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b2ap3_thumbnail_veterans-disability-benefits-Chicago.jpgPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common affliction that affects approximately 8 percent of the U.S. population. Not surprisingly, PTSD is even more common among members of the U.S. military. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11 and 20 percent of combat veterans who served during the Vietnam, Gulf War, and Iraqi conflicts have been diagnosed with PTSD. In many cases, the VA provides disability benefits for veterans diagnosed with PTSD related to their military service.

Social Security Ignores Evidence of Iraqi Veteran's PTSD

But what about Social Security Disability Insurance benefits? Unfortunately, our nation’s veterans often fare no better than civilians when dealing with the Social Security Administration. In one recent Illinois case, for example, a federal magistrate criticized Social Security for ignoring medical evidence of a veteran's PTSD.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_mental-illness-disability-benefits-Chicago_20161014-231700_1.jpgSocial Security officials are not doctors. Yet when assessing claims for disability benefits, they often pretend they know more about medical impairments than even the applicant’s treating physician. Such presumptions are inconsistent with the law and courts frequently chide Social Security for “playing doctor.”

Social Security Confuses “Negative” Symptoms of Schizophrenia With “No” Symptoms

Just recently, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ordered Social Security to reconsider the disability claim of a man suffering from schizophrenia because the agency’s administrative law judge (ALJ) “misunderstood” the medical evidence in the case.

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Chicago Social Security benefits attorneySupplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program administered by the Social Security Administration that is intended to assist disabled individuals with little or no income. SSI is not the same thing as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is, as the name implies, an insurance program into which workers pay. In contrast, SSI is a welfare program funded by general tax revenues. SSI is similar to SSDI, however, in that both programs require Social Security to assess whether an applicant is “disabled” and therefore unable to work.

Applicant Suffering From Fibromyalgia Entitled to New SSI Hearing

SSI applicants often face hostility from Social Security officials who choose to ignore medical evidence of disability in order to justify denying benefits. Recently the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ordered Social Security to reconsider one SSI applicant’s claim for benefits after an administrative law judge simply disregarded medical evidence. This particular SSI case has been pending for more than five years, and this appears to be at least the third time that Social Security will have to review the matter.

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