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Charlotte Social Security Disability Blog

How do earnings factor in when seeking SSI benefits?

North Carolina residents who meet the basic requirements for Supplemental Security Income of being disabled, blind or 65 and older must also understand there are other factors that will be critical to a determination that the person is entitled to SSI benefits. If they do not meet all the criteria, they will face denied SSI claims and may consider appealing the case to try to get the decision overturned. Before thinking about such a problematic scenario, it is important to know how the Social Security Administration considers earnings when deciding on an SSI claim.

When applying for SSI benefits, earnings are considered wages and income from self-employment. When seeking or receiving SSI, the person must inform the SSA about how much they earn. For those who have a representative payee - a person who manages the benefits when the SSI recipient is deemed unable to do so - then that person must report the income. For those who are taking part in Ticket to Work and are trying to get into the workforce, it is also important to report the earnings.

Disability benefits can be tough to secure

There are certain things in life that Charlotte residents can prepare for. Retirement, expanding their families and even changing jobs are events that some people may be able to see in the future and can make plans to achieve. Other events, unfortunately, are emergencies or are unexpected and cannot be foreseen by those who are affected by them.

Oftentimes, the occurrence of a disabling condition may catch a person by surprise. An illness that robs them of their ability to be self-sufficient, or an injury that renders them dependent on others, can happen in the blink of an eye. While some individuals may live their whole lives with disabilities, others may acquire them after years of healthy living and self-supporting activity.

Respiratory illnesses and Social Security disability benefits

Breathing is something that North Carolina residents may take for granted. For most people, their bodies take control of respiration and handle the important task of feeding their bodies with oxygen while they are awake and while they are asleep. For others, though, respiratory illnesses deprive them of the ability to forget about their breathing and the important purpose that it serves.

The Social Security Administration recognizes many respiratory illnesses and disorders as potentially disabling. For example, cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that can cause lung infections, breathing issues, and in some cases, death, is recognized as a potentially disabling respiratory condition. Asthma, a condition that narrows breathing airways and causes extra mucus to form in the body, can also disable a person if it is severe.

What if a disabling condition is not identified by the SSA?

Getting Social Security Disability benefits is not an easy task. When a North Carolina resident chooses to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income they must submit to serious assessments of their financial and physical or mental health. There are multiple requirements that they must meet in order to be granted benefits, and one of those requirements is having their disabling condition recognized by the Social Security Administration.

The Social Security Administration's list of disabling conditions is often referred to as the "Blue Book" and on that list individuals may find a number of physical and mental conditions organized by body system and process. Conditions listed are generally recognized as disabilities if they meet the severity identified by the Social Security Administration, but from time to time applicants suffer from conditions that have not been included on this extensive list.

How does Social Security determine if I'm disabled?

If you have been ill or injured and are unable to return to work, you may be feeling the pinch of the loss of your income. As days go by, you know the situation will only get worse until you are able to get back on your feet, if that ever happens. You may be considering pursuing alternative sources of income to get you through this difficult time.

Many in North Carolina and elsewhere who are in a similar situation seek relief through the Social Security Administration. Applying for disability benefits can be a challenging and frustrating process, but if the SSA approves you, you may have the financial support you need. However, before going through the process of applying for benefits, it is important to understand whether your situation matches the SSA's definition of a disability.

How spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis

Paralysis is a serious medical condition that prevents a person from moving their body or feeling sensations below the point of a spinal cord injury. When a North Carolina resident suffers a spinal cord injury their situation could follow any of several paths. They may experience a full recovery, or they may experience a partial recovery. Individuals with severe spinal cord injuries may be permanently paralyzed and disabled by their injuries.

The spinal cord runs through the spinal column, which is a set of bones called "vertebrae" that protects the nerves of the spinal cord. When a trauma or accident causes damage to the spinal cord, the nerves of the column may stop sending messages from the brain to the rest of the body. As a result, a person may lose feeling, movement and control of their body below the site of their spinal cord injury.

What are blood disorders and diseases?

Not everyone can handle the sight of blood. For some North Carolina residents, the sight of blood may induce faintness or even nausea, though others may be able to manage their own cuts and scrapes without any problems. Blood is a necessary component of every human body and its processes support the functioning of practically every system in a person's physique.

However, just as organs and tissues in the human body can become injured and sick, so too can blood suffer diseases and disorders. Blood-based illnesses can be debilitating and even deadly, and those individuals who suffer from the many diverse blood-based illnesses that exist may require varying levels of support just to get by.

How OCD can impact a person's ability to work

Lapses in memory, distractions, exhaustion and a host of other conditions can cause individuals to have momentary concerns about what may or may not have been done. For most people, these concerns fade and worry is forgotten in time. For individuals with OCD, however, these concerns can become consuming and can control their lives.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental condition. It is characterized by obsessive thoughts or beliefs that drive people to take compulsive actions. For example, a person with OCD may obsess over the idea that their hands are dirty, and their compulsive action may be to wash their hands dozens of time each and every day. Additionally, a person with OCD may fixate on the idea that the doors of their home are unlocked and may drive home repeatedly to check their locks out of a compulsive need to prove their home is secure.

Ongoing support for disability benefits recipients

Securing disability benefits from the Social Security Administration can be a difficult process. As our readers know from previous posts here, the process begins when a person files an application for benefits and submits evidence of their disability condition or illness. That information is reviewed and, based upon what is determined, the individual may or may not be approved for disability benefits support.

If the application is approved, they may receive benefits, but may be required to meet ongoing expectations. Their condition may be reviewed periodically, and they may be asked to give new data on the status of their illness or injury. In time, they may need to demonstrate again and again that they deserve the disability benefits on which they rely to live.

Symptoms of depression can be hidden and debilitating

A previous post here shared a story about a proposed plan by the federal government to monitor disability benefits recipients' social media accounts. The proposed monitoring would give the government the opportunity to use information that it found on sites like Facebook, Instagram and others to revoke disability benefits claims to those who count on them to survive. If this proposal goes through it could be devastating to millions of men, women and children, and perhaps particularly to those whose disabilities are not easily seen.

Mental illnesses like depression are often masked by their victims' apparent physical health. A Charlotte resident with depression may be able to go to the grocery store, laugh at a joke or play with their pet all while suffering the crushing symptoms of their disease. In the event that the government found a picture of a smiling disability benefits recipient whose claim was based on depression, for example, they may lose the support they need from a literal snapshot of their everyday condition.

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