Indianapolis, Lafayette & Franklin Social Security Disability Blog

Social Security Disability due to chronic fatigue syndrome

Indiana residents may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits if they suffer from a medical impairment serious enough to prevent them from working. Making a determination can be relatively straightforward when applicants have had heart attacks or suffer from widely diagnosed conditions like cancer or Parkinson's disease, but the SSD guidelines contain no specific criteria for evaluating the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

The problem is that CFS is a complex medical condition that cannot be explained by a single underlying medical disorder. When assessing CFS disability claims, Social Security examiners look for at least two constitutional symptoms and three limitations. Constitutional symptoms include fever, involuntary weight loss, fatigue and malaise. Examples of limitations include difficulty maintaining social functioning, restrictions on daily living, and being unable to complete tasks on time because of problems with pace, persistence or concentration.

Several factors impact the timing of SSD decision letters

For people who are waiting for a decision letter from the Social Security Administration in Indiana, not knowing how long it will take can be stressful. It's difficult to predict how long a decision letter might take to arrive, but there are a few factors that are likely to shorten or lengthen the process. For example, the time it takes for the decision itself is one of the biggest factors. If the claim is denied, the decision letter will be dispatched as soon as the decision has been made.

If the claim is approved for benefits, however, it will be sent back to the local office for further processing before the approval letter is sent out. The local office of the Social Security Administration will perform a number of tasks on the case before the decision letter is mailed. Personnel will analyze the claim to determine if there is any offset for workers' compensation or if the applicant needs someone to help him or her with disability benefit management. Additionally, some claims must be manually processed, which takes longer than computer processing.

Avoid these mistakes when applying for disability benefits

The road to securing Social Security Disability benefits can be a long one. It is not as simple as filling out and sending in a form. If you assume it is an easy and quick process, you are likely to make mistakes that hurt your chances of getting the financial support you need. 

It is vital to make careful and strategic decisions when you apply for disability benefits. Avoid these mistakes to get a better chance at approval. 

Social Security and medical records

Indiana residents who file for SSDI or SSI are not required to have a past medical history. However, the disability examiners who process the claims do prefer to receive records of any past medical treatments that can help them render a decision. People who have received some form of treatment for their disabling condition may provide copies of their physician's notes to give the examiners a perspective into the condition that they may not otherwise have.

Hospital treatment notes provide significant information but not about a person's mental or physical limitations or reactions to different types of treatment. They tend to provide unbiased medical evidence, such as lab tests and imaging results, as well as records for acute medical treatment. However, the hospital notes do not give the examiners sufficient information regarding the ongoing severity of a disabling condition or how the limitations can prevent the claimants from being able to work enough to be self-sufficient.

Glaucoma sufferers may be entitled to disability benefits

Indiana residents who have glaucoma will likely lose their vision gradually over time. In some cases, it can cause individuals to go blind. While there is no true glaucoma trigger, eye pressure can play a role in a person developing the condition. Those who have symptoms of this condition may be entitled to disability benefits, but there are a couple of conditions that must be met. First, an individual must have an income that is less than the SGA limit.

Additionally, an individual must be able to show objective medical proof that he or she has this condition. It is not uncommon for an applicant to be asked to submit to further testing before an examiner makes a decision. The government will pay for these exams, which means that applicants don't need to worry about finances impacting their ability to comply with such a request.

About guardianships

Indiana residents should know that a guardianship is a legal device that gives a person or some other party to make decisions on behalf of a ward. The courts usually designate guardians in situations in which a person is disabled or incapacitated. Unless there are medical directives or a durable power of attorney that has already been prepared when someone becomes incapacitated or disabled in some way, it will be up the court to choose a guardian to be responsible for making non-financial and financial decisions for that person.

Having someone to make responsible financial decisions on behalf of people who unexpectedly becomes incapacitated can help avoid financial complications. Real estate, investments and other types of assets can decrease in value if they are not managed for a long period of time. A guardian would also be responsible for paying bills, making sure that liabilities do not accumulate while the ward is incapacitated.

Social media posts may affect your disability benefits

Like most Hoosiers, you do not mind working hard to support yourself and your family. Unfortunately, though, certain illnesses and injuries can make working impossible. If so, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may be necessary for paying bills. 

Applying for SSDI benefits is rarely easy. To receive benefits, you must document your medical condition. You may also need to attend a hearing. When determining whether you should receive benefits, though, officials from the Social Security Administration may look outside the formal record. Put simply, what you post on social media may affect your eligibility for benefits. 

Getting disability benefits

When people living in Indiana apply for disability benefits, they are often concerned about the time it will take to receive a decision about their case. There are multiple factors that can affect the timeline of a Social Security disability application. These include the nature of the disability, how well the disability is documented and whether the case must be decided via hearing.

After an individual submits a Social Security Disability application, he or she can usually expect to receive a decision in 120 days or less. It should be noted, however, that about 70% of initial applications are denied. As a result, applicants who still want to attempt to qualify for benefits will have to enter an appeals process. The first step in this process is submitting a request for reconsideration of the application. If this is denied, and over 80% of these requests for reconsideration will be, the applicant can request a hearing.

Work history details matter on a benefit application

Those who are disabled in Indiana and throughout the country may apply for government benefits to help them pay bills or cover other expenses. To improve the chances of getting an application approved, it may be important to include work history information. An examiner should know what type of work was done over the past 15 years in addition to how long a person worked at a given job.

This can play a significant role in whether an application is approved because it can help an examiner determine if an individual can do any type of work. To be approved for disability benefits, an applicant must show that he or she is totally disabled and that the disability will last for at least a year. It must also prevent an individual from making a substantial and gainful income. Therefore, it may be worth including the salary or hourly wage that each job paid.

Family members of a disabled worker could qualify for benefits

Residents of Indiana who receive Social Security disability benefits might also have family members who are entitled to receive a portion of those benefits. Eligible family members could include children, a spouse or an ex-spouse as well as other dependents in certain age groups.

Social Security disability benefits are awarded to people who are unable to work due to a disability and who meet other eligibility requirements. Family members might each be eligible for a benefit that is equal to up to 50% of the disabled worker's benefit. There is a family limit on total benefits that is usually from 150 to 180% of the disabled worker's benefit amount. The amounts for each family member will be reduced if necessary to keep the family limit below the maximum amount.

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