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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 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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June 27, 2011

Knee Replacement and Social Security Disability Benefits

Scott D. Lewis is an Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney helping individuals throughout the state of Indiana in obtaining their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  In disability attorney Scott Lewis’ experience individuals who have had a knee replacement can win a disability claim depending on the specific facts in their claim.  This blog is designed to discuss some of those issues involved in a knee replacement claim. First it is important to note the Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize this disability in its Listing of Impairments under Listing 1.02 Major Dysfunction of Joint(s).  At times Indiana disability claimants are found disabled by either meeting or equaling this listing due to severe knee impairments.  Although, in Mr. Lewis’ experience more individuals are found disabled by another analysis when it comes to individuals who have underwent knee replacement. If you do not equal or meet a listing, your physical residual functional capacity may be so diminished that you are unable to work.  In other words, your inability to sit, stand, and/or walk for any length of time may render you unable to perform substantial gainful activity.  Also, the pain you experience may make you unable to concentrate or stay on task.  Many individuals with severe knee problems and/or knee replacements may find themselves in constant pain  whether sitting or standing. The need for the use of a cane while at the workstation may also exclude many occupations.  Individuals who need a cane while performing a standing job or a job with a sit/stand option may be considered a one-armed worker and unable to perform that type of work.  Some individuals with knee and leg issues that create swelling must periodically elevate their legs to waist level to reduce swelling while at a seated job.  This … Continued

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June 22, 2011

Social Security Disability Benefits for Aspergers Syndrome

Indiana disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis has helped individuals win Social Security disability claims involving Aspergers Syndrome when they found themselves initially denied.  Many Indiana residents and their families are shocked when they find themselves with a notice of denial when they know this type of impairment can create a huge impact in some areas of functioning. Most of the individuals Mr. Lewis sees with Aspergers Syndrome are children and while there are many symptoms associated with Aspergers Syndrome some of the more common symptoms include: Difficulties with social interaction Repetitive behaviors and problems accepting changes in routines Hypersensitivity to textures, tastes, and sounds. Avoidance eye contact Extreme focus on one area of interest The above symptoms may vary from individual to individual and can have varying degrees of severity.  It is important to note,  an individual trained in the appropriate medical field can usually better assist in deciding what symptoms are generally attributed to Aspergers Syndrome. Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis has talked with families who have an individual with Asperger’s Syndrome and understands the effects it may have on academic performance, social interaction, and the ability to perform work like activity.  It is important to remember the Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize Aspergers Syndrome as a disabling condition.  It may be necessary to appeal your denied Indiana Social security disability claim in order to get the benefits granted that you deserve.

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June 18, 2011

The Reconsideration Stage of the Social Security Disability Claims Process

At the Indiana law office of social security disability attorney Scott D. Lewis, Mr. Lewis and his staff often find themselves explaining the different stages of the disability claims process to those individuals seeking disability benefits. Individuals that have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits often find themselves receiving a denial letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA). When the SSA notifies the disability claimant that their initial application was denied, it is up to the applicant to continue the disability claims process by appealing the denial. Within sixty (60) days, plus five (5) days for mailing time, the disability applicant must file the appeal with the SSA.  This stage of the claims process is called the “Request for Reconsideration” stage.  This request is simply asking the SSA to reconsider your disability claim. Once this “Request for Reconsideration” is submitted by the Indiana disability applicant, the request for reconsideration goes back to the same state agency who denied the claim the first time, but a different examiner at the Disability Determination Section (DDS) of the SSA reviews both the initial application and the “Request for Reconsideration”.  Once the disability examiner at the Disability Determination Section (DDS) makes the reconsideration determination, the applicant will be informed by mail.  Unfortunately, statistically about 80% of the time the reconsideration decision is the same as the initial decision resulting in another denial. However, statistically about 20% of the time a claimant wins at the reconsideration level.  In most states, in Indiana, if you want to appeal a denial of Social Security disability benefits, you must go through the reconsideration appeals process. There is no way to avoid it. In a few states, the Social Security Administration has abolished reconsideration and you can file an immediate request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The denial notice from Social Security … Continued

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