Disability benefits are governed by an extensive list of regulations issued by the Social Security Administration. While some injuries or ailments that qualify for benefits may be obvious (missing limbs, late stage cancer, or kidney failure), other medical problems may not entitle you to apply for benefits immediately. Regardless of the injury or disease from which you are suffering, if your ability to maintain gainful employment has been diminished, you should consult a Detroit disability lawyer and discuss your legal options. Attorney Marc Shefman can evaluate your case and answer all of your disability questions.
Qualifying Medical Disabilities
Whether you have an obviously disabling condition or you have a minor condition that has been aggravated or made worse over a long period of time, you may be eligible for benefits. In the context of Social Security law, a “disability” may be any physical or mental impairment that:
- Prevents you from doing substantial, gainful work;
- Is expected to affect you, or have already affected you, for a minimum of twelve months;
- Or, is expected to result in your death.
Some of the more common disabilities include:
- Vision or hearing loss
- Autoimmune diseases such as HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, multiple sclerosis or lupus
- Chronic heart failure or other serious cardiovascular diseases
- Skeletal problems such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, spondylolisthesis or osteomyelitis
- Mental or neurological diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia.
This is not an exhaustive list and there are many other conditions and symptoms that your Detroit disability lawyer may use to prove your case. So long as your disease is “medically determinable,” it may qualify you to apply for disability benefits. Medically determinable means that the disease or condition is recognized by the medical community and can be discovered or diagnosed by a physician. Even if your doctor has not been able to give a definite diagnosis, you should still consult an attorney.
Social Security Disability vs. Workers’ Compensation Benefits
It is important to realize that there is a difference between workers’ compensation and disability. A disability may or may not be work related. If you were injured at work, you may have a valid workers’ compensation or disability claim if the injury meets the criteria listed above. A Detroit disability lawyer can clarify what type of claim you should be filing if your injury was work-related or affects your ability to do gainful work.
Work Conditions that may lead to Disabling Injuries
A disability can happen in any work environment, but there are certain trades and professions wherein injury is more common. If you work in a physically demanding job such as construction, law enforcement, agriculture, or manufacturing, you will likely be lifting, bending, carrying and stooping much of the time. This can lead to chronic health problems, such as cervical or lumbar pain, herniated discs, or other serious back injuries and disabilities.
Likewise, a job that requires you to sit at a computer terminal or in a sedentary position for long hours can cause medical problems. Diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lumbar strain, or spondylolisthesis may happen if posture or ergonomics are not monitored. Surgery to repair these types of injuries can be very invasive, and you will not be able to work while recovering.
A common example of surgery used to fix disabling back problems is spinal fusion. The estimated recovery time for this type of surgery is at least six months and can extend well over a year. During that time, it is not likely that you will be able to seek or maintain gainful employment, so you may qualify for full or partial disability.
Talk to a Detroit Disability Lawyer for Skilled Representation
If you are considering filing for disability benefits, there are many factors to consider. The process is lengthy, and if you have been denied previously, the time period for appealing the decision is short. It is in your best interest to contact a Detroit disability lawyer as soon as possible. Call Attorney Marc Shefman for a free consultation at (888) 282-0719.