even a sedentary position
  • you have limitations that aren’t covered by the grid but impact your ability to perform a job

An Experienced Disability Lawyer Will Be Choosy About Cases

Lawyers who specialize in disability claim appeals cannot charge clients an upfront fee or retainer.

Instead, they receive compensation on contingency. Once your appeal has been approved, and you have been awarded a sum of back pay from the Social Security Administration, your lawyer’s fees will be deducted.

Not having to pay any amount upfront is a massive bonus for clients who may already be struggling financially due to their disability. It means you can afford excellent representation – and you can be awarded your disability benefits even within our challenging disability system!

It also means that if a lawyer takes on your case, they are also taking on the risk of not achieving a favorable outcome. It is in everyone’s interest to work hard for you.

A Great Disability Advocate in Lilac City Law

Our disability team has the know-how and expertise to help you fight and win your disability appeal. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today.


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How are PTSD and Disability-Related for Social Security?

How are PTSD and Disability-Related for Social Security?

If you are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may be wondering how PTSD and Disability are related to Social Security.

Will you be able to receive Social Security Disability if you suffer from PTSD?

How do you prove that you have a PTSD related disability and cannot work?

PTSD and Known Side Effects

Issues like severe depression and anxiety, hallucinations, irritability, memory, and difficulty sleeping are common mental health challenges for those experiencing PTSD.

In fact, PTSD has even been connected to physical concerns like heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain as well.

As far as treatments go, there are no quick fixes for PTSD. Often, extensive therapy and counseling, as well as aid from medications, are needed (this is highly dependent upon the individual).


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) does often result in successful social security claims; however, for you to be successful, your diagnosis and treatment do need to be very well documented by your doctors and therapists.

While being evaluated about your eligibility for benefits, all your records will be considered. It is a good idea for your doctor to fill out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. This form will answer many questions for the SSA evaluator and also can directly relate your PTSD to your work limitations.

The RFC should tell evaluators your ability to sustain activity, concentrate, follow instructions, avoid absences, interact with others as well as being on time and no excessive breaks needed. Along with the RFC form, having a letter written by your doctor or treating therapist saying you are unable to work, is also potentially very important.

Required Evidence

The five documented evidence requirements for PTSD diagnosis for SSI are:

  • You must have had exposure to death, serious injury or violence
  • Repetitive dreams, flashbacks, intrusive memories or hallucinations
  • Avoidance of physical reminders of the event
  • Disturbance(s) in mood or behavior
  • Increased loss of sleep or easily startled

A difficulty with Day-to-Day Activities

In addition to having a diagnosis, you should also seek to demonstrate difficulty with one or two of these items:

  • Self-care such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, or dressing
  • Controlling your emotions and adapting to change
  • Interaction with the public or other people in general
  • Concentrating
  • Following instruction when it comes to learning new tasks and information

If You Do Not Suffer From the Above

If you are not currently suffering from any of the particular reasons above you must prove that you either:

  • Have had severe PTSD for at least the past two years (hard to prove if you do not reflect the challenges stated above); or,
  • Currently having medical treatment or mental health treatment in a specialized protected facility; or, 
  • Unable to adapt to changes

Final Thoughts on PTSD & Social Security

As with Sleep Apnea, or any other disability challenge, the diagnosis is only half the fight.  The greater half is how it affects you on a daily basis.  This is why contacting and working with a good social security disability law firm is so key to finding success in your claim.

Contact us today to get help for PTSD and your social security disability claim. 


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Is Sleep Apnea a Disability?

Is Sleep Apnea a Disability?

Is sleep apnea a disability?

Sometimes the guidelines regarding whether you qualify for SSI or SSDI can be confusing.

Some disabilities, Sleep Apnea, for instance, are not always straight to the point.

Is Sleep Apnea a Disability?

Sleep Apnea happens to be one of those disabilities that can fall into different categories.  In particular, the aspects surrounding severity and cause.  Either or both of these could be relevant to your disability case, even minus the apnea.

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes momentary loss of your ability to breathe properly or to use respiratory muscles while you are asleep. This can happen from ten to thirty seconds at a time and can happen many times throughout the night. 

Sleep apnea often causes those who suffer from it to lose countless hours of sleep and wake in the morning still feeling tired. This may seem minor; however, can cause serious hazards if it goes undiagnosed. Not only will sleep apnea affect your mood, memory, and alertness, but you are also at greater risk of falling asleep at awkward or even dangerous times, such as while in conversation or while driving.

Moreover, chronic sleep apnea is often a contributing factor to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease.

There are two types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive: When your airways are being blocked. Airways can be blocked when the body is relaxed by your throat muscles, tongue, tonsils, uvula or fatty tissue.

Central: This is a more rare form of sleep apnea and is caused by the central nervous system and when the proper signals aren’t sent from your brain to the muscles in control of your breathing.

How Will I Know if My Sleep Apnea Qualifies?

When you apply for social security, your disability will be evaluated under a five-step process to determine if you are eligible or not. An examiner will work with a physician and at the hearing, a decision will be made.

  1. The first step is to meet the nonmedical thresholds.  You cannot even be considered to receive benefits if you do not meet these criteria. Basically, if you make more than a certain amount of money in employed work, you will not be approved.
  2. Second, the SSA via a medical professional will determine if your sleep apnea is considered severe, or otherwise detrimental to your ability to do employment type activity. Your attorney can help with this part as you may need to gather all medical evidence as well as fill out any questionnaires
  3. Third, your sleep apnea will be evaluated to see if you land under social security’s “listing of impairments”. There are fourteen separate categories, and sleeping disorders typically land in the third “respiratory system impairments.”
  4. Fourth your work history will be looked into, and it will be determined if you can perform at any of your previous jobs.
  5. Finally, your age, work experience, and education will be considered to see if any other jobs would be available to you.

In Brief Summary..

Is sleep apnea a disability? Technically yes, but how it affects you on a day to day basis is every bit as important (perhaps more so) than the diagnosis in the first place.  

If you believe you have sleep apnea, or you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are applying for Social Security disability benefits, contact us for help today. 


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SSI Lawyers Fees, How Much Will You Pay?

SSI Lawyers Fees, How Much Will You Pay?

When you are filing for Social Security, it is recommended that you start connecting with SSI and SSDI lawyers to assist you in the process.

Just having the connection and being informed will help increase your odds of being approved on your first go-round. 

However, if you have already applied and been denied, then it not just important to hire and SSI Lawyer, it is critical!

The costs for SSI lawyers can be a concern for many seeking help.  Costs are often cited as the biggest fear of people in this situation, but the good news is that fees are designed so that the cost of a great SSI Lawyer isn’t your barrier to ultimate success.

Read below to see how you can hire a great SSI Lawyer, risk-free!

How SSI Lawyers Can Help

As a brief primer, we should cover what Social security lawyers will do to help you once you retain their services. You will receive support, and even hands-on work on your application to social security as well as meeting required deadlines and collecting enough evidence to successfully represent you so that you may be approved to receive your benefits.  In short, retaining a good lawyer will make sure your claim and appeal get done… and done well!

Contingency Fee

SSI lawyers charge a contingency fee for representing you in your Social Security claim.  When you first meet your Social Security lawyer, you will go over a contingency fee agreement. Once this is signed, it will allow the Social Security Administration to pay your attorney from your past-due benefits, when they have been approved.

SSI lawyers only get paid for representing you if you win your appeal, and they will only receive payment from your back pay.

Keep in mind that although you are not paying for the lawyers’ services out of pocket, there are other costs involved that might require your payment. A disability attorney needs to have access to and collect all kinds of records including medical, work and school. This process can be pricey, and some attorneys will require you to be the one responsible for your lawyers’ access to them. Any mailing or copying charges could also be your responsibility. It is a good idea when meeting your attorney to ask what costs you will be responsible for and whether those costs are expected to be covered at the time or after you begin receiving benefits.

Back Pay

Lawyers’ fees are paid through your back pay. This is the money you would be receiving if you were to get benefits during the time you were disabled but not yet approved for benefits. Social security lawyers get a maximum of twenty-five percent of the back pay you are awarded up to a maximum of six thousand dollars. In the rare case you are not awarded back pay, your lawyer might then submit a fee petition. This could allow your lawyer to still receive a fee for their services. This does not mean you necessarily have to pay out of pocket. However, the fee would then typically come out of your awarded amount.

Again, make sure you go over this with any prospective SSI Lawyer you intend to work with.


There are a few situations where Social Security Lawyers may ask for more than the typical max of six thousand from your back pay and submit a fee petition. These conditions typically require for you to :

  1. Hire a new, different attorney than who you started with, or fire your previous attorney. This particular case can be confusing. If the first lawyer you worked with did a significant amount of work and did not waive their fee, then the two lawyers will have to share the percentage of your back pay. This may end in your current lawyer asking for a higher fee to make up the difference.
  2. You are still denied benefits after the appeal hearing and need to further your case to federal court.

If you have questions about your Social Security claim or need assistance filling out your claim, contact us today!

I’d Like To Talk to Lilac City Law About SSI Help & Go Over the Contingency Agreement
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Can You Win a Disability Claim for Meniere Disease in Spokane, WA?

Can You Win a Disability Claim for Meniere Disease in Spokane, WA?

If you have Meniere Disease and are finding it hard to work, you may qualify for Meniere Disease Disability Benefits.

In fact, depending on the severity of your symptoms and if you meet the SSA requirements, you may automatically qualify.

What Meniere Disease is

Meniere Disease is a disorder of the inner ear (vestibular labyrinth) which is the area that controls your balance and positional awareness.  If you have Meniere Disease, you do not constantly have symptoms, but rather attacks that come on quickly and without warning.  These attacks include extreme vertigo, hearing loss, and a full feeling in your ear.  Because of vertigo, you are at risk of falling and causing injuries.  With hearing loss, you may be unable to use the phone or verbally communicate because you cannot hear what is being said to you.  These attacks may happen in a short period of time, or they may be isolated incidents that happen every few years.  Most attacks are very debilitating and take several hours to recover from.

How to Automatically Qualify for Meniere Disease Disability Benefits

Meniere Disease is listed in the SSA blue book under SSA listing 2.07– disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function as a disability that automatically qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits.  However, to automatically qualify you must:

  1. Have both, disturbed function of vestibular labyrinth demonstrated by caloric or other vestibular tests; and hearing loss established by audiometry.
  2. Be earning less than $1180 per month (unable to engage in Substantial Gainful Activity)
  3. Have symptoms that last or are expected to last at least 12 consecutive months. Because Meniere Disease’s symptoms come and go, it is important to provide medical records from each time your symptoms occur from your primary doctor (or any other doctor that has treated your Meniere Disease) and your audiologist.

What to do if You Do Not Meet the Automatic Qualifications

Even if you do not meet the qualifications to receive Meniere Disease Benefits automatically, you should still apply for Social Security Disability.

SSA will create a residual capacity assessment (RFC) that will detail your ability to perform certain work-related activities.  Additionally, SSA will use the medical evidence that you submit and possibly ask you to see a doctor or audiologist hired by the SSA.

The RFC will look at your ability to perform basic work activities such as:

  • Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling
  • Seeing, hearing and speaking
  • Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions
  • Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations
  • Dealing with changes in a routine work setting

SSA should take into consideration side effects caused by the medications you take for your Meniere Disease.

For example, your medications may cause sleepiness and fatigue.  This could impact your ability to work around or with heavy machinery.  It may also affect your reliability and productivity.  If you can prove that your productivity is ~20% less than what it was before your Meniere Disease diagnosis, then you may be found disabled.

After your RFC is created, the SSA will use a formula to decide whether your RFC and your vocational factors put you in the disabled category.

You Can Get Help!

If you have Meniere Disease and are not sure if you should apply for Social Security Disability, please contact us.  We want to help!  If you have been denied, you should file an appeal, asap.  We will show you how.

Get Help With Meniere Disease Disability Claims!

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