Can I apply for Social Security if I have a mental condition?

Absolutely! Though mental illness is sometimes called the “invisible illness,” mental disorders are the primary diagnosis of a large proportion of all SSI and SSDI recipients. In 2016, a mental disorder was the primary diagnosis of 37.3% of SSDI beneficiaries and 60.2% of SSI recipients. Continue reading “Can I apply for Social Security if I have a mental condition?”

The Social Security Secrets Episode 10: I’ve been approved! Now what?

Most of my posts have focused on what happens when you are denied for SSI or SSDI benefits, but even people whose claims have been approved sometimes run into questions that need answers. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Episode 10: I’ve been approved! Now what?”

The Social Security Secrets Episode 9: What Happens at the Appeals Council?

Applicants for SSI and SSDI benefits who have been denied three times – once at the initial level a second time at the reconsideration level, and a third time at the ALJ/OHO level – can file an appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council (AC). This time, however, the types of issues you can raise are dramatically different than what you could raise before. Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Episode 9: What Happens at the Appeals Council?”

The Social Security Secrets Episode 8: What Happens at an ALJ Hearing?

Most people get nervous when they have to go to court, and for good reason: no one goes to court because everything is going perfectly in their life. Fortunately, going to your Social Security disability hearing does not have to be a scary event if you know what to expect.   Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Episode 8: What Happens at an ALJ Hearing?”

Social Security Secrets Episode 4: Getting Approved for Social Security – What are the Listings?

We’ve talked a lot about the application and approval process for Social Security disability benefits: what happens when and by whom.

But here’s what you really want to know: How sick do I have to be to get approved for SSI and SSDI?

Continue reading “Social Security Secrets Episode 4: Getting Approved for Social Security – What are the Listings?”

The Social Security Secrets Series Episode 3: Getting Approved for Social Security – Who Makes the Decision and How?

In the last two episodes of The Social Security Secrets Series, we talked about the first two steps in the SSI/SSDI application process: financial eligibility and the basic application process. Now that you have submitted your application to the Social Security Administration (SSA), what happens? Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Series Episode 3: Getting Approved for Social Security – Who Makes the Decision and How?”

Social Security vs. Veterans Affairs: The Nitty Gritty on Disability Benefits

I recently wrote a post called Maximizing Benefits for Disabled Veterans. That post discussed a brief overview of how disabled veterans might be able to benefit from Social Security disability benefits in addition to their VA Disability Compensation benefits.  However, there is much more to consider when you are thinking of applying for both SSA and VA benefits.

Continue reading “Social Security vs. Veterans Affairs: The Nitty Gritty on Disability Benefits”