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Philadelphia Social Security Disability Law Blog

Vision problems and blindness may be recognized as disabilities

Some of the greatest joys in life are experienced through what people see and witness. Watching a baby take its first steps or observing a child walk across the stage on their graduation day can be some of the best things a person ever sees with their own eyes. Unfortunately, though, some Pennsylvanians struggle with vision problems and blindness and cannot share in these memorable and defining events.

Vision limitations and blindness are serious medical issues that can impact individuals' abilities to work and provide for themselves. As such, the Social Security Administration recognizes visual impairments as disabilities that may qualify individuals for disability benefits. There is a specific definition that the agency provides for blindness that will be discussed next.

Will an amputation qualify for disability benefits?

When the Social Security Administration evaluates an applicant's claim of disability, it looks for whether that applicant may be able to do work in their general field of experience or other possible employment paths. Depending on an applicant's type of amputation, their loss may allow them to qualify for disability benefits. This post will discuss how amputation may qualify a Pennsylvania resident for disability benefits, but as always, readers are reminded that their disability benefits' claims will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration on a case-by-case basis.

One type of amputation that may qualify a person for disability benefits is hand amputation. If a person needs their hands removed, then it is possible for them to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits. Additionally, hemipelvectomy or hip disarticulation can also qualify individuals for help under the disability benefits program.

A debilitating injury may cause a permanent disability

Good fortune and health befall many Philadelphia residents who manage to live their entire lives without ever suffering serious injuries. While some may endure minor sprains and strains, or even broken bones, few suffer the debilitating harm of brain injuries, spinal trauma or other significant ordeals. Those who do suffer serious physical harm quickly learn how fast their financial lives may be impacted, and how their futures may be affected, if they need their incomes to support their families.

When disabling injuries prevent Pennsylvanians from holding down jobs and earning their own wages, they may be able to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security Disability benefits for injuries are available to men and women who cannot work and who suffer from qualifying disabilities that are expected to last for at least a year. Obtaining disability benefits for injuries is a process, though, and requires a person to submit a detailed application that outlines their condition and provides adequate support.

Evidence is necessary to prove need for disability benefits

Securing disability benefits from the Social Security Administration is an important part of maintaining one's self-sufficiency in the world. Philadelphia residents receive these benefits based on a number of different disabling conditions and ailments that affect their mental and physical capacities to work. In order to secure these benefits, though, individuals must apply for them and in their applications must provide the Social Security Administration with evidence of their disabilities.

Evidence is proof and there are a number of different types of evidence that applicants can submit to demonstrate their disabilities. First, they can submit medical documentation of their disability, and that documentation should show both the presence of the disability and the severity of the disability affecting the applicant. Medical documentation can be provided by the applicant's doctors for the purposes of securing disability benefits.

What to do if one's disability benefits hearing was unfair?

Not every application for Social Security Disability benefits will be approved the first time that it is submitted. In fact, Pennsylvanians may have to undergo a multistep review process to have their request honored and begin receiving benefits. While it is important that individuals working through the disability benefits application process consult with disability benefits lawyers for specific help, this post will briefly discuss some of the steps that a person may have to take to get a fair review of their application.

When an application is initially denied the applicant can apply for a review, also called a reconsideration determination. During the reconsideration determination the application is reviewed by a party that had not reviewed it upon its initial submission. If the new reviewer approves the application then benefits may begin. If the new reviewer also denies the application then the applicant may apply for a hearing on the matter.

Disability claims based on traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can vary in severity and duration of impact on victims. While some Pennsylvanians who suffer TBIs may not qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Administration's requirements for the disability, others may be able to secure financial support due to the significant and long-lasting problems their TBIs impose upon them. This post will discuss what may constitute TBI and how a person may qualify for disability benefits. But, it does not provide any legal or medical advice on these topics.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a TBI occurs when the head suffers trauma and the brain cells are affected. A jolt or impact can cause TBI, as can penetration of an object into the brain. While some TBIs will resolve on their own, others can impose permanent disabilities upon those who suffer from them.

What is cervical radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy is a potentially serious medical condition that affects the cervical spine, which is part of the neck. A Philadelphia resident can suffer harm to this sensitive part of the body in a number of ways, and when they do, the results can be debilitating. This post will discuss causes and symptoms of cervical radiculopathy, as well as how a person with this condition may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Readers are reminded, though, that this post contains no legal or medical advice.

Cervical radiculopathy occurs when nerve roots at the cervical vertebrae are compressed. The compression of these nerve roots can cause pain and loss of sensation in the upper body of the individual. Those symptoms can extend to the individual's back, shoulders, arms and hands.

Keeping Social Security disability benefits while living abroad

Individuals who are eligible for or receiving Social Security Disability benefits for illnesses and injuries that prevent them from working can, in many cases, maintain their benefits, if they live outside of the country. This post will generally discuss what it means to live abroad, some of the geographic restrictions that the Social Security Administration places on payments and other issues Pennsylvanians may encounter if they leave the United States while receiving disability benefits.

Living outside of the United States includes living outside of the fifty states as well as outside of territories held by the United States, including, but limited to, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Traveling abroad is not enough to deem someone living abroad. Generally, a person must reside outside of the United States for 30-straight days to be considered living abroad.

Is it time to apply for Social Security disability benefits?

A long-term or permanent illness or injury is a burden that no Philadelphia resident wants to bear. It can prevent a person from living the life that they want to experience, spending time with the people they know and love, and holding down a job to pay their bills and provide for those who depend upon them for their needs.

Ailments that prevent individuals from working and that last for at least a year may qualify individuals for Social Security disability benefits. These benefits come in the form of financial support and may be used by qualifying individuals to put roofs over their heads, food on their tables and clothing on their backs. For many, Social Security disability benefits are a necessary form of support to keep them from losing the capacity to care for themselves.

Family members may qualify Social Security disability benefits

When a disabling illness or injury prevents a Philadelphia resident from working to support their family, they may turn to the Social Security Administration's application process to request disability benefits. Disability benefits are available to men and women who cannot work because of their qualifying medical conditions, and who need financial support to live their lives.

However, when a disability prevents a person from earning an income the loss of their capacity to work often affects more than just them. For example, if the person is married or has children who depend on them, the benefits that they receive from the Social Security Administration may be insufficient to provide for all of their needs.

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