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Seizures and Social Security Disability

Posted August 30, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

If you suffer from seizures that impact your ability to work, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Seizure disorders are caused by uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. In order for an individual to have normal brain functioning, there needs to be an orderly, coordinated discharge of electrical impulses. When the electrical activity disturbances occur, the individual suffers temporary brain dysfunction. Seizures can cause uncontrollable movements, unconsciousness, or result in the individual stopping movement all together.

Oftentimes, those with seizure disorders are not aware of what is happening during a seizure, but some people experience unusual symptoms before having a seizure. There are some seizure disorders that are the result of birth defects or environmental hazards. Others can be caused by low blood sugar levels, low oxygen levels in the blood, abnormal heart rhythm, fever, medications, or infection. Some people even have seizures that are triggered by flashing lights, repetitive sounds, or even video games.

Those who suffer from seizure disorder are much more likely to experience seizures when they are sleep deprived or experiencing stress or if there are additional neurological disorders, immune system problems, or psychiatric conditions. There are some seizures that cause serious problems, impact intelligence, or even cause brain damage.

If you suffer from seizures, the Social Security Administration will evaluate your claim under Adult Listing 11.02 (Epilepsy). To be found disabled under the Listing, you must have documentation showing a detailed description of typical seizure activity and characterized by either:

  1. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures occurring at least once a month for at least 3 consecutive months despite adherence to prescribed treatment; Or
  2. Dyscognitive seizures occurring at least once a week for at least 3 consecutive months despite adherence to prescribed treatment; Or
  3. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures occurring at least once every 2 months for at least 4 consecutive months despite adherence to prescribed treatment, and a marked limitation in one of the following:
  4. Physical functioning;
  5. Understanding, remembering, or applying information;
  6. Interacting with others;
  7. Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
  8. Adapting or managing onself. Or
  9. Dyscognitive seizures occurring at least once every 2 weeks for at least 3 consecutive months despite adherence to prescribed treatment, and a marked limitation in one of the following:
  10. Physical functioning;
  11. Understanding, remembering, or applying information;
  12. Interacting with others;
  13. Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
  14. Adapting or managing onself.

Even if you do not meet the criteria for Social Security’s epilepsy listing, you could still be eligible for benefits under the Medical-Vocational guidelines if your symptoms interfere with your daily life and activities to an extent that no jobs are available for you to regularly perform. Social Security will also consider your age, your educational background, any transferable work skills, any other psychiatric or medical conditions that impact your ability to work, and any restrictions that your doctor has given you.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

Listings: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/11.00-Neurological-Adult.htm#11_02

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

 

SSA Commissioner Imposes Another Hiring Freeze

Posted August 23, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has imposed a hiring freeze on its headquarters in Woodlawn, Md., and in regional offices, while generally exempting positions involving direct service to the public.

The freeze is one of the first actions by newly-confirmed SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul and reflects the approach that President Trump took in imposing a general government-wide freeze on taking office, a freeze that was lifted four months later.

“The Commissioner has stated that his highest priority and commitment would be to improve service to the public,” the agency said in a notice posted on an internal computer network. “His priorities include improving [the] 800 number, hearings, and field office wait times and modernizing our information technology as well as our disability policies. To ensure that agency resources are focused on these commitments, he implemented a hiring freeze on July 31, 2019.”

“Operations workload positions and their respective management and supervisory positions in the Teleservice Centers (TSC), Processing Centers (PC), Area and Field Offices, and State Disability Determination Services are exempt from the hiring freeze,” the notice said.

For the occupations affected, the freeze applies not only to filling vacancies but also to creating positions and extending existing temporary positions or assignments past their end date, among other actions.

Exceptions will be considered, though, and routine promotions, hardship reassignments and certain other career actions will be allowed. Offices are not to hire contractors for “services currently provided by SSA employees unless approved by the Office of Budget.”

Two unions representing SSA employees, the National Treasury Employees Union and the American Federation of Government Employees, said they are working to assess the potential impact. The NTEU represents employees of SSA’s Office of Hearings Operations, and the AFGE largely represents employees in processing centers, teleservice centers and field offices.

Full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/social-security-administration-imposes-hiring-freeze-with-some-exceptions/2019/08/08/18ac7cd4-ba21-11e9-b3b4-2bb69e8c4e39_story.html?noredirect=on

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Low Income Health Care Resources

Posted August 16, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

We all know that health care is expensive. The Affordable Care Act has made care more affordable for many lower-income patients over the past three years through cost-sharing reductions and tax credits on the health insurance marketplaces and through Medicaid expansion. However, 18 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid, leaving many people in a coverage gap, and many others who are eligible for subsidies or Medicaid remain uninsured. At the same time, trends in job-sponsored coverage show that those with employer coverage are facing higher health care costs, often in the form of high deductibles.

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Some states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all people below certain income levels. You can apply for Medicaid any time of year — Medicaid and CHIP do not have Open Enrollment Periods. You can find out if you qualify and learn how to apply here: https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/getting-medicaid-chip/

Even if you do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, there may still be resources that can help you get the care that you need. Below are some links to help you find free or low-cost health care near you.

https://premierdisability.com/free-or-low-cost-clinic-directory/

https://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=14430

https://www.healthcare.gov/community-health-centers/

https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

https://www.hrsa.gov/get-health-care/affordable/hill-burton/facilities.html

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®