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Scott Lewis

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August 4, 2011

Social Security Disability Benefits for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Indianapolis disability attorney Scott D. Lewis represents individuals with a variety of mental and/or physical disabling conditions.  Included in these impairments is those suffering with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  Indiana residents with OCD may find themselves qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  OCD is a disabling condition that may qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits under the Social Security Administrations “Listing of Impairments,” Section 12.00 Mental Disorder.  OCD is specifically identified under section 12.06 Anxiety-related disorders.  Refer to the SSA’s website for criteria requirements.  What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?  OCD is a mental disorder when an individual worries, doubts or superstitious beliefs become excessive.  OCD is a condition in which the brain cannot let go of a certain thought, and therefore, it makes the patient overly anxious or worried about even the most menial aspects of daily life.  OCD sufferers have difficulty in controlling his or her worries, anxieties, or urges. Many times patients with OCD do not recognize the severity of their condition until it is either too late to treat, deal with the condition as a minor inconvenience, and in many case simply don’t realize what is happening. Unfortunately, OCD may impair a person’s ability to concentrate or communicate with others. As a result, OCD may prevent an individual from being able to work at a reasonable level. Some examples of OCD behavior may include, but is not limited to the following: washing your hands for hours at a time to make sure they remove all germs driving around the block over and over again to make sure an accident didn’t happen turning on and off lights for long periods of time to ensure the lights are turned off Since patients with OCD may either be obsessive and/or compulsive, it is imperative to understand difference. An ‘obsessive’ individual may think about germs too often, or … Continued

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August 1, 2011

Indianapolis Social Security Disability Benefits Due to Amputation

Indiana disability claimants with an amputation filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be surprised to learn that winning your disability claim based on amputation may not always be easy.  Amputation is defined as the complete severance of an individual’s extremety such as a hand, foot, arm or leg.  Amputation can be due to a medical removal, an injury, or some other form of trauma. Symptoms associated with having an amputated limb vary depending on which body part(s) has been amputated. Amputations of the feet or legs typically affect a person’s ability to walk, bend, climb stairs, and ability to move around. Amputations involving hands and arms typically affect a person’s ability to push, pull, or perform fine motor functions. Although activities for an amputee may be impossible or very difficult, many individuals experience pain around the area of the amputated limb.  Some common medical reasons for amputation may include: Diabetes Gangrene Severe Frostbite Hardened or Embolism of the arteries Raynaud’s disease Buerger’s disease How does an amputee qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits?  As stated above, just being an amputee does not automatically qualify an individual for disability benefits.  As all qualifying disabilities or conditions, in order to qualify for disability benefits for an amputated limb or extremity, an Indiana disability claimant must show that the amputation causes the person to be unable to perform functions that are important in the work place such as lifting, bending, walking, grasping, pushing, and pulling. The difficulty in showing this varies depending on which limbs have been amputated and the type of work (heavy, moderate, light, sedentary) that you have done before or could be expected to perform based on your age, education level and experience. Specifically, the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines the criteria for an individual to qualify for disability benefits because of an amputation in their “Listing of Impairments.”  … Continued

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July 26, 2011

Why Did I Get Denied My Social Security Disability Benefits When the Guy Down the Street Got Them Right Away?

If you only knew how many times Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyers like Scott Lewis have heard this very question. There are many different aspects to a Social Security disability claim and no one case is exactly like another one. While there may not be a clear cut answer to why some Indiana residents find a Social Security disability check in their hands before another person, in Indiana disability attorney Scott Lewis’ experience, there may be a few reasons this can happen and it can include, but is not limited to: Good medical records.  Comprehensive medical records outlining and detailing a disabling medical condition may be the key to a quick favorable outcome in a Social Security disability claim. Prior work experience, age, and education.  In the Social Security Administration’s approval process they determine your ability to work with your disabling condition while looking at age, education, and prior work experience. All disabilities are different and can create different barriers to employment.  While some disabilities may be visually evident, other disabilities like mental disorders may not be visible to the naked eye. The guy down the street may be luckier than you.  That’s right, he may have been evaluated by someone in the Social Security Administration that was more lenient on granting disability claims.  Believe it or not, actual people look at your claim and make a determination. The above are the thoughts and experiences of Scott D. Lewis, and other Social Security disability attorneys or representatives may have different experiences with the Social Security Administration (SSA).  If you have been denied your Indiana Social Security disability benefits and believe it was an unfair decision, contact attorney Scott Lewis for a free case evaluation.

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July 18, 2011

Aneurysm and Social Security Disability Benefits

If you have suffered an aneurysm you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney Scott D. Lewis advises clients to go forward with their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim if they are unable to work due to the after effects of an aneurysm. An aneurysm is an inflated blood-filled part of an artery that essentially exists due to a weak portion of the artery wall.  Some of the more common places that can cause severe problems and even death include the heart, brain, and the stomach among other areas of the body. Aneurysm of the aorta or major branches is a qualifying condition for Social Security disability benefits and is listed under section 4.10 in the Listing of Impairments.  For more information relating to the criteria needed to meet or equal this listing one should refer to Social Security’s “blue book”. A ruptured brain aneurysm may result in symptoms including double vision, speech problems, and cognitive issues.  The inability to maintain concentration for a specified amount of time may be enough for an individual to be successful in a Social Security disability claim. If you have suffered an aneurysm and the after effects are preventing work like activity you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits.  If you have questions concerning your disability benefits you may want to contact the Social Security Administration or an attorney/claimant representative.  Most attorney’s or claimants representatives offer a free case evaluation.

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July 15, 2011

Are Indianapolis Social Security Disability Hearing Wait Times Shrinking?

Indiana Social Security lawyer Scott Lewis has noticed a few changes concerning the waiting period for getting your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearing.  Have the wait times for Social Security disability hearings been reduced?  Mr. Lewis is not so sure there is a clear cut answer to this question. The Indianapolis Indiana Social Security disability hearing office has been attempting to get the number of days you have to wait for your hearing down to a manageable number.  The use of video hearings with Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ’s) from other states presiding over the hearings held at the local Indianapolis office has seemed to make a dent in this huge backlog at times.  Although it is surprising to find an Indiana Social Security disability claimant to be at a video hearing within 12 months of their date of application, while in the next video hearing room an individual has waited for 30 months, there seems to be little explanation for why this discrepancy exists.  This can make it very difficult for Mr. Lewis to give his clients a good idea of when they might find themselves at the hearing office. There have been reports that while the Social Security Administration is taking measures to reduce the backlog, it is actually growing.  If this is indeed the case, the Social Security Administration may need to hire even more Administrative Law Judges and open more hearing offices.  Perhaps more concentration on finding individuals disabled in the earlier stages of the application process could be an answer.  Mr. Lewis knows one thing for sure: the individuals suffering the most from a hearing backlog are those disabled claimants who are unable to provide for themselves and their families. If you have questions concerning your Social Security disability claim … Continued

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July 13, 2011

Indianapolis Social Security Disability Benefits Attorneys Can Address Your Problems With Fatigue At Your Social Security Hearing

One symptom of various disabilities Indiana disability lawyer Scott Lewis hears over and over is that his disability clients are always tired or fatigued.  It is not surprising his clients complain of this problem considering the very severe impairments many of them experience.  It is important for Mr. Lewis’ clients to let him know that fatigue is a major problem if it is affecting their ability to work. While there is a condition referred to as “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” and Mr. Lewis has experience representing individuals suffering from it, the majority of his clients experience fatigue as a problem from another disability.  Many Indiana disability claimants complain of fatigue from physical conditions such as back problems, heart conditions, COPD, stroke, diabetes, and many other severe impairments.  Your fatigue or feeling of being tired may not be due to just one impairment, but a combination of disabling conditions. Many individuals suffering from major depression report being in a constant state of fatigue.  Some of these individuals state they are unable to get out of bed, perform activities of daily living, or even take care of themselves due to being “tired” all of the time.  Individuals suffering from a mental disorder who are represented by disability attorney Scott Lewis should let Mr. Lewis know if they experience fatigue or any other symptoms that prevent them from working. Side effects to medication can also include fatigue.  If you are experiencing fatigue from the medication(s) you are taking it may be important to let your prescribing physician know.  There may be alternative medications that do not have this side effect.  The Social Security Administration is required to consider the side effects of medication when determining your Social Security disability claim. Scott D. Lewis is an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney and takes great … Continued

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July 11, 2011

Will My Indiana Social Security Disability Benefits Go On Forever?

Many people rely on Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits for survival.  Its not a truckload of money and many Indiana Social Security disability recipients find it difficult to make ends meet with only their disability checks from the Social Security Administration (SSA).  So if you are receiving disability payments and wonder if they will ever stop you are probably not alone. If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance payments and your disabling condition is as severe as it was when you first were granted benefits and you are not working or receiving income up to a substantial gainful activity amount chances are your payments will probably continue. Although, you should not be surprised if your case is reviewed on a regular basis to determine your eligibility. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income payments the above criteria applies, but there is an additional aspect of continuing benefits with regard to resources.  Supplemental Security Income payments have a financial element along with the severity of your disability and substantial gainful activity.  As with SSDI claims, SSI claims can be regularly reviewed to determine continuing eligibility. Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis understands how important a Social Security disability check can be to a disabled individual.  Mr. Lewis strives to get the benefits his clients deserve.  Indiana disability attorney Scott Lewis has helped individuals with a wide range of disabling conditions including stroke, emphysema, fibromyalgia, mental retardation, and diabetes among other conditions.  If you have questions, you may want to contact an attorney or claimant representative, as most offer a free consultation.  

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July 8, 2011

If I Win My Indiana Social Security Disability Appeal, What Happens Next?

Scott D. Lewis is an Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney and has experience with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims from start to finish.  When a Social Security disability claim is found favorable it generally sets into motion a chain of events that hopefully will result in a payment to the disabled individual.  Indiana disability attorney Scott Lewis advises his clients on what to expect in the event of winning their claim, but usually cautions them to not get ahead of themselves and concentrate on winning the disability claim first. So what happens after you receive a notice in the mail that you have won your disability claim?  If it is a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim you can probably expect a phone call from the Social Security Administration to determine what resources you have among other factors to determine how much your monthly benefit will be.  The SSI program is basically a “needs” based program and how much the Social Security Administration determines you need through a formula that is used will determine how much you will receive. Once that is determined an award letter is generated detailing how much your payments will be, when they will start, and how much of a back payment is due if any. If you are entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits you will probably not be contacted by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  The formula used for computing your payments is based on your work history.  This can usually be computed by the Social Security Administration without your assistance.  Resources are generally not an issue for computation purposes.  Once again, an award letter is generated telling you how much your payments ill be, when they start, and how much of a back payment is due if … Continued

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July 6, 2011

Heart Attack and Your Indiana Social Security Disability Appeal

Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis talks to numerous clients who are suffering from cardiovascular impairments.  Many of these individuals have been hospitalized on many occasions and are struggling to keep their lives on track due to the after effects of a heart attack or other heart problem.  When attempting to win your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim it is important to remember there are certain aspects of your claim the Social Security Administration (SSA) is focused on. The Social Security Administration does evaluate heart problems under what they term “The Cardiovascular System” in its Listing of Impairments 4.00.  This listing outlines the criteria that needs to be met for a finding of disability.  This section outlines disabling cardiovascular conditions in different categories and these include: Chronic heart failure Ischemic heart disease Recurrent arrhythmias symptomatic congenital heart disease Heart transplant Aneurysm of aorta or major branches Chronic venous insufficiency Peripheral arterial disease Indiana Social Security disability claimants should keep in mind that medical records may be the key to a successful Indiana Social Security disability claim.  Continued medical care by a qualified physician specializing in the area of your disabling condition can create medical records that may be very beneficial in your disability claim.  A supportive physician can also help your claim by completing disability forms that outline how your heart condition affects your ability to work. Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis represents many clients suffering from a heart condition that is preventing them from working and providing for themselves and their family.  If you have questions concerning a Social Security disability claim, you may want to contact the SSA, an attorney, or a claimant representative.  Most lawyers and claimant representatives offer a free consultation.

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June 30, 2011

Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits for my Child

An Indiana resident that has a child that suffers from a disabling condition such as a mental disorder or a physical impairment often wonders if they are able to receive Social Security disability benefits.  Indianapolis disability attorney Scott D. Lewis has experience with representing child disability claimants.  Unfortunately, some parents assume that filing for disability benefits is different for a child than from an adult applying for disability benefits.   While there may some differences, the application process is very similar. Because a child has little or no work history, the child disability claimant in most cases would have to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits rather than Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.  Both programs are offered to disabled individuals, but the SSDI program is for those individuals with a qualifying work history.  The SSI program is offered to those disabled individuals who do not have a qualifying work history and have low sources of income or resources. As far as the application a parent or guardian needs to complete on behalf of their child, it is completed and processed in the same manner as an adult disability claim.  Therefore, the child disability claim will be filed at the Social Security Administration (SSA) then forwarded to the state agency handling the claim for the SSA.  This application will be assigned to a disability examiner just like an adult disability claim.  Finally, the child disability claim will either be approved or denied. Although there are many similarities between a child’s disability claim and an adult’s disability claim, there are some slight differences.  A child disability claim will be determined on the basis of residual functional capacity just like an adult’s claim. However, determination whether or not the claimant can return to past work or engage in some form of other work, generally does not apply to children.  In children’s disability claims, … Continued

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