In applying for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, attorneys and claimants generally focus on physical disabilities. These physical disabilities can include heart problems, back disorders, or respiratory problems.
Many times, possible mental disabilities are not considered. There can be many reasons that this failure to consider occurs. Claimants may not bring the mental symptoms up in applying or to the attorney’s attention. Claimants may be embarrassed or fail to acknowledge that they have a mental condition.
It is important to remember that mental disabilities can qualify a Claimant for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits just as physical disabilities can. Therefore, mental disabilities should not be ignored.
It is not unusual for persons with major physical disabilities to develop severe depression or anxiety. The Social Security Administration does not consider what caused the mental disability. The fact that the mental disability may have been caused by a physical disability does not matter.
If you are experiencing unusual symptoms such as anxiety, depression, sleeping problems, changes in eating, lack of energy, or isolation, you need to bring these symptoms to the attention of your attorney or Social Security worker.
It is now easier to establish a self-settled Special Needs Trust for your clients. Effective date as of December 31, 2016, Section 1917 (d)(4) (A) was revised to allow an individual with a disability as defined by the Social Security Act to establish his or her own Special Needs Trust.
Now, it is no longer necessary to have a court establish the Special Needs Trust. The new Federal Law, “21st Century Cures Act” may reduce the time, money and effort in having to establish a Special Needs Trust.
We have attached a copy of the applicable section of the Act. If you have clients with a disability receiving means-tested government benefits and receiving a settlement, the client themselves can establish their own Special Needs Trust and protect their government benefits.
If you have any other questions or need a Special Needs Trust established contact either Pete Losavio or Kent DeJean at (225)769-4200.