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. 

Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

When Will Social Security Run Out? Here Is the Truth About SSI

Social security is the most prominent social insurance program in the US, but is it really here to stay?

While the Social Security Administration (SSA) provided more than $1 trillion USD in benefits in 2018, the funds will not last forever, right? 

Well…maybe?

So, when will Social Security run out? Let’s attempt to clear the air a little and talk about the future of SSI benefits as they stand today.

Social Security Explained

Social security hails back to the 1930s. Back then, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched a social insurance program to support retired workers with a continuing income. The original aim of social security was to help workers fund their benefits through their income taxes.

In 1939, social security extended to include dependents and survivors of people who originally earned social security benefits. Coincidentally, this enabled blue-collar workers to also do some estate planning and take care of their loved ones.

Social Security Today

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), there is a cash deficit in the social security insurance program. In order to cover that deficit and keep paying out benefits to current retirees, the SSA has been withdrawing money from trust funds to cover the deficit.

However, this is probably not a sustainable condition. Experts estimate that the trust funds will be exhausted by 2037 or earlier without some sort of structural change. Some analysts expect the funds to run out as early as 2029. Until then, current retirees will continue to receive their full social security benefits, but the future is currently, uncertain.

The Future of Social Security

So, what will happen after the trust funds run out? After that time, the SSA may have to either increase the payroll tax rate or reduce the social security benefits.

Initially, the current taxation could be enough to cover ~76% of all expected benefits due. This means that social security benefits would be less while the income tax would remain the same or even increase. To amend this, Congress must adjust the funding of SSA.

What Does This Mean For People Who Are Currently in the Work Force?

If you are currently employed but will hit retirement age close to 2037, you need to plan your future carefully. While social security will not go away, it could represent less actual income compared to what it is today.

Right now, social security cannot keep up with the spending needs of seniors, and this trend will only grow as time goes by. That is why it is a good plan not to rely solely on social security.

When Will Social Security Run Out? Now You Know!

Now that you know the future of social security is unclear, it is time to take steps to get ahead of that uncertain future.  Perhaps the biggest step you can take is starting to establish a great estate plan. 

Here at Lilac City Law, we have the experience and the legal know-how to help you plan your estate with efficiency and compassion. We work with great financial planners too!

Contact us today and we will gladly help you craft an estate plan that will save your loved ones from an expensive and time-consuming court process during their time of grief.

Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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

Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Top 5 Tips on Filing a Disability Claim for Pseudoclaudication

Living with back pain can be immensely hard and, at times, all but impossible. For those who suffer from pseudoclaudication, dealing with extreme back pain is a daily struggle.

The cramping in the lower back, hips, and legs can lead to individuals having to cause you to put your entire life on hold to deal with your symptoms.

Fortunately, if you are living with this disorder, you can get financial help in the form of a Social Security Disability Claim.

Here are five tips on filing a disability claim for your pseudoclaudication.

Start Your Disability Claim as Soon as You Can

The time between filing a disability claim and receiving benefits can be anywhere from 3 months to 3 years.

If you suffer from pseudoclaudication and you think you may qualify for benefits, it is vital that you begin the process as soon as you possibly can.

The sooner you file, the sooner you can receive the help you need.

Get a Formal Diagnosis and a Second Opinion

You may be sure of your pseudoclaudication — but, without a licensed doctor’s report, it can be difficult to prove you’re deserving of the help you need.

If you’re considering filing a disability claim, the entire process will run a lot smoother if you have an official diagnosis on file.

Visit your doctor and talk to them about your concerns and about receiving a diagnosis for your condition.

Also, you should keep in mind that getting a second opinion is always an option and that you should never be afraid to seek out extra help.

Have Your Medical Records On Hand

The process of filing a disability claim is tedious and time-consuming, because of that, it helps to stay organized.

Even if you are only thinking about filing a claim, you should always keep a copy of any and all your medical records on hand. At any point during the claims process, you may need to provide evidence of treatments, procedures, or even of an official diagnosis. A good disability lawyer will do this for you!

Stay Organized

Filing a disability claim can feel a bit like jumping through bureaucratic hoops sometimes.

To help stave off the inevitable frustration and confusion you must remain organized. Keep all your records that pertain to your case in the same place and make sure you have everything clearly and concisely labeled.

By staying organized you’ll be able to better keep your wits about you no matter what hoops the Social Security Administration throws your way.

Hire a Lawyer

Finally, trying to take on something as complex as a disability claim all by yourself can be both daunting and trying. On top of that, by going it alone, you’re on one hand telling SSA that you cannot work, and on the other hand, showing you can successfully pursue work like activity (representing people – aka yourself – in a disability claim).

If you’re suffering from Pseudoclaudication or other back pains, you already have enough to deal with — let a trained professional handle the rest.

How to File a Disability Claim for Pseudoclaudication

If you suffer from pseudoclaudication and would like to file a disability claim, but aren’t sure where to begin, we can help.

Contact us today for more information, or to get started filing your claim today.

Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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.

Exceptions

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
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

FAQ: How Much Can I Work & Still Be Eligible for Disability?

FAQ: How Long Will The Social Security Disability Process Take In Spokane?

This is not an easy question to answer, but it is one of the most important ones to consider when you contemplate your path to recovery. 

Here is our outstanding founding attorney, Randi L. Johnson, breaking down the answer:

 

Need Help with Your Claim?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

FAQ: What’s the Difference Between SSI & SSDI?

SSI vs SSDI - what's the difference?

Are you stuck trying to figure out the difference between SSI & SSDI? 

Here is our outstanding founding attorney, Randi L. Johnson, breaking down the answer:

 

Need Help with Your Claim?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

FAQ: How Long Will The Social Security Disability Process Take In Spokane?

FAQ: How Long Will The Social Security Disability Process Take In Spokane?

Initial Application, Reconsideration, Hearing Level, Appeals Council Level, Federal District Court Level…how long will it take to get your claim approved in Spokane, WA?  

Here is our outstanding founding attorney, Randi L. Johnson, breaking down the answer:

 

Need Help with Your Claim?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

FAQ: Should I Bring in ALL of My Medical Records for My Case?

SSI vs SSDI - what's the difference?

The answer to this one is all about communication and timing.   Is that vague – watch this short video and it will make more sense.

Here is our outstanding founding attorney, Randi L. Johnson, breaking down the answer:

 

Need Help with Your Claim?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.