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 U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that Puerto Rico residents are eligible for Social Security disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program.

The Supplemental Security Income program provides for financial benefits to be paid to persons who are disabled, blind or over the age of 65. Residents of Puerto Rico currently are covered under a program that is jointly funded by the federal government and provides meager benefits. The court’s decision changes all that.

The court’s decision came in a case involving a man who moved from New York to Puerto Rico to care for his wife. The federal government filed a lawsuit seeking to receiver $28,000 in benefits paid to the man. The court has ruled in favor of the man.

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The Net pundits have been predicting a baby boom post the Covid -19 pandemic, based on the millions who sheltered in place in March and April. There’s even a name given to the supposedly mass hordes of babies that will be born post the crisis – the Coronials. Jokes apart, none of this is likely to happen. In fact, there’s actually likely to be a dip in the birth rate, and that should be a concern for Americans.

History shows that during times of economic crisis, birth rates actually drop, not rise. During the Great Depression and the Great Recession, as unemployment skyrocketed, couples decided to postpone having kids. According to the Pew Research Centre, birth rates actually declined after the start of the Great Recession, following a long period of high birth rates. Besides, the Covid-19 pandemic also represents a public health crisis, hardly the time you want to plan a major medical event, like a pregnancy.

In fact, things are going to seem insecure for a while, and making babies will be the last thing on most people’s minds. That is generally bad news for Social Security. The Social Security System is based heavily on people and future generations paying payroll taxes into the system to keep it going. When birth rates fall, there are fewer people in the future paying taxes into the system, and funding the retirement, disability and other benefits the Social Security Administration pays to millions of Americans every year. The fewer babies born now, the fewer adults will be paying into the Social Security system, a couple of decades from now, placing even more stress on an already underfunded system.

 

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At the time of writing this, more than 130 million Americans had received their $1,200 stimulus checks to help them tide over their financial problems during this crisis. However, persons who are receiving disability and other benefits by the Social Security Administration may find that their checks have been delayed.

Logically speaking, the $1,200 check should first benefit persons receiving federal benefits. For example, persons who are already on Supplemental Security Income benefits or are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits are much more likely to be facing the kind of serious financial challenges that can make it hard to even take care of basic needs, like food.

These persons should have been getting the checks the quickest. If you are a disability beneficiary who is still waiting for his or her stimulus check, it’s very likely on its way. However, there may be a delay.

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A group of 150 Democrat House members are calling on their party to push for protection of Medicaid funding in the next stimulus package. The push is even more important in Georgia where enrollments for the Medicaid program have been spiking in recent months since the pandemic began.

Traditionally, Medicaid enrolments increase during a recession. Medicaid coverage provides health insurance for persons who live at or near poverty levels. As the Covid-19 outbreak has devastated local economies and business, pushing millions of Georgians out of their middle class lives into near poverty levels and with the fear of a major and potentiality debilitating disease still on the minds of Georgians, enrollments for the program have increased in the state. According to some estimates, Medicaid and Peach Care enrollments in the state of Georgia have increased by as much as 38 percent over the past few weeks. Over March and April alone, at least 88,000 new persons enrolled in the Medicaid program. This program is going to be crucial in preventing financial catastrophe for Georgians living at poverty levels.

The House Members have written to Democrat leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi to push to retain the Maintenance of Effort provision in the next stimulus package. The provision requires states to maintain Medical coverage for their citizens. If past history is anything to go by, Medicaid funding will be one of the first programs to lose funding as states try to cut corners during a financial crisis.

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It seems like decades have passed between January when most of us were first alerted to the Covid-19 outbreak, and April, when we are now in the midst of a global pandemic during which life as we knew it in Georgia, has changed completely.

Over these weeks, there have also been changes in the way we approach prevention guidelines for Covid-19. These have changed significantly, too. Some Covid-19 precautions, however, remain standard.

Wash your hands frequently. An alcohol-based sanitizer is best. However, even thorough washing with a non-alcohol-based hand wash can also reduce your chances of contracting the infection.

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In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when not much was known about the terrifying Coronavirus and the disease it caused, there were hopes that the pandemic would peter off as the weather got hotter. As we move towards summer, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen at all.

In fact, experts warn that any early easing of social distancing and shelter-in-place protocols would actually lead to an unbearable spike in infection rates across the country. The White House has been keen to open up the country to a more normal way of life, preferably in the first week of May. However, experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believe that opening the country and easing lock-down and social distancing protocols now would be hazardous, and would actually lead to an increase in Covid-19 cases over the summer.

Across the globe, there has been little to indicate that an increase in temperatures is in any way helpful in destroying the virus. The virus is spreading in places as notoriously hot as India and Brazil. India, for instance, has only been to control its infection rates through strictly-enforced lock-down measures.

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Testing has been a tricky issue in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in Georgia, but we are happy to report that things are now turning for the better. Symptomatic persons are eligible for Covid-19 testing in Georgia.

Testing is a major tool in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. Globally, countries that have ramped up testing dramatically have been more successfully in controlling the spread of the disease.

The state of Georgia is taking the necessary steps to ensure that more people can get tested for the disease. All health care workers, first responders, law enforcement personnel, and residents and staff of long term care facilities will be tested on a priority basis, even if they are not symptomatic.

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Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that’s a lifesaver for many lupus patients across Georgia. Unfortunately, these patients are now facing an uncertain landscape in which there are severe shortages of the drug in the future.

Hydroxychloroquine is familiar to most Americans who suffer from Lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body cells literally attack each other. There is no complete cure for lupus, and patients may suffer a variety of debilitating symptoms, including severe pain, organ damage and chronic fatigue. All of these symptoms mean that many patients are no longer able to earn a sustainable income, and have to apply for Social Security disability benefits.

Hydroxychloroquine is a life-saver for these patients, who may use the drug to alleviate some of the mind-numbing pain they can be subjected to on days when the flare ups are severe. When President Donald Trump touted the merits of hydroxychloroquine as a miracle drug to treat Covid-19, many states witnessed mass buying of the drug, by persons who believed that the drug could also work as a preventative measure. This hoarding has left lupus patients very nervous about the looming shortage of a drug that, for many of them, is the only way to get through the day.

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In the initial days of the Coronavirus or Covid-19 outbreak many in Georgia believed that the disease would be restricted to urban areas due to higher travel as well as the greater population densities in cities.  However, rural Georgia is currently reeling from the effects of the outbreak, leaving many concerned about how hospitals in these regions will handle the large infection numbers that are now confirmed.

There is no denying that rural Georgia has been hit doubly hard by the outbreak. It is not just the number of cases that are alarming, but also the fact that rural hospitals, even in the best of times, are poorly equipped to handle vast caseloads. Several rural towns in Georgia have seen local hospitals close over the past few years as part of larger scale hospital closures across the country.

In Dougherty County, which is a Covid-19 hotspot, there are just 50 hospital ICU beds for the entire county. In the four counties surrounding it, there is not a single hospital bed. The Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany has seen as many as 600 people test positive recently, while a staggering 1000 more people who were tested at the hospital were waiting for their results at the time of writing this post. In sparsely populated Mitchell County, not a single Covid-19 case existed just two weeks ago. Today, the Covid-19 death count here is 9.

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The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is fast increasing in the state of Georgia. The total number of cases at the time of writing this has touched 10566. The deaths total 379, an alarming increase by any standards. There are 2159 hospitalized.

The highest number of fatalities has been recorded in Dougherty County which has recorded 44 deaths linked to the Corona Virus global pandemic. 45 deaths were recorded in Fulton, while Cobb County recorded 29 Covid-19 related deaths.  Testing has been expanded across Georgia with more than 38,000 tests administered thus far, making it a testing rate of 24.2 percent.

Fulton County, in fact, recorded the largest increase in confirmed Corona virus cases in the past week, with 26 confirmed new cases, while DeKalb had 21 confirmed new cases. Fulton County is also the only county with a confirmed Covid-19 case toll of above 1000 with a total of 1276 recorded cases.  Currently, DeKalb County has 742 cases, while Cobb County has 629 Gwinnett County has 603, Clayton County has 297, Douglas has 127, and Fayette has 89 cases.

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