Qualifying For Benefits Because You Can’t Work
You can still qualify for Social Security disability even if your symptoms of Parkinson’s disease don’t meet the precise guidelines of listing 11.06.
You will have to show that your condition is:
- Severe enough to limit your ability to perform basic, work-related activities resulting in a residual functional capacity that keeps you from working.
- Equal in severity to another condition in the Listing of Impairments.
The Social Security Administration will consider eligibility evidence such as your medical records, doctor’s report, age, education, and prior work experience to evaluate your ability to work consistently and determine if there is any type of job that you can do, given your limitations.
Get A No Obligation Free Legal Consultation Today
If your Parkinson’s is so severe that you can’t work, but the Social Security Administration denied your SSD claim or if you want help applying for SSD benefits don’t waste any time.
Contact Edgar Snyder & Associates at 412-394-1000, or fill out our free legal consultation form.
Remember, you have only 60 days to file an appeal. Hiring an attorney may mean the difference between whether or not you collect SSD benefits, so get started today.
Living With Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease, which means that the symptoms get worse with time. The most common early symptoms include body rigidity or stiffness and shakiness when the hands are at rest. Other early symptoms include fatigue, balance problems, slurred speech, reduced sense of smell, gastrointestinal problems, slowed movement, personality change, and lack of emotional expression. As the disease progresses, the symptoms get worse. Tremors and stiffness can affect the ability to move independently. Dementia may occur in the later stages of the disease.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but medications can help to control symptoms.
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Cck Understands Parkinsons Disability Claims
We understand the effects that Parkinsons Disease can have on you over time, both physically and cognitively. The cognitive symptoms of PD may make it difficult for you to concentrate or juggle multiple responsibilities at once. Physical symptoms can impede your ability to perform everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, physically attending work reliably and traveling.
Your insurer may not fully comprehend the strain you face by remaining in the workforce. They may not understand how you have worked with PD in the past, but are now rendered unable to do so due to the diseases progression. At CCK, we have experience helping professionals who have pushed through their symptoms for years, but simply can no longer perform at the capacity required to remain in the workforce.
Proving Service Connection For Parkinsons Disease Without A Presumption:
As for any other non-presumptive conditions, veterans with Parkinsons who did not serve in a location listed above may still qualify for VA compensation. You will need to submit additional evidence to show that your exposure was during military service, and link the exposure to your Parkinsons.
Because PD is progressive, the VA does not make veterans wait for the disease to slowly evolve. So medical documentation of symptoms should pave the way to service connection. The first thing you need to provide is documentation that you have symptoms of Parkinsonism.
You will need to provide the VA with your
- Military separation records
- Service treatment records
- Medical evidence of diagnosis and treatment of Parkinsons
Timing and sufficient evidence of Parkinsons are critical, as a timely filing for VA compensation properly ensures that you can start receiving benefits from the date VA has your claim in hand.
You will also need your physicians opinion saying that your PD was caused by exposure to toxins in service, or by a service-connected traumatic brain injury . We recommend providing a statement detailing your exposure or event.
Regarding Parkinsons in particular, various instances exist by which veterans may qualify for service-connected VA compensation, including
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Gathering Evidence And Writing The Appeal
Properly handling an LTD appeal is much more complicated than just completing some paperwork. Although a doctors note proclaiming your inability to remain in the workforce helps your case, it may not be enough for the insurance company to approve your LTD claim. At CCK, we take a comprehensive approach in managing your appeal. We gather all evidence that you will need in court and submit it with your appeal in order to provide the strongest evidence record possible. This evidence might include:
- Test results
- Reports from your treating physicians
- Expert opinions
- Witness statements from you, your family, friends, or co-workers
Preparing a strong and complete evidence record to file with your LTD appeal is especially important with ERISA-governed LTD appeals this is because in ERISA cases, the administrative appeal stage is the final opportunity a claimant has to submit substantive evidence into the record. One major source of adversity that ERISA LTD claimants face is the lack of flexibility in submitting new evidence to the administrative record in court. We gather all evidence and write the appeal using this information. In our appeal, we thoughtfully explain why you meet your policys definition of disability and other conditions for coverage. Our arguments are based on, and supported by, evidence.
What Are Counted As Resources
Lets start by whats NOT counted. The following items are NOT counted when SSA computes your resources:
- Any back benefits you will receive as a result of your favorable decision
- The home you live in and the land it is on, if its your primary residence
- Your household goods and personal effects
- One vehicle, regardless of its value, if it is used as transportation
- Grants, scholarships, fellowships, or gifts set aside to pay educational expenses, for a limited period of time after receipt
- Burial spaces and burial funds, up to a certain limit
- Life insurance policies, up to a certain limit
- Property thats essential to supporting yourself
WHAT DOES COUNT:
There are additional items that are NOT counted these are the most common.
It means that if you stopped using drugs or alcohol for three months or more and you were therefore no longer disabled, its a material component of your disability. On the other hand, if you stopped using drugs or alcohol for a period of three months or more, and you were still disabled due to other impairments, drug or alcohol is not a material component.
If you are actively using drugs or alcohol and your only impairment is mental, you are likely to have difficulty being approved for benefits.
If drug or alcohol addiction is found to be a material component of your disability, you cannot receive benefits.
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Improving Your Chances For Obtaining Benefits
Its particularly important to see a psychologist or psychiatrist who can document the progression of your illness, because this can sometimes be the only official record of your PTSD. If you live with or frequently see family members or friends, ask them to document your behavior over time as well. Since severity is the key to determining whether or not your PTSD disorder qualifies you for benefits, tracking the frequency and nature of your symptoms can help your case.
- Keep a detailed journal, including a calendar of notes about how you feel each day
- Record any unusual activities you could not do on any given day
- Keep a detailed history of your current and past medications, as well as any side effects that you experience
- See a health care professional regularly and take the medication that he/she gives you so that he/she can support your application for benefits
- Ask your doctor or other health care professional to track the course of your symptoms and to keep a record of any evidence of fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, unusual behavior, or other hard-to-document symptoms
- Keep records of how your illness affected you on the job.
Disability Benefits For Parkinson’s Disease
Social Security Disability Lawyers: Riverside, Orange & San Bernardino Counties
Disability Benefits for Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is named after a British physician, James Parkinson, who first described it in An Essay on the Shaking Palsy in 1817. The National Institute on Aging has put together a nice summary of Parkinson’s Disease .
It is important to know that while Parkinson’s usually affects older individuals that are already beyond the age of retirement , it can sometimes affect younger individuals that are still working and who require long-term disability benefits. .
Symptoms from Parkinson’s include tremor, shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking , balance, and coordination. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. They may also have mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, cognitive impairment, and fatigue.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease occurs when nerve cells in an area of the brain that controls movement called the basal ganglia and the substantia nigra become impaired and/or die. Normally, these neurons produce a neurotransmitter chemical called dopamine. When the neurons die or become impaired, they produce less dopamine, which causes the movement problems of Parkinson’s. Scientists still do not know what causes cells that produce dopamine to die.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease has four main symptoms:
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Evaluating Disability For People With Parkinsons Disease
Patients seeking disability payments for their Parkinsons disease will have to prove that they are impacted in a way that they cannot perform their old job or any job that they could be trained to work.
It is essential to tell the insurance company about any doctor that has treated you for your Parkinsons disease. The insurance company will need to obtain all relevant medical records to get the full picture of your health. If for any reason they cannot get these records from your doctors, you should request them and provide them to the insurance company yourself.Your doctors should send their complete exam notes and all relevant medical testing and lab results.
You will need to provide proof of your diagnosis and your ongoing symptoms, as well as proof of how you are affected by your symptoms. Providing detailed documentation is key to a successful claim. Residual Functional Capacity assessments determine how you are affected by the condition and what you can do despite your limitations. It is used to determine what jobs you may still be qualified to perform. Patients with severe tremors or stiffness may have difficulty with basic tasks such as picking up a phone or typing on a computer. Jobs that require coordination or muscle tone would be challenging. Make sure that you are as honest as possible with your doctors so that they can complete an accurate RFC for you.
Seek The Counsel Of A Social Security Attorney When Applying For Disability With Parkinson’s Disease
If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease, the symptoms which prompted the diagnosis may also serve as the qualifications for Social Security Disability benefits.
With the amount of documentation necessary to prove the presence of these qualifying criteria, it would likely be in your best interests to have your case evaluated by a Social Security Disability attorney who may be able to help with your claim.
While the degree of impairment caused by these symptoms may seem obvious to you, having them sufficiently documented so their impact is adequately illustrated on paper is imperative to receiving a positive decision from the Social Security Administration.
Working in close collaboration with your healthcare providers, an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can be sure the proper documents are provided when your application is submitted so your benefits can begin as soon as possible.
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Parkinsons Disease And Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury occurs when brain function is disrupted by a traumatic event such as an IED blast, a gunshot wound, a car accident, etc. Rates of TBI among service members have increased substantially since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
VA diagnoses a veterans TBI as mild, moderate, or severe based on the severity of his or her symptoms. Importantly, if Parkinsons Disease develops at any point following a moderate or severe TBI, the veteran will be presumptively service-connected for it.
Tdiu And Special Monthly Compensation For Parkinsons Disease
Due to the fact that Parkinsons Disease is such a disabling condition that often affects daily functioning, veterans can check to see if they qualify for Special Monthly Compensation a monthly benefit for veterans who have service-connected conditions that result in severe impairment, including the loss or loss of use of extremities, blindness, the need of regular aid and attendance, etc.
Furthermore, total disability based on individual unemployability may be an option if a veterans Parkinsons Disease precludes them from securing and following substantially gainful employment. Here, veterans will be paid at the 100 percent level regardless of their combined disability ratings.
There are generally two pathways to become eligible for TDIU:
- 38 CFR § 4.16a For this form of TDIU, the veteran must have:
- One condition rated at minimum 60 percent OR
- two conditions that can be combined to reach 70 percent, where one condition is at minimum 40 percent
- 38 CFR § 4.16b This form of TDIU is for veterans who may not be able to achieve the ratings necessary for schedular TDIU but are still unable to obtain substantially gainful employment on account of their conditions. In this instance, the veteran must prove that their condition is uniquely hinders their ability to obtain substantially gainful employment and therefore should not be rated on the standard disability rating criteria.
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Free Case Evaluation For People With Parkinson’s Disease
All too often, claimants are denied Social Security benefits based on missing, inaccurate, or incomplete paperwork. As a result, the applicant must then begin on the arduous disability appeal process. Unfortunately, the this process is long and slow, resulting in excruciating delays.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can make sure you have the documents you need the first time, saving you the hassle and the delay of a lengthy disability appeal process.
To speak with a qualified Social Security Attorney about your chances of getting Social Security benefits, request a free disability evaluation today.
Parkinsons Disease And Long Term Disability Insurance Claims
You may have group disability insurance coverage as part of an employee benefits plan, or you may have purchased an individual disability policy as protection against loss of income.
In either case, to receive these long term disability benefits for Parkinsons disease, you need to meet your plan or policys definition of disability. This generally requires that, due to sickness or injury, you are now unable to perform the duties of your own occupation or another occupation.
Your insurance company may not fully understand the impact that Parkinsons disease can have on a person over time, both physically and cognitively. Claim examiners may not appreciate how is it that you have been able to work for years with PD and now suddenly you cannot.
Our attorneys do understand. We also know what it takes to submit a strong LTD insurance claim to prove disability for Parkinsons or file an appeal that will stand up in court.
We prepare for the tactics insurers use to avoid having to pay monthly benefits. Here are a few:
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Parkinsons Disease And Long Term Disability
Patients with Parkinsons disease may be unable to work because of their disease and its related complications. Patients who find themselves unable to work because of their Parkinsons disease may qualify for long term disability benefits. The insurance company will review their claim to see if they qualify under the conditions of that plan.
What Is The Impact On Daily Life For A Person With Parkinsons
The effect of Parkinsons Disease on ones ability to work varies from case to case. Some people may experience rapid progression of symptoms, while others experience a slower progression. Some jobs may be more physically or mentally demanding than others. Individuals experiencing the cognitive symptoms of PD who work in fast-paced jobs may find it challenging to concentrate or manage multiple projects.
Your PD symptoms are unique to your diseases course. You and your doctor can determine if your symptoms and/or side effects from medication inhibit your ability to continue working.
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Social Security Disability Benefits
- Most people when they think of Social Security think retirement benefits. But Social Security also contains benefits for total disability.
- However, Social Security wont consider you disabled if you can do just about any gainful occupation or if you can work part time.
- That is why people disabled with Parkinsons often have difficulty collecting the first time they apply.
- Youre eligible for benefits after five months of disability if your total disability has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months.
- Every year, Social Security by law sends you a statement of your current benefits if you were to retire or become disabled now.
- For more information or to find out the amount of benefits you have coming if you can’t find your statement, go to www.ssa.gov or call toll-free at 800-772-1213 and request a paper copy of your Social Security statement that will tell you the monthly amount of benefits payable for disability, retirement, and to your survivors at death.
- For a good general information book on Social Security disability benefits, look for publication 05-10029.
- Once you’re on Social Security disability benefits for two years, you automatically then become eligible for Medicare as well as eligible for the best Medicare supplement you can find, regardless of your age.
Content for this section provided by Jack Hungelmann, who has had PD since 1996.