New York City Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income Lawyers

Common Illnesses That May Qualify You for Benefits

Common Illnesses FAQ

Disability can have many causes, including an accident at home or work, a failed surgical procedure, or a debilitating illness. Regardless of the reason for your impairment, you face unique personal and financial challenges – and Social Security disability benefits may be your only safeguard.

But the process for obtaining Social Security disability benefits can be overwhelming. It requires extensive documentation of your limitations, in addition to other paperwork and hearings. At the Koenigsberg Law Office, we help clients in the New York City area to secure Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. We guide our clients through the initial application process and all necessary appeals.

Contact us by e-mail or call 212-964-9292 to schedule a free consultation. Whether you need to file an initial claim or have been denied, we are ready to advocate for you. Se habla español.

Common Illnesses Recognized by the Social Security Administration

To successfully pursue a claim for Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Insurance, the Administration requires proof of your disability. This can be particularly challenging, in some cases, because the SSA focuses on your functional impairments, and not necessarily on any particular diagnosis. Support from your medical providers is essential to the process.

The following illnesses may qualify an individual for benefits:

  • Cancer
  • Lupus
  • Severe arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Lung and respiratory problems
  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Mental Illness and Social Security Disability

Mental Illnesses, such as bi-polar disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often qualify individuals for SSD or SSI benefits. In addition to a diagnosis, it may be necessary to provide documentation as to the effect of drugs used for treatment.

Contact the Koenigsberg Law Office

We offer a free consultation to discuss your needs. Although you are responsible for out-of-pocket expenses following your initial appointment, we do not charge attorney fees unless you are awarded benefits. Contact us by e-mail today or call 212-964-9292 to schedule an appointment.

Supplemental Security Income FAQ

Mental Illness and SSDI

Mental illness is recognized as a legitimate condition for applying under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have had a serious condition diagnosed by a physician — such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder — and can present evidence that your illness and the medicines used to treat that illness are preventing you from working, then put a lawyer on your side that will fight for you.
Attorney Makis works with regional clients suffering from mental disorders such as:
Bipolar disorder
Depression
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Anxiety
Fatigue syndrome
Schizophrenia
Making a strong and convincing case for mental illness benefits can be complex and require specific evidence to support your disability claim or appeal. Maria C. Makis will work with you to draw up your application or appeal and act as your advocate at administrative hearings. When depression, anxiety or other mental illness prevents you from being able to work, make sure you have the right resources on your side.
Bi-Polar Disorder
While many people with bipolar disorder are able to work, there are many others who are unable to maintain gainful employment due to the challenges imposed by bipolar disorder. If you have bipolar disorder, you may experience significant challenges that could impact your ability to work, including:
Feelings of severe sadness and hopelessness (depressive episodes)
Feelings of intense joy which may impact focus and concentration (manic episodes)
Incidents of acting out during an episode
Lack of energy during a depressive episode
Sleep problems
Feelings of extreme irritability
Impulsive behavior
Any or all of these challenges could be impacting your ability to work. If your ability to work has been significantly impaired, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. To learn more, contact a New York Social Security Disability lawyer at the Robert A. Koenigsberg Law Offices.

Depression & Bi-Polar Disorders
People who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder may suffer from an additional mood or affective disorder. The compound effects of multiple disorders can be seriously dangerous and debilitating. For example, it is very common for people with clinical depression to also experience problems with anxiety disorder.
Clinical depression can manifest itself in several ways. The most familiar is major depression, which can be triggered by a traumatic event, such as a death, and can last from a few weeks to many months. Chronic depression, called dysthymia, is not as well known, but can also be very dangerous. Symptoms of depression include:
Feeling hopeless or worthless
Sadness
Suicidal thoughts
Fatigue
Loss of interest in activities
Difficulty concentrating
Weight changes
Insomnia or sleeping too much
The SSA looks for evidence of a number of the symptoms above. In addition, you must have a documented history of a minimum of two years of depression, as well as statements and evidence of reduced capacity to perform a substantial gainful activity.
Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression) causes an individual to cycle between high states (mania) and depressive states. Mania can cause feelings of euphoria, anger and invincibility. Hyper sexual behavior, delusions and impaired judgment are also common. The depressive state causes the same type of symptoms as clinical depression.
Sometimes people with bipolar disorder experience mixed mood episodes of mania and depression. This is an extremely dangerous state that can result in suicide attempts.

OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
If you suffer from severe OCD and your medication does not provide the relief you need, your ability to work may be significantly impaired. For example, if you feel that you must wash your hands dozens of times each day, turn your stove off multiple times a day, have extreme fear of germs or otherwise find it difficult to cope with life, the requirement of a full-time job may simply be too overwhelming for you at the present time.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 1.5 percent of all adults in the United States suffer from OCD, with more than 50 percent of all such cases being categorized as severe cases. If you have OCD, you may experience significant challenges:
You may suffer from significant fear and anxiety.
You may feel the need to engage in repetitive behavior, often described as rituals, dozens or hundreds of times a day.
Your ability to relax, sleep and enjoy daily life may be significantly impacted.
You may suffer depression or even thoughts of suicide as a result of the challenges caused by your OCD.

PTSD Anxiety Disorder
People who suffer from anxiety disorder may have symptoms including panic attacks, irrational fear, compulsive or obsessive behavior, muscular tension and increased heart/breathing rate. To qualify for benefits, you must provide medical evidence that these or other symptoms are causing problems with concentration, periods of decompensation or restriction of daily activities.
Post traumatic stress disorder often causes flashbacks to the traumatizing event, severe fear of event recurrence, anger, irritability, withdrawal from others, panic attacks and avoidant behavior, as well as the symptoms associated with anxiety disorder. In addition, people with PTSD are at increased risk for complications such as:
Clinical depression
Suicidal thoughts or actions
Alcohol and drug abuse
Eating disorders
Heart disease
Chronic pain
To qualify for SSD/SSI benefits, people with PTSD must meet the criteria for anxiety disorder and provide medical records describing doctors’ observations of their anxiety reaction.

Spinal Injuries
Spinal cord and disc problems can be the result of a traumatic injury or other condition, such as:
Car accidents
Workplace accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents
Failed back or neck surgery
Wear and tear
Aging
Debilitating neck and back pain is most often caused by a problem with one or more spinal discs. Some common disc injuries include degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, ruptured discs and compressed discs.
Pain from spinal cord and disc injuries is not limited to the neck and back, however. You may also have pain in the arms and legs, and numbness or tingling in the extremities. Severe pain may make it impossible to sit or stand for more than a few minutes. Pain and numbness may result in a loss of range of motion and muscle weakness.
In catastrophic spinal cord injuries, paralysis, paraplegia or quadriplegia may be the result. These conditions often cause secondary injuries such as pressure sores, respiratory problems and reduced organ function.
People with spinal cord injuries often need long-term pain management, which may alleviate the symptoms but render them unable to work or to do daily tasks. To obtain SSD/SSI benefits, you must prove your inability to work by providing medical evidence. You need a report from your doctor specifying your condition and limitations, as well as X-rays, CAT scans or MRIs.

Serious Neck & Back Injuries
A serious back or neck injury can affect your ability to work for an extended period of time. It can impact your ability to lift, sit, stand or walk. What can seem relatively minor one day can flare into a serious disability the next, compromising your ability to work.
Our offices represent clients who have suffered deformity, disability or injury as a result of such things as:
Herniated discs
Traumatic injury
Automobile accidents
Degenerative disease
Compressed discs
Fractures

How CFS and Fibromyalgia Can Affect Your Life
CFS and fibromyalgia share many of the same types of symptoms, which may have debilitating effects. These symptoms include:
Chronic pain
Depression and anxiety
Fatigue and exhaustion
Headaches
Sore muscles and joints
Abdominal pain
Trouble sleeping
Difficulty concentrating
There are many additional symptoms and complications associated with these disorders. Because people suffer from multiple symptoms simultaneously, their social, home and work lives are severely disrupted.
To obtain SSD/SSI benefits, you must provide medical proof that the fatigue, pain, depression and other symptoms make it impossible to perform daily and work tasks. Your medical records need to be very specific and make clear that the disease seriously impacts your life. Fibromyalgia sufferers will benefit from including medical reports from a rheumatologist.

Proving Your Disability
Difficult to measure and often highly unpredictable, building the supporting case for your application can be a confusing and complicated process. We work with you to understand how to build a strong case to back up your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We review your medical history and work with you to make sure that you have the documentation you need.
Chronic pain can be the result of an initially minor injury, and, while fairly unusual, it is very real and very challenging for those suffering from it. It can impact every part of your life, and our disability attorney’s job is to help you prove what you already know to be real to the complex and imposing bureaucracy of the Social Security Administration.

When You Are Out of Work More Than 12 Months
While the Social Security Administration recognizes cancer as an illness that can be disabling, you need to be able to prove that the condition or the effects of its treatment have kept or will keep you out of work for at least 12 months. Working with a lawyer like our disability attorney, Maria C. Makis, you will have an experienced professional on your side to help you build a strong application or case for appeal.
We work with New York area clients to pursue Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We will help you gather and collect evidence to support your claim for disability benefits, and make the case that you are prevented from engaging in work as a result of:
Radiation therapy
Chemotherapy
Transplants
Surgery
Fatigue
Chronic pain
You will work directly with your attorney and get the benefit of a small but highly dedicated team that is committed to helping you get your rightful benefits.

Diabetes - A Disease with Dangerous Complications
Diabetes is one of the conditions named in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) listing of impairments. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes may qualify for benefits. Like most conditions, however, you must do more than just claim that you have diabetes. You must provide medical evidence to prove the disabling effects diabetes has on your life and ability to work in substantial gainful activity.
Diabetes may cause severe complications that span a wide range of bodily systems and may include:
Ketoacidosis (high blood sugar), which causes weakness, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, confusion and shortness of breath. If untreated, ketoacidosis can be fatal.
Neuropathy (nerve damage) to the arms, hands, legs and feet. This may result in pain, tingling, numbness, poor circulation and additional problems. In extreme cases, amputation of the affected body part may be necessary.
Retinopathy (eye damage) that may result in cataracts, glaucoma, impaired vision and blindness.
Kidney failure, which can lead to additional complications and death.
The medical reports you submit must demonstrate that these or other complications have left you without sufficient residual functional capacity to perform your prior job or another job that would allow you to support yourself or your family. We can help you gather the information and medical tests are necessary to prove your disability.

Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease can lead to complications with debilitating side effects. If these side effects prevent you from working for 12 months, you may be able to obtain Social Security Disability/Supplemental Security Income (SSD/SSI) benefits. For assistance with the process, come to the Robert A. Koenigsberg Law Offices. Please call our office at 646-480-1625 to schedule an appointment with a New York City kidney disease attorney. Your consultation is free.
Proving Your Need for Benefits
To be eligible for SSD/SSI benefits, you must have impaired renal (kidney) function of at least 12 months or that is expected to last at least 12 months. Qualifying impairments from kidney disease include the need for dialysis, a kidney transplant or continually high serum creatinine.
People with kidney disease may suffer from numerous complications, including:
High blood pressure
Heart disease, the major cause of death for kidney disease patients
Weakened bones
Anemia
Trouble concentrating
Seizures
Personality changes
Weakened immune system
If you need chronic renal dialysis, you will qualify for SSD/SSI benefits. If you have a kidney transplant, you are automatically allowed 12 months of disability benefits. Your case will be evaluated after the first 12 months.
To receive benefits, you must provide the correct medical evidence of your kidney disease. This can include your medical history with documentation of any hospital stays, notes from your doctors, lab results showing declining kidney function and/or evidence of your kidney function before dialysis. There may be additional requirements for proving that kidney disease is preventing you from working.

The Effects of Chron's Disease
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can present without warning and cause pain, embarrassment and other problems. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, ulcers, reduced appetite and weight loss, fever and fatigue. Because of the nature of these symptoms, people with Crohn’s disease sometimes isolate themselves and prefer to stay home.
The complications caused by Crohn’s disease may be severe and can affect other areas of the body. Common types of complications include:
Liver problems
Arthritis
Skin disorders
Bowel obstructions
Fistulas
Malnutrition
Anemia
Colon cancer
Additionally, people with Crohn’s disease often suffer from depression and anxiety due to the difficulty of living with their illness.
A combination of symptoms and complications may render a person unable to work in any substantial gainful activity. If this has happened or will happen to you for at least 12 months, you may be able to collect SSD/SSI benefits. The key to obtaining benefits is providing the correct type of medical evidence with your application. Most applications are denied because they lack the proper medical information.

Getting Benefits when You Have Lupus
Lupus is named in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) listing of impairments; however, the description is not very specific. This means that the SSA can be inconsistent when determining the eligibility of lupus symptoms.
People who have lupus usually suffer from chronic pain and fatigue. In addition, they may experience depression, joint pain, chest pain, headaches, shortness of breath and memory loss. These symptoms alone can be disabling.
Lupus can also cause serious damage to other organs and body systems, including:
Kidneys
Central nervous system
Blood vessels
Gastrointestinal system
Lungs and heart
Bones
In addition, lupus may make the body susceptible to infection and cancer. You may have a combination of symptoms from lupus. If they prevent you from being able to work in a substantial gainful activity, you may be granted SSD/SSI benefits.
As with all conditions, it is critical that you submit the correct medical information with your application. Medical reports for lupus patients should document the symptoms and their effects on the ability to perform daily and work-related tasks. We can help you gather the right medical evidence to present to the SSA.

Working With Clients Facing the Challenge of Muscular Disorders
Many clients who file for benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) orSupplemental Security Income (SSI) are at least initially denied, particularly if they have no assistance in putting together their application. The process of getting benefits can be a difficult one, and having a trusted and knowledgeable adviser on your side can make a significant difference.
Our office works with clients facing the challenge of serious illness or muscular disorders. We help you put together the evidence, documentation and paperwork that the government is looking for, and we help you file any appeals or argue you case through administrative hearings.
We work with clients who are seeking benefits due to such conditions as:
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Muscular dystrophy
Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
Nerve damage
If you have multiple sclerosis or another progressive or degenerative disease, you may be facing disability, loss of sight and other physical challenges that prevent you from working. Our goal is to help you get the benefits you need to survive and move forward.

Headaches and Migraines
Migraines and other types of headaches can cause severe pain and other symptoms that are debilitating. If you experience migraines or headaches on a recurring basis, you may not be able to perform daily or work-related tasks. In these cases, it may be possible to obtain Social Security Disability/Supplemental Security Income (SSD/SSI) benefits.
Applying for SSD/SSI benefits for migraines can be challenging. Headaches are not one of conditions in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) listing of impairments. However, an experienced attorney may be able to help you prove that your condition prevents you from working in a substantial gainful activity. For a free consultation with a New York City headache disability lawyer, please call 646-480-1625 or contact us online.

Loss of Vision
The SSA defines blindness as: “central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with best correction, or a limitation in the field of vision in the better eye so that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less.”
In basic terms, this means that if a person’s vision in both eyes is worse than 20/200 with glasses or contacts, he or she will qualify for benefits. However, if only one eye is worse than 20/200 after correction, benefits will not be granted based solely on the impairment listing. There may be other ways to receive benefits in this case; talk to us and we can explain your options.
While some people are born with vision problems, other people may experience vision loss from injuries such as explosions, burns and head trauma. Illnesses such as diabetesand conditions such as macular degeneration can also cause blindness. No matter what causes vision loss, benefits may be available if it is significant enough to prevent you from working in a substantial gainful activity.

Epilepsy
To receive SSDI benefits, you must prove that you suffer from a physical or mental disability that is expected to significantly impair your ability to work for at least one year. To do so, we will carefully document how epilepsy has impacted your ability to work:
You may have difficulty finding adequate transportation to work.
You may have faced setbacks in your education or career training.
You may have encountered workplace discrimination.
Seizures and other complications arising from your medical condition may impair your ability to maintain gainful employment.

Obesity
Unfortunately, obesity is a serious medical condition which may significantly impact a person’s health in many ways. For example:
Obesity may contribute to high blood pressure.
Obesity may contribute to back and knee problems.
Obesity may increase the severity of asthma symptoms.
Obesity may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Obesity may impact an individual’s ability to move, bend or perform other work tasks.
If you are suffering from obesity and it has impacted your ability to work, let us review the facts of your case and provide you with a candid assessment of your chances for obtaining SSDI benefits. Since we have handled hundreds of SSDI cases, we can help you make an informed decision about your case. If you decide to file for benefits, we can assist with your application. If your application has been denied, we have a strong record of success in SSDI appeals.

Sleep Disorders
Do you suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea or another sleep disorder that impacts your ability to get rest at night? Are you unable to work because your condition is so severe that it impacts your ability to perform necessary work tasks?
If so, you may be eligible to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. To be eligible for benefits, you must have a physical or mental disability that will significantly impair your ability to work for at least 12 months. To speak with a New York Social Security Disability lawyer about an SSDI application or appeal, contact the Robert A. Koenigsberg Law Offices.