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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Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful condition and many victims who suffer from this debilitating disease apply for Social Security disability benefits every year.

A person who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis may suffer from pain, severe inflammation, and stiffness in the joints combined with excessive fatigue. There are also several complications associated with rheumatoid arthritis, including osteoporosis, dry eyes, infections, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even cardiac disease. These complications make it extremely difficult for a person to work and earn a sustainable income.

A new study finds that eating more fish can help relieve some of the painful symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The results of the study were published recently in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology. Researchers were specifically looking at how increasing fish consumption could reduce activity of the disease.

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At 37 years old, Michelle had stopped working as a teacher due to complications with gastro paresis and rheumatoid arthritis. Gastro paresis is a disease that prevents her stomach from correctly digesting food. Because her stomach muscles did not work properly, she could not digest food. Michelle contacted me in May of 2015. She came into the office with her mother because she needed to file for Social Security Disability. Quickly into the conversation, Michelle and her mother made it clear that her debilitating disease was the gastro paresis from which she had no relief.
She suffered from intractable nausea and vomiting daily. She could not keep food down. Over the course of our two-year representation, she was hospitalized nine times in 2016; six times in 2015 and ten times in 2014. By 2016, she received all of medicine and nutrition through surgically implanted gastric port called a GJ- tube for short. Her days consisted of infusing a specialized high protein prescription formula and medicine into two different ports; cleaning the ports after use; and dealing with some very difficult bathroom issues. If she was not in her bed, she was in the bathroom, resting on the cold tile floor for relief from her nausea.

One would think that Michelle’s case would have easily been approved at application. It was not. In May of 2015, we filed an online application for Michelle and sent in a mountain of medical records. We continually faxed over medical records to SSA and spoke with the adjusters each time Michelle entered the hospital. Despite her ten hospitalizations in 2015 and favorable doctor’s statements, the disability review team at the SSA determined that she could stand and walk and lift and carry as necessitated by her job as a preschool teacher and her claim was denied.
We requested reconsideration of this denial in September of 2015 and that was denied again in March of 2016. In the time period from September of 2015 to March of 2016, Michelle had five additional hospitalizations. Her disability file indicates that the second level of review was denied because during one hospitalization, the treating doctor prescribed Humira (a drug to treat her rheumatoid arthritis) and the reviewing SSA doctor thought that would work and she would improve. Also, the reviewing team ignored her treating doctor’s statements that she met a medical listing. A medical listing is a list from SSA of conditions that are considered to be disabling. Continue reading →

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Research shows that stem cell therapy has many benefits for arthritis patients, especially those who suffer from advanced stages of the condition.

According to ongoing studies, stem cell therapy may not promise a complete cure for arthritis, but could trigger the production of healthy cells that can replace damaged cells. These stem cell transplants are now being used to replace damaged cartilage between joints.

Arthritis is a condition involving inflammation of the joints, swelling and pain. Over time, joints can become weak, and the pain chronic. There are several types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 50 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis.

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Today, the United States Senate released its draft legislation designed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare (also known as The Affordable Care Act).  What is most evident in this legislation is the massive destruction of the Medicaid program.  Medicaid is the single largest healthcare program in the United States.  Medicaid serves one in five Americans.  Medicaid covers not only poor individuals, but two-thirds of all nursing home residents.  Many nursing home bills run between $5000 and $7000 a month for skilled nursing care.  The majority of our elderly community cannot self-pay for that level care should it be necessary.  Medicare does not cover long-term skilled nursing care.  So when we talk about cutting Medicaid, we are talking about the future care of ourselves and those we love.

The Senate bill will phase out the Medicaid expansion that is part of Obamacare.   Obamacare provides for 100% federal funding over a three year period and 90% funding after that for those states that expanded their Medicaid programs.  Medicaid is a federal program that is administered by states.  Georgia did not elect to expand Medicaid.   Those states that did expand Medicaid saw a significant decrease in their uninsured populations.  And importantly, sick and indigent individuals had access to medical care.

Today’s proposed legislation proposes “block grants” and per capita spending limits – a draconian solution that has never been part of the Medicaid program.  Currently, Medicaid provides healthcare coverage to individuals qualifying from an income and asset standpoint.  This current legislation caps the amount of money provided to states regardless of the number of eligible recipients.  Hence, coverage will be drastically reduced for those states with significant poor populations.  Georgia ranks 42nd in overall poverty.  https://talkpoverty.org/state-year-report/georgia-2016-report/ is third in the nation for medically uninsured individuals.  http://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2016/09/georgia-ranks-high-rate-uninsured/

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Asthma can result in breathlessness and extreme sensitivity to fumes, odor, smoke, dust particles, and a variety of other contaminants that may be present in a work environment. Therefore, it would seem that this condition should qualify for Social Security disability benefits.  It is, however, more complicated.

If you suffer from chronic asthmatic bronchitis, which means that you frequently suffer from asthma attacks that last for a minimum of one day, or suffer from asthma attacks at least six times a year, you may qualify for benefits. If you meet the above criteria, you must provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) medical documentation of your condition and symptoms, including a doctor’s summary, results of lab and diagnostic tests, evidence of hospitalization, and your results on asthma tests.

Some cases of asthma may be severe, but may not meet the above-mentioned criteria. What happens then? In such a case, SSA will usually consider your claim for disability benefits under the medical vocational allowance doctrine. This means that the agency will consider a number of factors including your age and work history, and will also determine your residual functional capacity.  This refers to your ability to perform any job to a reasonable extent.

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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can result in hallucinations, delusions, and altered thinking.  It is a serious psychological disorder, and is typically confirmed upon diagnosis by a psychiatrist.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists schizophrenia in its “blue book” as one of the disorders that are eligible for disability benefits.  A diagnosis by a qualified healthcare professional confirming that you suffer from the disorder is essential. Furthermore, you must be able to show that you have suffered from schizophrenia for at least a month, or that your condition is expected to last for at least 12 months.

To qualify for benefits under SSA’s criteria, you must also prove that your disorder results in at least one of the several symptoms associated with this disorder, including audio and visual hallucinations, (seeing or hearing things that are not there), illogical thinking, emotional withdrawal, or non-responsiveness. Suffering from at least one of these symptoms must severely restrict your ability to function normally, and affect concentration and attention.

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Losing a limb is an extremely traumatic situation for any person.  While many amputees do receive social security disability benefits, not all types of amputations qualify.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines certain criteria that an amputee must meet in order to qualify for disability benefits. For instance, if your amputation involves both hands, one or both legs above the ankle, one leg up to the hip level, one hand and one leg, or a pelvic amputation, you may qualify for benefits. The cause of the amputation does not matter.

If you suffer from any other type of amputation, you may or may not qualify for benefits. For instance, if you have suffered an amputation of your dominant hand which you use to perform most of your tasks, you may qualify for benefits. In such cases, SSA will specifically focus on whether your amputation or your disability makes it difficult for you to work and earn a sustainable income.

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The upcoming trials of an inexpensive drug that is already used to lower high cholesterol levels will be watched closely by doctors as well as patients who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

In 2014, trials found that MS patients who were administered Simvastatin showed significant reductions in brain atrophy levels, compared to those who were not given the drug. That was a smaller trial with just 140 participants, but a new larger trial that is due to begin soon will focus on more than 1,100 people, and will try to confirm the results of the earlier study.

The new study will specifically look at whether the administration of Simvastatin helps reduce the progression of MS in patients. Researchers are optimistic that the drug holds plenty of potential for millions of Multiple Sclerosis sufferers in the United Kingdom – where the trial will be conducted – and around the world.

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Individuals who are physically fit are less likely to suffer from a disability after a stroke.  According to new research, however, physical fitness does not necessarily mean lack of fat.  In other words, high body fat percentages are not necessarily predictors of a high risk of disability after a stroke.

According to research conducted at Harvard University, physical inactivity before a stroke is linked to a higher risk of becoming dependent, both before and after the stroke. Researchers focused on more than 18,000 people who had no stroke history. They were followed over a period of 18 years, and during that time, approximately 1,400 persons in the study survived a stroke.

The researchers found that three years after the stroke, people who had a very physically fit lifestyle that included plenty of exercise were 18% more likely to be able to perform independent tasks, such as bathing.  They were also 16% more likely to perform complex tasks, like managing their finances, compared to those who were not as physically fit before the stroke.

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Scientists recently announced that they have discovered a gene that is responsible for a condition that causes children to be born with blindness, deafness, and other serious symptoms.

This condition is known as COMMAD Syndrome, and children born with it suffer from deafness, blindness, albinism, fragile bones, a large head, malformed eyes, and prematurely graying hair. According to scientists, the condition is caused when children inherit a gene mutation called MITF from parents who are deaf and suffer from another genetic disorder called Waardenburg Syndrome 2A.

Not every person who suffers from deafness also suffers from Waardenburg Syndrome 2A. In fact, most people do not suffer from this rare genetic disorder. However, deaf persons often prefer to marry other deaf persons, and according to the researchers, it is important for persons to undergo genetic counseling before they get married to confirm that both of them do not suffer from Waardenburg Syndrome 2A. If they do, they may be at risk of transmitting the MITF genetic mutation to their children.