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IL disability lawyerThere are many different types of health conditions that may allow a person to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. While physical illnesses and injuries are the most common reasons that a person may need disability benefits, mental health issues can also drastically affect a person’s ability to perform work and maintain employment. Those who suffer from disabling mental health conditions will need to understand the requirements they will need to meet to be considered disabled and receive benefits through Social Security.

Mental Disorders Recognized by Social Security

The Social Security Administration uses a “listing of impairments” that details different types of conditions that are considered to be disabilities. Mental disorders are one category that is included in this listing, and there are multiple different types of mental health issues that are recognized, including:

  • Neurocognitive disorders - Certain diseases or conditions may affect a person’s cognitive abilities, leading to memory loss, problems with regulation of attention, impaired ability to make decisions, problems with visual and spatial processing, difficulties with speech and language, impairment affecting judgment, and inability to follow social standards. Conditions in this category include Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Psychotic disorders - Some mental health conditions may cause a person to experience hallucinations, delusions, catatonic behavior, and a decline in mental functioning. These may include schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and psychotic disorders caused by another medical condition.
  • Depressive and bipolar disorders - People who experience these types of mood disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions, including irritability, elevated moods, depression, or loss of interest in regular activities. A person may also experience feelings of guilt and hopelessness, disturbances in sleep patterns, changes in appetite leading to weight gain or weight loss, problems with concentration, social withdrawal, and poor impulse control.
  • Intellectual disorders - A person may have intellectual functions that are below average, affecting their ability to adapt to situations and maintain adequate social skills and practical functions.
  • Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders - These conditions may involve excessive worries and fears that cause a person to avoid certain people, locations, situations, or activities. A person may also experience problems with concentration, sleep disturbances, panic attacks, and fatigue.
  • Personality disorders - Some mental disorders may affect a person’s ability to adapt to situations and respond appropriately to others. A person may experience suspiciousness, distrust, strange beliefs, social detachment, hypersensitivity to criticism, difficulty making decisions on their own, perfectionism, excessive and inappropriate anger, and a need to be taken care of by others.
  • Autism - Disorders that are included in the autism spectrum can vary in severity, but they often involve difficulties with social interaction, problems with communication, repetitive behavior, and difficulty developing or acquiring new skills.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders - These disorders usually affect a person during childhood or adolescence, and they often involve learning deficits and problems with attention and impulse control. Tic disorders such as Tourette syndrome are included in this category.
  • Eating disorders - Conditions such as anorexia or bulimia may involve a preoccupation with body weight and shape, and they can lead to physical problems and mood disturbances.
  • Trauma-related disorders - Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other conditions that occur after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event may lead to flashbacks, distressing memories, avoidance of similar situations, inability to experience positive emotions, and withdrawal from regular activities.

Contact Our Chicago Social Security Disability Attorney for Mental Conditions

If you have experienced mental health issues that have affected your ability to work, Pearson Disability Law, LLC can help you demonstrate that you are eligible to receive disability benefits. To learn how we can help with your application for benefits or the denial of a disability claim, contact our Illinois Social Security disability lawyer at 312-999-0999 and arrange a free consultation today.

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IL SSDI lawyerThere are many different types of health conditions that can limit a person’s ability to provide for themselves. If a person’s illness or health issues prevent them from working and earning an income, they may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits. Cancer is a disease that can significantly affect a person’s health and well-being. In addition to suffering from the effects of the disease, treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy can impact a person’s condition and contribute to their disabilities. Those who have been diagnosed with cancer will want to determine whether their condition will qualify them for Social Security disability. With the assistance of an attorney, they can ensure that they follow the correct steps when applying for disability benefits.

Forms of Cancer Included in the Listing of Impairments

Social Security maintains a “listing of impairments” that specifies certain health conditions that are considered to be disabilities. This listing includes multiple types of cancer, such as:

  • Soft tissue cancers of the head and neck, which are considered to be a disability for at least 18 months after the original diagnosis.
  • Skin cancers that have metastasized beyond regional lymph nodes.
  • Lymphoma that persists or recurs following treatment. If a person receives a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, they will be considered to be disabled for at least 12 months after the transplantation.
  • Acute leukemia, which is considered to be a disability for at least 24 months after the initial diagnosis or 12 months after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
  • Certain types of breast cancer, including small-cell carcinoma, cancers that extend to the chest wall or skin, or secondary lymphedema that requires surgical treatment.
  • Bone cancers that are inoperable or recurrent.
  • Cancers that affect the central nervous system, including the brain and/or spinal cord.
  • Lung cancer, which is usually considered to be a disability for at least 18 months after the date of diagnosis.
  • Cancers that affect the stomach, esophagus, liver, pancreas, or gallbladder.
  • Intestinal or kidney cancer that is inoperable or recurrent.
  • Bladder cancer that extends beyond the wall of the bladder, is inoperable, or recurs after a total cystectomy.
  • Cancers that affect the uterus, cervix, ovaries, or vagina.
  • Prostate cancer that is progressive or recurrent or metastasizes to internal organs.
  • Cancer of the penis that metastasizes beyond regional lymph nodes.
  • Testicular cancer that is progressive or recurrent following chemotherapy.

Even if a form of cancer does not meet the specific requirements specified in the listing of impairments, it may still be considered to be a disability if it is equivalent to one of the listings or if it has affected a person’s ability to participate in substantial gainful activity.

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Illinois disability attorney

Those who suffer from physical or mental conditions that make it difficult or impossible to work will often be concerned about their ability to support themselves financially. Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits are available in many cases. However, the process of applying for Social Security disability can be complicated, and disability claims are often denied for a variety of reasons. While it is possible to appeal the decision to deny disability benefits, it is important to understand the procedures followed when doing so and the types of evidence that may be considered in an appeal.

Appeals Court Upholds Decision to Deny Benefits and Refuses to Reweigh Evidence

If a disability claim is denied, an applicant will usually need to file a request for reconsideration, and if benefits are once again denied, they may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Both sides will present evidence at this hearing, and the ALJ will follow specific procedures to determine whether the applicant is disabled and whether they should be able to find work that fits within their physical or mental limitations. If an ALJ rules that a person is not disabled, the applicant can appeal this decision. However, an appeal must be based on the claim that the ALJ committed errors, and an applicant cannot introduce new evidence or ask the appeals court to reconsider or reinterpret previous evidence.

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