Articles Posted in Applying for benefits

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Stroke treatments in the future could be significantly better than they are now, thanks to research that has found a new way to safely remove clots in patients.

Doctors currently treat stroke by using an infusion which removes the blood clots by dissolving them. However, patients who are given this treatment stand a risk of swelling in the brain and excessive bleeding.  In addition, patients must receive the infusion within three hours of suffering the stroke for the treatment to be effective.

However, researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston are using a drug combination that will potentially improve outcomes for stroke patients. The researchers conducted tests on mice, and found that when the mice were given the new treatment, there was a drop in bleeding levels, lowered swelling in the brain, and limited brain damage, compared to animals that were not given the treatment.

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You don’t have to be a US citizen to be eligible for and receive Social Security disability benefits. Even non-US citizens may qualify for benefits.

If you are a permanent resident, but a non-citizen, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, because you have paid taxes into the Social Security system for the minimum number of years required to be eligible for benefits. Furthermore, if you are a non-citizen, but have served as an active member of the US military or are a veteran, you may also qualify for benefits.

Even if you are not a permanent resident, you may still continue to be eligible for benefits. Foreigners who are working inside the United States may qualify as long as they pay Social Security taxes. If you are a foreign student studying in the United States, however, you may not be eligible for benefits. Additionally, if you are in the United States on an exchange program, you may not be eligible for benefits because you are exempted from paying taxes into the Social Security system.

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The Social Security hearing is one of the most critical stages in the processing of a claim for beneifts.  In many cases, the disability hearing is conducted in person. In some cases however, individuals may choose a video hearing.

A video disability hearing differs from an in-person one in that these hearings are conducted via video conference. That means that you will not be in the same room with the Administrative Law Judge who has been assigned to your case.

That doesn’t, however, mean that you can take a video disability hearing lightly. Just because you are not present in the same room as the judge does not mean that the judge will not have access to the evidence that you present, and your audio or visual testimony. The videoconferencing technology is designed to allow the ALJ to evaluate you during the hearing, including your behavior, your physical mannerisms, and other aspects that he or she may deem important to your case. It’s important to have your attorney present with you, regardless of whether you are attending an in-person hearing, or a video hearing.

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes it possible for persons with hearing loss to qualify for benefits. However, the level of hearing loss must be severe or profound. Mild or moderate hearing loss typically does not qualify for benefits.

If your hearing loss has not resulted in you getting a cochlear implant, you must undergo either an audiometry test or a word recognition test to determine if you qualify for benefits. The autometry test must prove that your hearing threshold is worse than or equal to 90 decibels (dB). In the word recognition test, your score must be a maximum of 40% in the better ear. These tests must be conducted without the use of hearing aids.

If, however, you have cochlear implants in either one or both ears, you will automatically qualify for disability benefits. These benefits will last for up to one year after the initial determination.  If your word recognition score continues to remain below or at 60%, your benefits will be extended beyond that period of time.

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Medicare is a federally funded program that provides medical care to senior citizens 65+ years old. Medicare is also available to disability beneficiaries who receive Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) through Social Security.  Senior citizens are always guaranteed to be covered, but Medicare isn’t entirely free–patients are often required to pay part of their medical costs. Since Medicare is run by the federal government, coverage is basically the same universally throughout the United States.

Medicaid provides financial assistance to low income individuals of any age, as demonstrated need presents itself. Your income must be below a certain amount in order to receive Medicaid. Patients are sometimes required to pay nothing, but there is sometimes a co-pay. Medicaid is run jointly by both the states and the federal government so rules and regulations vary depending on your state of residence.

It is possible to be on both Medicare and Medicaid, depending on eligibility for both programs.

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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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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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The Social Security disability hearing is the most important stage in your benefits claim process.

It’s important to be prepared for your disability hearing, so that you can give appropriate answers to the questions asked. You can expect the administrative law judge (ALJ) in charge of your hearing to ask you several questions about your medical condition.

You will be asked about your health and the medical condition from which you suffer. Expect plenty of questions about the kind of symptoms that you have, and the frequency and intensity of those symptoms.  In most cases, you will be asked very specific questions about the physical and mental limitations you suffer as a result of your condition.