Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Mobile Social Security Disability Law Blog

SSI: What are Continuing Disability Reviews?

Many people in Mobile, Alabama and the rest of the country would be recipients of Supplemental Security Income. Those who have been receiving these benefits for several years would know that the Social Security Administration conducts certain disability reviews periodically in order to assess the continuity of the disability for which the individual is receiving SSI. This blog post is meant to provide the newer recipients of SSI an overview of what exactly the Continuing Disability Reviews are.

According to the SSA's rules, a medical CDR is conducted once in every three years. There are, however, some exceptions to this pattern. If the SSA determines that a disabling condition will continue for less than three years, the review is conducted after two years. Again, if the SSA determines that a disabling condition is long-term or life-long, the review is conducted after every seven years.

Employment Questionnaire for Recipients of Individual Unemployability

In 2019, the Veterans Administration started a new process for determining continuing eligibility for total disability based on individual unemployability ("IU").  Under the old system, VA would send you a VA Form 21-4140, Employment Questionnaire, yearly.  If a response was not received within 30 days, VA would propose to discontinue IU. 

Qualifying for disability for chronic migraines

It's not a headache. Those who describe it that way or tell you to just take some aspirin may not understand. It's a migraine, and it can affect every area of your life. Your migraines may affect your vision, make you nauseous, make it impossible for you to be in a room with light or sound, and cause you paralyzing pain. The pain may last hours or days, and in the aftermath, you may feel weak and sick.

If this describes you, you already know what it is like to try to maintain a daily routine, let alone carry out your duties at work. In fact, if you suffer from migraines more than once a week, you may find that holding down a job is next to impossible. You may be considering applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Is Your VA Rating for Hypertension Based on Successful Control with Hypertension Medication?

Hypertension is described as high arterial blood pressure.  It is present if the diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is 90 or more and systolic pressure (top number) is 140 or more, or if both are present.  It has to be confirmed by readings taken two of more times on at least three different days. 

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act signed into law

During the Vietnam War, many American navy men were exposed to a chemical herbicide called Agent Orange. The ill-effects of this defoliating agent led many veterans to suffer from some very serious illnesses. While the VA did accommodate some of those affected veterans for expedited benefits, there remained a large number of navy men who were not included owing to the fact that they served off the coast of Vietnam without actually setting foot on shore. A recent development is about to change that.

President Donald Trump on June 26, 2019 signed into law the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which would expedite the payment of benefits to those very same veterans affected by Agent Orange who were earlier ignored. Those included are veterans who served within 12 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam and Cambodia between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. In addition, veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971 and children of veterans who served in Thailand between January 1962 and May 1975 are also under the purview of this act.

Can those suffering from bipolar disorder claim SSD benefits?

Mental illnesses are probably the most difficult of all medical conditions that a patient may suffer from. Those illnesses can greatly hamper even the most basic day-to-day activities. An example of one such mental illness is bipolar disorder. As many people in Alabama may know, bipolar disorder is an illness of the brain that severely affects the mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to perform daily chores.

The Social Security Administration understands the gravity of bipolar disorder and has included it in the list of disabilities that are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. In order to obtain benefits for bipolar disorder, the applicant must meet the eligibility criteria mentioned in the SSA's Blue Book. The eligibility criteria include displaying medically proven and acknowledged disabilities and also the inability to work that eventually leads to financial duress, which is the same for obtaining benefits for any disability.

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act - June 2019 UPDATE

On June 12, 2019, Congress passed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019.  The bill now goes to the President to be signed into law.  The bill comes in large response to a major victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit earlier this year.  This bill would extend presumptive benefits to "Blue Water" veterans who served on Navy ships off the coast of Vietnam.  The bill also covers veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone between September 1, 1967 and August 31, 1971, as well as children born to veterans who served in Thailand between January 1962 and May 1975 who have spina bifida. 

Answers to some common questions about VA compensation

Many people living in Mobile, Alabama and its surrounding areas today served in a branch of the United States military at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, several of them sustained a disabling injury during the course of their service. Those veterans would be aware of the disability benefits that are offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and also the basis on which those benefits are offered.

For the knowledge of the uninitiated, the VA determines the compensation rate for a disabled veteran based on a disability rating that is derived by assessing the severity of the disabling condition. The various factors that can affect the disability rating include the supporting medical evidence; the results of the compensation and pension, or C&P, exam; and information gathered by the VA from other sources.


1)      If I become disabled when should I file for Social Security Disability benefits?

Asbestos Exposure, Mesothelioma, and the Effect on Veterans

Veterans who served in any branch of the US military between the 1930s and 1990s are at risk of having been exposed to asbestos during their period of service and could be entitled to disability benefits from VA. Veterans who were exposed to asbestos in-service and have since developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, pulmonary fibrosis, or other respiratory illnesses may apply for disability benefits from VA for these conditions. Most Americans have heard of asbestos or mesothelioma, but many of us do not know what the conditions are or who is affected by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral with valuable traits such as fire resistance, fire proofing capabilities, and insulating qualities. These qualities made asbestos perfect for use in the construction of ships, tanks, trucks, aircraft, and even barracks and other military structures in use from the 1930s until the 1990s. All branches of the US military used asbestos widely from 1935-1975 and continued use of structures, vehicles, and vessels with asbestos into the 1990s. When asbestos breaks apart, they release fibers into the air that, when inhaled, can cause mesothelioma and other respiratory problems.

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