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legally disabled, Social Security disability benefits, effects of a stroke, Chicago Social Security disability lawyer, stroke victimsStrokes are one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the United States, according to figures published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year—and roughly 25 percent of those individuals have had at least one previous stroke. Overall, the CDC estimates strokes cost the United States about $34 billion annually in health care services and lost productivity.

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Social Security's Findings on Disability Applicant's Need for Cane

In many cases, stroke victims are left unable to work and may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. These cases pose a special challenge for disability claimants, since the long-term and residual effects of a stroke are not always as readily ascertainable as other kinds of impairments. Social Security administrative law judges (ALJs) also have an unfortunate habit of going out of their way to minimize a stroke victim's disability as a pretext for denying benefits.

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Social Security disability insurance, Chicago disability benefits lawyer, mental disorder, mental health condition, legally disabledAs a society we tend to discount mental health disorders as somehow less serious than physical impairments. Many people falsely believe that depression is nothing more than “having a bad day” or “feeling sad,” and that even clinical diagnoses are something that can be waved away. Unfortunately, the people who believe this often include the officials who oversee Social Security disability insurance benefits.

Court Chides Social Security for “Inadequate” Assessment of Disability Applicant's Mental Condition

A common problem in disability cases—even those that involve physical impairments—is Social Security administrative law judges (ALJs) selectively choosing to ignore evidence. With respect to mental disorders, an ALJ may attempt to cite only examples from the record that suggest the disability applicant is “improving” or perhaps exaggerating his or her symptoms, while simultaneously ignoring the larger medical record. Such cherrypicking of medical evidence is not just insulting to the applicant—it is a clear violation of Social Security regulations and binding court precedent.

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Social Security disability benefits, disability applicants, mental health disorders, Chicago disability benefits lawyer, legally disabledIllinois residents with serious mental health disorders are often rejected for Social Security disability benefits because agency officials simply refuse to take such conditions seriously. Social Security administrative law judges (ALJs) are especially prone to accusing disability applicants of fabricating or exaggerating mental health symptoms—and even dismissing expert medical opinions supporting such claims.

But ALJs are not doctors. Their role is to weigh and assess the medical evidence presented. It is not to substitute their own subjective judgment when they deem it convenient.

Court Orders Social Security to Reconsider Disability Case

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