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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The week between June 12 and June 18 this year was marked as Scleroderma Awareness Week occurred between June 12 and  18.  Scleraderma is an autoimmune condition that is characterized by thickness and tightening of the skin. The skin may look leathery and become darker in colour.  The thickening of the skin may continue internally and may involve the internal organs such as the lungs and kidneys.  Problems with these internal organs may include tightness, scarring, pain and inflammation.

Scleroderma is a chronic disease.  Management of symptoms is typically the only treatment.  Over a period of time, more serious effects, including internal organ damage, cardiovascular problems and joint problems may occur.  All of these symptoms on their own or in combination with each other can make it difficult for a person to continue working at his/her regular job.

Make sure that you are aware of the symptoms of scleroderma, and get the symptoms checked out by your doctor as soon as they occur.  The most important thing to know is that  pain and stiffness are not necessarily the earliest symptoms.  When the condition progresses, the deterioration in skin health could lead to catastrophic adverse health events such as cardiovascular events and renal failure.  In some cases, people do not even realise that they suffer from scleroderma until the disease begins to affect the internal organs.

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June 5th commermorated National Cancer Survivors’ Day.  The occasion celebrated cancer survivors’ strength and determination.  The first Sunday of June is typically National Cancer Survivors’ Day, and is meant to be a celebration of those who have beaten cancer.

The National Cancer Survivors’ Day website defines a survivor as any individual who has been diagnosed with cancer, has undergone treatment for cancer, is living with cancer, had cancer as a child, or someone who is now free from cancer.

One of the major worries that cancer patients have after their diagnosis is the economic impact of the disease. According to some estimates, the total healthcare cost to Americans from cancer every year is as high as $80 billion.  However, it is not just medical costs that can cripple a person financially, but also the fact that in many cases, cancer patients are no longer able to work and earn a living.  The financial impact of being unable to work can be crushing for cancer patients as well as their families.

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Close to 14,500 students may have lost out on the Social Security disability and other benefits that they were eligible for due to internal agency errors. An investigation by the Social Security Administration finds that about 14,470 students were not paid the benefits that they were eligible for when they turned 18.

The Social Security Administration allows children to receive disability, retirement or other benefits if their parents are receiving SSDI benefits. They may continue to receive these benefits even after they have turned 18, provided they meet certain conditions.  The Social Security Office of the Inspector General recently conducted an independent audit which seems to indicate that thousands of students stopped receiving the benefits that they were receiving as soon as they turned 18.   Children of beneficiaries

The investigation found in a sample of 100 students that 87 of them stopped receiving their payments when they turned 18. The Office of the Inspector General investigation believes that as many as 14,470 students might have been underpaid their benefits and estimates that the total underpaid benefits could be as high as $59 million.

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Scoliosis is a spinal condition characterized by a curvature of the spine. The condition may become apparent in childhood, but symptoms may be exacerbated during adolescence or adulthood. An overwhelming majority of all scoliosis cases are diagnosed before the person becomes an adult. In some cases, however, the scoliosis may occur as a result of a trauma to the spine.

The curvature resulting from scoliosis could actually impact a person’s ability to perform physical activities.  In some cases, the curvature may be so severe that it can result in deformity and disability.  If the curvature is extreme, there may be a pushing of the rib cage against the lungs, causing a reduction in the breathing space for the person, making it difficult for the person to breathe properly. Severe pain is another side effect of scoliosis. The pain may make it difficult for the person to perform any physical activities.

Your Social Security disability claim for scoliosis will depend on the severity of the condition, and whether it impacts your ability to go to work and earn an income. The Social Security Administration does have a section for musculoskeletal disorders and spine disorders, and symptoms of scoliosis may fall in these categories. There is not a separate listing for scoliosis, but if the symptoms of the condition are seen as being very similar to the painful and inflammatory symptoms of other spinal conditions, you may be eligible for disability benefits.

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Sickle cell anemia is an inherited condition that can cause a number of complications.  A person who suffers from sickle cell anemia has red blood cells that are sickle- shaped rather than the standard round -shaped cells.  The cells are also much more likely to die early, causing a chronic shortage of red blood cells in the body. Also, the sickle- shaped cells are sticky and may become clogged when they pass through the small blood vessels. This can give rise to complications such as pneumonia and stroke.  A person who suffers from sickle cell anemia could also suffer from joint problems, nervous system, and brain impairments.

Treatment options for sickle cell anemia are limited.  Bone marrow transplants may be recommended.  Having a diagnosis of sickle cell anemia alone will not qualify you for Social Security disability benefits. You must be able to provide evidence that the condition makes it difficult for you to work at your job, or any other job.  If your sickle cell anemia symptoms have caused you to become hospitalised several times recently or if they have caused you to require numerous intravenous medications,  then you may have a better chance at a successful claim. If your condition requires you to have regular transfusions of red blood cells or the symptoms cause your hemoglobin levels to drop below 7 g/dl, consult an attorney about your eligibility for disability benefits as you may meet a medical listing which authorizes approval of benefits.

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Researchers claim to have developed a tool that could, in the future, help create specific cells to reverse deafness or hearing loss.  The dramatic breakthrough could in the future mean the elimination of a major problem in the fight to discover a tool to reverse deafness.

Hearing loss is a problem for many Americans, and a major factor in disability claims.  It is estimated that as many as 9% of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 suffer from some degree of hearing loss. The percentage increases to 25% among persons between the age of 65 and 74.

The most common cause of hearing loss is the death of hair cells.  These cells do not reproduce, and they are generated at the embryo stage. As a result, scientists have struggled with replicating these cells in order to circumvent or reverse hearing loss.  However, researchers recently discovered a master gene that could help them create these specific cells. According to the scientists, this is a major breakthrough because the master gene will help them create the specific inner or outer cells needed to reverse deafness.

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For years, we have been warned about Social Security Disability Insurance claim numbers ballooning out of proportion.  However, as recent data, shows disability insurance claim filings are actually on the decline, and have been so for several years.

The number of Social Security disability insurance claims filed in recent years reached their peak in 2014. This peak occurred because of two causes.  The federal government expanded the definition of “disability” which resulted in more individuals being covered under the program and becoming eligible for benefits under the program.  Second, as the baby boomer population aged, a natural and much anticipated number filed for disability.

However, since 2014, those numbers have started dropping significantly. Workplaces, for instance, are much safer than they used to be which has meant fewer accidents and occupational hazards that cause workers to become ill, injured and unable to work.  Access to healthcare has improved with the Affordable Care Act which has allowed many to obtain preventative care and rehabilitative care therebu reducing the incidents of disabilty.  Finally, our economy has moved away from physically demanding jobs as may manufacturing jobs have moved overseas.

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Arthritis is one of the most commonly-cited causes of Social Security disability claims in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 58 million Americans suffer from arthritis.

More than 23 million American arthritis sufferers above the age of 18 suffer from some physical limitations as a result of their condition. In Georgia, between 32% and 39% of adults with arthritis also report physical limitations that make it difficult for them to go to work.

Joint pain remains one of the most common symptoms of arthritis.  This makes it difficult for a person to perform physical work. In some cases, the pain can be severe enough to prevent the person from performing even routine physical tasks.  In the state of Georgia between 30% and 34% of adults with arthritis also report joint pain.

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This May, the American Heart Association and several other organisations are drawing attention to the disabling impacts of a stroke during National Stroke Awareness Month.

Strokes generally tend to affect older people, but persons of any age can suffer a stroke.  The impact of the stroke may be much higher when the patient is an elderly person. A stroke can result in severe consequences that make it difficult for a person to lead a normal life.  For instance, when the stroke has affected the right side, the impact also includes loss of speech and communication impediments.  There may be weakness in the hands and upper extremities. This makes it difficult for the affected person to lift his arm or to grasp objects.  Needless to say, the inability to perform these actions can mean an inability to perform many manual tasks.

Weakness in the legs or paralysis in the lower extremities could also mean that the person is unable to walk or ambulate without an assistive device.  Swallowing is another function that can be affected by a stroke.  This can directly affect a person’s health because it makes it difficult to swallow his food.  Swallowing impairments cause malnutrition, severe weight loss and extreme fatigue.  Failure to maintain bladder control is another distressing side effect of a stroke that can impair the person’s ability to lead a normal life, including his ability to work and earn a living.

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Social Security Administration offices in Georgia and around the country are opening after being closed for more than two years, and the challenges involved are already becoming clear.   Lawmakers are now calling for hearings that will discuss the way forward as offices open and strategies to resolve the many struggles and challenges that lie ahead.

Republican leaders including Ways and Means Committee leader Kevin Brady, (R -Texas), and Tom Reed (R-New York) who heads the Subcommittee on Social Security recently wrote to Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) asking him to hold a hearing on ways to meet these challenges.

In March 2020, Social Security offices around the country closed down in response to the pandemic and remained closed until last month. Most activities of the Social Security Administration moved online or were conducted via phone. That has meant interminable wait times as many Social Security activities including the processing of disability applications were delayed.  These delays have meant financial struggles for many disability applicants who have been waiting for more than a year now to get their applications processed and approved.  The Social Security Administration phone lines have also been clogged, and applicants have reported wait times of several minutes before they can speak to an officer.  In many cases, callers have been unable to reach an office representative at all.

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