Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler May 14, 2016

When seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, a key element is whether you are disabled or impaired. That’s because the SSA has complex rules in determining eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI.

Your doctor may say you’re disabled, but the SSA may say you’re impaired, and thus not qualified for SSDI. Why do such distinctions apply?

Impaired May Not Mean Disabled

A person can be significantly impaired and yet have no disability in the view of the SSA. On the other hand, someone might be considered disabled and yet suffer only a small level of impairment. The distinction lies in the context — that is, what kind of work the person is accustomed to doing.

For example, if a person’s job involves working on a dock at a port, and that person suffers paralysis which necessitates using a wheelchair, the individual likely would be deemed disabled by the SSA. Yet if a different person worked at a desk as an accountant and suffered the same paralysis also requiring a wheelchair, that person likely would not be deemed disabled by the SSA.

The latter person, after all, would still be able to perform the job to which he or she was accustomed while sitting at a desk, despite having the same injury which would make the dock worker, by contrast, disabled.

Thus, while each injury is considered an impairment, the impairment may or may not be deemed a disability by the SSA. It depends on the situation.

In short, to receive disability benefits, your physical or mental impairment must make you disabled in terms of your work, and thus unable to perform work to which you’re accustomed.

But qualifying involves more than ability or inability to do the same job. If you can adapt and be trained for a different job, the SSA may not consider your impairment to be a disability. After all, then you still could work. Younger persons are more likely to be evaluated on this basis.

Besides that, the SSA assesses the time period for which you are unable to work. In the SSA’s view, to be eligible for SSDI, you must not be able to work in a job to which you are accustomed for at least 12 months.

Nature of Impairments is Crucial

A vital factor also is the nature of your impairment and the disability that you claim to have. Not all impairments qualify as the basis for disability payments. The specific nature of the impairment is crucial.

Some injuries or impairments which are more likely to qualify for disability include:

  • A stroke leading to paralysis or significant weakness on one side of your body.
  • Heart failure, a history of heart attacks or other heart conditions or cardiovascular conditions, including congestive heart failure.
  • Seizures, such as epilepsy or Grand Mal seizures, when documented as occurring six times within one year. A Petite Mal seizure once per week also may qualify,
  • Tremors, multiple sclerosis or other neurological ailments.
  • Blindness.
  • Deafness to the point of needing a phone service for the hearing impaired.
  • Needing dialysis treatments for diabetes several times per week.
  • Needing regular cancer treatments.
  • Mental conditions requiring hospitalizations, including dementia.
  • A suicide attempt in the previous two years.

Qualifying Can be a Battle

Even with one of these physical or mental conditions, qualifying for disability payments can be a battle. The SSA is a huge bureaucracy which handles thousands of claims for SSDI benefits daily and as many as two-thirds of initial disability claims are rejected.

You may need help from an experienced and knowledgeable disability lawyer to steer your claim to a successful approval. That can involve helping you file your claim, or making an appeal for you if your claim is denied. A majority of appeals can prevail.

Jim Adler & Associates has such skilled SSDI attorneys for you. Contact our law firm today for a free review of your case. Then you can decide how you want to proceed.

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I went to the office and everyone was so considerate and professional , so my first impression was good, I felt like I was in good hands. Then I received a call from Vanessa Garcia, she was on top of EVERYTHING! I never had to call her, she always called me. She even called to see how I was doing , and if I needed help with anything. That is why I have absolutely no worries.read more
13:42 01 Jun 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!read more
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.read more
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.read more
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
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Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
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