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Houston Social Security Disability Law Blog

Qualifying for SSD benefits based on autism

There is no question that more individuals are being properly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders here in Texas as well as throughout the rest of the United States. While some individuals who suffer from these disabilities are able to function in society and hold down the jobs that help them pay their bills and care for themselves, others are incapable of performing these necessary actions for self-sufficiency. As such, the Social Security Administration recognizes autism spectrum disorders in its list of disabilities that may permit individuals to obtain disability benefits.

In order to qualify for disability benefits based on an autism spectrum disorder, a person must meet a variety of elements. First, the applicant must be able to provide medical evidence of their condition. That evidence must support claims that the applicant suffers from deficits in their ability to communicate and that their interests and activities are limited by their condition.

Deductible medical expenses and Social Security Disability

Many people who live with a disability are able to work and still receive Social Security Disability benefits. These programs exist to encourage disabled people to try their hand at working without having to worry about losing their disability benefits immediately. Many disabled people spend a large amount of money on medical expenses, however. Is there a way that Social Security deals with these expenses incurred by disabled people trying to work?

It seems unfair to many that a worker who receives SSD benefits may have their benefits reduced even if a large portion of their earnings is used to purchase medical supplies and services. Social Security recognizes this by allowing a deduction for impairment-related work expenses. "Deduction" means that recipients can deduct the qualifying expenses from their incomes for purposes of computing their Social Security Disability benefits. This often results in more benefits for the recipient than if the expenses were not deductible.

Reasons why your disability claim was denied

After a life-changing illness or injury that has left you in a position where you can no longer work at your Houston job, you may have decided to file for social security disability benefits. After fighting through what can sometimes be a long and difficult process, the Social Security Administration (SSA) finally responded to your claim. Unfortunately, they responded with a denial. Now what do you do?

The first thing you should do is find out why the Social Security Administration denied your claim. In some cases, it may be something as simple as a clerical error, but there are other reasons that might require you to go through the entire appeals process. In general, the SSA denies approximately 66 percent of all disability claims. Even more receive denials during the first appeal that claimants submit. This means that the last thing you should do is throw in the towel after you get a denial. To understand more about why you might have received a Social Security Disability denial, read below.

Can a blood disease qualify one for SSD benefits?

Many workers in Houston live with illnesses such as thombosis and hemostasis, hemolytic anemias and disorders of bone marrow failure. These conditions all fall under the general category of blood disease. Sometimes people find that they are not able to work due to one of these blood diseases. What options do these people have? Depending on the circumstances, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits for illness. This blog post will discuss one category of these illnesses: hemolytic anemias.

Hemolytic anemias include conditions such as sickle cell disease, hereditary spherocytosis and thalassemia and their variants. These disorders result in premature destruction of red blood cells. Doctors use various blood tests to diagnose a hemolytic anemia disorder. A laboratory report signed by a physician can serve as evidence that a claimant has hemolytic anemia.

Social Security Disability helps many with mental conditions

When most people in Texas think about people who receive Social Security Disability benefits, they probably think of people living with disabling physical conditions. Although many beneficiaries do live with physical disabilities, many also live with disabling mental conditions. Some people may not be aware of how disabling a mental condition can be.

Not long ago, a post here discussed how a popular musician had to take some time off to deal with a mental condition. Selena Gomez had to briefly step away from her musical career while she dealt with the consequences of depression and panic attacks. Another big star, Lady Gaga, indicated that she had dealt with similar issues as well.

An introduction to the Supplemental Security Income program

Previous posts here have discussed the Social Security Disability program. This program helps many people who live with a disability in Houston. But, there is another program that may prove helpful to people who live with a disability, and this program is also administered by the Social Security Administration. It is the Supplemental Security Income program.

SSI is like SSD in that it provides assistance to eligible people. But, there are a few big differences. For starters, SSI operates as a financial safety net that provides assistance to eligible disabled individuals regardless of their work history. This is different from SSD, which operates as an insurance program that helps people who have paid into the system with their taxable income. This means that people applying for SSD need to have the required amount of work credits, whereas SSI applicants do not need to be concerned about work credits.

What are early symptoms for lupus?

Many Americans, including those from the Houston, Texas, area, may have heard of the disease lupus, but unless you or a family member or friend has experienced the disease you may not know what it is or how it affects victims. Lupus is an autoimmune disease; this means it tricks your body's immune system into believing that healthy cells are foreign, and attacks these cells.

Lupus sufferers may experience a wide range of symptoms as well as periods of remission. Most lupus victims start experiencing symptoms in early adulthood into their thirties. A majority, up to 90 percent, of lupus sufferers will experience fatigue. They may also experience low grade fevers. Hair loss resulting from scalp and skin inflammation is also not uncommon for lupus victims. Skin lesions or rashes may also be present. This occurs for approximately half of all people with lupus.

How a spinal cord injury affects a victim's body

An accident can happen to any person, at any time. Whether it is a car accident, a slip and fall or an accident while playing a sport, serious injuries, such as a spinal cord injury, could lead to serious long-term or even life-long disabilities. When the spinal cord is damaged, bone or dislocated vertebra could put pressure on or damage the nerves that run along the spinal cord. The spinal cord acts as a "highway" in the body, with information running from the brain to control body movements.

When the spinal cord becomes damaged, it could lead to a series of symptoms, ranging from loss of sensation in various parts of the body, stinging or numbness, spasms or uncontrollable reflexes or even partial or total paralysis. Oftentimes this is determined by where on the spinal cord the injury occurred. Upper level injuries are more likely to affect the upper body, and lower body injuries are more likely to affect areas like the legs, feet or pelvic area.

Incomplete spinal injuries can result in permanent disability

When people talk about spinal injuries, most think of complete spinal cord injuries. There is a wide range of potential injuries and symptoms that can result from an accident or even a botched surgery. Incomplete spinal cord injuries involve damage that has not completely severed the spinal cord.

Because the spinal cord was not completely broken or severed, there is potential for mobility below the injury site. Some people respond to surgeries and physical therapy. Others may struggle with partial paralysis, pain or other issues as the result of the injury. Each case is unique, and it can be difficult for those with partial spinal injuries to adequately explain how the injuries impact their daily lives.

Passing of Jerry Lewis spotlights muscular dystrophy

Recently, Americans across the United States mourned the passing of Hollywood legend Jerry Lewis. Although Lewis made a name for himself and enjoyed a long career as comedian, singer, actor, director and writer, he is perhaps best known as a humanitarian for his work fundraising for research for muscular dystrophy.

One of the more common forms of the disease is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which involves progressive muscular degeneration and weakness in the human body. The illness is caused due to the absence of dystrophin in the body, a protein that protects the body's muscle cells from degenerating. The disease typically affects the pelvic area, shoulders and thighs of boys between the age of three to five. The affected area often moves on to the arms legs and trunk after, and by a person's early teenage years may affect respiratory muscles and the heart as well.