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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(Photo by Alex Brandon / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEX BRANDON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) 

Yesterday there was a photo of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s casket outside the United States Supreme Court while a hundred of her law clerks, dressed all in black, stood at attention on the outside steps of the capital.  The stark photo and the hundred clerks posed below her casket reminded me the length and d depth of her extraordinary legal career.

In 1971, RBG was a Rutgers law professor.  In that capacity, she joined a case on gender discrimination that had been accepted for review by the United States Supreme Court.  That case was Reed vs. Reed .  Allen Derr, an attorney in Boise, Idaho brought the initial action.  He credits her with having been the principal brief writer.  Reed vs. Reed was a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court and it was the first case to declare a law that discriminates on the basis of sex to be unconstitutional.

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As I endeavor to post daily on some of the important case law which RBG (either as a jurist or an advocate) fashioned, I appreciate both the body of law that developed because of her and I mourn the passage of that era.  While I cannot predict what will happen in the next few weeks on the appointment of and potential confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice, that we are moving into another, less generous, era seems inevitable.

Here is a case in which Ruth Bader Ginsburg filed an amicus brief on behalf of the ACLU, Women’s Rights Project.  She argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court on January 17, 1973.  It was her first time arguing before the court.  As RBG would later explain her strategy on advocating for gender equality, “[g]enerally change in our society is incremental, I think.  Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”  Her strategy at the ACLU was to present the court with the next logical step, and them the next, and then then next. (See Carmon, Knizhnik, The Notorious RBG, p. 93).

Frontiero vs. Richardson, 1973

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The Jewish mourning period is one month for family other than parents (which is a year).  Part of mourning is connection with others who come to you and share your grief and sit with you in your sorrow.  I wanted to share some of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinions from her many years as a jurist as a way to collectively mourn her passing and celebrate her extraordinary life.

This is a rather long blog post because the opinion and the underlying legislation is so important that I wanted to do it justice.  As we approach an important election in the next few weeks, it merits reviewing why access to voting remains so critical for our democracy.  What Ruth Bader Ginsburg did in this dissent is remind us of that.

Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder, June 25, 2013

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Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (known affectionately of late as “RBG”), died in the evening on the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  In the Jewish tradition, family members “sit shiva” for seven days and seven nights by sitting on low stools and receiving visitors to comfort them.  There is a collective sorrow now which I feel most deeply among my female friends in all professions and occupations, but most achingly in the legal field.  Because if you had the temerity to branch into male-dominated professions – whether that was in the 1980s or 1990s – or even later, then you know something about the challenges of those times regarding gender equality.  RBG, this petite sprite of a woman, with her unyielding hot pen gave us the energy we needed and intellect we craved to be fierce in the world and to claim our space.

In her memory, I want to give you a sense of the work she did through the opinions she wrote.

Gonzalez vs. Carhart, 127 S.Ct. 1610 (2007)

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Chronic back pain not only affects a person’s mobility and movement and increases the risk of disability, but it also impacts a person’s relationships.

When a person suffers from back pain, it can place stress on his or her marriage. These findings come from a recent study published in the European Journal of Pain. The researchers wanted to know the effect of a person’s back pain on a number of aspects, including his or her occupation and personal relationships.

They found that spouses of persons who complained of chronic back pain reported stress in their relationship. They also found that the person’s chronic back affected the spouse’s employment, with 20% of the respondents admitting that it had affected their occupations.

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For persons who are already suffering from a serious medical condition and are on disability, coping with the pandemic has been a serious challenge. Persons suffering from Parkinson’s disease have been no exception.

According to new research data released by the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, even when Parkinson’s disease patients were able to avoid infections, they suffered from the lack of access to medical services, physical therapy and social activities.

In many cases, patients found their medicine supply disrupted. Some medications have been more difficult to procure during the pandemic. In other cases, patients found that the restrictions on travel made it difficult for them to receive home care because caregivers were unable to travel.  As hospitals became overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases, and non- essential medical services got disrupted, many Parkinson’s disease patients also found it difficult to keep up with treatments as appointments were cancelled.

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Many symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD and related conditions may be managed with regular medications and lifestyle changes. However, in those cases in which symptoms are so severe  that going to work seems impossible, Social Security disability benefits can help ease the financial stress.

You can recover Social Security disability benefits for inflammatory bowel disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other conditions that are related to IBD. The term “inflammatory bowel disease” refers to both Crohn’s disease as well as ulcerative colitis.  In both these conditions, there is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract with symptoms that include pain, severe abdominal pain and rectal bleeding. The symptoms, in some cases, may be so severe that the person may require a visit to the restroom every few minutes. The constant loss of nutrients from the body may result in weight loss and fatigue.

If you have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, you may be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. A mere diagnosis of these conditions will not, however, be sufficient for you to qualify for benefits.

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Since 2010, there has been a significant increase in the number of long-term disability claims filed on the basis of musculoskeletal injuries. According to insurer Unum, there has been a 40% increase in the number of workplace disability claims filed on the basis of musculoskeletal injuries.  Among men, there has been a significant 62% increase.

The injuries are especially likely to affect workers in jobs that require them to perform certain activities such as repetitive and heavy lifting or long periods of sitting. Activities that involve continuous or repetitive motion or stress are also likely to result in musculoskeletal injuries that can be serious enough for the person to apply for long term disability. According to the insurer, the top causes of long -term disability among American workers continue to remain cancer, back injuries and musculoskeletal injuries.

Many of these types of injuries can be prevented through strategic countermeasures in the workplace. A greater focus on worker education on the importance of safety in the workplace, especially worker ergonomics would help.  Certain types of workers may be at a higher risk of musculoskeletal injuries, including aging or obese workers. Maintaining an optimum weight could be a significant way to reduce injury risks, and employers could focus on encouraging workers to remain healthy and at an ideal weight by providing incentives for the same.

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Navigating the complex labyrinth of health and disability programs that you may qualify for can be confusing. You may be eligible for more than one program that can help you pay for your medical needs and other expenses.

If you have suffered a disability that makes it difficult or impossible for you to go to work and earn a living, you may qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. If you qualify for disability benefits under this program, then you will receive a monthly check to meet your expenses. These benefits depend on the amount of taxes that you have previously paid into the Social Security system.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program, however, is completely different from the Supplemental Security Income program. This program provides benefits to people who are disabled and have a very limited income. In certain cases, individuals may qualify for benefits under both the Social Security Disability Insurance program as well as the Supplemental Security Income program. To understand what kind of benefits you should apply for, talk to a disability attorney.

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This week I did hearing a hearing for a young woman whose claim was pending for two years.  She passed away two months prior to her hearing.  We substituted her mother as the party and a successful hearing occurred this week.  Her family will collect the benefits due their daughter for the past months from which her claim was pending.

The process of applying for disability benefits is a tedious one, with most applications moving to an appeals hearing. The wait for the hearing can be arduous. According to a new report, as many as 110,000 Americans died waiting for a disability hearing over a span of 5 years.

Those shocking details came in a report released by the Government Accountability Office. As an Atlanta Social Security disability attorney, I know that most applications for disability benefits are rejected the first time around. Most of these rejected applications are then appealed, and claimants must wait for a disability hearing before a final determination can be made about whether the individual qualifies for benefits. The process of waiting for a hearing can take as long as a year, or even longer.

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