When a loved one dies with a disability, the family may be able to receive death benefits. However, there are various eligibility requirements that must be met.
An uncommon issue that arises is making a claim for death benefits following a loved one’s suicide.
Let our Joplin disability lawyer explain the issues that may arise.
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Suicide Alone is Not Considered a Disabling Condition
The first thing our Joplin disability lawyer wants you to understand is that Social Security does not recognize the risk of “suicide” alone to be a disabling condition. Along those same lines, Social Security will not award disability benefits to the family of someone who commits suicide simply based on that fact. On the other hand, if suicidal risk is coupled with signs and symptoms of another eligible condition, then disability benefits may be available. One example of this is depressive disorder which includes the symptom “thoughts of death or suicide.”
Consideration of “Suicidal Tendencies” in Benefits Determination
There are other examples of situations where the Social Security Administration considers suicidal tendencies in making benefits determinations. For instance, expedited handling of Social Security disability benefits applications can be based on the existence of “suicidal tendencies,” which allows staff to designate those cases as “critical.” However, such a designation will not typically be based solely on the statements of the applicant.
There needs to be documentation to support this claim in the applicant’s medical records, such as finding or conclusions of the applicant’s treating physician. If your medical records support a finding that you are at risk for suicide, then you should consider filing a request for the case to be designated as critical. Let our Joplin disability lawyer help you determine what steps to take.
Joplin Disability Lawyer Can Help You File Your Disability Claim
Applying for Social Security benefits can be a difficult, and somewhat intimidating, process. It usually requires strict adherence to complex rules regarding both eligibility and the application itself. Completing the required forms accurately can be overwhelming, or maybe even confusing. But completing them properly can improve your chances of being approved the first time. The Social Security Administration will make an initial determination based solely on the information you provide in your application. If you cannot prove that you are disabled, you will not be successful. Let our Joplin disability lawyer help you with your claim.
What You Basically Need to Prove
You are considered disabled “if you cannot do work that you did before and we decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s).” The Social Security Administration expects that your disability will last for at least one year or result in death. However, the Social Security Administration does not actually make the decision. If you have specific questions about your disability and how to prove it, contact a skilled social security disability attorney.
Monitor the status of your application
Once you have submitted your application for Social Security disability, there is still more to do. It is important that you continue to check the status of your claim regularly. There is always a chance that your paperwork could be misplaced, slip through the cracks so to speak, or the agency may neglect to inform you that your claim has been denied. Without knowing the status of your claim, you could be waiting around for nothing, only to find out later, some action was needed, or your claim had already been denied.
Do Not Miss Your Disability Appeal Deadline
If you are one of the many applicants who are initially denied, and you plan to file an appeal, make sure you do not miss your deadline. Missing the deadline is always a basis for denying an application or a reconsideration of your application. The deadline for requesting a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) is 60 days from the date your disability claim was last denied. If you have questions about filing an appeal of your Social Security disability determination, please contact our Joplin disability lawyer for advice.
If you have questions regarding Social Security disability claims or any other Social Security matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (800) 364-8305.