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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Thanks to a recently passed law, the U.S. government will have to address the issues facing those with disabilities when hurricanes, fires, and disaster strike. President Trump signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act on June 24.   As part of this law, an Advisory Council will be created, which will include members with disabilities, as well as government officials and healthcare professionals. This Council will focus on preparing for ways to support individuals with disabilities during disasters.

U.S. Rep, Jim Langevin, a Democrat from Rhode Island, who has a disability himself, proposed the advisory panel. He said, “[b]y including people with disabilities as advisors during disaster planning and policy development, this bill ensures that the unique needs of this vulnerable community will be included.” The Government Accountability Office recently released a report showing that those with disabilities and those over 65 years old “faced particular challenges evacuating to safe shelter, accessing medicine and obtaining recovery assistance.”

Another issue for those with disabilities during times of disaster is that they are often unnecessarily institutionalized due to lack of access to resources, amongst other reasons. Hopefully, this Advisory Council will begin to address critical issues facing those with disabilities when disasters strike.

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Women are likely to be at risk for a variety of health conditions, especially as they get older. Fortunately, many conditions that are often faced by women are now covered by benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. For instance, cervical and ovarian cancer often require patients to seek disability benefits as the disease progresses and makes it impossible for them to continue working. Ovarian cancer affects one out of every 78 women and is more likely for women over the age of 60. Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women, and the American Cancer Society predicts that more than 4,000 women will die of cervical cancer in 2019. It is most likely to affect women between the ages of 35 and 44. The number of women dying from cervical cancer has dropped since pap smear tests became more common, leading to earlier diagnoses.

Turner syndrome is another condition that affects only females, characterized by several physical abnormalities. The condition can also be accompanied by heart conditions, hearing problems, and some level of intellectual disability too. Women with Turner’s syndrome may also be at a higher risk of osteoarthritis.

Rett Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects only females. The condition is characterized by physical features like smaller limbs, mental impairment, impaired speech, and seizures. A child with Rett Syndrome can qualify for Social Security disability benefits under the Compassionate Allowances program, which allows for expedited processing of claims.

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The number of women who are protected by and qualify for Social Security disability benefits has increased significantly over the past few years.  However, a recent and strong work record is very important for women who wish to qualify for disability benefits. The increase in female Social Security disability beneficiaries is linked to the increase in the number of women joining the workforce over the past few decades. Those numbers increased with the rise of the women’s rights movement and with women’s increased entrance into the workforce in the 1970s. Those numbers have leveled among younger women, but have continued to grow amongst women over 50.

Women over the age of 50 are the most likely to need Social Security disability benefits due to various health-related issues. They are at a higher risk for ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Menopause can bring with it a decrease in bone density and a higher risk of joint-related problems, including arthritis and osteoarthritis. A woman’s risk of cardiovascular conditions including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke – all of which can leave her disabled – also increases after she crosses her half-century mark.

A recent, strong work record is important for any woman seeking Social Security disability benefits.  A woman must have worked for at least 5 years out of the last ten years to qualify for benefits. As many as three-quarters of all Social Security disability benefits payments are made to people above the age of 70. As women age, they must keep this in mind, and ensure that they have a well-documented record of employment in order to remain eligible for benefits in the event of a medical condition in the future.

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The best gift you can give your child after your love and care is financial security and a safety net that will help him in the case of an unforeseen situation later in life. When you are applying for your child’s birth certificate, remember to apply for a Social Security card at the same time. You can also apply at any Social Security office near you. You may be asked to provide evidence of your child’s name, age, proof of US citizenship as well as your identity proof.

Also, remember that your children may be eligible to receive benefits on your account. The eligibility criteria include your child being unmarried and below the age of 18. However, a child over 18 can be eligible for benefits too if they were suffering from the disability before they turned 22. Conditions for which a child may become eligible for benefits on your record include autism and visual impairments.

A woman may receive lower disability benefits than a man because of lower pay and frequent absences from employment. Many women take breaks after having children to raise their families, and unfortunately, they find that this has an impact on their disability benefits accruals.  If you have children, it’s even more important that you maintain a strong, recent, well-documented employment history, so that you can continue to maintain your eligibility for benefits.

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Many students with intellectual disabilities never make it to college. However, the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency is trying to change this issue. This year, Georgia Tech introduced its EXCEL (Expanding Career, Education and Leadership Opportunities) four-year program. In its first year, this program had seven students with intellectual disabilities, who have birth defects or traumatic brain injuries. These students received certificates of achievement in academics, social skills, leadership, and career development, instead of a typical diploma.

EXCEL’s acceptance rate is about 25% and is a four-year program, unlike many inclusive programs in Georgia which are one or two years long. It was founded by Terry Blum, former Dean of the Scheller College of Business, and Cyrus Aidun, founding director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship. These students have been fully part of the Georgia Tech community, cheering for the Yellow Jackets at sports games, joining many clubs, and spending late nights studying in the library. They also take regular Georgia Tech courses such as psychology and business, in addition to special classes such as cooking and budgeting.

Programs, such as that at Georgia Tech, are becoming more common in Georgia colleges and universities. Kennesaw State started the first inclusive program in Georgia in 2009, with three students. This past year, there were 140 students with intellectual disabilities enrolled at nine Georgia colleges and universities, including at the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. This is a promising trend, as only 15% of individuals with intellectual disabilities are employed nationwide. However, 75% of the graduates of the Georgia campus programs are employed or continuing their educations. Susanna Miller-Raines, statewide coordinator for the Georgia Inclusive Post-secondary Education Consortium, commented: “I’m not sure of all the answers, but this is one answer.” To learn more about the EXCEL program at Georgia Tech, click here.

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According to a new study, arthritis-related disabilities may begin before the person even receives a diagnosis of arthritis. This finding makes it even more imperative that you get joint pain and other symptoms checked out by a doctor as soon as they appear.

According to the results of a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, functional disabilities or disabling symptoms like difficulty in dressing, walking, and performing routine activities in some persons actually begins one to two years before the actual diagnosis of arthritis. The study also revealed that a functional disability for a person with arthritis can actually continue well after the person receives a diagnosis and begins treatment. This points to the need for a speedy diagnosis of arthritis.

If you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms of arthritis, consult a medical practitioner immediately.

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For close to 7 decades, mental health organizations across the United States have commemorated the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to decreasing the stigma associated with mental conditions and spreading awareness about the need for treatment for persons suffering from these disorders.

It is important for family members and caregivers of persons with mental health disorders to know more about the person’s eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration pays out benefits to millions of persons who suffer from mental disabilities every year. Out of the 8 million persons who receive Social Security disability benefits every year, as many as a quarter receive benefits based on their mental disorder.

Most beneficiaries who receive benefits for mental disorders are above the age of 50, but you can definitely qualify for benefits even if you are younger. Depression and anxiety-related disorders are some of the common conditions that qualify a person to receive Social Security disability benefits. Beneficiaries may also suffer from PTSD or other mental or intellectual challenges.

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Lupus patients who suffered from bad childhoods marked by abuse or neglect are likely to suffer higher disease activity, compared to patients who had normal childhoods. According to a new study, persons who suffered abuse, neglect and other challenging situations in their childhood were more likely to suffer worse symptoms of lupus. In fact, patients who reported as many as 4 bad childhood experiences had twice the disease activity as those who did not report any negative childhood experiences. They were also likely to report higher levels of depression and poorer health.

In the study, which focused on 239 patients with lupus, 63% reported at least one bad experience during their childhoods. About 19% reported a minimum of four bad experiences. This indicates that stress since childhood can be a factor in determining the severity and frequency of lupus activity. The researchers stress the importance of easier access to mental health services for at-risk groups for bad childhood experiences, like persons from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Lupus is an autoimmune condition in which your body’s cells and tissues are attacked by your own immune system. It can affect your joints, kidneys, skin, bean, lungs, and heart. There is no complete cure for lupus, but its symptoms can be managed. Symptoms of lupus may worsen in severity over a period of times.  A person with inflammation in his joints, for example, may find it difficult to perform tasks like lifting, carrying, or even raising his arms above his head to perform a manual task. Lupus can interfere with your ability to use your arms, hands, and legs effectively, which makes many types of jobs very challenging or impossible to perform.

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Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that can result in frequent lung infections. Over a period of time, the disease may limit the person’s ability to breathe. Some common symptoms include persistent, chronic cough, typically with thick mucus, shortness of breath, and wheezing. A person with cystic fibrosis may begin his days with violent coughing and vomiting of thick mucus. In this condition, the mucus that is generated is thick, and not thin and runny. The mucus clogs passageways inside the body, including the lungs.

Persons suffering from cystic fibrosis may also suffer from frequent infections, like pneumonia and bronchitis. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry estimates that in the United States more than 30,000 people live with this condition.  The severity of the symptoms can vary from person to person. There is no permanent cure for cystic fibrosis. Fortunately, life expectancies for patients have been steadily increasing over the years, and patents can now live well into their 50s.

The Social Security Administration considers cystic fibrosis to be a serious condition that can impact a person’s ability to work and earn an income. If you suffer from poor breathing, have been hospitalized at least three different times in the past 12 months, or have suffered respiratory failure in the past 12 months, your disability claim may be processed and approved quickly. Even if you do not suffer from this level of severity, you may still qualify for disability benefits.

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A stroke is one of the leading causes of permanent disability in the US. The good news is that there are ways to reduce your risks of suffering a stroke. One of the biggest factors causing a stroke is high blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, make sure that your blood pressure is monitored regularly. Take your medications diligently, and follow a proper diet and sensible lifestyle to avoid spikes in your blood pressure that could trigger a stroke.

Smoking is also believed to be a risk factor for a stroke. The World Health Organization estimates that smokers have a risk of suffering a stroke that is 4 times higher than for non-smokers.  A healthy diet can go a long way in reducing your risk of a stroke. Fatty, high-calorie foods and drinks can clog your arteries, and increase your blood cholesterol levels, raising stroke risks. Salt is another culprit, contributing to hypertension.

Exercise is also an important part of one’s lifestyle. Even a 30-minute walk a day constitutes exercise that can help you keep your weight under control and stroke risks at bay. Undergo a regular medical screening to rule out hypertension, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol levels and other risk factors for stroke.