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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  • Can complications from borderline personality disorder qualify me for disability benefits?

    When you suffer from a mental illness that is characterized by emotional instability and significant changes in personality over short periods of time, you may have borderline personality disorder. This condition has many potential complications that can make earning a living very difficult. Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits may be the only way to alleviate the financial burden that comes along with this condition.

    5 Complications Resulting From Borderline Personality Disorder

    What are some of the common complications associated with borderline personality disorder? The following are five examples:

    1. Drug abuse
    2. Problems with family and other relationships
    3. Frequent and repeated job losses
    4. Suicide attempts
    5. Engaging in risky behaviors, including car accidents

    In addition, borderline personality disorder is often accompanied by other mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and bipolar disorders. These complications can make it very difficult to find and hold a job. In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must either meet the Social Security Administration’s blue book listing for an impairment, or you must show that you are unable to do any job. The blue book does have a specific listing for personality disorders. In addition, you must provide sufficient medical evidence of your specific symptoms as well as your diagnosis.

    Proving your disability based on a mental condition is not always easy. We are here to help you navigate the Social Security disability benefits process. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.

  • What types of functional limitations must I show in order to get disability benefits for my somatoform disorder?

    Few things are as frightening as living with pain or other physical symptoms that have no discernable cause and cannot be adequately treated or cured. Unfortunately, people suffering from somatoform disorders must live with this reality on a daily basis. The good news, however, is that the Social Security Administration recognizes somatoform disorders as an impairment. This means that victims may be eligible for disability benefits as a result of their condition.

    4 Types of Functional Limitations for Disability Benefits Due to Somatoform Disorders

    In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must show that your symptoms create sufficient functional limitations on your life. Specifically, you must demonstrate at least two of the following:

    1. You are severely restricted in the things that you do every day. For example, you may be unable to go to the store or drive a car.
    2. You find it extremely difficult to get along with other people.
    3. You find it extremely difficult to complete tasks within a reasonable time period.
    4. You experience at least three episodes per year where your symptoms get significantly worse. Each of these episodes lasts for at least two weeks at a time.

    Providing the proper medical documentation to prove these limitations is a crucial aspect of obtaining benefits. It is therefore important for sufferers to seek assistance from their medical team as well as their attorney.

    Mental illnesses can cause disabilities that are just as severe as physical conditions. Somatoform disorders are one such example. We can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.

  • What medical documentation will I need to obtain disability benefits for my somatoform disorder?

    People who suffer from pain and other physical symptoms with no identifiable cause are said to suffer from a somatoform disorder. Sadly, this condition often makes it very difficult to carry out activities of daily living, including working. Without the ability to work, victims often experience significant financial suffering. The Social Security Administration does recognize somatoform disorders as impairments that are eligible for disability benefits.

    Symptoms of Somatoform Disorder You Must Document to Qualify for Disability

    In order to qualify for benefits under the disability listing, you must present sufficient medically-documented evidence. This evidence must show that you have experienced one of the following:

    1. Multiple physical symptoms that have lasted several years. To treat these symptoms, you must take medication frequently or be seen by a doctor regularly. The condition has significantly altered your life patterns. The symptoms of the condition began before you turned 30.
    2. You are suffering from an ongoing disturbance of vision, speech, hearing, use of an arm or leg, movement, or heightened or diminished sensations, and there is no physical cause.
    3. You are obsessed with thinking that you have a serious disease or injury. As a result, you are interpreting physical signs or sensations in an unrealistic or irrational manner.

    If you are able to produce this evidence, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The application process may seem overwhelming and stressful for those who have not applied in the past. Fortunately, we can help. Hiring an attorney to represent you through this process can maximize your chances for obtaining the benefits you deserve. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.


  • I have polymyositis and am unable to work. Will I qualify for disability benefits?

    Living with polymyositis is not an easy task. The condition is caused by chronic inflammation of the muscles in the body that weakens the skeletal muscles. These muscles control movement in the body, so the weakening can make it very difficult to carry out basic daily activities. In addition, the condition is progressive, meaning it will get worse over time. As a result, many victims find they are unable to work in order to support themselves.

    4 Tasks of the Social Security Administration During a Disability Benefits Review

    Fortunately, disability benefits may be available to help alleviate some of the financial burden associated with the condition. Some sufferers may qualify for Social Security disability benefits by meeting the criteria outlined in the Social Security Administration’s listing for the impairment. Other sufferers may not meet the criteria, but may still qualify by showing that they are unable to return to work. After applying, the Social Security Administration will do the following:

    1. Review your medical record to determine how the polymyositis impacts your ability to carry out basic functions in the workplace. For example, the Social Security Administration will assess your ability to stand, walk, and carry or lift objects. The muscle weakness, muscle loss, calcium deposits, pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath associated with polymyositis can all have a significant impact on your physical abilities in the workplace. You may also find that the thickening of skin that often occurs on the fingers and hands make it difficult to carry out tasks that require fine motor skills, such as filing, typing, or placing small pieces together.
    2. Review your medical record to determine how the polymyositis impacts your mental functioning.
    3. Record your abilities and limitations on a Residual Functional Capacity form.
    4. Consider all of your limitations in conjunction with your job experience, education, and age in order to determine whether you are able to return to work.

    While benefits are crucial for many people, qualifying for disability benefits is often not a simple process. Fortunately, we are here to help walk you through the process. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.

  • What symptoms may qualify me for disability benefits for my polymyositis?

    For many people, a diagnosis of polymyositis can mean a future of chronic muscle weakening that gets worse as time goes on. As a result, you may find yourself able to do fewer and fewer of the necessary daily activities. This may include your ability to work in order to support yourself financially. The positive news, however, is that the Social Security Administration recognizes the condition as an impairment. Sufferers may be eligible for disability benefits as a result.

    Common Symptoms of Polymyositis

    If you are suffering from polymyositis, you may qualify for disability benefits if your symptoms are severe enough that they meet the requirements of the disability listing for this condition set out by the Social Security Administration. Common symptoms of the condition include the following:

    1. Weakness or loss of muscle in the hips and shoulder
    2. Difficulty going up stairs
    3. Difficulty standing up from a chair
    4. Difficulty raising your arms above your head
    5. Muscle weakness in the mouth, throat, and lungs that make it difficult to speak or breathe
    6. Pain
    7. Joint and muscle tenderness
    8. Fatigue
    9. Thickening of the skin in the fingers and the hands
    10. Calcium deposits in the joints that make it difficult to move
    11. Weight loss
    12. Malnutrition
    13. Pneumonia
    14. Respiratory failure

    Even though polymyositis is a recognized impairment by the Social Security Administration,  qualifying for disability benefits is still not a simple process. Fortunately, we are here to provide valuable legal guidance. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.

  • Can I obtain disability benefits if I have scleroderma?

    If you are suffering from scleroderma, you may be experiencing a great deal of pain. It can be difficult for those living with this condition to carry out even the simplest of everyday tasks. This makes it challenging or impossible for scleroderma patients to work in order to support themselves. Fortunately, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits as a result of your condition.

    Symptoms of Scleroderma and Disability Benefits

    What are some of the symptoms associated with scleroderma that may prevent you from being able to work? The following is an overview:

    1. Extremities may turn blue or white in response to temperature changes
    2. Hair loss
    3. Hardening of the skin
    4. Abnormal skin coloration
    5. Thickening of the skin
    6. Small white lumps under the skin that can ooze a white substance
    7. Ulcers on the fingers or toes
    8. Joint pain
    9. Numbness and pain in the feet
    10. Swelling of the joints
    11. Wrist pain
    12. Dry cough
    13. Shortness of breath
    14. Wheezing
    15. Constipation
    16. Diarrhea
    17. Heartburn
    18. Fecal incontinence
    19. Difficulty swallowing

    The type and number of symptoms that you experience typically varies depending on the severity of the disease and how far the condition has progressed. The more severe cases can impact the entire body. Unfortunately, there is no cure and no specific treatment for this condition. As a result, a person suffering from scleroderma may require disability benefits in order to obtain some relief from the financial burden imposed by this disease.

    Since qualifying for disability benefits is typically not a simple process, it is important to seek legal guidance. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.


  • Can I obtain disability benefits if I suffer from a pituitary gland disorder?

    When an individual suffers from a pituitary gland disorder, he or she may suffer from symptoms that make it difficult or impossible to carry out daily tasks, including holding down a job. This can create significant financial stress. Fortunately, victims may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. To maximize your chance for obtaining the benefits that you deserve, it is important to get assistance from a knowledgeable legal professional.

    8 Common Symptoms of Pituitary Gland Disorders

    The pituitary gland is an organ that is located at the base of the brain. This gland produces and releases many of the hormones that travel through your system, including prolactin, growth hormone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone. When someone suffers from a pituitary gland disorder, these hormones are not produced or secreted properly. The following symptoms may occur as a result:

    1. Sexual dysfunction
    2. Hot flashes
    3. Irregular menstrual cycles
    4. Dry skin
    5. Hair loss
    6. Memory loss
    7. Fatigue
    8. Weakness

    Depending on the cause of these symptoms, various types of treatment may be necessary. Individuals suffering from a pituitary gland disorder may suffer substantial financial distress created by the need for this treatment as well as the inability to work in order to earn a living and support themselves and their families.

    To obtain disability benefits to help alleviate some of the financial burden created by a pituitary gland disorder, it is important to take swift action. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.

  • Am I eligible for disability benefits if I have a soft tissue burn injury?

    If you suffered a soft tissue burn injury, you may be facing significant disabilities. These injuries are often very painful and may require extensive and ongoing medical treatment. As a result, victims sometimes find themselves unable to work or support themselves and their families. Fortunately, some victims of soft tissue burn injuries may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. These benefits can help to alleviate some of the financial burden associated with the injury. It is therefore important for victims to maximize their chance for obtaining the benefits they deserve by seeking assistance from a knowledgeable legal professional.

    5 Facts About Filing for Disability Benefits Due to a Soft Tissue Burn Injury

    Unless you have prior experience, applying for disability benefits can feel like an intimidating process. The following are five helpful facts about benefits and soft tissue burn injuries:

    1. Soft tissue burn injuries are covered under the listing of impairments contained in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book.
    2. To qualify for benefits, you must suffer from a loss of mobility, major limb function, or fine muscle movements.
    3. The loss of function must be expected to last at least 12 months.
    4. Loss of function may occur from the damage to the soft tissue or from the pain that results.
    5. Pain must be the result of the burn. Medical evaluations by your doctor will be used to establish whether the pain caused by your soft tissue burn injury severely limits your ability to function and perform daily activities.

    The good news for victims is that an attorney can assist with the disability benefits application process. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.


  • What are the symptoms of aplastic anemia that may qualify me for disability benefits?

    When the body fails to produce sufficient red blood cells, this may be caused by a serious condition known as aplastic anemia. The condition can result in dangerous bleeding that is difficult to control. Victims may need extensive treatment and may also be unable to work as a result. People suffering from this blood condition may be entitled to disability benefits. Aplastic anemia is listed as a covered condition in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, which contains a list of conditions that are commonly approved for benefits.

    9 Symptoms of Aplastic Anemia

    In order to obtain disability benefits for this condition, it is crucial to recognize the signs and symptoms. The following are nine common symptoms of aplastic anemia:

    1. Shortness of breath, especially after physical exertion
    2. Irregular, rapid heartbeat
    3. Paleness of the skin
    4. Unexplained bruising
    5. Headaches
    6. Rashes
    7. Dizziness
    8. Bleeding gums
    9. Frequent nose bleeds

    People suffering from aplastic anemia may need to undergo frequent blood transfusions or stem cell transplants. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible to earn a living. In addition to dealing with the difficulties of aplastic anemia, sufferers may also face significant stress due to the financial struggle that may result.

    Fortunately, social security disability benefits can provide the financial assistance victims need. Since these benefits are so important, maximizing your chances for obtaining the benefits you deserve is crucial. Obtaining assistance from an experienced attorney can greatly improve the likelihood for success during this process. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.

  • How can I prove that I am unable to work as a result of my bronchiectasis?

    Suffering from a debilitating lung condition like bronchiectasis may leave you with difficulty breathing. This difficulty may also make it impossible for you to work, placing significant financial strain on yourself and your family. Victims may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits in order to alleviate some of this burden.

    4 Questions to Consider When Determining Whether You Are Able to Work With Bronchiectasis

    In order to qualify for disability benefits, you may need to demonstrate that you are unable to work as a result of your condition. The following are some of the questions that will be considered when the Social Security Administration makes this assessment:

    1. Does your inability to breathe properly make it difficult for you to perform physical activities? Examples would include moving items or walking up and down stairs.
    2. Are you suffering from fatigue as a result of your shortness of breath that makes it difficult for you to perform desk work?
    3. Do irritants in the air increase your breathing difficulties? If so, this may impact your ability to perform any job where dust is a factor, for example.
    4. Does your age, education level, and work history make it impossible for you to perform any job? It is important to note that when determining whether or not you qualify for disability benefits as a result of your inability to work, the Social Security Administration will look at more than just whether you are able to perform your specific previous job.

    Since disability benefits are so important to most victims, maximizing your chances for obtaining the benefits you deserve is crucial. Seeking representation from an experienced attorney can provide significant help throughout this process. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.

  • Does Myasthenia Gravis qualify as a Social Security disability?

    Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disorder that causes weakness of the voluntary muscle group and can be debilitating. It is listed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) under the Neurological - Medical Listing 11.12. This means that if you meet their very specific and stringent standards your condition may be approved for disability benefits.

    The Evidence You'll Need to Present

    The SSA does not grant benefits based solely on the diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis. Like so many disabilities, Myasthenia Gravis is difficult to qualify for. Detailed medical records from your physicians and specialists will be crucial to being approved for benefits. In addition, it is very important that you speak with both your doctor and attorney about getting a specialized medical source statement before you being the process. Doing so is often the determining factor in being denied or approved for disability benefits.

    The Process for Applying for SSA Disability Benefits for Myasthenia Gravis

    The process for gaining SSA disability benefits for Myasthenia Gravis takes place in stages. Each stage must be passed before the next will be examined. If at any point during this process the SSA determines that the claimant doesn't meet the criteria, the application for disability benefits will be denied. The steps for approval are as follows:

    1. Establish if the MG sufferer is currently working. If he or she is working and is earning more than $1,040 a month, he or she may be disqualified from benefits.
    2. Determine if the Myasthenia Gravis symptoms are severe enough to impact the ability to complete work-related activities.
    3. Since this condition is episodic, the SSA will need to determine the frequency and duration of the crises as well as how long remissions typically last. That being said, if either of the following conditions is present it's likely that the person will be determined disabled:
      • Significant motor weakness, rapid fatigue of muscles of the arms and legs when performing repetitive resistance activity while on prescribed therapy.
      • Significant difficulty in speaking, swallowing or breathing while on prescribed therapy.
    4. A review of age, education, prior work experience and both physical and mental conditions will be performed. This is done to determine what disability rating will be given and is based on medical-vocational guidelines.

    Have Your Disability Benefits Been Denied? Do Not Give up Hope!

    This doesn't have to be the end of your fight for Social Security benefits in Massachusetts; far from it! If you need to appeal please call 888-904-6847and talk to one of our attorneys, chat live on the site, or fill out the contact form on this page.

  • Does the SSA really spend that much on disability that they have to put a cap on how much I get?

    There are two types of people who receive Social Security Disability—those who are grateful for any support they can get and those who believe that the government should give them more. However, considering that the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t have unlimited funds at its disposal, it tries to budget disability benefits based on need.

    Is this fair? Shouldn’t the SSA be able to support all who need assistance? There can’t be that many people who are physically unable to work. So why can’t they give you enough to fully support your family?

    2014 Average Disability Payment Amounts 

    Over the past 30 years, the number of people receiving supplemental income and  disability from the SSA has nearly tripled. According to the SSA’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program Report, there are currently more than eight million families on disability with a projected increase to over 10 million by 2030.  This means that one out of every 30 people living in the U.S. is dependent on some sort of disability support.

    Although these families require aid for treatment and living expenses, you can see how quickly the funds add up. In fact, the budget has gotten so out of control that the SSA Commissioner has requested an additional $12 billion in order to cover costs for 2015.

    $12 billion?? Where does all that money go? You know that you’re not getting that much. So who is?

    Below is the average monthly budget for SSI payments throughout 2014:

    Month Total Payout

    Average Individual Payout

    February $4,702,000,000 $535
    March $4,742,000,000 $535
    April $4,822,000,000 $537
    May $4,741,000,000 $535
    June $4,785,000,000 $536
    July $4,704,000,000 $535
    August $4,724,000,000 $536
    September $4,785,000,000 $535
    October $4,660,000,000 $532
    November $4,662,000,000 $532
    December $4,686,000,000 $532
    January $4,687,000,000 $541
    YearlyTotal $56,700,000,000 $6,421

    Although $6,400 a year is way below poverty level and doesn’t seem like a lot of assistance, the $56 billion the SSA spends overall is definitely a lot for the government to spend on disability. This is why disability approval has become increasingly difficult. Applications need to be perfect and disability must be severe in order to get approved, and even then the SSA can only provide limited benefits each month. This is where an experienced disability lawyer like Keefe comes in.

    Help You Deserve to Get the Aid You Need

    When you need disability benefits you can’t chance being one of the thousands of applicants who get denied. The SSA has limited funding, which means it is extremely strict when it comes to application approval. Make sure your claim gets noticed by contacting us before you file. We can help ensure that every aspect of your application is prepared correctly to avoid delays, as well as make sure your application gets the proper attention it deserves.

    Allow us to help you benefit from the SSA budget. Call (508) 283-5500 now, and get the help you need, the support you deserve, and peace of mind that comes with knowing we have your back.

  • When filing a claim for my child’s disability, what documentation and evidence do I need to include to prove the severity of his disorder?

    Once you’ve decided to pursue a disability claim on behalf of your child for her skin condition, filling out the proper forms is only a small step toward getting it approved. Although accuracy and thoroughness can help your claim be taken seriously, in order for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine if your claim is eligible, proper evidence and documentation must also be included.

    The SSA evaluates applicants’ claims based on the severity of each health condition. Therefore the SSA requires that medical documentation and evidence of severity be provided with each claim. If the documentation clearly shows that your child is unable to function normally and that his condition is bad enough to require extensive treatment, benefits will likely be approved.

    However, a simple note from his doctor isn’t going to cut it. In order to be taken seriously and have the best chance for approval your claim needs to be overflowing with evidence.

    Too Much Information Is Better Than Not Enough: Paperwork to Include in Your Claim

    When it comes to childhood skin issues the SSA requires several types of documentation, evidential proof, and testimonies to make sure that the condition is severe enough to fulfill disability requirements. The SSA recommends that before filing, you and your disability attorney make sure the documentation is strong enough to back up your need for aid.

    The three main documentation categories needed are: laboratory findings, testimonials, and hospital reports. Evidence taken from these three sources should include documented findings of the following:

    • Onset and duration: When did the condition first start and how long has it been going on?
    • Frequency of flare-ups: How often does it occur?
    • Prognosis of your skin disorder: Doctor’s diagnosis, specialists’ insights, etc.
    • Location. What part of the body does it affect?
    • Size. Do the lesions change size? How large are they?
    • Appearance of lesions: Descriptions or photographs of condition. 
    • History of exposure: Was he exposed to toxins, allergens, or irritants?
    • Familial incidence: Is the condition genetic? Does anyone else in the family suffer from it?
    • Seasonal variation: Does the issue change depending on the weather or season?
    • Stress factors: Does the condition worsen with stress or anxiety?
    • Ability to function outside of a highly protective environment: Statements from caregivers, teachers, etc., about the child’s behavior in social situations.

    Perfecting Your Claim for the Benefits You Deserve

    Although the SSA can help assist you with getting some of this evidence, it will still be up to you to arrange it and file it correctly. This is why it is important to have help accessing it and streamlining it into your application to make sure the SSA can understand it. That’s where we come in! We have extensive experience with accurately filing disability claims as well as the knowledge needed to ensure that your application isn’t lost in the shuffle.

    Need more information about your disability rights? Please feel free to download our free guide on understanding disability, Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability. You’ll learn more about your rights and claim options and also see how our knowledge and experience can help you get the justice you deserve.

  • What types of skin disorders are covered under child disability?

    Skin disorders affect millions of children throughout the United States. Anything from acne and eczema to genetic abnormalities can cause a child to not only lose confidence in himself, but can also cause debilitating pain and suffering. As a result, the Social Security Administration (SSA), recognizes certain skin disorders for child disability benefits.  

    Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize that their child could qualify for disability, let alone what to do to get it for him. Therefore, many children who need and deserve SSA help for treatment, don’t get it. Is your child getting what he needs, or is he one of many who continue to feel uncomfortable in their own skin without the medical care they deserve?

    Recognized Debilitating Skin Disorders

    “Skin disorder” is an extremely vague term which can easily be assumed to cover minor irritations. However, in order for a skin condition to be considered for disability, it has to be severe enough to be debilitating. To eliminate unwarranted applications, the SSA has compiled a list of skin ailments which could satisfy disability requirements. The list includes the following skin conditions:

    • Chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, such as:
      • Cellulitis: bacterial infection affecting the deeper layers of the skin
      • Erysipelas: bacterial infection affecting the top layers of the skin
      • Folliculitis: an infection of the hair follicle
      • Erythrasma: infection most commonly found where skin rubs together, such as between the toes, in armpits, and in the groin
    • Dermatitis: severe inflammation of the skin which can cause blistering, oozing, flaking of the skin or the appearance and feel of a hard crust. Although examples of dermatitis include eczema, dandruff, and certain rashes, in order to get disability your child’s condition must be severe and cause some sort of functional inability.
    • Hidradenitis suppurativa: chronic skin condition that causes pea-sized to marble-sized lumps under the skin that typically develop where skin rubs together (armpits, groin, between the buttocks, under the breasts, etc.), causing severe pain. In some cases, the rubbing of the skin can cause the lumps to spontaneously burst, releasing foul smelling puss and fluid.
    • Genetic photosensitivity disorders: disorders that prevent the skin from being able to withstand sun or ultraviolet light, including phenylketonuria, albinism, familial porphyria, cutanea tarda, xeroderma, erythropoietic protoporphyria and Kindler syndrome. This type of disorder not only prevents access to normal treatments, but it can also limit social interaction and the ability to work as the child gets older.
    • Second and third degree burns: excessive scarring and nerve damage caused by burn injuries that can cause psychological withdrawal as well as excessive pain or the inability to stretch the skin around certain areas of the body.

    For any of these disorders to qualify, they must have shown resistance to treatment for at least three months and must prevent the sufferer from normal daily functions.

    Securing Your Child’s Future with a Simple Call

    Don’t waste your time, energy and patience hoping that your child’s application will be approved. If he is suffering from one of the aforementioned conditions, he may deserve disability benefits. Contact us today for a free consultation.

    Know someone who is having a rough time getting their disability claim approved? Please feel free to share this page with her via email, Facebook or Twitter. You can also recommend us to your friends, family and coworkers on Google+.

  • How are growth impairments determined for SSA disability benefits?

    Although your child’s height may not seem like a huge concern for his overall well-being, significant delays or rapid growth could be signs of underlying health conditions. This does not mean that just because your child is shorter than his friends, he has a disorder. In fact, in most people, height is determined by parental height—so if you and your wife are on the shorter side, it stands to reason that your child will be also.

    However, extremely short stature or delayed puberty could be signs of pituitary problems, genetic disorders, or glandular conditions that could wind up affecting your child throughout his life. This is why it is important to recognize possible growth impairments in your child and to know what to do in order to get him the help he will need when growing to adulthood.

    Diagnosing Growth Impairments for Disability

    Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration can help make the difference between your child growing up healthy and suffering the consequences of growth defects. However, in order for your child’s disorder to be approved, it must be proven to be an actual disorder, not just the normal result of parental height genetics.

    This is why when determining growth impairments for disability, height factors are based upon comparisons of the following:

    • Current height with at least three previous determinations (including length at birth, if available)
    • Standard growth chart recordings (WHO growth standardsand CDC growth charts)
    • Adult heights of the child's natural parents as well as the heights and ages of siblings

    If these comparisons show a compelling difference in height and development, your child could be suffering from a growth impairment. Further tests should be used to diagnose the origin of the impairment in order to determine the severity of the issue and whether it can qualify for disability benefits.

    The Boost Your Child Needs to Get the Benefits He Deserves

    When your child is diagnosed with a growth disorder the next step you should take to protect his future is to file a disability claim. Disability can help pay for treatments as well as help you and your family care for him throughout his childhood. However, applying for disability and being accepted are too very different things.

    Dedicated legal representation, such as ourselves, can make sure you have the required tests and documentation before applying. So, before filing, contact us for a free consultation. You’ll see how we can help you and your family get the support and guidance you need to properly pursue your child’s disability claim. Trust us—he’ll be glad you did.

    Know someone who is having a rough time getting their disability claim benefits? Please feel free to share this page with her via email, Facebook or Twitter. It’s our job to help our clients get the support and justice they need, so let us help your loved ones get what they deserve. Click the media icons on this page to instantly show your support.

  • Should I apply for SSA benefits to support my child’s disability?

    Although the majority of disability claims are focused on adult conditions that prevent the claimant from being able to support himself, childhood disability payouts may be more common than you realize. The Social Security Administration estimates that 1.3 million disabled children received disability benefits in 2014. However, the number of disabled children in the U.S. who may be entitled to benefits is ten times that.

    Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize that their child may qualify for disability, let alone what to do to get it for him. Therefore, too many children who need and deserve SSA help, don’t get it. Is your child getting what he needs, or is he one of many who continues to struggle without the proper care he deserves?

    Disability by the Numbers

    In order to get a better understanding of how many children in the U.S. are affected by physical and mental disabilities, the National Center for Education Statistics researched the prevalence of different types of disorders affecting children. This research was based upon the 6.4 million disabled children currently enrolled in public school under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Children under 5 and those too disabled to attend school aren’t factored, and could raise stats by several percentages.

    Findings show that within the IDEA program, the following conditions were prevalent:

    • Learning disabilities: 36% or 2.3 million
    • Speech impairments: 21% or 1.4 million
    • Autism: 7% or 450,000
    • Intellectual disabilities: 7% or 450,000
    • Emotional disturbance: 6% or 385,000
    • Developmental delay: 6% or 385,000
    • Multiple disabilities: 2% or 130,000 
    • Hearing impairments: 1% or 64,000
    • Orthopedic disorders: 1% or 64,000
    • Other health disorders (musculoskeletal, digestive, cardiovascular, cancer): 12% or 770,000

    Given these numbers and the financial burden addressing these conditions can place on families, it’s extremely important to know where to turn to get the help you need to secure your child’s future.

    Filing a Claim to Get the Benefits Your Child Deserves

    Every parent wants the best for their child. Unfortunately, ensuring your child gets the best can come at a high price when your child is diagnosed with a disability. Filing a disability claim on his behalf may be your best option to guarantee his financial security. Unfortunately filing a disability claim for a child can be confusing and difficult.

    If your child needs SSA benefits, don’t risk a denial due to improper paperwork or misunderstanding—your child deserves better than that. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your claim. Let us help you discover your child’s legal options for government assistance. Without representation your claim could easily be denied and take years for reconsideration. Don’t waste time. Call now!

    Know someone who is having a rough time getting disability claim benefits for a child? Please, feel free to share this page with her via email, Facebook or Twitter. It’s our job to help our clients get the support and justice they need; so let us help your loved ones get what they deserve. Click the media icons on this page to instantly show your support.

  • What is the SSA Blue Book and how does it affect my claim?

    When a medical condition or symptoms of a health issue make it hard to accomplish daily activities, supporting yourself and your family can be next to impossible. However, no matter how much pain you’re in or how difficult it is to function—you still need money to survive. Fortunately, the Federal Government understands this plight and empathizes with the gravity of such situations.

    To help those who are physically unable to help themselves, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides disability benefits for qualifying applicants. However, in order to receive disability income, you must be able to prove that your condition does indeed keep you from being able to support your family.

    Now, the SSA understands that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ailments that can keep a person from being able to work. This is why they have created a disability approved condition guidebook (known as the bluebook), as a way to track ailments and the potential link between severity and work inability.

    The Blue Book: The Guide to Approving Your Disability Application

    The Blue Book is essentially a manual of how the SSA disability panel evaluates your application for approval or rejection. Although the guidebook doesn’t include every factor for eligibility, it is a good reference to help determine if filing for disability is a viable option. The book includes specific explanations on what the panel is looking for in an application. Types of conditions that are eligible for disability: the categories of disorders within the blue book are as follows:

    • 1.00 Musculoskeletal System
    • 2.00 Special Senses and Speech Disorders  
    • 3.00 Respiratory System
    • 4.00 Cardiovascular Disorders
    • 5.00 Digestive System
    • 6.00 Genitourinary Disorders
    • 7.00 Hematological Disorders
    • 8.00 Skin Disorders
    • 9.00 Endocrine System
    • 10.00 Congenital Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems
    • 11.00 Neurological Disorders
    • 12.00 Mental Disorders
    • 13.00 Neoplastic Disorders
    • 14.00 Immune System*

    The Blue Book also includes:

    • Qualifications – How long an applicant must have had the condition to qualify and what types of symptoms the applicant must show.
    • Definitions – Explanations on how the SSA defines certain conditions, symptoms, maladies, and diseases.
    • Evaluation – How conditions are evaluated, how and when the condition was diagnosed, and how the condition impairs the applicant from working.
    • Severity ratings – How symptoms are classified for severity and how disabling the condition is.
    • Evidence – What type of evidence or proof is needed for the application to be considered for approval.

    Making Your Case

    Although the Blue Book provides excellent resources to help you decided whether to pursue a claim, filing can still be extremely difficult and confusing. Don’t allow your claim to be jeopardized because of the complex jargon or misdirection. Contact us today to see how an experienced disability lawyer can help you better understand the application and help get the results you need out of your application.

    Our vast experience with disability claims, as well as our unique knowledge of the claim process, will help make sure that you have all the necessary documentation, requirements, knowledge, and confidence to ensure increased odds of approval. Don’t waste your time waiting for a rejection letter—let us fight to ensure that you get the consideration you deserve and the benefits you and your family need. Call us today for a free consultation, and take the first step toward getting your rightful disability.


  • If I have an endocrine disorder not listed in the SSA blue book, am I still eligible for disability?

    According to the National Institutes of Health’s review of endocrine and metabolic disorders, Americans suffer from 54 different disorders related to the endocrine system. However, the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments (Blue Book) only names a handful of specific endocrine disorders that meet their medical criteria for disability consideration. So, does this mean the other 40+ ailments caused by endocrine problems aren’t severe enough to warrant disability?

    Not necessarily.

    Additional Endocrine Disorders That Could Qualify for Disability

    The main factor that determines disability approval is whether the condition from which you suffer prevents you from physically, mentally, or emotionally being able to work. As long as you can prove that your endocrine condition prohibits you from financially supporting yourself and family, the disability panel is required to investigate the condition further to determine eligibility.

    Some common endocrine disorders (not specifically listed by the SSA) that can be severe enough to warrant investigation include:

    • Adrenal insufficiency. This condition occurs when the adrenal glands release too little of the hormone cortisol. This imbalance can cause dangerous drops in blood pressure, fatigue, stomach upset, and severe dehydration.
    • Cushing's disease. This disease is caused by the overproduction of a pituitary gland hormone, generally caused by a tumor, which leads to an overactive adrenal gland. Debilitating symptoms include backaches, bone pain, thinning of the bones (which leads to rib and spine fractures), and weak muscles.
    • Gigantism (acromegaly) and other growth hormone problems. If the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, a child's bones and body parts may grow abnormally fast. This can put excessive pressure and strain on the bones and muscles, causing pain, bone damage, and heart strain.
    • Hyperthyroidism. This occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, leading to excessive weight loss, fast heart rate, sweating, and nervousness.
    • Hypothyroidism. This occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to fatigue, weight gain, constipation, and depression.
    • Multiple endocrine neoplasia I and II. These conditions are rare and are passed down through families. They cause tumors of the parathyroid, adrenal, and thyroid glands, leading to overproduction of hormones.  
    • Polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is the overproduction of androgens which interfere with the development of eggs and their release from the ovaries. PCOS can be extremely painful due to cysts pushing on the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, and can also cause emotional issues.

    Proving Your Right for Disability

    If you’ve been diagnosed with an endocrine condition and you feel that symptoms of that condition are interfering with your ability to work, you may be eligible for disability benefits. However, before filing a claim, make sure you’re not wasting your time with incomplete forms. Our extensive knowledge and experience with disability claims will help ensure that your claim is properly filled out, filed, and justifiable in order to get the attention it deserves.

    We know how the panel works to determine eligibility and approval, and we’ll make sure your claim gets the attention and investigation it deserves. Don’t waste your time waiting for a decline letter; instead, let us help you file the best claim you can to get the benefits your condition deserves. Not only is the consultation free, but you’ll also save valuable time, effort, and stress. Call now!

  • How do I prove that my skin disorder is debilitating enough to receive disability benefits?

    Although most minor skin conditions such as acne and eczema are merely cosmetic frustrations, more serious conditions such as severe dermatitis and chronic infections can be life altering. According to the National Institute of Health, morbidity is significant with severe skin ailments through potential disfigurement, disability, or symptoms such as intractable itch. Severe skin conditions can also cause a reduction in quality of life by forcing isolation due to embarrassment and depression. Even worse, the pain of certain conditions can keep a sufferer from participating in day-to-day activities, including work.

    As a result of this debilitation, chronic and severe skin conditions are eligible for disability benefits to help aid those financially who are unable to support themselves. However, in order to be approved for benefits, you must be able to prove the severity of your ailment to the Social Security Administration (SSA), based on specific criteria.

    Evidential Requirements for Skin-Related Disability Approval    

    Although the SSA concedes that certain skin conditions can cause the need for disability assistance, in order to fairly judge this need, each claim is investigated to determine whether there is enough evidence to prove disability. Unfortunately, as a result of claimants being unable to prove that their conditions prevent them from working, only an average of 30% of claims are approved.

    The SSA estimates that nearly 60% of all disability claims are denied. Of these denials, 55% are related to insufficient medical proof, while the other 45% are denied based on technical issues. This is why it is extremely important to know what to include in your claim and to get the necessary help to make sure all requirements are fulfilled before you file. To prove the severity of your skin condition, you must collect the following evidence:

    • Information about the onset of the condition (how it started, when it started, etc.)
    • Duration and frequency of flare-ups (how long they last and how long you’ve been suffering)
    • Location, size, and appearance of lesions (to determine mobility issues)
    • Any history of exposure to toxins, allergens, or irritants
    • Seasonal variations (does the condition get better or worse at different times of the year?)
    • Flare-up factors (does anything make the condition worse—stress, movement, etc.)
    • Witness statements (discussing your ability to function outside of a highly protective environment)
    • Laboratory findings to prove diagnosis (results of a biopsy, blood tests, screenings, etc.)
    • Medical testimony describing severity
    • Symptoms and pain charts
    • Employer/coworker statements describing your ability (or lack thereof) to work
    • Evidence that the condition has lasted or will last more than three months

    No Need to Jump Out of Your Skin—We’re Here to Help!

    When you’re suffering from a condition that keeps you from doing the things you love in addition to the things you have to do to survive, having to justify your pain to others can be extremely taxing. Fortunately, when forced to justify it to the Social Security Administration, you don’t have to do it alone. Our experience, knowledge, and support can help you file without causing added stress which may agitate your condition.

    We know how confusing and frustrating filing a disability claim can be, especially when a single mistake could not only delay your ruling, but could deny it altogether. Let us help make sure your claim gets the attention and proper judgment it deserves. Call us today for a free consultation and review of your claim. You won’t be disappointed.


  • Key Differences between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income

    According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), over 10 million people in the United States receive disability benefits each year. These benefits are allocated between Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, totaling roughly $11 billion worth of benefit payouts.

    If you have been injured or diagnosed with a disabling medical condition and are unable to sufficiently continue working, you may be eligible for SSD or SSI benefits. However, before filing, it’s important to know the difference between these two programs and which one you should apply for.

    So, what’s the difference? Should you file for SSD or SSI? Which is most likely to get you the benefits you need?

    Differences Between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income

    Although the majority of disability benefits are associated with SSD claims, SSI claims are a significant source of income for many disabled beneficiaries, allowing them to have additional financial support. However, although both programs are controlled by the SSA and provide financial support for disabled persons, the benefits and eligibility requirements for each program are significantly different.

    Social Security Disability

    SSD is funded through payroll taxes, so you are considered "insured" for SSD only if you have worked for a certain number of years and have made contributions to the Social Security trust fund (better known as FICA Social Security taxes). Other important things to know:

    • You must be between the ages of 18 and 65. After two years of disability, or if you’re over the age of 65, you may be eligible for Medicare instead of SSD.
    • Your spouse and children are eligible to receive partial dependent benefits (as long as you’re over the age of 18), called auxiliary benefits
    • There is a required five-month waiting period after notification of disability. The SSA won't pay you benefits for the first five months after you become disabled and then the amount of your monthly benefits will depend on your previous earnings record

    Supplemental Security Income

    SSI is called a "means-tested program," meaning it has nothing to do with work history, but strictly with financial need. Since SSI is funded by general taxes, it is available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven't earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD. Other facts to be aware of:

    • SSI income requirements are based on the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) and can change annually during cost of living adjustments. However, a good baseline for financial eligibility is if you have less than $2,000 worth of assets ($3,000 cumulative with a spouse) and a limited income (less than $12,000 a year) you should be eligible for SSI benefits.
    • You may be eligible under the income requirements for SSI to receive Medicaid. Most people who qualify for SSI will also qualify for food stamps.
    • The amount you’ll receive is dependent on where you live, your average cost-of-living, and the amount of your regular, monthly income.
    • Unlike SSD, SSI benefits will begin on the first of the month after you submit your application.

    Determining Which Program Is Right for You

    Are you finding it increasingly difficult to work due to your cardiac disability? Need help getting social security benefits to survive? Let us help! Filing an SSD or SSI claim can be extremely confusing, especially when you’re not sure which one to pursue. However, with an experienced disability lawyer on your side, you don’t have to worry.

    Need more information about your medical rights? Please feel free to download our free report on Social Security Disabilities: Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability. You’ll not only learn more about your rights and claim options, but you’ll also see how our knowledge and experience can help you get the justice you deserve.