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Social Security

How Long Before ALJ Makes Decision About My SSDI Claim?

One of the more frequently asked questions from my clients is – “Will the Administrative Law Judge tell me that my Social Security Disability (SSDI or SSI) case is approved at the hearing?” Unfortunately, this is not a question I can answer until the end of the hearing for my client's Social Security Disability claim. Some Administrative Law Judges will tell you at the end of your hearing that they are going to approve your Social Security Disability case. Many will not. If an Administrative Law Judge does not indicate that they are going to approve your case, you will have to wait to receive the decision. In my practice this means waiting anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months. It is important to note that just because the Judge does not approve you for Social Security Disability benefits at the hearing does not mean that he/she will deny your claim. There are some Judges that never approve cases verbally at the hearing. There are also some Judges that will approve some cases at the hearing and some cases after the hearing. If you are represented by an attorney at the hearing that is experienced in handling Social Security Disability cases, they can often give you some indication as to how they believe the judge will rule. This is however just an educated guess as it is impossible to predict with complete certainty the way a judge will rule on your particular case - unless, of course, they state their decision at the hearing on the record. Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Oct 15, 2012 | post #1)

Drug Addiction (Substance Abuse)

How Does Addiction Affect My Social Security Disability (...

A common question I get asked by my clients is how alcohol or drug addiction can impact their application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Alcohol or drug dependence is a major issue facing millions of Americans. For some, alcohol or drug addiction, itself, can be debilitating to the point of creating a disability. For others, alcohol or drugs can lead to other medical problems (such as liver disease) which, in turn, can cause disability. For still others, alcohol or drug dependence can be a part of a disabling mental illness such as depression or anxiety. In this post I will review how the Social Security Administration (SSA) approaches drug addiction when evaluating claims for SSD benefits. You can find this post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/10/h ow-will-drug-andor -alcohol-addiction .html Hope you find it useful! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Oct 9, 2012 | post #1)

Social Security

How Does Drug Addiction Affect My SSDI Claim?

A common question I get asked by my clients is how alcohol or drug addiction can impact their application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Alcohol or drug dependence is a major issue facing millions of Americans. For some, alcohol or drug addiction, itself, can be debilitating to the point of creating a disability. For others, alcohol or drugs can lead to other medical problems (such as liver disease) which, in turn, can cause disability. For still others, alcohol or drug dependence can be a part of a disabling mental illness such as depression or anxiety. In this post I will review how the Social Security Administration (SSA) approaches drug addiction when evaluating claims for SSD benefits. You can find this post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/10/h ow-will-drug-andor -alcohol-addiction .html Hope you find it useful! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Oct 8, 2012 | post #1)

Depression

Does Depression Qualify Your For Social Security Disabili...

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting people in the United States. One recent study estimated that nearly 15 million Americans suffer from Major Depressive Disorder or clinical depression. That means that nearly 7% of Americans aged 18 and older are affected by depression during any given year. While most people can overcome the condition through therapy and/or medical treatment, many Americans are disabled by depression. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability for Americans aged 15-44. So what can you do if depression had disabled you to the point that you are no longer able to work? For many, the answer is Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) – either Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security Disability benefits can provide a financial lifeline for those disabled by depression. However, not all people suffering from depression qualify for SSD benefits. In this post, I will review the criteria necessary to meet a medical listing for depression and, thus, qualify for SSDI benefits. You can find this post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/09/d oes- depression-qualify -you-for-social.ht ml Hope you find it useful! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Sep 27, 2012 | post #1)

Social Security

Does Depression Qualify Me for SSDI?

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting people in the United States. One recent study estimated that nearly 15 million Americans suffer from Major Depressive Disorder or clinical depression. That means that nearly 7% of Americans aged 18 and older are affected by depression during any given year. While most people can overcome the condition through therapy and/or medical treatment, many Americans are disabled by depression. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability for Americans aged 15-44. So what can you do if depression had disabled you to the point that you are no longer able to work? For many, the answer is Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) – either Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security Disability benefits can provide a financial lifeline for those disabled by depression. However, not all people suffering from depression qualify for SSD benefits. In this post, I will review the criteria necessary to meet a medical listing for depression and, thus, qualify for SSDI benefits. You can find this post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/09/d oes-depression-qua lify-you-for-socia l.html Hope you find it useful! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Sep 25, 2012 | post #1)

Social Security

How long do I have to wait for a hearing with an administ...

One of the most often asked questions I receive in my practice is: “How long do I have to wait until I get my hearing date with the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)?” The answer I have for my clients isn’t one they usually like: “it may be a long time.” In truth, the amount of time you have to wait for a hearing depends on the hearing office handling your Social Security Disability claim. This link provides information regarding the average wait time per each hearing office: http://www.ssa.gov /appeals/DataSets/ 01_NetStat_Report. html It is important to note that these time frames apply to the amount of time from the filing of a Request for Hearing until you go before an ALJ. This timeframe does not include the time in which it takes the Social Security Administration to decide your initial claim and your request for reconsideration. Hope that helps! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Sep 19, 2012 | post #1)

Social Security

My medical condition does not meet a medical listing for ...

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog article about the medical listings for back impairments. As I mentioned in the post, a medical listing is a collection of medical criteria that need to be met and documented in order for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to deem you disabled from a medical standpoint and grant you Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits (either Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits). But what if your medical condition does not meet all of the criteria necessary for a medical listing but still prevents you from performing your existing job or finding new employment? Don’t worry, all is not lost. In this post I will explain how you can still qualify for SSDI benefits even if your condition does not qualify for a medical listing. You can find this post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/09/a -few-weeks-ago-i-p osted-blog-article .html Hope you find it useful! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Sep 16, 2012 | post #1)

Social Security

How does the SSA determine whether you qualify for SSDI?

Many people applying for Social Security Disability benefits are confused about the process the Social Security Administration (SSA) goes through in order to determine whether someone is eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The Social Security Administration has actually laid out specific steps that they follow to determine if someone is disabled and therefore qualifies for SSD benefits. In this post, I provide a simplified description of the sequence of steps the SSA takes to evaluate whether you are disabled per Social Security’s regulations. You can find this post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/09/w hat-is-process-for -determining-wheth er.html Hope you find it useful! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Sep 5, 2012 | post #1)

Back Pain

My Back Condition Prevents Me From Working: Can I Get SSD...

Studies have shown that 8 out of 10 Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. For most people, such pain can be treated with a massage, a trip to the chiropractor, physical therapy, or anti-inflammatory medicine. For some, however, back pain could be a sign of serious conditions, which can eventually lead to significant disability. In fact, some people are so disabled by back problems that they are no longer able to work. These people often face financial hardships and apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits only to be rejected because their conditions do not meet the specific medical criteria necessary to receive SSD benefits. In this post, I will review some of the specific back conditions eligible for SSD benefits. You can find the post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/08/m y-back-condition-p revents-me-from.ht ml Hope you find it useful! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Aug 29, 2012 | post #1)

Social Security

My SSDI claim was rejected by the administrative law judg...

A common question I get from my clients is what to do if their claim is denied by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is a major decision point in the process for obtaining Social Security Disability benefits. The decision carries significant ramifications so it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages before moving forward. In this post, I will discuss the options for someone whose claim for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied by an ALJ. You can find the post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/08/t he-alj-denied-my-c laim-for-social.ht ml Hope you find it useful! Michelle Shvarts www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com  (Aug 16, 2012 | post #1)

Social Security

What are the Steps for Applying For Social Security Disab...

Most people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits will get denied initially. As a result, people applying for Social Security Disability benefits often go through a long process before getting the benefits they need and deserve. Understanding the process and not getting discouraged by an initial rejection can mean the difference between eventually receiving Social Security Disability benefits and remaining empty handed. In my latest post, I review the steps of the process that may be required to get Social Security Disability benefits. While benefits may be granted at any one of these steps, it is crucial to remember that most people will go through several steps before they win their claim for benefits. You can find the post at: http://disabilitya dvocatesgroup.blog spot.com/2012/08/w hat- are-steps-for-appl ying-for-social.ht ml I hope you find it useful! Michelle disabilityadvocate sgroup.blogspot.co m P.S. As I mentioned before, please feel free to give me some ideas about other SSDI topics/questions you might be interested in learning about so that I can address them in future posts.  (Aug 8, 2012 | post #1)

Social Security

Social Security Disability Blog

Hi, I am actually an attorney and do not want to intrude on the forum. I am writing here because I have started a blog that answers a lot of the questions my clients have been asking me about applying for SSI and SSDI over the years. I have referred my new clients to the blog and they have found it useful so I decided to throw it out there for everyone who might be interested: www.disabilityadvo catesgroup.blogspo t.com I hope that you find it useful and welcome any general new topics to cover in future posts. I will try to post at least once a week. I know there is a lot of contradictory information out there and I will try to clear things up as much as I can. I enjoy writing and hope that this will help some people with disabilities facing some tough decisions about applying for Social Security benefits. Michelle Shvarts Disability Advocates Group  (Aug 6, 2012 | post #1)