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August 11, 2011

Affective Disorders and Indiana Social Security Disability Benefits

Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis assists disabled individuals with their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim.  In his disability law experience, Attorney Lewis represents disability claimants with a variety of disabling conditions including physical disabilities, mental disabilities, or a combination of conditions.  Among the variety of disabling conditions, Mr. Lewis has experience in representing individuals with affective disorders such as depression. What is affective disorders?  Affective disorders are mental disorders that are characterized by extreme mood changes in a person.  Affective disorders may either be manic or depressive.  Manic affective disorders symptoms may include irritable or elevated moods with pressured speech, inflated self-esteem and hyperactivity.  Depressive affective disorders symptoms may include episodes of dejected mood with sleep disturbance, agitation, disinterest in life, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt.  Some individuals experience a combination of the two. Individuals with an affective disorder may or may not have psychotic symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, or other loss of contact with reality. How does an individual with an affective disorder qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits?  According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), individuals suffering from an affective disorder if he/she meets the requirements stated in the SSA’s “Listing of Impairments.”  In section 12.04 Affective Disorder, the SSA characterizes affective disorders by a disturbance of mood, accompanied by a full or partial manic or depressive syndrome. Mood refers to a prolonged emotion that colors the whole psychic life; it generally involves either depression or elation. Per Section 12.04, the required level of severity for affective disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied, or when the requirements in C are satisfied. These requirements are as follows:  A.  Medically documented persistence, either continuous or intermittent, of one of the following: 1.  Depressive syndrome characterized by at least four of the following: Anhedonia or … Continued

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August 8, 2011

Heart Problems and Indiana Social Security Disability Benefits

Are you an Indiana disability claimant unable to work due to heart problems?  Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis represents those individuals with disabling conditions such as heart disease in their disability benefits claim.  Indianapolis disability claimants who suffer from heart conditions may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if he/she meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Listing of Impairments.  In Listing 4.00 Cardiovascular System, the SSA outlines the requirements in order for an individual suffering from a heart condition to qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, describes a large spectrum of disorders that affect the heart muscle and/or blood vessels. The primary cause of death, in men and women worldwide, is problems with the heart and blood vessels. Coronary artery disease (or atherosclerosis) is the result of plaque building up in the arteries.  This condition can lead to a heart attack, heart failure, high blood pressure, angina, and/or stroke. Congenital heart disease, heart infection, heart valve disease, and cardiomyopathy are examples of heart problems not related to arterial build-up. Strokes and heart attacks can cause serious physical limitations and are one of the most common causes of disability today. Damage to the heart or blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body can cause any number of debilitating symptoms, including: Arrhythmia Chest Pain and Pressure Muscle Weakness Stomach Pain Fatigue Nausea and Vomiting Lightheadedness/Fainting Dizziness Anxiety Blood Clots Shortness of Breath Upper Body Pain Sweating Heart Palpitations/Rapid Heart Rate Heart and blood vessel problems result from damage done to the cardiovascular system, either through congenital defects or lifestyle and environmental factors. Pressure build-up in the arteries due to the presence of plaque restricts the blood flow to bodily organs and tissues. Plaque build-up … Continued

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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 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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