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Houston Social Security Disability Law Blog

Applying for disability with narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a type of sleep disorder that causes, among other things, excessive daytime sleepiness. Some narcoleptics also experience cataplexy, or a sudden loss of muscle tone that can cause them to suddenly drop over. Combined with the inability to stay awake, the disorder can be quite debilitating.

Does narcolepsy qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits? If you look through the agency's list of "disabling conditions," you won't find narcolepsy specifically listed -- but that doesn't mean you can't win approval for your claim.

Can mild cognitive impairment be a disability?

Many people in the Houston area are diagnosed with what doctors call mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. MCI can in fact be the precursor to Alzheimer's Disease, a progressive and ultimately fatal neurological condition that causes profound memory loss and other issues.

A doctor will diagnose a person with MCI if the person shows memory loss above and beyond what one would typically experience from age alone. A Texan may, after all, experience some short-term memory loss as they get older, as this is part of the aging process. MCI, on the other hand, can also affect the long-term memory, that is, the ability to recall people, places and events from more than a few minutes ago.

We can help people who have hard-to-measure injuries

It can actually be easier on a Houston resident who suffers an injury if he or she has some visible symptom. For instance, broken bones and spinal cord injuries may show up on an x-ray or another medical test, and CT Scans or MRIs can detect traumatic brain injuries. In these cases, many people will almost take for granted that the victim was hurt seriously.

Many injuries leave little or no physical scars or injuries. While a person may seem fine in these cases, the reality is that he or she could still be suffering through severe and even debilitating pain. For instance, soft tissue injuries to one's muscles, ligaments and the like can cause itching, burning sensations, numbness and other similar symptoms.

Review of SSI benefits for disabled children

As this blog has discussed before, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI benefits, are available to Houston residents who are of limited income and means and who are disabled, blind or over age 65.

These benefits are also available to children under 18. In fact, many Texas parents will need to rely on Supplemental Security Income in order to help them cover the expenses of raising a child who has special needs.

Administration's proposed rule could trim SSD benefits for some

Although it has been getting relatively little attention in the press until recently, the Social Security Administration has proposed a new regulation that could serve to cull many Texans from the list of those who receive disability benefits.

The rule affects those who are already drawing Social Security disability benefits. As those in the Houston area who read this blog know, qualifying for benefits in the first place can be a complicated and difficult task to accomplish, especially without the help of a professional.

Student loan relief: a well-kept secret bonus to SSD benefits

As this blog discusses often, people in the Houston area who are suffering from a debilitating illness or injury may be able to obtain benefits through the Social Security Administration. Social Security disability benefits, which are commonly referred to as SSD benefits, can provide a source of monthly income to a Texan who needs these funds to support him or herself.

However, as a recent report shows, there are other potential benefits to having the Social Security Administration find a person legally disabled under the Administration's criteria. One such benefit, which seems to be a well-kept secret, is that a person on disability and who has outstanding student loans may be able to get the loans discharged, even without resorting to bankruptcy.

What is the difference between depression and bipolar?

Many people have probably heard of bipolar disorder and may even know one or more people who have been diagnosed with this condition. However, many people may not fully understand the symptoms of this mental condition, which can be debilitating.

Someone who has this condition will typically experience periods of what psychologists call mania or hypomania followed by a bout of depression. The cycle of these swings in mood can repeat over the course of years or over the course of a few weeks or months.

Special SSI benefits are available to the legally blind

Being blind can present a number of challenges for a Houston resident. Even if a person has some ability to see, legal blindness can make it very hard for a person to perform even basic job-related tasks. This is so even though employers are supposed to accommodate for workers with low vision.

Texans who are legally blind can obtain both Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income. In the eyes of the Social Security Administration, a person is legally blind if, even with corrective lenses or other treatment, a person's vision is not better than 20/200.

Overview of intellectual disability

At one time referred to as mental retardation, about one out of 100 people have what the mental health community refers to as an intellectual disability.

Of these one out of 100, the vast majority of them, about 85 percent, have what would be referred to as a mild intellectual disability, meaning that they can perform some tasks and jobs, although perhaps not as quickly as the average person.

What if my injury is my fault?

Many people in Texas suffer serious injuries at work, at home while traveling or even while at play. Although there is a lot of emphasis these days on who is to blame for these injuries, in many if not most cases, the injury is truly an accident or, at worst, is actually the responsibility of the victim herself.

In these cases, a Houston resident might think that, while he can obtain some help with medical bills provided he has health insurance, getting compensation for lost income is really a lost cause since, after all, he himself is to blame for his own debilitating injury.