Friday, April 13, 2007
I am sometimes asked if one should mention only their main medical condition when pursuing Social Security Disability or SSI. No, you should list all the medical conditions you have that cause functional limitations. Some have said they feel if they list to many medical conditions that they think SSA will give less credibility to their most debilitating condition. What you have to remember is Social Security when determining if you are disabled is required to look at all your conditions combined and how it limits you from being able to work. So even though your main medical condition might cause you the most limitations any other limitations from other conditions added on to your main disability limitations may make the difference in your case. An example is, suppose you have a serious back injury that you consider to be your main disability and it severely limits your physical abilities. If you also suffer from asthma although in this case not disabling in itself it does limit you from certain types of environments like dust or smoke. You may also suffer from depression that also might not be disabling by itself in your case but does cause you some limitation in certain areas like memory and concentration. These additional limitations from your less severe conditions could make the difference in your case.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Bipolar Disorder is sometimes a tricky condition when it comes to Social Security Disability. There are several things that make these cases sometimes difficult to win. The condition causes the individual to have extreme highs and lows. When someone suffering from this disorder is in a manic phase they tend to be very active and this may give the mistaken appearance to SSA that the claimant has the ability to work. Another potential problem is that people who suffer from this condition sometimes have alcohol or drug abuse issues. Social Security will not find someone disabled if drugs or alcohol is material to a finding of disability. In other words if the substance abuse were taken away would the limitations from the bipolar still be disabling. This can be very difficult to show and it can help to have a statement of the individuals limitations absent drugs or alcohol from the treating psychiatrist. For further reading on the subject see "Social Security Disability and Bipolar Disorder."