Diabetes and Your Social Security Disability Claim | Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney

Do you suffer from diabetes mellitus that interferes with your ability to work? The Social Security Disability Administration recognizes diabetes as the basis for a Social Security disability claim.

Section 9.08 Diabetes Mellitus of the Listing of Impairments requires that you submit medical documentation:

A. Neuropathy demonstrated by significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station;

B. Acidosis occurring at least on the average of once every two months, documented by appropriate blood chemical tests;

C. Retinitis proliferans

Winning a Social Security Disability claim based on diabetes requires extensive medical documentation.  If you need assistance with your Social Security claim, contact St. Petersburg Social Security disability lawyers, Sharon Barrett or Nancy Cavey. They have extensive experience in handling Social Security disability claims for diabetics and have written the go to book for Social Security Disability applicants, “Your Rights to Social Security Disability.”

Listing of Impairments – Social Security Benefits and Peptic Ulcer Disease | St. Petersburg Social Security Disability Lawyer

Peptic ulcers are painful sores or ulcers in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. You may be entitled to social security benefits for peptic ulcers.

Ulcers can be caused by:

1. Bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)

2. Use of painkillers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, and others), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Midol, and others), and many others available by prescription. Even aspirin coated with a special substance can still cause ulcers.

3. Excess acid production from gastrinomas, tumors of the acid producing cells of the stomach that increases acid output; seen in Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Ulcers can cause:

  • Bleeding
  • Perforation (a hole through the wall of the stomach)
  • Gastric outlet obstruction from swelling or scarring that blocks the passageway leading from the stomach to the small intestine.

For more information on peptic ulcer disease visit WebMD here.

In Listing 5.04, the Social Security Disability administration requires that you have peptic ulcer disease demonstrated by endoscopy or other appropriate medically acceptable imaging. You must also have:

A. Recurrent ulceration after surgery persistent despite therapy; or

B. Inoperable fistula formation; or

C. Recurrent obstruction demonstrated by endoscopy or other appropriate medically acceptable imaging; or

D. Weight loss as described under listing 5.08.

With the help of Nancy Cavey, a Tampa Bay Social Security attorney, you can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits for peptic ulcer disease.

Listing of Impairments – Musculoskeletal – Arthritis | St. Petersburg Social Security Disability Lawyer

According to the Arthritis Foundation website, arthritis is the most common cause of disability.

There are over 100 kinds of arthritis and you would think there would be a listing for arthritis. You would be wrong!

Arthritis is an inflammation of a joint, like your hip, knee, wrists, or even fingers. It can present with redness, puffiness, or swelling and pain. A great site to learn about arthritis is nih.gov

The medline article explains the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of arthritic conditions.

Since there is no listing per se, a Social Security Disability applicant will have meet 1.02 Major dysfunction of a joint (due to any cause). There must be gross anatomical deformity with chronic joint pain and stiffness with limitation of motion. There must be findings on tests like x-rays that show joint narrowing, bony destruction or fusion of the joint.

If the arthritic condition involves the hip, knee, or ankle, you must have significant difficulty walking.

If the arthritic condition involves your shoulder, elbow or wrist/hand, you must be unable to perform fine or gross movements with your hands.

More likely, the key to winning a case with an arthritic condition is having your doctor file out a residual functional disability form documenting your physical limitations with walking and use of your hands or upper extremities. Don’t forget to explain your pain and any side effects of your medication.

For more information on Listing 1.00, click here. You should also visit arthritis.org

Consult experienced Tampa Bay area Social Security Disability lawyers Nancy Cavey or Sharon Barrett to learn more about your rights to social security benefits if you suffer from arthritis. They can be contacted by clicking here or by calling 727-897-9117.

Listing of Impairments – Musculoskeletal – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Tampa Social Security Disability Attorney

Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome and wonder if you might get Social Security Disability benefits?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is compression of the median nerve in your wrist that is caused by repetitive motion. The nerve in the carpal tunnel swells and has no where to go in this tunnel. As a result, you can have tingling, burning, and numbness in your finders, loss of grip strength (which can result in dropping things like coffee cups), locking of your fingers, swelling of your fingers, and worst of all, PAIN! More information on CTS can be found here.

Guess what? There is no listing for this common condition in the Listing of Impairments. You can click here to see some of the factors that Social Security considers.

So how do you win a carpal tunnel claim?

At Hurdle 4 you must show you cannot return to your past relevant work. If you did work that required you to do repetitive hand movements like typing or assembly work, you probably cannot go back to the job you did the last 15 years.

However that alone will not get you Social Security benefits. Why Because Social Security assumes that you are capable of doing “other work.” What is that?

Other work is work that you could do as a result of the skills you have learned in the other jobs you have had. It is work you could do based on your and education.

So how do you win at Hurdle 5 “Other work?” You need to have firm medical evidence of your diagnosis including EMG/NCS testing. And you must have your doctor give a detailed statement about the limitations on you hand dexterity, your ability to lift, your ability to do fine fingering and manipulation, and your ability to use both hands.

Claims for carpal tunnel are routinely denied at the initial application and reconsideration stage. This type of claim will be tried before an Administrative Law Judge and can be won if the medical evidence is developed properly.

Order Nancy Cavey’s FREE book on social security disability benefits NOW!

Listing of Impairments – Musculoskeletal Impairments – Back | Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney

The Listing of Impairment manual has specific criteria for the evaluation of spinal impairments which can be found at here.

These problems can include osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, spinal arachnoidtis, and degenerative disc disease.

These are common problems which are the basis of many social security disability applications and, unfortunately, many denials. Why is that?

There are two reasons. The first is that back problems are a common complaint the Social Security Administration (SSA) sees all the time and SSA just doesn’t take these complaints or problems seriously. The second is that your doctors don’t go to medical school to write reports that meet Social Security disability criteria.

If you click on the link above, you will see that there are very specific criteria for the diagnosis of your back complaints, exacting requirements for what must be seen on your physical examination including precise measurements, diagnostic studies which support your diagnosis, documentation of the treatment prescribed by your doctor in response to the treatment, specific comments on the effects of the treatment that you have been given, and specific descriptions of the drug or treatment given including dosages, frequency, description of any complications or side effects.

You will also see that Section 1.04, Disorders of the spine, includes specific definitions of spinal conditions including herniated discs, spinal arachnoiditis, lumbar spinal stenosis, and abnormal curvature of the spine. If your condition doesn’t perfectly fit the definition and the criteria required by the listing, the Social Security Administration is going to find that you do not need a listing. So, in many cases, your medical records simply don’t address all the factors that Social Security wants to see before they will agree that you need a listing.

Unfortunately, at Hurdle 4 and 5, most Disability Determination specialists are of the opinion that back problems are temporary and that you can return to the lightest job you’ve held in the last 15 years with the job you were doing at the time it became disabled. That, of course, means that your claim will be denied.

That isn’t to say that these cases can’t be won! In fact, with proper development of the medical evidence these cases are won every day.

What’s the key?

1. Make sure that your doctors notes show a proper diagnosis of disc herniation, back pain, lumbar problems, spinal stenosis, or degenerative joint disease.

2. Make sure that your medical records have objective evidence of the diagnosis in the form of x-ray reports, CAT scans, MRI studies, bone scans, EMG/NCS studies, and surgical reports.

3. Make sure your doctor documents your functional limitations on your activities such as bending, stooping, standing, walking, sitting, and alternating positions.

4. Make sure your doctor documents any side effects of medication.

5. Make sure your doctor documents you are physical findings on examination such as decreased range of motion, reduced muscular strength, how you walk, positive straight leg raising tests,  and any sensory or reflex changes.

6. Make sure that your doctor’s reports are consistent with what you’re reporting about your condition, physical problems, pain and side effects of medication.

7. When you fill out forms for the Social Security Administration explain what problems are having with pain and how it limits your ability to function 24/7.

8. Getting regular medical treatment so that there are medical records that backup your claim.

Back claims can be won with proper development of the evidence that meets the Social Security criteria and your best chance will be to contact skilled Social Security Disability lawyers Cavey & Barrett!

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