Thursday, June 16, 2011

Depression and Anxiety

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denies hundreds of thousands of claims for disability benefits each year. The SSA denies about two out of every three people. Claims that are based primarily on symptoms such as mental disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue etc. are more readily denied because the disability examiners reject them for lack of objective evidence.

It takes the SSA about half a year to make its initial decision, and then more than a year before the claimant can get a hearing. One way to mitigate the wait and backlog is by building a case that the disability meets a listed impairment. If your medical condition meets or equals a listed impairment, then you are considered presumptively disabled, and do not have to prove that you are unable to do your past or any other work.

I represent a college professor who became unable to work after 20 years due to depression and anxiety. Her SSD application was approved yesterday without a hearing. As noted above, it is difficult to get any SSD claim approved before a hearing, let alone one that is primarily based on symptoms. However, in this case, I was able to secure evidence that showed the professor met the listings for both depression and anxiety.

When you work, the SSA gets 7.65% of your paycheck for Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes. If you paid into FICA, then you are entitled to SSD benefits if you can no longer work. If your disability application has been denied, then see if you can expedite your approval by garnering evidence that you meet a listed impairment. Do not accept rejection simply because you lack objective evidence to support your claim

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