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 average Social Security disability benefits payout this year amounts to $1,277. According to the Social Security Administration, it paid out this amount to the average disabled worker as well as dependant in December 2020.

Overall, according to data by the Social Security Administration, a total of 8.2 million disabled workers received benefits in 2020, totalling more than $10.5 billion in benefits to disabled workers. Approximately 1.5 million dependants of disabled workers received benefits during this time, totalling 600 million dollars paid out to dependants.  Overall, the Social Security Administration paid out more than a trillion dollars in benefits during the period, paying more than 65 million beneficiaries.

Disabled workers, however, did not receive the majority of Social Security benefits. They accounted for 13.8 percent of benefits. Retired workers received a majority of benefits, accounting for more than 74 percent of benefits paid out.

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According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the state is seeing a surge in Covid-19 infections, with the numbers close to the highest on record since January. Most infections are linked to the Delta variant, a highly contagious strain of the virus that has been linked to a surge in infections globally.  Georgia health officials say that as many as 9 in 10 infections are linked to the Delta variant. The state has also recorded the highest weekly totals in infections since the start of the pandemic, and many counties have now been designated “red zones”. Some counties like Gwinnett County have seen huge spikes in infections.

Georgia Department of Public Health officials report that the majority of new infections consist of unvaccinated people. George residents who are not vaccinated form the majority of all hospitalizations and deaths related to Covid -19. As of now, only about 42 percent of Georgians are fully vaccinated, having received both doses of the vaccine. That makes more than half of the population still highly vulnerable to this extremely contagious variant of the virus. Another feature of this new phase of the pandemic is the risk to children.

It is now imperative that residents get vaccinated as quickly as they can.  At this point, our state is one of only 11 states with vaccination rates below the 50 percent mark. Get yourself vaccinated, and make sure that your family members get both the shots at the stipulated times too.

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Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphocytes or the white blood cells in your body. These white blood cells are a critical part of your immune system, carrying fluids throughout the lymph nodes across the body. A lymphoma is caused when these abnormal or cancerous lymphocytes get accumulated in the lymph nodes. Broadly, lymphomas are classified as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. They are further classified as slow- growing or fast -growing lymphomas.

The type of lymphoma that the patient has will dictate the type of treatment he or she receives.  Doctors may consider different types of treatment options for lymphoma. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are some of the more common types of treatment. Additionally, targeted drug therapy, steroids, stem cell transplants, and antibody treatments may be used.

These treatments can result in complications and side effects such as anemia and chronic fatigue.  The person’s immune system may be weakened, increasing the risk of infections. Treatments can result in low counts of white blood cells and platelets, trouble controlling bowel movements and difficulty sleeping. If the patient is on radiotherapy, he or she may suffer from extreme fatigue  Fatigue may make it difficult to perform even daily routine tasks. With some types of treatment, side effects can continue for months after treatment begins, making it impossible to go to work and earn a living.

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Persons who suffer from arthritis may suffer intense pain at night, disturbing their sleep cycle and causing fatigue and drowsiness the next day.

One recent study with 133 subjects found that more than half of the arthritic patients reported suffering from lower quality sleep, because of the intense symptoms of their condition at night.  Other studies have indicated that arthritis sufferers may experience an intensification of pain at night, causing daytime fatigue and sleepiness.

Researchers have also tried to identify the reasons for the increased pain at night. One theory is that the body releases less cortisol at night which causes increased intensity of symptoms. Cortisol is a natural anti – inflammatory chemical which can control our response to pain.  Cytokines may also migrate to already- inflamed arthritis tissue at night time, causing more pain.

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The average disability payment handed out in 2020 was approximately $1200.  Many beneficiaries received lesser amounts, and payments can be as low as about $700 a month. Calls for an increase in the amount of disability benefits that Americans can recover after becoming disabled, are increasing.

The Unites States has the dubious distinction of paying out some of the lowest amounts in benefits in the developed world. Benefits payments have not kept pace with all the external factors that can influence a person’s cost of living.  Living expenses in many areas in Georgia have increased, while disability checks remain the same.

Apart from inflation, there are other reasons why a disability check just isn’t sufficient to sustain many beneficiaries. The amount that beneficiaries are eligible to receive from other federal and state programs can also be very low. When you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation in addition to disability benefits, you may find that the other benefits lead to a reduction in the amount of disability benefits that you recover.

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Gastroparesis is a chronic gastrointestinal condition in which the body’s ability to digest food and empty it from the stomach is impaired.  This impairment could be the result of a nerve injury. Such injuries are especially common in people who suffer from diabetes. Other causes can include infections, the use of certain medications as well as surgeries.

When a person suffers from gastroparesis, the stomach’s ability to empty its contents is slowed significantly because of weakened muscles. The result is that food digests much more slowly, causing a number of complications. Heartburn and nausea are common symptoms.  Chronic, abdominal pain, fatigue, poor appetite and weight loss can also result.  Malnutrition is a very common side effect of gastroparesis.  This can cause anemia and other conditions that result in loss of energy.  In some cases, food that is not digested may also end up as solid formations in the intestine which further prevent the food from moving down the intestine.  In serious cases, a gastric bypass surgery may be used to treat the condition.

You may not qualify for Social Security disability benefits for gastroparesis based on the condition alone, but if the condition is serious enough to have resulted in weight loss, anemia or chronic lethargy which makes it difficult for you to perform your job efficiently, you may qualify for benefits under other listings.

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A government watchdog report is asking an important question – Does the Social Security Administration’s expectation that judges resolve a minimum number of cases every year place an unfair burden on the administrative law judges who oversee disability hearings?

A report by the United States Government Accountability Office titled Process Needed to Review Productivity Expectations for Administrative Law Judges is asking whether these expectations are reasonable or construe an excessive burden on judges.

The massive backlog in the resolution of Social Security disability cases has long been a problem that has plagued the Social Security Administration. In some cases, applicants who have a claim initially rejected may have to wait more than a year to get their case before an administrative law judge. In 2007, the Social Security Administration decided to tackle the backlog problem head on by stating that judges would be required to resolve a minimum number of cases annually. The agency stated that it expected judges to deliver between 500 to 700 opinions annually.

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Long after the pandemic ends, its effects on our system will be felt in a number of ways, including the increase in the number of Social Security disability claims connected to Covid.

Long Covid is now a confirmed health problem for many Covid survivors, and the long term implications of this condition are only now becoming clear.  Long Covid is a term used to refer to a number of symptoms that many Covid sufferers experience after they recover from the infection. The symptoms range from extreme fatigue, respiratory problems like shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, to gastrointestinal problems. Covid sufferers seem to also have a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart problems.

Policy makers warn that long Covid could be the single biggest catalyst for an increase in disability claims over the next few years. They warn that it is important for the Social Security Administration to plan for a larger number of people who are unable to work at their jobs because of their symptoms.   Data indicates that many Covid survivors have still not returned to their jobs even months after recovery. Some continue to be under oxygen support for months after returning home.  There is still not enough data to ascertain how many such survivors are in the population, but a safe guess is in the millions.  Long Covid -related symptoms manifest differently in different people, making the task of determining patterns very challenging.

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A variety of cancers, including skin cancer may qualify for benefits under the Social Security Disability programs.

Applying for benefits can be more complicated in the case of skin cancer than with other types of cancers. Most skin cancers in the United States are basal cell carcinoma type cancers.  These cancers are typically confined to and do not spread to other areas of the body. These cases may be easier to treat and surgery by itself may be sufficient to treat your cancer.  In these cases, your case may be more challenging to prove. However, carcinomas can return.  It’s important to consult with an attorney to determine whether you have a viable claim for disability benefits.

Other less common types of skin cancer include melanomas which can spread to other areas of the body. If a melanoma spreads to the lymph nodes, to other areas of the body, or is recurrent, you might have stronger grounds for a claim. However, it’s important to provide strong evidence in support of your claim. If you are under treatment, you may need to provide evidence that you have exhausted all treatment options and have adhered to all protocols.

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Between Black women and white women, there exists a strong racial disparity in the prognosis for breast cancer. Black women who suffer from breast cancer have worse outcomes compared to white women who suffer from the disease. Those disparities have been reduced over the past few years, thanks to greater awareness and other factors, but the gap continues.

A recent study tracked breast cancer survival rates among white, Black and Hispanic women. Overall, the study found that there was a drop in the number of deaths from the disease recorded across all groups. The improvement was the highest among Black and Hispanic women.

Over a period of time, there has been a narrowing of the gap in breast cancer survival outcomes. For instance, there is now almost no disparity in the breast cancer prognosis between white women and Hispanic women. However, Black women continue to suffer from higher death risks after their breast cancer diagnoses.  In that case, the death rate was approximately twice as high as that for white women.

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