June is men’s health month.
As such, our Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyers wanted to take the time to offer some insight into the top health concerns for men, some of which can be considered disabling conditions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are far more likely to die of old age than men, who usually succumb to some other conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, injury or stroke.
Men should consider that they are not the only ones affected by this, according to the Men’s Health Network. Because many women enter retirement as widows, many are also living in or hovering just above poverty. In Massachusetts, the ratio of men-to-women at retirement age was 84-to-100, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
This should motivate men to do two things:
- Take better care of our health;
- Secure Social Security disability insurance benefits, which allows for survivor benefits of up to 75 percent in the event you pass away.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has kicked off its Men’s Health Month awareness campaign with the slogan: Man Up. Take Control of Your Health.
The top causes of death and disability for men are heart disease, cancer and unintentional injuries. For the first two, the sooner your doctor can diagnose you the better your outcome. So frequent upkeep of check-ups and preventative screenings are important.
Prevention of unintentional injuries involves meticulously practicing workplace safety guidelines, driving carefully and indulging only moderately in alcohol or other substances.
However, once you have been afflicted with one of these conditions, rendering you unable to work, it may be time to apply for federal disability benefits.
Let’s explore each of these top situations individually.
First, there is heart disease. This is a broad, umbrella diagnosis that encompasses a number of different conditions, including coronary heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure and congenital heart disease. A diagnosis of any of these may not necessarily be enough to qualify you for benefits (unless your congenital heart disease is deemed terminal, though mostly, this would affect infants and young children).
Section 4.02 of the Social Security Administration’s Impairment Listing addresses chronic heart failure, offering very specific signs and symptoms that would qualify you for disability. Basically, the administration will want to know if your condition has seriously limited your ability to independently initiate, sustain or complete activities of daily living.
Under Section 4.09, anyone who requires a heart transplant will be automatically considered as having a disability for at least one year after surgery, with your condition evaluated after that 12-month mark.
Next, we look at cancer. This is a broad term, and SSDI administrators are going to want information on the specific type of cancer, how it has affected your daily life, your treatment and your prognosis. Some types of terminal cancers, such as mesothelioma, will qualify you for a Compassionate Allowance that will fast-track your claim. In other cases, it’s going to depend on whether you can prove that the cancer, the treatments and the combination of other conditions has affected your ability to work for at least a year or more.
And finally, we end with injuries. Like cancer, this encompasses a broad scope of possible conditions. The key is whether your ability to work has been impaired for at least a year or more. So if your leg is broken in a car accident, you probably wouldn’t qualify because your recovery time will most likely be under a year. However, if you suffered significant and permanent injury to your back during a work accident, there’s a strong chance you might qualify for benefits.
If you have questions about whether your condition qualifies you for federal disability benefits, contact us today.
If you are considering filing for SSDI in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
MAN UP. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH, May 2013, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
More Blog Entries:
Boston SSDI Lawyers Advise Securing Private Disability Insurance Too, May 11, 2013, Boston Social Security Disability Lawyer Blog