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Chicago Social Security attorney, depressive disorders, disability benefits, depression disability, Social Security Disability InsuranceAlthough depression is dismissed by many people as “just feeling sad” or “having a bad day,” in reality it is a serious mental disorder that affects millions of Americans. In fact, depressive disorders are among the most common sources of Social Security Disability Insurance claims.

Psychiatrist's “One-Time Evaluation” of Disability Applicant Still Valid

Getting Social Security to actually recognize an applicant's depression as a disability, of course, is not always simple. Even with a diagnosis from your treating physician, a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) may attempt to minimize or outright dismiss your depression as a serious disorder. In many cases, the ALJ will even try to bypass your doctor's treatment opinions by citing third-party “experts” who review your medical records but never personally examine you.

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disability claims, Chicago disability benefits lawyer, disability appeals, disability benefits, Denied Disability BenefitsIt is common knowledge that disability claims involving fibromyalgia—a chronic pain condition that often prevents an individual from working—are frequently dismissed by the Social Security Administration without proper justification. It is simply easier to say the applicant is “faking” or exaggerating their pain symptoms. But many judges have criticized Social Security for its lackadaisical (and legally incorrect) approach.

Court Ignored Staff Memo Favoring Reversal of Social Security

In fact, one of the nation's most prominent judges recently used the occasion of his retirement to criticize his former colleagues for recently affirming Social Security's denial of a fibromyalgia-based disability claim.

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financial desperation, Social Security Disability Insurance, Chicago Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer, Illinois disability case, denied social securityApplying for Social Security Disability Insurance often puts people in a Catch-22 situation. They are physically unable to work full-time anymore. But on the other hand, they usually lack the financial resources to support themselves without some source of income. And given that it often takes years to resolve a disability claim, some applicants are pushed into part-time work that, paradoxically, may be used as a pretext by Social Security for denying benefits.

Social Security Criticized for Rejecting Disability Claim Due to Part-Time Produce Stand Work

Consider a recent Illinois disability case. The applicant was 50 years old when she could no longer work as a bartender and cook due to osteoarthritis and other medical impairments. That was more than seven years ago. To help make ends meet in the interim, the applicant worked three days a week at a friend's produce stand. The friend made significant accommodations, only requiring the applicant to do simple things like unpack tomatoes and take telephone orders.

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