Disability Alabama recently represented a claimant with back pain, hand injuries, and intellectual disabilities in their claim for Social Security Disability Insurance. The case went to a hearing and we were able to show the claimant was disabled and had been for several years. As a result, the claim was approved and the claimant entitled to significant back pay.
Intellectual Disability and Physical Pain
- Intellectual disabilities. An intellectual disability generally exists if someone has a low IQ, if they are limited in the skills they need to live on a daily basis, and if the condition appears while the individual is a child. Generally, therefore some kind of IQ testing and/or school records are required to show intellectual disability.
- Pain. Pain can be disabling, but to win a disability claim based on pain you have to show an underlying diagnosis that gives reason for the pain and its severity. If you’re in pain, don’t be shy about telling your doctors about it, and always use a cane, walker, or other assistive devices when prescribed.
Using a combination of diseases to your Social Security claims approved.
In this like many cases, claimants often have several medical problems. While sometimes you might qualify “automatically” under one of Social Security’s listings, often the combination of different medical ailments qualifies claimants for disability benefits from Social Security.
Always seek treatment for all of your ailments and illnesses. You should do so first and foremost because taking care of your health should be your first priority. If you’re contemplating a Social Security claim, making sure your health issues are documented is your second priority. The Social Security Administration only approves claims that are supported by medical records.
Social Security Hearings are your opportunity to explain your limitations.
In Social Security disability claims, hearings with an Administrative Law Judge are often your best chance of winning your claim. If you do not already have a lawyer, you should get one before going to a hearing. Hiring a good lawyer will improve your chances of winning and their fees are typically paid out of your back benefits when you win.
In this Claimant’s case, the hearing provided them an opportunity to be seen by a decision-maker and allowed the claimant to explain their injuries and illnesses in their own words. It is often helpful to have a family member or friend available to further explain or describe the claimant’s limitations. They can testify about what daily activities - like getting dressed, making food, cleaning, etc. - the claimant can do and what they struggle with or can’t do.
Denied for Social Security Disability - An appeal can save your claim when it is denied.
Your case is not necessarily over if you lose your hearing with the Administrative Law Judge. Indeed, in this case, Disability Alabama took over the case from a different law firm after it had been unsuccessful at an earlier hearing. When you lose a hearing you usually have 60 days to appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council.
In this case, the Claimant had to appeal multiple times before being awarded benefits. Sometimes it may be a better idea to file a new application rather than appeal but always talk to your Social Security lawyer about the appeals process. One of the significant drawbacks of an appeal is that it takes Social Security a long time to make decisions. Every time you appeal, you are adding months if not years to the process.
Need help with your SSDI disability claim?
If you’re in Alabama and you need help with your Social Security Disability claim or appeal, contact Disability Alabama for a consultation with a lawyer.