Are you unable to work because of a disability? Get the answers you need on Social Security Disability to protect your rights

Keefe Disability Law has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who need help with the Social Security Disability process in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. If you are disabled and need help with disability benefits, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.

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  • I have bills to pay now! If I decide to file a disability claim, how long will it take to get the first payment?

    You were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last summer and since then, your world has basically been falling apart. Between treatment, medications, and medical bills, you’re bank account is quickly becoming depleted. In addition to that, the shaking has gotten worse over the past six months, and it has gotten harder and harder for you to do your job properly.

    You desperately need your paycheck, so you try to control your tremors as best you can. However, lately it hasn’t been going that well. Your family is constantly suggesting that you apply for disability, but with the number of bills coming in, you don’t think you can afford to quit your job and wait for the benefits.

    If you file for disability, will it really take years to receive the benefits?

    Do You Have the Time to Wait for Benefits?

    The entire process of filing, getting approved, and eventually receiving your benefits can be long and frustrating. According to the Disability Determination Service, normal claims can take at least six months to determine. The decision process to determine whether your condition even qualifies for disability can take several months alone. If you’re approved, and the judge agrees that your condition is severe enough to qualify, it could take several additional months for your claim to pass through eligibility standards.

    However, although the timeframe may seem daunting, there are ways to speed up the outcome. Having experienced legal representation to argue your case can be an important asset. When you have representation, the timeframes are drastically reduced, as seen below:


    It generally at least three months for processing a claim. The majority of claims filed by applicants without representation are denied. If the applicant requests reconsideration of a rejected claim, that typically requires at least three months longer. An Appeals Court hearing could take an additional 18 months to schedule, with another two to six months before the decision is rendered. Even if the decision is favorable at this point, it can take 18 to 24 months longer for the appeal to be processed before the first benefit check arrives. The total potential time to receive benefits: two to five years


    Even individuals with legal representation can expect to wait three months for processing their initial claim. The majority of claims filed by applicants with representation are approved. It may take an addition six months of processing before monthly benefits begin, but the recipient can expect to be paid for any back benefits he is owed. Total time under this best-case scenario: under one year.

    If the claim was one of the minority that is denied despite legal representation, it can take up to six months for reconsideration and Appeals Court hearing; another three months for the decision to be rendered; and 12 months for processing and receiving benefits. The total waiting period for benefits: the majority is approved and received within nine months, while refuted claims are generally settled within two years.

    Don’t Waste Your Time

    When you physically can’t work to support yourself and family due to a debilitating disease, Social Security disability is your best option for sustainability. Once you’ve made the decision to apply, your best option for timely success is representation from an experienced disability lawyer. Don’t waste time filing yourself or taking your chances with inexperienced attorneys. Call us today for a free consultation and let us convince you why we’re the right choice. Our 20-plus years of experience will work to make sure that you can give up your job with a clear conscience.

    Call now to begin the process and get your benefits that much sooner. You deserve it!

    Need more information on disability claims? We don’t blame you! Social Security can be an extremely frustrating system to understand. Learn more about the intricacies of SS and disability by requesting our book, Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability. Don’t allow confusion to affect your benefit rights. The download is free, but the knowledge you will learn is priceless.

  • What can I do to secure my fibromyalgia disability claim?

    You’ve been living with excruciating pain for most of your adult life. However, over the past few months, the pain has worsened to the point where you can barely get out of bed, let alone go to work. Your doctor has diagnosed you with fibromyalgia and has attempted several different treatments to get you back on your feet. Unfortunately, none of them are working that well. As a result, your employer has decided to “let you go” for missing too many days of work.

    Now, medical bills, rent, and living expenses are piling up and you’re not sure what to do about them. Your family suggested that you apply for disability, but you’re not sure if your disorder is covered by Social Security.

    What can you do? Will your claim be denied if you file? How can you ensure your claim is solid enough for approval?

    Strengthening Your Claim

    Due to the lack of proper research into the causes and consequences of fibromyalgia, the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t have a specific disability listing for the disorder. As such, filing a claim solely based on having fibromyalgia can prove to be difficult. However, although no specific listing exists, the SSA has recently published a ruling for administrative law judges—the judges who determine disability acceptance)—to help determine and assess fibromyalgia claims on a case-by-case basis.

    Although this publication has drastically increased the number of approved fibromyalgia claims, many suffers are still being declined benefits. To help ensure that your claim receives the proper attention it deserves, make sure you have the following items included in your case.

    • Accurate medical reports. For disability approval, the severity of your disorder must be proven.
    • Documentation of severity. Merely claiming that you have the disorder isn’t enough. You must have documented proof showing how badly the disorder is affecting your everyday life, and how it keeps you from working.
    • Signed documentation from a rheumatologist (specialized doctor in joint and tissue pain). The SSA is more inclined to discuss a fibromyalgia claim if the disorder has been verified by a specialist.
    • A straightforward explanation of how your case qualifies for disability. Personal accounts of pain and inabilities can help shed light on why you need disability benefits as a result of being unable to work.
    • Legal representation. An experienced disability attorney can increase your chances of approval, not only by arguing on your behalf, but also by clearly stating your case to the judge as well as gathering the necessary documentation you need.

    Improving Your Chances for Approval

    Before filing your disability claim for severe fibromyalgia, contact us first. We’ll make sure that you have all the necessary documentation, requirements, knowledge, and confidence to ensure increased odds of approval. We know how to argue your case, and we won’t rest until you get the benefits you deserve. Call now for a free consultation and review of your claim. We’re waiting to help you!

    Share this page on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus to help spread the word about fibromyalgia disability rights. Your friends and loved ones may need this information, too. Help them find it by clicking the media icons to share instantly. Don’t allow your loved ones to needlessly work in excruciating pain; let them know that they have other options. You’ll be glad you did.

  • I just had spinal fusion surgery. Now I’m worried something might go wrong during recovery. What are the top risks of spinal fusion surgery and how can I avoid them?

    Like any major surgery, spinal fusion surgery comes with a few risks. In spite of these risks, this type of surgery can also change your life for the better. Staying vigilant and aware of what could go wrong is the best way to avoid anything from happening following your surgery.

    Common Risks of a Spinal Fusion Surgery

    Back surgeries come with inherent challenges during recovery. These go beyond the immediate risks you face when going under anesthesia. Here are some of the most common risks associated with spinal fusion surgeries:

    • Infection in the incision
    • Infection in the vertebrae bone
    • Spinal nerve damage
    • Instability in other parts of your spine
    • Degeneration of the bone below or above the fused vertebrae

    Although these risks can happen and cause you further pain after your surgery, they are not common enough to avoid having a spinal fusion surgery. If you are worried about something going wrong, it is important that you talk to your doctor. Attend all of your regular follow-up appointments and follow all treatment plans.

    If something does go wrong, you might qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits until you make a full recovery. While this will not remedy the pain you experience, it might help to know that you have a financial backup plan available.

    Before you go into surgery, we encourage you to print this article and take it to your doctor. Talk to him or her about these risks and get detailed instructions about what you can do to be on the lookout for them after your surgery.

  • I received a heart transplant 11 months ago and have had a few complications with the medication. I’ve had SSDI for my heart transplant for a year, but the benefits run out soon. What can I do?

    Getting a heart transplant is a major procedure. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes how important it is that you make a full recovery, which is why it automatically approves heart transplant recipients to receive Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) for the first year. Now that your first year is coming to an end, you must reapply by showing the SSA how the complications will stop you from being able to return to work.

    Complications Due to Medication After a Heart Transplant

    In the first year following a heart transplant, you are placed on certain medications to help your new organ adapt to your body. These medications are essential to your recovery, but they can sometimes lead to other health problems. Some of the most common health problems may qualify you to receive SSDI under other disability listings:

    • Kidney damage (Listing 6.02)
    • Thin bones, which may cause bone fractures (Listing 1.06 and 1.07)
    • High blood pressure (Listing 4.02 or 4.04)
    • Diabetes (Listing 9.00)
    • Cancer, especially skin cancer or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (listing 13.03 or 13.05)


    To know if you qualify to receive benefits after your first year of having a heart transplant, you must determine if you are eligible. By looking at each of these listings and talking to a Social Security disability lawyer in Massachusetts, you will know whether you are able to apply to extend how long you receive SSDI benefits.

    If you found this helpful, we encourage you to share it with anyone else that you know who recently received a heart transplant.

  • I’m scared! I just found out that I have arteriosclerosis and I need to apply for Social Security disability in Boston. Will I be approved?

    Arteriosclerosis, also known as the “hardening of the arteries.” occurs when calcium builds up in the artery walls causing them to get thicker and stiffer. It happens to some people as they age. After your doctor told you that you have arteriosclerosis, it’s normal that you’re concerned about what will happen next.

    Getting Disability Benefits for Arteriosclerosis

    If your doctor recommended that you apply for SSDI in Boston because of arteriosclerosis, you have probably experienced some sort of health condition that has made it difficult for you to work. In order for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to approve your application, you must show that you cannot perform physical or sedentary work.

    To be approved, you must have at least one of the following symptoms:

    • You must have chest discomfort triggered by stress or physical activity.
    • You must have pain or discomfort in other parts of your body, such as your arms or legs.
    • You must get short of breath when you exert yourself.
    • You must have experienced a coronary artery spasm at rest.

    To show the SSA that you have one of these symptoms, you must submit a wealth of evidence with your application. For example, you must show that you had an abnormal stress test and abnormal imaging results. Include these results with your application. You must also have a note from your doctor that describes how your condition impacts your ability to work.

    Another important piece of your application is your personal experience with arteriosclerosis. Keep a journal to document how this condition affects you on-the-job both in desk work and in manual labor.

    Did you find this interesting? We encourage you to share this article on Facebook. You never know who might be suffering from a heart condition and could benefit from knowing how to receive Social Security disability.

  • I’m fairly new to the workforce but an accident has left me permanently disabled. How much time do I need to have put in at work in order to qualify for Social Security disability insurance in Massachusetts?

    When it comes to applying and qualifying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), there are many factors that are taken into consideration. Your time in the workplace is one of them.

    The first thing you must do is check whether or not you qualify under the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability listing. Some people who are permanently disabled are still able to perform other job functions, such as sedentary work. If you are, you may continue to work and cannot receive SSDI.

    The Role Length of Time in the Workforce Plays in Your Massachusetts SSDI Application

    The SSA uses a credit system to determine whether or not you qualify for SSDI. The longer you spend in the workforce, the more credits you earn. Credits are earned from annual income. That income can come from either annual wages or self-employment.

    Here are a few more important facts about how the credit system works:

    • Each year, you can earn as many as four credits. One credit is the equivalent of $1,200 of income. Under the current system, once you’ve earned over $4,800 in one year, you’ve earned the maximum number of credits available for that year.
    • Usually you need at least 40 credits to apply. Twenty of these credits must have been earned over the past 10 years to qualify.
    • Younger people may qualify with fewer credits. The SSA knows that disabilities sometimes happen before enough credits have been earned. That’s why some younger people may not need as many credits. For example, if you’re under 24 years old, you only need six credits earned over a three-year period. People aged 24 to 31 only need twelve credits over the past six years.


    The credit system gets very confusing. If you’re still not sure whether or not you qualify based on your years in the workforce, we encourage you to reach out to our Boston Social Security disability lawyers for more guidance on your specific case.

  • After my hip replacement surgery, I applied for SSDI in New Hampshire. They denied me because I did not meet the joint surgery listing. I’m worried! Is there anything I can do?

    Yes. After going through something as grueling and painful as a hip injury and hip replacement surgery, it’s heartbreaking to be denied. The financial support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) may be your last resort when it comes to getting the support you need after such a difficult experience. Getting approved can mean the difference between recovering quickly and suffering for years to come.

    What to Do After Being Denied SSDI in New Hampshire After a Hip Replacement

    The SSA requires that you demonstrate a few things when applying for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits after hip replacement surgery in New Hampshire. These include showing that you are unable to walk effectively and will not be able to walk effectively for at least a year. Walking effectively means the following:

    • You don’t need a cane, walker, or crutches to get around.
    • You can walk a block on an uneven surface at a reasonable speed.
    • You can climb down a flight of stairs using only one handrail at a reasonable speed.
    • You don’t need help traveling to and from work.
    • You can walk extended distances on your own at a reasonable speed, such as through the grocery store or on your usual errands.

    If you can’t meet all these criteria but were still denied, you should appeal. However, even if you can say YES to each of these criteria, there are options available to you.

    The SSA provides an alternative to meeting their stringent listings. This alternative, called the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form, allows you to show the specific ways your injury has limited your ability to work. This should include how you are limited in doing sedentary work as well as manual labor.

    Filing these forms is not easy, which is why we encourage you to speak to the relevant professionals about it before submitting your request. Talk to your doctor about getting a detailed note about your condition, and then reach out to a New Hampshire Social Security disability lawyer at Keefe Disability Law to go over your application prior to submission. This will save you tremendous hassle and worry as you reapply.

  • I just found out that I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and will probably have to eventually go on Social Security disability. I’ve heard it’s hard to get. Can you tell me what kind of symptoms will qualify me?

    When it comes to qualifying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), the application process is not always easy. Even though you know how difficult it is for you to work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires extensive amounts of evidence and the proper paperwork to approve your application.

    With Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, qualifying for SSDI in Boston can be a challenge. The SSA has not created a specific listing or category for this disease. In addition, because it is a genetic syndrome, you cannot qualify for SSDI based on the arthritis listing, even if arthritis is one of your symptoms.

    Qualifying Symptoms for Boston SSDI Benefits for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

    To qualify, you must have severe symptoms from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. These symptoms can include:

    • Severe joint pain or joint dislocation
    • Skin damage and infections
    • Difficulty healing wounds
    • Back pain
    • Foot problems, including flat feet
    • Loss of some or all vision
    • Rupturing of the eyeball
    • Rupturing of a major artery or arteries in the organs or intestines


    Each of these symptoms can greatly limit your ability to work either in a physical or sedentary position.

    When you’re at a point when you need to apply, talk to your doctor as well as your Boston Social Security disability lawyer. Both of these professionals will help you put together your application in a way that shows the SSA what it needs to see to approve you for SSDI.

    Do you know someone who was recently diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome? We encourage you to pass this article on to her so it can help her while applying for SSDI in Boston.

  • I broke my ankle pretty badly and can’t do most of the tasks I’m responsible for at work. I applied for Social Security disability in Boston but was denied. What can I do?

    It is not easy to get Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits for a broken ankle. That’s because the range of severity in broken ankles varies so greatly. While someone might not have a very severe break in his or her ankle, you could have permanent damage as a result of one mishap.

    Since the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your application for SSDI in Boston for a broken ankle, you will need to verify that you meet the criteria put in place for broken bones, and then appeal your denial.

    Do You Qualify for SSDI in Boston for a Broken Ankle?

    In order to show that your broken bone is severe enough to prevent you from working, there are a few things you need to provide:

    • An X-ray to show that your bone will not heal. The radiograph should show that the two main broken areas are not fused back together, even after the healing process is over.
    • A physical exam that determines your bone is not healing properly. This exam is performed by your doctor and requires that he confirm that he can feel that the bones have not healed properly.
    • Inability to walk normally. This must last for at least 12 months.


    If you meet one of these criteria, you can submit an appeal. The appeal process is difficult and requires strict and detail proof of your disability.

    Because each case is so different and the appeal process is so stringent, it is important that you work with a Social Security disability lawyer in Boston when planning your appeal. This will help ensure that you submit all of the necessary paperwork so that you maximize your chances at receiving an approval.

    To start your appeal process, send us a note by using the contact form on this page. We will review your information and get in touch to provide you the best next steps for your unique situation.

  • I am having a really hard time working! My dizziness and other symptoms from A-fib are getting so bad it’s hard for me to do much. Help!

    Any time something prevents your heart from functioning normally, you risk side effects and complications. Atrial fibrillation, called “A-fib” for short, impacts your heart rhythm. If your doctor has diagnosed you with A-fib, the upper chambers of your heart might not be pumping blood as they are supposed to.

    Symptoms of A-fib

    Although the majority of the time people do not experience many symptoms of A-fib, some cases can cause individuals grief. Here are some of the most common symptoms you could feel as a result of your A-fib.

    • Dizziness
    • Palpitations
    • Fainting
    • Chest pain
    • Fatigue
    • Difficulty with heavy manual labor


    If you experience any of these symptoms, your doctor should give you medication to help. If that still does not work, you might need to use a pacemaker to keep your heart rhythm regulated.

    Getting SSDI With A-fib

    If your treatment works to control the symptoms of A-fib, you will not qualify for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). However, if you have other symptoms that go beyond what the medication or a pacemaker can treat, you might qualify to receive SSDI. When applying, you would most likely have to apply under the disability listing for arrhythmias. This is how the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates abnormal fibrillation.

    Because of how complicated this condition is when it comes to receiving SSDI, it is important that you work with a Social Security disability attorney on your application. This will increase the chances that you will be approved and get the money you need. Fill out the contact form on this page and we will be in touch soon with more information.

  • I have a severe back injury that continues to get worse over time. My doctors can’t pinpoint the cause of it. Can I still get SSDI in Rhode Island for back pain?

    Back pain is one of the most common reasons people are unable to continue their jobs. From the moans and groans you make when getting up out of your chair after sitting for a long period of time, to the excruciating pain you feel anytime you lift something heavy, back pain is no laughing matter.

    Understanding Back Pain

    Your back is filled with small ligaments and tendons that hold your body together. When something goes wrong and your bones or muscles weaken, the pain you feel could limit your ability to perform the same tasks you once were responsible in your job.

    One of the most common reasons people give for missing work is back pain. It is not a condition to take lightly. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you have a specific diagnosis for why you are in pain.

    Here are some of the top causes of back pain that may impact your ability to work:

    • Nerve root irritation that carries the signal from your brain to your legs and arms
    • Strained back muscles
    • Injured joints, ligaments, or bones
    • Degenerative disc disease
    • Injured vertebrae


    These injuries are often caused by strain on your muscles and ligaments, which can make it difficult to pinpoint a specific triggering incident. Regardless, your doctor should give you a diagnosis of why you are in such pain. This diagnosis will then determine whether you qualify for SSDI in Rhode Island.

    If you need more help with your specific application and symptoms, contact our office for a free consultation. We will go through your case and give you suggestions on how you can increase your chances of being approved.

  • Help! I recently lost a lot of my vision and now I’m considered legally blind. I’m no longer able to work. How do I show my vision loss on my Social Security disability application so I can get approved?

    No one can see what you see. As advanced as modern medicine has become, there are still limitations to how much a machine, test, or doctor can understand how you view the world. When it comes to convincing the Social Security Administration (SSA) that your vision impairment is so severe that it makes it difficult for you to work, it is difficult to know what you can show to help the person reviewing your application see the world through your eyes.

    In spite of this, the SSA has a few items that they use to help try to understand how severe your visual impairment is and how it impacts your life.

    What to Include in Your Application for SSDI in Boston

    Here are a few items that you must submit on your application to increase your chances of being approved:

    • An exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. This exam will measure your visual acuity. Based on your exam, your doctor will rate how well they think you can see. This rating plays a significant role in determining whether you qualify to receive SSDI.
    • A peripheral vision exam. This test is done without help of eyeglasses or contact lenses. In it, you will be asked to read letters from a chart. The results of this show the SSA the extent of your vision loss.
    • A visual evoked response test. If the SSA believes your loss is not as severe as you say it is, you might have to undergo extra testing. During a visual evoked response test, your brainwave responses will be matched to visual stimuli. This test is not common, but if you have undergone the test, submitting the results might help improve your chances at being approved.
    • Any diagnoses. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, or other types of diseases, you should include that in your application. This will help the SSA agent reviewing your application get a good feel for your medical history and what you have been through in terms of visual impairments in the past.


    The goal of your application is to help the person deciding whether you are approved or denied see the world through your eyes. By submitting all of your tests and medical diagnoses, you will paint a clearer picture of your health. Doing so makes it easier for the reviewer to understand the extent to which your vision loss impacts your ability to work.

    For more information about applying for and receiving SSDI in Boston for vision loss, we encourage you to read the related articles on this page.

  • I was recently diagnosed with a mood disorder. My symptoms can be pretty severe, but I’m not sure if I should apply under the schizoaffective disorder listing. Can you help?

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes the application process for SSDI in New England very difficult. They require you to meet specific listings. However, no two people have the same exact symptoms, job, work situation, or reaction to treatments. With that in mind, it is no wonder you are confused about which listing you should apply under.

    The first step in understanding how to apply is to determine what your symptoms are. By writing these down, you will have a clearer idea of which listing you meet, and how to fill out your application.

    Symptoms of a Schizoaffective Disorder

    The following are some of the most common symptoms of mood disorders that are considered disabling by the SSA. These are the symptoms that stand in the way of you performing your job to the best of your abilities.

    • Disorganized communication
    • Rapid speech that is difficult for others to understand
    • Extreme paranoia where you worry others might try to hurt you
    • Delusions of special messages hidden in various places
    • Difficulty focusing or remembering important details
    • Hallucinations
    • Severe mood swings
    • Trouble sleeping or concentrating on a regular basis

    Applying for Social Security disability insurance in New England is a tedious process. It is one that many people struggle with. Don’t forget that if you get denied the first time, you are not alone. Working with a lawyer can minimize your risk of being denied and help you get the benefits you need on your application.

    We encourage you to read our book, The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability, to help guide you during the application process even further. If you need any extra help, we are always available to answer questions and work with you to help you get the benefits you deserve.

  • I’m scared! The Social Security Administration denied my application for SSDI in Watertown because of my past work history. What can I do?

    Sometimes the Social Security Administration (SSA) will deny your application if they feel you are capable of doing work elsewhere. Often this is decided upon based on your past work history. Although someone will most likely testify at your hearing after a denial that you can do another job based on your past work history, there are ways around this.

    What to Expect at Your Disability Hearing in Boston

    When you go to your disability hearing before an administrative law judge, he will have the list of past jobs that you’ve held over the last 15 years. During your hearing, the judge will review each of your past jobs and ask you about them. Based on your answers, the judge will determine whether you are capable of holding another job, or if you qualify to receive Social Security disability.

    As you describe your past work experience, here are a few of the most important items to include that can help your case:

    • How long you spent learning the job, including any specialized training you needed
    • How long you held the position
    • Your specific job title
    • Whether you managed other people
    • The physical requirements of the job, including the use of any special equipment
    • The mental requirements, including if you worked with the public
    • Whether you were able to sit, stand, or walk whenever you needed to
    • How many hours you worked each week
    • Whether your employer offered you any special accommodations
    • Why you left the job


    Each of these answers will shed light on what your work experience was really like during each of your past jobs. Using your answers, the judge will determine whether or not you can perform similar jobs in the future.

    Having a lawyer by your side throughout the hearing is a smart idea. If you’re worried about your hearing, let us be there to support you. With our experience in these hearings, we know what will help, and what could hurt your case. Contact us today to schedule your pre-hearing appointment with a Boston Social Security disability lawyer.

  • I’m worried! I applied for Social Security disability in Boston for my scoliosis, but was denied. How can this happen, and what can I do?

    Being approved or denied Social Security disability for scoliosis depends on the severity of your symptoms. Some people with scoliosis only experience mild symptoms, while others have a more severe case that significantly limits their ability to work or perform daily tasks. To qualify, you must have a more severe case, and you must show how your scoliosis impacts your ability to work.

    If your case of scoliosis is severe and prevents you from working, you may be able to appeal your denial. To understand if this is the right decision for you, it is important to know what the Social Security Administration considers qualifying symptoms of scoliosis.

    How to Qualify for Social Security Disability for Scoliosis

    Before you submit your appeal, you’ll need to be sure that you can show that you have at least one of the following:

    • Pain, muscle weakness, or limitations in your mobility from a nerve root compression.
    • Severe pain, especially when you sit in the same position for a long period of time, due to inflammation of the membrane that surrounds your spine.
    • Chronic weakness or pain from narrowing of the spine


    If you have any of those symptoms, and you were still denied Social Security disability, you may be able to appeal.

    When you file your appeal, it is critical that you submit all evidence that shows specifically how your disability limits you from working. This means that you must show all imaging tests, detailed descriptions by your doctor of physical exams, and any records that show the treatment you’ve tried, and what you’re currently doing to limit your symptoms.

    Filing an appeal is not an easy process. If you’d like more information about what it takes to improve your chances of being approved, we encourage you to download our free report with the top asked questions about Social Security disability. If you still have questions, or would like more help, please reach out to us at any time during your appeals process.

  • I suffer from lupus and struggle to find a job I can do. I applied for Social Security disability in Boston, but was denied. What can I do?

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a complex listing for lupus. In order to qualify under its listing, you must show that you have very specific symptoms, such as fever, exhaustion, malaise, and weight loss, while also showing how these symptoms limit your ability to function in the workplace. If you were denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in Boston for lupus, chances are your application was missing one of the criteria the SSA needs to see to approve you.

    Medical Evidence to Submit in Your Appeal for SSDI in Boston for Lupus

    Although you were denied, you still have an opportunity to receive the support you need. Many people are denied in their initial application. When you appeal, you must submit medical evidence that shows you have been correctly diagnosed with lupus, and that you meet the specific criteria put in place by the SSA.

    The SSA uses the guidelines put in place by the American College of Rheumatology when making their determination. Therefore, according to current criteria for lupus, you must show that you have at least four of the following:

    • Renal disorder
    • Neurologic disorder
    • Hematologic disorder
    • Immunologic disorder
    • Malar rash
    • Discoid rash
    • Photosensitivity
    • Oral Ulcers
    • Arthritis
    • Sersitis
    • Antinuclear antibody

    When submitting your appeal, you must prove that you have these four symptoms through medical evidence, such as from blood tests, doctor notes, imaging tests, and more.

    Because the process is so tedious and the SSA requires very specific criteria be met before approving someone for SSDI for lupus, we highly recommend you seek help from a skilled Boston SSDI lawyer who knows what the SSA is looking for and can help. Call us toll-free at 888-904-6847 to learn more about how we can help with your appeal process.

  • I just had major surgery on my knee. There were a few complications during the procedure and I’m no longer able to walk. This has significantly limited my ability to work. I applied for SSDI in Boston for my reconstructive surgery, but was denied. They said I need to be able to show that I am not able to walk effectively. What does that mean?

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) places strict guidelines on each of their disability listings. For people who have had reconstructive surgery on a weight-bearing joint, such as you had on your knee, the SSA needs to see that the surgery did not properly repair the damage. You must also show the extent to which you are still limited even after trying to repair the damage to your joint.

    Showing Your Inability to Walk Effectively

    In your appeal, you must show that you cannot walk effectively. This essentially means that the SSA wants to see that you have a disability that limits you in your job. Some of the ways that you may be considered unable to walk effectively include:

    • Using some system of support to get around, such as a walker, or two crutches.
    • You are forced to walk at an unreasonably slow pace to perform daily tasks, such as grocery shopping.
    • You have difficulty walking on uneven surfaces at a reasonable pace.
    • You are limited in how many stairs you can climb and how quickly you can climb with the help of a handrail.
    • You require assistance in getting to and from work.

    Guidelines like these may seem straightforward, but demonstrating them to the SSA in a way that will allow you to be approved for SSDI in Boston for reconstructive surgery is not easy.

    Working with a skilled SSDI lawyer in Boston can help. By putting the experience with and the knowledge of the Social Security system to work on your appeal, you can increase your opportunity to be approved. Let us know if you meet these criteria and would like help filing your appeal by filling out the contact form on this page.

  • I recently found out that I’m severely anemic. My anemia has made it difficult for me to go to work or to remain on the job throughout the day. I feel exhausted and have constantly had to call in sick. One of my coworkers told me that I might qualify for SSDI in New Hampshire for anemia. Is this true?

    Anemia can have a serious impact on your ability to work. From being extremely fatigued to having shortness of breath and not feeling well, it makes sense that you are not be able to perform the job you once used to.

    As with any illness, the symptoms affect every person differently. In order to qualify for SSDI in New Hampshire for anemia, you must meet the criteria put in place by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

    How to Qualify for New Hampshire SSDI With Anemia

    The SSA lists anemia as a disability. Under their requirements, you must meet the following criteria in order for your application to be approved:

    • Consistent red blood cell count of 30 percent or less
    • An average of at least one blood transfusion every two months

    If you are unable to meet those criteria, you may also qualify based on other impairments caused by anemia. These impairments include any heart disease complications that are impacted by your anemia, or any difficulties you have with breathing that may be listed under respiratory listings.

    Knowing whether or not you qualify can be very difficult. It is strongly advised that you seek the help and guidance of a New Hampshire Social Security disability attorney for help with your application. By working with a lawyer from Keefe Disability Law, you can maximize your chances at being approved for Social Security disability. We will help you put together your application and find out which listings you qualify under so that you can give the most clear and detailed information to the SSA as possible making it easier for you to be approved.

    Call us today at our toll-free number, 888-904-6847, to get started.

  • I have a few mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. I applied for SSDI in Boston and was told to fill out a mental RFC form. What is this form, and how can I fill it out so that I increase my chances of being approved?

    Mental illnesses can be extremely debilitating, making it difficult to perform regular activities at your job. However, when it comes to documenting the disabling symptoms of these disabilities, you may find that it is not all that easy. In many cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA), or your Social Security disability lawyer in Boston may advise you to fill out a mental Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form.

    Understanding a Mental RFC Form

    The mental RFC form is used to look at the type of activities that you are still able to do in spite of your mental disability. The SSA uses the information from this form to decide if you are able to continue working in some capacity in your field. When filling out this form, there are a few things to keep in mind.

    • Comprehension and memory. The SSA will consider your ability to understand and carry out certain instructions. If your memory is limited by your mental illness, or you cannot understand basic instructions, you may are limited in the work you can perform.
    • Social capabilities. Many jobs require some level of social interaction. If you struggle to interact appropriately with people, ask for help, accept feedback, or avoid engaging in distracting behavior, you may not be able to perform lesser skilled tasks at your job.
    • Focus and concentration. Most jobs require that you focus on the work at hand. This requires you to be able to pay attention for longer periods of time. If you are significantly limited in your ability to do this, the SSA may determine you are not able to work.
    • Adaptation to various environments. Work environments can be stressful. The SSA will also use the RFC to consider how well you can adapt to changing environments that have the potential to be stressful.

    There is a lot that goes into your mental RFC form, and we advise that you seek help from someone experienced with this type of form. At Keefe Disability Law, we understand what the SSA is looking for, and how you can increase your chances of being approved after submitting an RFC. We encourage you to reach out to us by phone at 888-904-6847 to schedule an appointment with a Boston Social Security disability lawyer to discuss your options in more detail.

  • I had a stroke, but my doctor said it was a fairly mild stroke. I suffered some permanent damage, and now have difficulty grasping onto some items, which makes it difficult for me to write or work in my construction job. I applied, but just received a denial for SSDI in Boston after my stroke. What can I do?

    We are sorry to hear you were denied Social Security disability in Boston after your stroke! Strokes are a difficult condition because the symptoms and severity of the damages vary greatly from one person to another. Sometimes, if the disability was not cited clearly or if there was some confusion on the application, the Social Security Administration (SSA) might deny your disability claim even if you qualify under the listing for a stroke.

    Here are a few things you should start to do today to begin the appeal process for your claim.

    • Talk to your doctor. Many doctors know how difficult it is to get disability income after a stroke. Talk to your doctor and ask her to outline the specific medical damages you experienced after your stroke, and how they impair your ability to perform basic tasks, such as writing, lifting, pulling, or other important tasks for your job.
    • Keep a journal. Keep a journal of all of your symptoms. Make sure to write down when your symptoms prevent you from working, and what specific tasks you were unable to perform. This will show the person reviewing your appeal how the damages from your stroke limit your ability to work.
    • Fill out an RFC form. It may be a good idea to fill out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. This form shows what you are able to do on a regular basis in spite of the damages you suffered.


    Filing an appeal after being denied SSDI in Boston for a stroke is not easy. For help, or more guidance, call our office to speak to a Boston Social Security disability attorney about your application and appeal.