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 process of applying for Social Security disability benefits is long and tedious, and it can be months before your claim is processed. There are always thousands of Social Security disability cases pending hearing before administrative law judges. Social Security disability claimants in the metro Atlanta area can visit either the Downtown Atlanta office or the North Atlanta office. As of June 2019, according to data reported by the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, 7539 cases were pending in the Downtown area and 4564 cases pending in the North area.

The average processing time per claim in the Downtown office was 579 days with an average of 1.89 dispositions. The total number of hearings as of June this year was 4077. A Social Security disability hearing allows claimants to present more documentation and solid evidence to increase their chances of recovering disability benefits. While there are options of online hearings, most hearings are held in person. The in-person hearing rate percentage at the Atlanta Downtown office was 93.5. The Downtown office has one of the highest rates of in-person hearings in the country.

At the Atlanta North office, the processing time was 463 days with 1.96 administrative law judge hearings taking place per judge. There were a total of 2606 hearings conducted, and the percentage of in-person hearings was 76.6.

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Colostomies are performed in some cases of colon cancer, or severe cases of gastrointestinal illness or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. After a colostomy, stools are no longer emptied through the rectum and the anus. Instead, they are passed into the colostomy bag or pouch which must be replaced 2 to 3 times a day.

A colostomy can be the very last resort for persons who suffer from severe gastrointestinal illnesses. It is often the only choice for persons who suffer from colon cancer, requiring removal of parts of their large intestine or colon as part of treatment.

There are several complications associated with the use of a colostomy bag after a colostomy. There may be a stoma blockage when stools do not get emptied in time. This can cause cramps, pain, swelling in the stoma, nausea, and diarrhea. A warm bath and intake of fluids can help ease the blockage. If this does not help, however, get in touch with your doctor immediately. Other complications include a stoma prolapse in which the stoma extends far beyond the surface of the skin. In this case, internal leakage may necessitate additional surgeries.

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A bill that has recently been introduced in Congress aims to do away with the 5-month waiting period that mandatorily applies to Social Security disability claimants whose claims have been approved. Even after a Social Security disability applicant’s claim is approved, he must wait 5 months before he starts receiving his benefits. If the person also qualifies for Medicare befits, then those privileges have an even longer wait time attached to them. Social Security disability claimants who have begun receiving their benefits must wait a further 24 months before their Medicare benefits start kicking in.

Some exceptions have been made to the 24-month Medicare waiting rule. For example, individuals who are suffering from terminal kidney failure or advanced stages of ALS may have their wait period eliminated. The wait times are extremely distressing for Social Security disability beneficiaries who cannot afford to wait for important medical care as well as money to meet their daily expenses. The bill spearheaded by Representative Steve Israel (D) New York, aims to eliminate both the 5-month waiting period and the 24-month waiting period for commencement of Medicare benefits.

As a Social Security disability lawyer who sees firsthand how stressful those wait times are for claimants, I strongly support this bill. I also support the waiver of the 5-month waiting period as well as the 2-year waiting period for Medicare benefits for all claimants. Many disabilities make it virtually impossible for a person to earn enough to support himself and his family. Making him wait arbitrary lengths of time to begin receiving benefits only increases the stress on the disability applicant and their loved ones.

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For individuals with disabilities able to work, there are often many obstacles to being employed. With an unemployment rate of 3.7% for the general population, the rate for those with disabilities is 6.3%. However, some companies are working hard to reverse this troubling statistic, including Microsoft, Walgreens, and Voya. These companies are reviewing their hiring procedures to incorporate best practices in supporting employees with physical, emotional, and neurological disabilities.

It is not only the right thing for these companies to do, but it also is beneficial for the economy. A study released in October 2018 showed that America’s GDP could increase by up to $25 billion if the number of employed Americans with disabilities increased by 1%. Laurie Henneborn, research managing director for Accenture, said “[t]he conversation is absolutely evolving from philanthropic and charitable to one that is foundational to the business.” In 2017, 4.5% of Accenture’s employees reported having a disability.

It is not only important that individuals able to work are hired, but that they can maintain their health at the same time. Amongst the 61 million U.S. adults with a disability, 62% report their disability as “invisible,” meaning that colleagues don’t recognize their disability until told. Those with disabilities must be able to take time off to see doctors or for health-related reasons, making paid sick leave critical.

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Vaccinations are critical to maintaining a healthy population and have saved millions of lives. Their immediate benefits include providing long-term protection against some infectious diseases. They train the body how to identify pathogens they may come in contact with and fight against them by creating antibodies. Vaccinations directly protect against diseases that were once deadly, including polio, measles, tetanus, and whooping cough. For individuals who do not get vaccinated, they put themselves or their children at risk of developing a severe illness. Every year, thousands of individuals in the US are hospitalized due to severe illnesses that vaccinations can help prevent. By vaccinating yourself and your children, you minimize the risk of unnecessary suffering. For a list of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended vaccinations by age, click here.

Vaccinations also protect individuals from diseases they may be exposed to in areas they travel to in other regions. For example, the yellow fever vaccine is required for travelers to certain areas of South America and Africa, due to the risk of contracting the illness while traveling to these destinations.

Vaccinations are not only critical for the individual receiving the shots but society at large. When a very high percentage of a population is vaccinated, herd immunity makes it more difficult for germs to spread from person to person. This, in turn, makes the entire community less likely to contract the disease. This is especially important for individuals unable to vaccinate, including those with cancer, HIV, type I diabetes, or other health conditions that weaken one’s immune system.

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Since the symptoms of myasthenia gravis so closely mirror chronic fatigue syndrome and several other fatigue-causing conditions, a complete diagnosis of the condition is important to help you recover Social Security disability benefits for your condition. The results of diagnostic tests performed by your doctor, that too at times when your muscles are at their most fatigued will help. Since myasthenia gravis can be episodic, there may be periods of severe symptoms followed by periods of remission.  Your medical records will prove vital.

Another possible route to recovery of the Social Security disability benefits that you qualify for is the medical-vocational allowance path which will focus on the types of work that you are unable to do as a result of your condition. For example, if the condition has resulted in extreme weakness in your arms or hands, you may not be able to lift things which makes manual work very difficult or impossible to do.

If you suffer from myasthenia gravis, discuss your eligibility for benefits with this law firm by calling (404) 255- 9838.

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Myasthenia gravis is a condition that impairs the muscles of the body. It is a neuromuscular condition that is characterized by muscular fatigue and weakness. Initial symptoms of myasthenia gravis may include vision blurring or double vision and slurred or unclear speech. The person may experience trouble swallowing and other signs of fatigue. These symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions, which often leads to a delayed diagnosis.

Since this is a progressive disorder, symptoms like fatigue and muscular weakness can be expected to worsen over time. The person may suffer from drooping eyelids, trouble speaking, eating or chewing food, and weakness in the arms and legs. In its most severe form, the condition can trigger a myasthenia gravis crisis in which the muscles responsible for respiration become weak and unable to function. In such cases, artificial respiration may have to be used.

If you find yourself suffering from sudden and unexplained weakness in the extremities, difficulty in holding your head up, or slurred speech, contact a doctor immediately. Diagnostic tests for myasthenia gravis can include blood analysis, edrophonium tests, CT scans, and MRI scans.

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Three former heads of the Social Security Administration (SSA) have called on lawmakers to make budgeting fixes to help resolve the worsening customer service issues plaguing the agency since budgeting cuts went into effect. The letter by the three former Commissioners – Ken Apfel, Jo Anne Barnhart, and Carolyn Colvin – was recently delivered to Congressional delegates. The letter calls on lawmakers to remove the SSA from caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. This law has required the SSA to compete with other federal agencies for funding.

The cap has worsened the deteriorating backlog crisis at the agency. The letter emphasizes that in 2018 as many as 858,000 Americans were waiting for their appeals hearings. The backlog at the agency’s processing centers is expected to cross 2.9 million cases this year.

Also, the cap has increased wait times for persons who call the agency’s toll-free number. In 2018, the average Social Security applicant spent 24 minutes waiting to speak with an SSA employee.  Applying for and receiving Social Security disability benefits is not an easy or simple task, by any means. Wait times can be very lengthy, and most claims are denied the first time around. It’s always best to work with an attorney to maximize your chances of filing a claim that will help you recover the benefits you are eligible for.

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On June 17, 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) swore in Andrew Saul as Commissioner of Social Security, beginning a six-year term. He is the first Commissioner since Michael Astrue resigned in February 2013. The Senate confirmed his appointment in a vote on June 4 by a 77-16 vote, with 7 Senators not voting. All the votes against his appointment were from Democrats. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD) opposed his appointment, citing his unwillingness to committing to making meaningful changes to labor practices at the SSA. Following his confirmation, Saul said, “I am humbled by the opportunity to help the agency to deliver critical services to the American people.”

From 2002 to 2011, Commissioner Saul was Chair of the Federal Thrift Investment Board (FTIB). In addition to federal service, he has experience in state and local government. He worked as Vice President and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He also operated Brooks Fashion Stores and Cache, clothing retailers that declared bankruptcy after he left the companies.

If you have been denied disability benefits, there is still hope; contact this law firm to discuss possible next steps.

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The percentage of women receiving disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has increased significantly over the past few decades. While the gap between the genders in terms of eligibility for Social Security disability benefits has narrowed, the gap in the amount of benefits received has remained consistently wide.

First of all, it is important to remember that the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not consider your gender when it determines your eligibility for benefits. It only requires the following two conditions to have been met:

  • You must have paid into the Social Security system during your employment.