The Social Security Disability system in the United States is very complicated. Whether you are a recently disabled father trying to provide for your family, a single mother who can no longer work because of an illness, or the parent of a child who needs extra help because of a challenging condition, obtaining benefits is not easy. The “system” involves a complex set of rules and requirements that make it very hard for the average person to successfully receive payments.

There is hope, however, and we appreciate you looking for help here. Our law firm provides unique benefits to clients just like you, which include:

  • A singular focus on representing the injured and disabled.
  • Having all important work performed by an experienced disability attorney.
  • A guarantee that you pay no fees unless you obtain social security disability benefits.
  • A proven track record of success in both routine and difficult cases.

Regardless of whether you are considering filing for benefits for the first time, or have been denied numerous times in the past, please call our office at (404) 255-9838. We will discuss your options free of charge, and help you make an informed decision about what to do next. We look forward to talking with you.

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Persons with psoriasis are often inadequately prepared for the kind of impact that the skin condition can have on their health. According to a new study conducted by Psoriasis in America 2016, patients often feel helpless because there is no complete cure for psoriasis, and patients do not believe that the existing treatments are beneficial.

In the study, more than 500 respondents who suffered from psoriasis admitted that although they had access to a wide variety of treatment options to treat their condition, they were unable to find treatments that worked specifically for their condition. Symptoms of psoriasis are inconsistent. The condition can change over time, and symptoms can flare or become less severe. Treatments, as a result, simply become less effective over a period of time.

Most of the respondents in the study were using treatments that included corticosteroids, topical treatments, and phototherapy or light therapy. Only about a quarter of the participants were using newer medicines for the treatment of psoriasis. An overwhelming majority of the patients admitted that they often felt embarrassed or humiliated by the condition, and admitted that they wished others would understand how difficult it is to live with this condition.

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You might believe that your disability is severe, and meets the Social Security Administration’s criteria for claims approval. However, many Social Security disability claims are denied every year because of one of the following factors.

Earnings

In 2016, the Substantial Gainful Activity limit is $1,130 per month. That means that if you earn an income that is above this limit, you may not qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Several income sources may be included in this calculation. To understand whether your earnings are within this limit, speak to a Social Security disability benefits lawyer.

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Social Security disability benefits payments are not permanent. Your payments will be reviewed periodically by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which could decide to stop benefits.

Disability benefits typically cease when one of the following two criteria are met.

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A person may be eligible for more than one federal benefit program.  Under the Social Security disability program however, your benefits may be impacted if you receive other types of government payments.

For instance, if you are currently eligible for and receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you may find a reduction in Social Security disability benefits that are provided to you. A person may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits if he or she has suffered an on-the-job injury.  Workers’ compensation is paid out by federal or state agencies, insurance companies and employers. If you receive these types of benefits, there may be a reduction in the Social Security disability benefits that you receive.

In addition, if you are also eligible for and receiving other types of benefit payments, like civil service disability benefits, state government retirement benefits, local retirement benefits, or temporary state disability benefits, you may find that these sources of income also impact your Social Security disability benefits. Private disability payment payouts, such as those from a private pension, may not have any impact on your disability benefits.

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Several studies have earlier pointed to a possible association between high frequency cell phone use and an enhanced risk of developing cancer. A new study has taken a look at the issue and indicates that there is a connection.

The study was conducted over a two and half year period by the National Toxicology Program, and seems to strongly link frequent cell phone use with certain types of cancer. According the study, male rats that were exposed to radiation were more likely to develop brain cancer as compared to rats that were not exposed to the radiation. They also had a much higher risk of developing a rare tumor of the heart.

The concerning part is that the level of radiation exposure that the rats were given as part of the study is very similar to the level of exposure associated with cell phone use.  While other studies have also pointed to an association between cell phone use and cancer in the past, this study has been taken particularly seriously because the National Toxicology Program has a stellar reputation for accuracy, especially with respect to animal bioassays.  It should be noted that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration says there is “no evidence linking cell phone use with the risk of brain tumors” on its website.

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At a typical disability hearing, you can expect plenty of questions about your medical condition, the treatment you are undergoing and other medical and health-related aspects of your case. It’s very important to be absolutely certain about the kind of limitations your condition places on you. Being vague, or sounding uncertain at a disability hearing, could prove disastrous for your case.

For instance, if you are seeking disability benefits for a condition that involves a lot of pain, you will be expected to describe the intensity of your pain. Being vague, hesitating, or exaggerating your symptoms will not help. The judge may also ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, and you should be able to do so without any hesitation.

You must also be prepared to provide very detailed and specific answers to questions about the nature of your symptoms, and the physical and mental limitations that they impose on you. If your job requires you to carry heavy loads, and you’re unable to do that because of your condition, be prepared to explain this to the judge at the disability hearing.

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Simply stated, you should file a claim for disability benefits as quickly as possible.

It is important to keep in mind that the actual process of approving your claim may take many months because of either backlog at the Social Security Administration or other factors beyond your control.    Also remember that if your claim is denied – and many claims are denied every year- you may have to go through an equally lengthy appeals process before you get your claim approved.  If your initial appeal is denied, you may want to file another appeal.  Overall, this process may take up to two years.  During this time, your medical condition could worsen, causing you additional financial distress.  For that reason and for many others, it is important to get started on filing a claim as quickly as possible.

Sometimes, Social Security disability attorneys work with clients who have waited a very long before filing a claim for benefits.  In many cases, people do so because they believe that their condition will get better and that they will eventually be able to return to work and earn the same income as before.  It’s natural to feel that way, and optimism is good.  However, if things don’t work out as planned it is better to have the financial resources necessary for your living expenses.

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According to a new study, one of the side effects of medications commonly prescribed for patients with Parkinson’s disease is a problem with impulse control.

Impulse control disorders are characterized by the individual’s inability to resist impulses or temptations to engage in acts that have the potential to cause harm to him or others. Pathological gambling is an example.  Hypersexuality or sexual addiction is another. In other cases, people may shop excessively or binge eat.

The study, which appeared in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, found that 14 percent of persons who suffer from Parkinson’s disease experience at least one such side effect. Parkinson’s disease drugs that are specifically linked to such impulse control disorders are pramipexole and ropinirole. These are drugs that are often used to control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease like uncontrollable tremors.

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Persons who suffer from renal failure, kidney failure or kidney disease, may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits under the impairment listing provided by the Social Security Administration.  This impairment listing specifies conditions that define if a person is eligible for benefits. The Social Security listing for genitourinary impairments also includes kidney disease.

If you suffer from kidney disease or renal failure, SSA will consider a number of factors to determine whether your symptoms are severe enough for you to be eligible for benefits.  If your renal failure has resulted in the need for dialysis on an ongoing and regular basis, or if you suffer from complications like nephrotic syndrome, you may be eligible for benefits.  Persons who have undergone a kidney transplant could also be eligible for benefits.

Apart from these, persons who suffer from chronic kidney disease, and other complications of kidney disease such as extreme hypertension, heart failure, stroke, or other complications, may also be eligible.

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If the examiner handling your disability claim wants you to undergo a consultative medical exam, it may be in your best interest to do so.  Keep in mind, however, that being asked to undergo a consultative medical exam doesn’t necessarily mean that your examiner does not believe you have a genuine claim for benefits.  It may simply mean that they want more information about your condition.

Typically, a consultative medical exam is very brief, and is performed by a doctor who is paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct your exam. These doctors do not work for SSA, but are contracted by the agency to perform these services. You might find that the doctor in charge of your consultative medical exam is very brief, and even possibly curt with you. It’s not uncommon for patients to be bewildered at the rudeness that they encounter from the physician performing their consultative medical exam. Don’t take it personally. The fact is that you are not an ongoing patient of the doctor and therefore, he or she may not feel the need to be particularly cordial or expansive in their explanations.

Also, remember that the doctor will be looking for signs that your condition is not as medically impairing as you’ve claimed it to be.  If you walk into the doctor’s office with a limp, don’t be surprised to find him peeking from behind curtains to make sure that you’re not walking back to the car with a spring in your step.