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Disability Benefits Law Center
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Bipolar disorder might prevent you from working

Anyone who suffers from or has been diagnosed with depression, manic depression or bipolar disorder knows that the symptoms can be disabling, and may even prevent you from working. Yet many are unaware that this disease may qualify them for Social Security disability benefits. Others may even suffer from undiagnosed symptoms.
Such was the recent discovery of Hollywood actress Kim Novak, whose recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder has caused some to re-examine her departure from the spotlight in 1966. At the time, she cited only stress and depression. Novak, who starred in blockbuster films in the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, is famous for roles opposite leading men such as Jimmy Stewart and Frank Sinatra.
With developments in science and a better understanding of cognitive abilities and functions, doctors are better able to identify and diagnose severe mental conditions like bipolar disorder. According to one estimate, between 5 and 10 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder thought to be caused by changes in the chemistry of the brain. The symptoms and severity of the condition can vary. People suffering from this disability often have mood swings that can be extreme and frequent, ranging from highs of extreme mania to lows of severe depression. For some, extreme mania can lead to aggressive behavior and potentially dangerous risk-taking behaviors. For others, depressive thoughts can be life-threatening, as a portion of suicides in the United States each year are bipolar individuals.
There are many different types of qualifying Social Security disability disorders, and many are not physical. If you are unable to work because of bipolar disorder, an attorney can help you prepare a claim for disability benefits that will ensure you receive the resources you need to manage your symptoms.
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Talk to an attorney before filing your disability claim - Part 1

Those looking to change jobs may have heard the advice of not quitting their current job until they've procured a new position. Planning ahead also applies for those who are working but thinking of applying for disability benefits.  Our disability law firm advises disability applicants to consult with an attorney before they stop working, to the extent possible. 
Of course, there are situations where a disabling physical or mental condition may strike without warning and make it impossible to continue working. A motor vehicle accident resulting in permanent disabilities might be such an example. 
In other cases, the severity or cumulative effect of various impairments may be slow in the coming, allowing a worker to think about applying for disability benefits before they stop working. In this situation, consulting with an attorney before you stop working is essential and will result in the strongest initial application possible. In addition, the law allows a worker to continue working while applying for Social Security disability insurance benefits, provided his or her gross monthly income is less than $1,130.00 a month.
Our firm is dedicated to helping individuals qualify for benefits. To that end, we will work with disabiity applicants who have a meritorious claim at no cost, helping them to file an online application via the Social Security Administration's website. This approach is possible because our attorney's fees are regulated by Social Security and are paid only if benefits are awarded. After the application is filed online at SSA's website, the initial determination can take several months. In the meantime, we can help an applicant pursue other sources of disability assistance and request any reasonable workplace accommodations that may assist in his or her job performance.
Hopefully, an initial SSDI application will be approved. Yet even a denial is not the end of the road for a claim that has merit. Our attorneys can explain the various steps in the decision-making process and how to appeal an unfavorable decision for reconsideration or an administrative hearing. For advice about your disability application, call the Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorneys of the Disability Benefits Law Center for a free consultation at 1-866-886-0660.
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Common mistakes to avoid on a disability benefits claim - Part 1

Most of us would like to succeed after our first effort. Take the case an applicant for Social Security disability insurance benefits.  One can maximize their prospects for a favorable decision at the initial decision level or one can pursue his or her administrative appeals after an initial denial. Because of the lengthy waiting times for an appeal hearing (discussed in a recent post), every effort should be made to obtain a favorable decision on the first try.
In addition, each subsequent step in the administrative appeal process will require additional evidence and/or even more persuasive advocacy. Accordingly, our disability benefits law firm is committed to helping applicants submit the strongest claim possible with their first submission. 
In that regard, our website offers advice on mistakes to avoid when preparing an SSDI claim. First, individuals might be uncertain of whether they qualify under the SSA's definition of a disability: one or more medical conditions that prevent sustained work and that is expected to last for at least one year. However, that uncertainty should not translate into inactivity. Don't assume that you won't qualify for SSDI benefits; leave that determination up to us. Accordingly, we advise individuals to apply for SSDI benefits as soon as they anticipate their condition will put them out of work.
Submitting an early claim goes hand-in-hand with seeking advice early in the process. The SSA offers a great deal of information on its website and through its field offices. Speaking with an experienced disability attorney before the application is filed, however, will help claimants improve their prospects for success.  Because this is so important, our firm offers to review initial SSA disability applications before they are filed without cost or obligation.
Finally, keeping good medical records will expedite an early claim approval. Although the SSA claims examiner may hire an independent medical examiner or take steps to obtain evidence to assist in the disability determination, don't assume that is it the SSA's responsibility to obtain a claimant's treatment records. In this regard, as well, an attorney can help ensure that the SSA has been sent all relevant medical records and supporting medical opinion.
If you have questions about whether you might qualify for Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits, our law firm can offer specific advice in your case. Call the Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorneys of the Disability Benefits Law Center for a free consultation at 1-866-886-0660.
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Philadelphia Social Security Disability Benefit Attorneys