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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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.

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There will come a time when you are no longer eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits, even if you are still not medically fit enough to earn a sustainable income. When you reach retirement age and become eligible for retirement benefits, you may no longer be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Full Social Security retirement benefits are available for seniors between the ages of 65 and 67.  If you have reached retirement age and are receiving Social Security disability benefits, your Social Security disability benefits will automatically turn into retirement benefits. You do not have to apply to receive your retirement benefits. 

In some cases, individuals may apply for early retirement at age 62. In such cases, they may be eligible for partial retirement benefits. In these special cases, these individuals may continue to receive Social security disability benefits as well as retirement benefits. However, they will not receive double benefits. They will only receive disability benefits so that they can receive their full benefit amount. There will be a cap on the retirement benefits a person can recover, just as there is a cap on the disability benefits he is eligible for.

Retirement benefits, unlike disability benefits, however, may increase with years. For instance, if you wait till you are 70 years old to access your retirement benefits instead of accessing them at age 62, you are likely to receive higher benefits payable every month.

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Social Security checks are deposited on certain days of the month. Typically, these dates correspond to your date of birth. If your birth date is between the 1st and 10th days of the month, your check will be deposited on the second Wednesday of the month. If your birth date is between the eleventh and twentieth days of the month, your payment will be deposited on the 3rd Wednesday  of the month. If your birth date falls after the 21st day of the month, you can expect your check to be deposited in your account by the 4th Wednesday of the month.

However, if you are receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, your benefits will be deposited on the third day of the month. If the date of your deposit falls on a Saturday or a holiday, the payment will be deposited one business day earlier.

The dates are different for SSI payments, so if you qualify for these benefits, check up on your due dates. Typically, these benefits are deposited on the first day of each month. If the first falls on a Saturday, Sunday or federal holiday, the check will deposit one banking day earlier.  If you find that your benefits have not been deposited by your due date, you can check up on the status of your benefits by calling the Social Security Administration on 1-800-772-1213. Delays are normal if you are still receiving your checks through the mail. To avoid these delays, switch to the electronic option, and have your benefits deposited directly into your bank account.

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The term “autism” refers to a broad range of conditions that can result in challenges in verbal and non-verbal communication, social skills, and speech and language skills. Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the condition. This latter fact is also what makes recovering disability benefits for autism extra challenging for persons who suffer from the condition. 

If your child suffers from autism, and your income and asset levels are not above the limits set by the Social Security Administration, you may qualify to receive SSI benefits. The eligibility criteria is different for adults with autism, however.  If your income and asset levels are below limits set by the federal agency, then you may qualify for and receive benefits under the SSI program.

Adults with autism may also qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Program.  For this, however, you must have paid into the SSDI program, which means that you must have a work history and have paid into the system during this work tenure.  You must also prove that your condition makes it impossible for you to work at your job and earn a sustainable income. The agency will determine whether your disability prevents you from working at your old job. If the agency finds that you can meet the demands of the job, then you might not qualify for benefits.

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April is National Social Security Month and is a great time to create a Social Security account if you haven’t done so yet. A mySocial Security account is a personalized account that allows you to access all the information you need. The account is free to set up and offers you access to your latest Social Security statements, allowing you to access real-time information about your statement and benefits. You can also receive estimates of the benefits that you are likely to be eligible for in the future, a useful tool when planning for the years ahead. The account helps you manage your Social Security account without any trouble and without any additional expense.

A mySocial Security account gives you the ability to determine your future benefits earnings. The system will calculate this based on a number of factors, including your history of benefits received in the past, as well as future earnings estimates. You can check up on the disability benefits payments that you are estimated to receive in the future as well as retirement benefits.  You can even investigate the benefits that your family members will be eligible for if you pass away as a result of your disability.

There are several other advantages of having a Social Security account. For instance, you can easily get a replacement card if your current card is missing or stolen. So, what are you waiting for? With all the information about your Social Security account you need at your fingertips, you can get better control of your account and ensure that you receive every cent of the benefits that you are eligible for.