Social Security Disability Advocate

Serving Central California Since 1995

Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. These tumors can develop anywhere in your nervous system, including your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. NF2 is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood. NF2 results from changes (mutations) in the NF2 gene. The NF2 gene regulates the production of a protein that functions as a tumor suppressor. In more than half of individuals with NF2, the disorder is caused by spontaneous (new) mutations of the gene. In other affected individuals, NF2 is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern

The diagnosis of NF2… Continue reading

The main issue in your Social Security back pain disability case is whether or not you are able to work. In a back pain case, Social Security considers both your activity limitations (called “exertional” impairments) and your pain limitations (called your “non-exertional” impairments). In order to win, you have to prove that because of these impairments, there is no way you can perform even a simple, unskilled job 8 hours a day, five days a week.

There are two ways you can prove that you are unable to work:
You can meet the back pain listing – by showing SSA… Continue reading

What is Disabled Widow’s Benefits?

This is a disability program where the claimant can apply for benefits based on the deceased spouse’s earnings record. You must be 50 years or older and the onset of your disability must be within 7 years of your spouse’s death.

What is Divorced Spouse’s Benefits?

A claimant can apply for benefits based on his or her divorced spouse’s earnings record. If you were married to your ex-spouse for 10 years, are, at least, 62 years old and are currently unmarried you would qualify.

What is the five step sequentially evaluation process for determining whether… Continue reading

  1. Are Social Security Disability benefits only for those who have a permanent disability? No, your disabilitymust last a year or be expected to last a year or result in death within one year.
  1. I have cancer and I am presently disabled, but my doctor feels I should be able to work again after my treatment. Should I apply for Social Security Disability benefits? If you are expected to be out of work for a year or more you should apply.
  1. How far back will Social Security pay me if I am approved? Social Security will only pay you past-due… Continue reading

ASK THE ADVOCATE: I am 55 years old and was a money counter in a casino for years. Last year I finally had to stop working due to such severe Duyptren’s contracture in both my hands that I am no longer able to open my hands to count money. My doctor is considering amputation of my ring and pinky finger on my right dominate hand. Can I get disability?

ADVOCATE: According to the Mayo Clinic, Dupuytren’s contracture is a hand deformity that usually develops over years. The condition affects a layer of tissue that lies under the skin… Continue reading

ASK THE ADVOCATE: A few months ago, my 60-year-old husband began acting very strange. He began either laughing or crying uncontrollably for no apparent reason. This has caused embarrassment with friends and family but most importantly, he lost his job because of the outbursts. His primary doctor sent him to a neurologist. That doctor thought he had pseudobulbar affect. We both asked what it was and how he got it. A brain MRI revealed problems in the frontal lobe of his brain. We are waiting on further tests. Do you think he might qualify for disability?

THE ADVOCATE:… Continue reading

The Government Account Office or GAO announces : “The public is three (3) times more likely to receive SSA benefits when they have a representative”.

I often get calls asking about whether someone should use an attorney or an advocate. My short answer is “there is no difference.” Attorneys and Advocates both represent claimants the same way and have the same authority. One major difference is that most Advocates have not gone to law school. Many, like myself, have been Paralegals for many years. I have been a Paralegal for 40 years and 25 years as an Advocate.

If someone… Continue reading

The rules and regulations for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Insurance Income (SSI) both use different age groups to determine disability. Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at your residual functioning capacity (RFC) along with past work history and educational background to determine if you will meet the requirements of being disabled. Being older helps an individual who is seeking disability benefits!

If your medical condition causes severe enough impairments to prevent you from maintaining gainful employment but does not meet the listing of any of the conditions that appear in the SSA’s Bluebook, you may still be found… Continue reading

ASK THE ADVOCATE: I am a 54-year-old woman with Arnold Chiari malformation. I worked as a medical assistant for more than 20 years. In 2016 I was forced to leave my job at the hospital because I kept falling and losing my balance. I have headaches almost every day. There are no medications to help me. The hospital said I was too big of a risk.
I applied for Social Security Disability Insurance. They say I can return to work as a medical assistant. How can that be? Please help!

ADVOCATE: Chiari malformation is a condition in which… Continue reading

ASK THE ADVOCATE: I am a 57-year-old woman with Multiple Sclerosis. MS forced me to stop working 7 years ago but I was able to manage my symptoms most of the time. I have had MS since I was in my late 20’s. Right now, I have cramping, difficulty walking, inability to rapidly change motions, involuntary movements, muscle paralysis, muscle rigidity, muscle weakness, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, clumsiness, muscle spasms, and sometimes overactive reflexes. There are times I have to use a walker or a wheelchair. I take medications, but I am losing my mobility.

I applied for… Continue reading