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 good news about Covid-19 is that the survival rates are very high, and healthy adults are very likely to recover from the infection. However, it is still too early to predict the kind of damage that the infection will leave on the system, even after a complete recovery.

Some studies from China, the origin of the outbreak, seem to indicate that the lung damage may continue to impact the person, even after a full recovery. When doctors in Hong Kong country monitored 12 patients who had recovered from the Corona virus, they found that several of them continued to suffer from respiratory problems and were gasping when walking after recovery. Their lung functioning was about 20 to 30 percent lower after recovery.

When the doctors analyzed scans of the patients’ lungs, they found signs of damage. However, the sample was far too small to be taken as evidence that the infection will leave behind lung damage. But it does alert doctors treating Covid-19 patients to the possibility that there may be other complications from Covid-19, even after a complete recovery from the disease.

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Persons who suffer from cardiac disease or hypertension may be at a higher risk of more severe bouts of Covid-19.  Analyses of deaths from Covid-19 from Italy and China, the two countries that have been the hardest hit by the Corona virus, indicate that the majority of the dead suffered from hypertension or heart disease.

In China, the death rate from Corona virus infections was 10.5 percent for those with cardiovascular disease, against the average fatality rate of 2.3 percent. In Italy, 76 percent of fatalities from Covid-19 had hypertension, while 33 percent had heart disease.

It’s been confirmed that immunosuppression is a risk factor for Covid-19, There are several posts on this blog that indicate the higher risks facing the immunocompromised.  However, because of the way the virus enters the cells, it seems to present an especially greater threat to persons who also suffer from heart disease or hypertension. In fact, some studies on Covid-19 cases show that the virus is actually causing myocardial injury in patients. This indicates that Covid-19 actually damages heart cells in patients.

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Social Security disability benefits may be available for persons who struggle with abuse or addiction. However, the benefits are not paid out based on the abuse or addiction, but based on the medical impairment or disability brought out by the abuse.

For many persons who struggle with substance abuse or addiction, making the decision to get help can be difficult. Many persons do not seek the help they require for many factors. A person may feel ashamed to seek help for a condition he feels he has no control over, and in other cases, may feel ashamed to reveal the condition to his family and friends.

Another major barrier to seeking treatment is the cost involved. Many persons lack insurance which can help them with the costs of rehab.

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Asthma patients may be at a higher risk of the respiratory complications brought on by infection with the Corona virus or Covid-19. Here’s how you can mitigate your risks of contracting this deadly disease.

First of all, a Covid-19 infection is not just the common cold or flu. From what we currently know of this disease, it is especially more likely to strike the immunocompromised. People with asthma who are already at risk of respiratory distress may be at grave risk of serious complications if they contract this disease. The Centers for Disease Control warns asthma patients of complications from a severe, uncontrollable asthma attack to acute respiratory distress or pneumonia.

If you are an asthma sufferer, please take these precautions.

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If you are currently living with a condition that qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits, chances are high that you have a weak immune system.  For persons with weakened immune systems, the Corona virus or Covid-19 infection can have deadly consequences.

If you are above 60 years of age, or currently suffer from cancer, lupus, heart disease, kidney disease, liver problems, alcohol addiction, stress and any number of other problems that weaken your immune system, you may be at a higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus infection.

There are several steps that you can specifically take, apart from the usual ones, to keep yourself safe. Practice social distancing stringently as advised by global medical experts. Wash hands every twenty minutes, and avoid touching your face, nose, eyes or mouth.

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You must have heard or read the term “immunocompromised” all over the media in relation to Covid-19 or the Corona virus epidemic that’s currently raging across the US. Simply put, the term “immunocompromised” refers to a person who may suffer from low immunity or immunity deficiency due to a variety of conditions. This lack of immunity places the person at a higher risk of a Covid-19 infection.

The body’s immune defenses consist of special cells that attack pathogens that enter the body, protecting the person from illness and infections. There are many health conditions that may make your immune system weak, leaving you vulnerable to infections.

Compromised immune deficiency can be either temporary or permanent. If you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, kidney or liver damage, or lupus, you are considered immunocompromised.  All types of cancers will leave the immune system severely compromised and at risk of infections. Persons who suffer from these conditions must be especially careful about following all safety protocols that are recommended to prevent a Covid-19 infection.

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There is an epidemic of sexual abuse against people with intellectual disabilities.  In a 2018 NPR study, people with intellectual disabilities – women and men – were found to be the victims of sexual assault at rates more than 7 times higher than for people without disabilities.  Among women with intellectual disabilities, the rate of sexual assault is 12 times higher than the rate for persons with no disabilities.  The only other group more victimized than people with disabilities are – women between the ages of 18 and 24 who are not in college.  Compared with women with disabilities they have an almost identical rate of assault – just slightly higher.

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities defines intellectual disability as “characterized by significant limitation in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviors” Those adaptive behaviors include social skills – such as the ability to deal with other people, to follow rules and avoid being victimized – and practical skills, things like being able to work and take of one’s health and safety.

The Crime Victims with Disabilities Awareness Act compiles annual reports and researches crimes against individuals with disabilities.  These reports show that people with intellectual disabilities are vulnerable everywhere:  where they live, work, go to school, ride in vans for medical appointments and in public places.  Most of the time, the perpetrators are people they count on the most.  Also, they are subject to assault by other people with intellectual disabilities with whom they share living space.

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Trauma is one of this country’s most urgent public health issues.  In a Center for Disease Control Report of 2019, Americans who had experienced adverse childhood experiences (“ACEs”) were at a higher risk of dying from five of the top ten leading causes of death.  The reported noted that one in six children across the United States had experienced four of more kinds of adverse childhood experiences.  An “adverse childhood experience” is defined in a landmark 1998 study by Kaiser Permanente as physical, sexual and emotional abuse; living with household members who abuse substances, had mental illness or were suicidal, violent treatment of mother/stepmother; and criminal behavior in the household or imprisonment of a household member.

The National Institute of Health reports that trauma affects a person’s mental and physical health, employment, education, and social functioning. Childhood trauma, particularly those that are interpersonal, intentional and chronic are associated with greater rates of PTSD, depression, anxiety and antisocial behaviors, including alcohol and substance abuse disorders  Secondarily, exposure to a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events (e.g. child maltreatment) activates the body’s biological stress response system.  Stress activation has biological, behavioral and emotional effects.

The majority of abused or neglected children have difficulty developing strong, healthy attachments.  Children who do not have strong healthy attachments have trouble controlling and expressing emotions and may react violently or inappropriately to situations.  A child with a complex trauma history may have problems in romantic relationships, in friendships, and with authority figures such as teachers or police officers.

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If you suffer from a disability, are above the age of 45, and do not speak English, you may qualify for disability benefits based on the lack of employment opportunities available to you. However, a new rule drafted by the Trump administration would specifically target persons who do not speak English, placing their eligibility for disability benefits at risk.

The federal administration is now in the process of finalizing a rule that would bar Social Security examiners from taking into consideration a person’s inability to speak English while evaluating a claim. The Social Security Administration currently does take a number of factors into consideration while evaluating an applicant’s claim. These factors include not just the primary criteria that the agency will consider (the person’s history of having paid into the Social Security system in taxes, as well as the duration of his disability), but also the applicant’s ability to find employment in another field. That determination will consider the person’s age, his education levels and the likelihood of finding a suitable job in another field. The determination of the applicant’s education does take into consideration the person’s ability to speak English. Failure to speak English can be a major deterrent for many types of jobs.

The new rule would, however, bar examiners from considering the applicant’s inability to speak English as a factor while determining the validity of a claim.  According to the administration, the agency currently pays out disability benefits to far too many non-English speakers from Puerto Rico. The administration is also asserting that non-English speakers now have better education levels than their English-speaking counterparts and, therefore, are less likely to be genuinely eligible for benefits.

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Drug and alcohol addiction may leave a person with several impairments that make it impossible for him to work or earn a living. However, this fact, by itself does not qualify a person for Social Security disability befits.

There are a number of impairments that can be caused due to drug or alcohol addiction. For example, alcohol addiction can result in possibly debilitating liver disease, while excessive smoking is linked to several forms of cancer, including lung and throat cancer. While determining an individual’s eligibility for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration takes into consideration if the addiction is a material factor in the impairment. This means that the agency will review if the person meets the criteria of the disability, even in the absence of the addiction.

Another thing to keep in mind is that addiction by itself does not qualify as an impairment qualifying for benefits. An individual’s drug addiction may lead to blackouts, extreme confusion, disorientation and any number of other disabling symptoms, but these on their own will not qualify the person for benefits.   In making a determination, the agency will also consider if the disabling symptoms would disappear if the person stopped his abuse.