As you are going through the process of applying for disability, you will be required to submit a lot of documentation that speaks to your overall physical state. Since most disability cases are based on physical injuries or other conditions, the SSA is going to want to have a fairly complete and accurate idea of what you are and are not capable of. In fact, without this information, your claim will most likely be denied right away. Because of this, it’s important to submit all of the information you can. However, in many cases, you will still be required to submit to a physical exam if you want to win your social security disability claim.

Physical Exams for Social Security Disability

Why Do I Need to Have a Physical Exam?
The SSA actually requires physical examination more often than not, so if you are told to get one, it’s important not to worry — it doesn’t mean they don’t believe you. Often, the physical documentation is simply inadequate to determine the extent of your injury or disability. Even if your documentation is thorough, it’s not unusual for the SSA to ask for an exam. So, if this happens, the important thing it to go ahead and do it.

What Happens in a Physical Exam?
A physical exam for social security disability really isn’t that different from other physical exams. The doctor will check all the usual — blood pressure, heart rate, weight, etc. However, the examiner will also take the time to look at the affected part of the body, if possible. So, if your claim rests on the fact that your back is injured, for example, you can expect the physician to spend some time looking at your back and assessing it. In some instances, depending on the case, other tests such as X-rays or blood work might take place. But, for the most part, it’s a non-invasive exam designed to assess your overall physical condition.

What Happens After?
After the physical exam, the doctor will record his or her findings, including results from tests and other diagnostic tools, and send them to the SSA. In addition, the doctor will include a personal assessment of your physical abilities — especially as to how they relate to your disability claim — and a prognosis of what you can expect in the future.

If you are filing a disability claim, have been asked to undergo a physical exam for social security disability, or you simply have questions about winning a disability claim, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Mental Conditions and Disability Benefits

by Clauson on July 19, 2017

Applying for disability benefits can be a daunting process. It’s important to have everything in order to make sure that you qualify. You need to make sure to have your medical documentation in order as well as other personal information. If you have a mental illness, you may wonder, how much does mental health disability pay?

Mental Conditions and Disability Benefits

This question is not a simple one. There are different factors that go into determining how much money you will receive from disability benefits. You also need to consider when your benefits will begin after you’re approved. Your first payment will be for the sixth full month after the date that it is found that your disability began.

How much does mental health disability pay?

• It is not based on your disability specifically.
Whether you have a physical or mental health disability, the specific condition does not determine how much your disability payments are. Once you’re approved, other factors go into determining your exact payment amounts.

• It is based on another factor.
The amount of your monthly payment is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security. How much you paid into it will affect how much your monthly payments will be. You can estimate this by looking up your Social Security Statement here or using the benefit calculator here.

• Monthly payments may be affected by other factors.
These factors include other payments you receive, Medicare coverage and taxes. These things have the potential to reduce your payments.

• The average payments can be estimated.
The average monthly payment for 2017 is $1,171, but most people receive between $700 and $1,700 per month.

• You may be eligible for backpay.
You may be able to receive backpay as well. If you applied for disability benefits in the past, you may be able to receive backpay going back to your original application date.

You can estimate how much you’ll receive in monthly benefits, but you must win your case first. It’s important to know how much mental health disability pays, but this is something to worry about after you’ve already won your case. If you have any questions in regards to the application or appeal process, contact us. We can help you make sure everything is in order to move forward with your case.


Being physically injured or disabled in a situation that no one wants to go through. It’s a long, painful journey. However, when you are physically injured, at least it’s a condition that people can see and acknowledge. The same, unfortunately, can not always be said for those with mental illnesses or disabilities. For this reason, trying to Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be much more difficult. Because mental illnesses can often come and go at whim, and because many out there don’t always consider mental illness to be a “real” condition — instead, thinking that whoever is suffering just needs to “get over” it — it can be much harder to prove the existence of a mental condition that would require disability.

Mental Exam for Social Security Disability

Thankfully, the SSA recognizes this problem, and has put procedures in place to identify and help those suffering from a mental condition. To do this, though, it is necessary for an applicant to undergo a mental exam. But, what form does that take? Well, depending on the condition, there are different types of social security mental exam questions one might have to face.

How Does the Mental Exam Work?
The good news is that the SSA takes the mental exam very seriously. Unlike the physical exam the SSA conducts, which is rather sparse, the mental exam is very thorough. Depending on what type of mental condition you are claiming, you will be required to take one of three different types of exams.

1. Decline or Lack of Proper Mental Function
The first type of mental exam is for applicants who might have experienced a loss of mental functioning due to stroke, illness or accident, or those applicants who have a condition — such as a learning disability or dyslexia — that results in loss of function. In either case, the applicant is usually sent to a psychologist who will test the patient’s mental capacity through intelligence tests and other means.

2. Personality or Mood Disorders
If you suffer from disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, you will be sent to a psychiatrist for a complete psychological evaluation. This will be used to determine your overall mental health and capacity, as well as your ability to function without being a danger to yourself or others.

3. Situational Problems or Disorders
For those with situational problems such as depression or anxiety, you will also be sent for a mental status examination.

In all cases, the questions used on these mental exams will help to determine whether you are qualified for SSDI or SSI benefits based on your mental health. If this sounds like a confusing or daunting prospect, or you feel you need more help to prepare for such an ordeal, we would love to help you as you go through this. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!


Filing a Request for Reconsideration

by Clauson on July 12, 2017

If you have recently applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, then you should know that many people — up to 70% of applicants — are initially denied benefits, for a variety of reasons. If this happens to you, or if you’ve already received that denial notice, then you might be wondering what to do next. The good news is that the SSA has set in place a number of steps you can take to have your case reexamined. While many deserving applicants are turned down at first, going through the appeals process can often have this initial decision overturned, provided you can make a strong enough case. And you first chance to do this happens when you file a request for reconsideration.

Filing a Request for Reconsideration

What is filing for reconsideration?
Filing for reconsideration is just that — after being turned down for benefits, the SSA gives you a window of 60 days to decide whether or not to appeal. The 60 day time-frame begins five days after your denial letter is dated. Should you decide to appeal, you will submit several documents that basically ask the SSA to look at your case again. In addition, you are given the opportunity to submit for evidence that can help to make your case stronger.

What forms need to be filed at this time?
When filing a request for reconsideration, you will file three separate forms — the reconsideration disability report (which is where you submit new information for your case), an authorization to disclose information (in essence, a medical release form so your documents may be reviewed) and the reconsideration request itself.

What else should be submitted?
Since your initial application was denied, it means that the evidence you provided didn’t make your case strong enough. Because of this, reviewing your medical records is key. Go through them again to see what gaps there may be in your information. If it turns out that something new should be added to the record, this gets submitted along with the reconsideration disability report.

What else should you do to make your case stronger?
Well, if you haven’t yet, you should strongly consider legal representation at this point. While it’s true that you can go through the SSDI process on your own, a strong and experienced legal team on your side can help identify the problems with your application, and will work with you to make it stronger.

If you are thinking about filing a request for reconsideration, please consider contacting us to help you as you go through this process. We look forward to hearing from you.


Going Through a Continuing Disability Review

July 11, 2017

Once you’ve been awarded Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, it’s important to know that your dealings with the Social Security Administration are not over for good. From time to time, you will be expected to undergo a Continuing Disability Review […]

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Ease Your Anxiety after a Car Accident

June 29, 2017

After a car accident, it is normal to be anxious. If you are injured, it only makes the situation that much worse. Car accidents cause injuries that affect your ability to work. In this case, you should apply for Social […]

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Social Security Disability After a Car Accident

June 23, 2017

Car accidents are alarming and frightening situations. You go through an unexpected trauma, and then you are left with its after effects. You will be happy to know that you may be able to collect social security benefits after a […]

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Characteristics to Look for in a Disability Lawyer in North Carolina

June 13, 2017

When the time is right for you to contact a disability lawyer, there is no doubt that you want to find the best one possible. But, there are so many options out there, that it can be difficult to figure […]

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Rules for Working and Receiving SSDI Benefits

June 2, 2017

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments are meant to be a replacement for the money you can no longer earn due to a severe illness or injury that makes it impossible for you to continue working at your job. Many […]

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Income Limits for SSI in North Carolina

May 26, 2017

If you can no longer work because you are seriously ill or have sustained a debilitating injury, you may be eligible for Social Security Income (SSI) benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). In North Carolina, as with the other […]

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