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    Robbed of Your Peace of Mind? Your Guide to Long Term Disability Benefits

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    The Key To Hiring The Right Long Term Disability Attorney

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    The Smart Long Term Disability Guide For Preparing Your Statement and Field Visit

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  • Social Security Disability Guide

    Your Rights To Social Security Disability Benefits - Your Guide to Getting Benefits Now

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Tag Archives: lawyer

How to Win Your Social Security Disability Claim with Your Doctors Reports

Your doctor’s records can make or break your Social Security Disability claim. I am always asked whether a Social Security Disability applicant should get a letter from their physician in support of their claim. Well, often letters that doctors will submit will say “Ms. Jones is unable to work as a result of her disease and should be considered for Social Security Disability benefits”.

The statement that “my patient is disabled and unable to work” is worthless and useless. The Social Security Administration is looking at your doctor’s records to determine your physical residual functional capacity. In laments terms, that’s the level of your physical functioning. The Social Security Administration will use the DOT, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, for sedentary, light, medium and heavy work. The bottom line, and depending on your age, if you are capable of doing light work, you are not going to be found eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

It is important that you doctor address your physical capabilities in terms of the following functions:

-          Climbing

-          Kneeling

-          Balancing

-          Bending

-          Stooping

-          Crawling

-          Fingering

-          Feeling

-          Hearing

-          Speaking

-          Carrying

-          Standing

-          Walking

-          Sitting

 

Your doctor should also describe the range of motion in your joints, grip strengths and reflexes. You should also describe your strength level.

Your doctor needs to sum it all up by explaining how your symptoms impact your ability to perform work related functions and which activities, if any, you are unable to perform altogether.

Your doctor’s opinion should be supported by: test results, their observations and your statements of reported symptoms.

Experienced Social Security Disability attorneys like Clearwater Social Security Disability lawyers Cavey and Barrett will routinely send our clients treating physicians forms called residual functional capacity forms appropriate to our clients medical condition. This is a great form that doctors can complete which asks all the right questions. More importantly, the Social Security Administration will recognize and take into consideration your doctors opinion as expressed on the residual functional capacity form.

If Your Doctor Has Diagnosed Heart Failure and You Are Taking Medications that Cause Side Effects You May Be Entitled to Long Term Disability Benefits

Many Americans who purchased long term disability benefits to protect them in the event that they are unable to perform their occupation. If you haven diagnosed with heart failure, you may be entitled to long termHeart Failure Social Security disability benefits. To help manage your heart failure you should:

  1. Monitor you weight.
  2. Take medication as directed.
  3. Limit your salt and sodium intake.
  4. Don’t smoke.
  5. Stay active.

Your doctor may prescribe medications to help you with your conditions. Usually these medications are ace inhibitors, diuretics, glycosides, angiotensin receptor blockers and beta blockers. Unfortunately, these medications can cause significant side effects which impair your ability to work.

If your physician has told you that you are unable to work because of heart failure and you suffer from the side effects of medication, you should immediately apply for long term disability benefits. To learn more about your rights to long term disability benefits and terms that you do not want to see in your policy, you can order your free copy of Robbed of Your Peace of Mind.

Learn How Easy it is to get Social Security Disability Benefits for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can affect the entire body and it is caused by an abnormality in your immune system. One of the common characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation of the lining ofRheumatoid Arthritis Social Security your joints. That will cause pain, stiffness, redness and even swelling.

The inflamed joint lining which is called a synovium, will release enzymes into the joint space that over time will digest the bone and cartilage. That will cause your joint to lose your shape, alignment and function. It commonly results in joint pain and deformity of the joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can have active flare-ups and remissions.

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect joints in your hands, wrists, feet, knees, ankles, shoulders and even elbows.

The Social Security Administration has, in its blue book, a listing for rheumatoid arthritis, if your medical records establish that your rheumatoid arthritis meets a listing, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. If, on the other hand, your rheumatoid arthritis condition does not meet “a listing”, don’t give up. That does mean defeat!

At steps four and five of the five step sequential evaluation, the Social Security Administration will determine whether or not you can return to the lightest job that you have held in the last 15 years. And, if not, whether “you can engage in other work.”

Many rheumatoid arthritis cases are based on the medical, vocational allowance at steps four and five by showing that you have significant loss of range of motion, pain and loss of function of the effective joint.

If your doctor has told you that you are unable to work as a result of rheumatoid arthritis, apply for Social Security Disability benefits immediately. If you claim for Social Security Disability benefits based on rheumatoid arthritis has been denied, appeal immediately and contact an experienced rheumatoid arthritis, Social Security Disability attorney such as Cavey and Barrett. Give us a call today to discuss your claim for benefits.

ERISA and the 18 Mistakes That a Workers’ Compensation Claims Lawyer Can Make

In 1974, the United States Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which is the statutory basis for welfare benefit plans, including group health and group disability plans.

Many injured employees have ERISA disability policies, which provide either the payment of short term disability or long term disability benefits. ERISA litigation is a mixture of workers compensation, Social Security, contract law, medical and vocational issues. However, every workers’ compensation practitioner should know that ERISA is complicated and not for the faint of heart.

ERISA’s Short Term Disability Claim Process

Many employers will offer a short term disability policy that provides for the payment of short term disability benefits for as long as 26 months. Your client may have also purchased a long term disability claim, and after they have exhausted their entitlement to short term disability, their claim will be converted by a carrier into a long term disability application.

Most long term disability policies have a 24 month own occupation provision, which also may have a limitation on mental illness or self reported conditions like fibromyalgia.

If benefits are denied, the employee has the right to a full fair review of the denial with only 180 days to perfect an appeal.

The long term disability carrier has two 45 day periods under the ERISA regulations to make a decision to pay or deny these benefits.

It is not uncommon for long term disability carriers to use internal and external peer review providers and even vocational evaluators to review the file.

The crucial stage in an ERISA appeal is the 180 day appeal period as if suit is filed, a federal judge will make a decision based on the status of the record as a time of final claims denial.

The ERISA statute and case law provides for limited discovery and there is no right to a jury trial. That is why it is crucial that you avoid making any mistakes in the handling of an ERISA case. Stay tuned for the upcoming 18 Mistakes in the next couple of days.

Do you have a ERISA or a Workers Compenstation claim? Give us a call today to discuss your claim today, with a free no obligation consultation. 727-894-3188.

Discitis and Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits

You may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits if your doctors told you that you have something called discitis. Discitis is a low grade infection in the disc space between your vertebrae. Think of your spinal

Discitis Social Security Disability

Discitis Social Security Disability

column as a stack of Oreo cookies, the cookie is the retrieval body and the cream is the disc.

Unfortunately, you can develop a low grade infection of the disc which causes severe back pain and is often aggravated by any movement of the spine. This pain will travel to your abdomen, hip, leg and groin and it is incredibly painful.

If your doctor has diagnosed you with discitis, Sharon Barrett, Palm Harbor Social Security Disability attorney, suggests that you apply for Social Security Disability benefits if your claim is denied, be sure to appeal and contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney for help in getting the Social Security Disability benefits your deserve as a result of discitis.

FAQ: What is the Best Way to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Without a doubt, the best way to apply for Social Security Disability benefits is going to the website ssa.gov. You can fill out the application and provide the Social Security Administration with medical information such as your diagnosis, medical test results and current medical condition.

You can also apply for Social Security Disability benefits by calling 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment, or fill out an application in person at your local Social Security Disability office.

Regardless of which method you use to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, be prepared to have a list of your employers that you worked for the last fifteen years before you stopped working, the names and addresses of all the medical providers you have seen, and a list of your current medication.

For more information on the Social Security Disability claims process, you can order a complimentary copy of Tampa Social Security Disability attorney Sharon Barrett’s book Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits.

Long Term Disability Insurance Carriers Will Deny Your Claim by Mis-Classifying Your Occupation

It is not uncommon for long term disability carriers to have a vocational evaluator determine that your occupation is sedentary in nature and then, in turn allege that your medical records can’t support your inability to

Occupation Long Term Disability

Occupation Long Term Disability

perform the full time functions of a sedentary occupation.

The vocational evaluator, together with an internal physician peer review, will determine that your restriction and limitations and qualify you for a sedentary occupation. Why? If you are capable of engaging in at least a sedentary occupation, you are not entitled to long term disability benefits.

It is important in appealing a claim denial that you develop all the medical and vocation evidence that establishes that your physical restrictions and limitations have eroded your ability to do the full range of sedentary work. In other words, you can’t sit stand, walk, or lift with the frequency required to meet a sedentary definition.

Nancy Cavey, experienced long term disability attorney, knows how to develop the medical and vocational evidence to show your medical restrictions and limitations reduce you ability to engage in a sedentary occupation. Don’t let the long term disability misclassification of your job result in the wrongful denial of your long term disability benefits. Give us a call today at 727-894-3188.

How to Calculate Your Long Term Disability Benefits and the Insurance Carriers Right to a Social Security Offset

Did you know that many long term disability policies are written so that the long term disability insurance company gets to reduce your long term disability benefits by the receipt of “other income” which can include your Social Security Disability benefits, your family member’s Social Security Disability benefits and even workers’ compensation benefits. But it’s worse! Not only does the short or long term disability insurance company get to reduce your monthly long term disability benefits by your monthly Social Security benefits, they will often sue you to recover your back long term disability benefits arguing that you have been “overpaid”.

How does this work?  Under most long term disability policies, you get a percentage of your pre-disability wage, so, for example, if you made $24,000 a year before you became disabled, your pre-disability income would be $2,000 per month. Many long term disability policies pay a percentage of your pre-disability wage which commonly is about 60%. In our example, the gross monthly long term disability benefits would be $1,200.

Now the deductions begin! If you receive Social Security Disability benefits in the amount of $600 per month and your child gets $300 per month in dependent benefits, that $900 will be subtracted from your monthly long term disability benefits. Your net long term disability benefits will only be $300 per month.

Unfortunately, it takes as long as two years to get Social Security Disability benefits. Long term disability carriers will ask you to sign a repayment agreement in which you agree that you will repay the long term disability carrier any overpayment as a result of the later receipt of Social Security Disability benefits. The long term disability carrier will let you collect your full long term disability benefits, but they want their money back immediately if you get your Social Security Disability benefits.

Many times the back balance is in actual policy.

Whether the long term disability carrier can get repayment for an overpayment varies from the United States District Court to district.

Here in the 11th Circuit in Florida, the court has ruled that if you have dissipated or spent the money, that you got for the overpayment that you do not have to repay the long term disability carrier in a lump sum. However, some of the courts in the district in the 11th circuit have indicated that nothing prevents the long term disability carrier from reducing your monthly benefits by the receipt of your Social Security Disability benefits and any pro-rider reduction to recoup the lump sum for overpayment that occurred when you got your back Social Security Disability benefits. In other words, it appears as if in the 11th Circuit, a long term disability carrier is going to get their money one way or the other.

You Don’t Need to be a Genius to Understand that you May Be Eligible for Long Term Disability Benefits if You Suffer From Thrombophlebitis

You purchase your long term disability policy to protect your income and if you have been diagnosed with phlebitis or thrombophlebitis, you should apply for long term disability benefits.Thrombophlebitis Long Term Disability Claim Lawyer

Phlebitis is the inflammation of a vein that causes a circulatory problem. Phlebitis means a “vein with inflammation” and if it progresses to “thrombophlebitis” that means that you have a “blot clot”.

Deep thrombophlebitis is associated with tenderness, pain and swelling on your extremity, and difficulties with your extremities such as standing or walking. Unfortunately, there may be no signs of deep vein thrombosis until you have a pulmonary embolism that moves through your vein system to your lungs.

You have any of these symptoms, you should immediately go to the emergency room and seek medical care.

If you physician has told you that you are unable to work as a result of phlebitis or thrombophlebitis you should apply for long term disability benefits. It is important that you document the problems that you have with pain, swelling of your extremity and any problems you have with the activity of daily living such as walking, standing, or stooping.

If your claim for long term disability benefits as a result phlebitis or thrombophlebitis is denied, you should appeal that denial after you secure the services of a long term disability/ERISA attorney.

You should also apply for Social Security Disability benefits to provide you with additional financial assistance.

Thrombophlebitis can endanger your life and the denial of your long term disability claim can endanger the financial well being of you and your family. You should consult a phlebitis’s/thrombophlebitis long term disability attorney for assistance in your disability application and long term disability appeal process. Give us a call today to handle your case. 727-894-3188

If You Suffer From Chronic Sleep Disorder You Might Be Entitled to Long Term Disability Benefits

If you are covered by a long term disability policy and are having chronic sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, or other sleeping disorders, you may be entitled to long term disability benefits. In the case of Eaton vs. Metropolitan Life, 661 fsupp 2nd 1240 (2009 US District Lexus 88965), Mr. Eaton was advised by his physician because he could no longer work because of a chronic sleep disorder. His long term disability benefit was initially approved but Metropolitan Life put surveillance on Mr. Eaton. He was filmed driving or engaging in other activities of living. As a result, Metropolitan denied Mr. Eaton’s continued entitlement to disability benefits.

He appealed and a federal court ordered metropolitan life to pay benefits noting that the despite the video, Mr. Eaton’s physician supported his claim for disability, objective medical testing supporting his disability and even five peer review reports from Metropolitan Life supported the disability.

If you have sleep apnea or any other sleeping disorder and your long term disability claim has been denied, contact sleep disorder denied disability attorney Nancy Cavey. 727-894-3188 today.