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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A new drug that works in a different way to treat chronic lower back pain is welcome news for thousands of Georgians who struggle with chronic pain. A recent study found that Tanezumab, a nonopioid pain medication, works by inhibiting the nerve growth factor, a protein that can exacerbate back pain.

This is welcome news because other treatment options such as opioids and nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs are risky.  These have typically been the only options for treating chronic low back pain. Opioids can be addictive.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are linked to gastrointestinal inflammation among other problems.

Tanezumab, however, works by lowering the sensitivity of the nervous system. This new approach to pain management appears to offer less critical side effects and perhaps a greater result.  Chronic pain is one of the most frequent bases for Social Security disability benefits claims filed in Georgia and around the metro Atlanta region every year.

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https://www.georgiadisabilitylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/188/2020/11/11.23.20.2-300x191.jpgDebilitating, chronic pain can be a basis for a claim for Social Security disability benefits. New studies show that more middle-aged Americans are living with chronic pain.  According to a new study, pain in middle-aged Americans seems to surface much earlier in life. The study found that 32% of Americans born in 1955 reported experiencing pain starting at age 52.

Education appears to be a factor.  Middle-aged Americans with lower education levels are much more likely to report pain when they enter their middle years. Lower education levels are associated with increased exposure to stress, both economic and occupational.  Also lower education may indicate less access to quality healthcare.   These middle-aged American are more likely to be working two or more jobs, resulting in physical stress. That person may be less likely to be able to benefit from exercise or rest. He or she is also more likely to struggle with financial insecurity, unstable jobs, and poor wages. All of these factors can increase mental stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate the experience of physical pain.

The research clearly suggests a link between socio- economic status and a higher predisposition to pain among Americans as they get older.  Pain undermines the quality of life.  Pain is a prominent factor in the opioid epidemic; it is implicated in suicide; and it is often the cause of alcohol or other substance abuse.  As America attempts to understand the epidemic of suicides in middle-aged Americans who do not have a college level education, pain appears to be a key player.

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When a person suffers from a medical condition that prevents him/her from going to work, then that person may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. However, it is not just the disabled worker who is eligible for benefits. In some cases, the family members may be eligible for benefits. Benefits that are paid out to family members are called auxiliary benefits.  They are only applicable to the family members of the disabled worker.

Auxiliary benefits are not available in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability. Auxiliary benefits apply only to an individual who worked in covered employment (SSDI) long enough to be insured and who had been working recently in covered employment prior to the onset of disability.

Both the spouse as well as the children of the disabled worker may qualify for auxiliary benefits. However, there are certain criteria the Social Security Administration will look for in order to pay out auxiliary benefits.  If you are the spouse of a disabled worker, then you must be below the age of 62, or you must have a child below the age of 16 or a disabled child in his/her care to qualify for benefits. If you are the child of a disabled worker, you may also qualify for auxiliary benefits if you are below the age of 18. The Social Security Administration also requires that only unmarried children receive auxiliary benefits, and must be enrolled in school full time, in order to be eligible for these benefits.  Even divorced spouses of disabled workers may be eligible for benefits if the marriage lasted a minimum of 10 years.

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This morning on Election Day, I was listening to this powerful NPR podcast about Frederick Douglass and the sacred right to vote.

Douglass, as everyone probably knows, was a fugitive slave who became a prominent orator, author and activist in the anti-slavery movement.  For more on the life of Frederick Douglass, read the book Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight  (Simon and Shuster, 2018).  That book won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for History.

Douglass believed strongly that democracy and the freedom that democracy promised would be sustained by the right to vote.  Here are some great quotes from Frederick Douglass.

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October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month.  This designation hopes to raise public awareness about this disorder which impacts the spine and neurological system.

Spina bifida is a congenital condition that can result in a number of symptoms that involve the spinal cord, as well as neurological symptoms. In this condition, the infant’s spine is not completely fused during pregnancy.  Surgery may be required to fuse the spine after birth.  In some cases, however, the defect continues to exist even after the surgery, and the person may begin to experience symptoms later in life. Symptoms can include some degree of paralysis, numbness, and other nerve- related symptoms. Spina bifida is a permanent condition with no cure.

The Social Security Administration does not include spina bifida in its “blue book” of medical listings that qualify for disability benefits. However, because the symptoms are so often related to the spine, you may qualify for disability benefits based on whether you suffer from symptoms that are very similar to other spinal conditions, including spinal stenosis, nerve root compression or spinal arachnoiditis.

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The liver is one of the hardest working organs in the human body, performing as many as 200 important bodily functions every day. Any conditions or disorders concerning the liver can lead to symptoms that make it very difficult for a person to lead a productive life.

A person who suffers from liver disease may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, although the term liver disease itself, refers to a number of different conditions that affect the liver. For instance, conditions like autoimmune hepatitis and liver cirrhosis are likely to qualify a person for Social Security disability benefits. Symptoms of liver cirrhosis could include fatigue, swelling of the feet, severe weight loss and in the final stages, liver failure. In many cases, a liver transplant may be the only option to save the patient’s life.

A simple diagnosis of a liver condition is not sufficient for you to qualify for disability benefits. In many cases, potential applicants find that their condition does not merit an automatic claims approval. In such cases, your doctor should be able to provide sufficient evidence that your condition makes it difficult for you to work for long periods of time. For instance, if your liver disease requires you to take breaks from work for several days or weeks at a stretch for your treatment, or to manage your symptoms, you might have a stronger case for benefits.

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Healthcare:  This administration has a case pending in federal court right now to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  On June 25, 2020, the Trump Administration through the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  This case is expected to go before the Supreme Court in the spring of 2021.  A Republican Congress has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times.  Losing this legislation will affect women.   There will be loss of access to birth control; maternal and newborn care, mammograms and vaccinations.  Prior to the Affordable Care Act, for-profit insurance companies enacted polices with lifetime coverage caps and coverage exclusions for pre-existing conditions.  Insurance companies could also return to the practice of charging women more than men for the same or less coverage.

Social Security:  Women represent 55.6 percent of Social Security beneficiaries ages 62 to older and 65 percent of beneficiaries ages 85 and older.  Without Social Security, 9 million more women would live in poverty.  Conservatives have fought to cut Social Security and/or to privatize it.  Payroll tax cuts and payroll tax deferrals also threaten Social Security by eliminating its funding.  In August 2020, Trump signed an Executive Order giving workers a break from paying payroll taxes.  Social Security estimates that if were to become a permanent change, the program’s funds would be depleted in 2023.

Child Care:  Single parents are overwhelmingly women.  For two parent households during the epidemic, 33% report that at least one partner has either left the workforce or dropped down to part-time.  Of the parents giving up their work, 70% were women.  For single parents, women faced with closed schools and day care facilities have also lost their jobs, forcing them onto public assistance.  Two bills in the House would provide needed funds to keep child care centers and schools open.  The current bill is the Child Care is Essential Act, a $50 billion grant to pay for personnel, training, sanitation and other costs with re-opening and running child care and after school care during the pandemic.  The House also passed the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act which provides grants to improve child care facilities and to social services to provide care for essential workers.  These bills acknowledge that business cannot go on as usual if the needs of working parents are not met.  While both parties have similar bills, the Democrat-led House bills provide more funding than the the Republican-sponsored legislation.

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Rehabilitation and therapy services are crucial for stroke survivors who benefit significantly from these therapies. During the pandemic, many Americans who suffered a stroke were unable to access the rehab services that they required.

The pandemic disrupted access to medical and healthcare services for Social Security disability beneficiaries across Georgia. For people who suffer from certain conditions, rehabilitation services are crucial. According to experts, stroke survivors may not be receiving the kind of rehabilitation services they require during the pandemic.

Rehab, according to the American Stroke Association, should begin within 3 months of a stroke. This is the time when long- term damage from the brain injury can be mitigated, and the brain is most likely to be able to adapt to the damage that it has suffered. Survivors may be more likely to regain skills or learn new ways of performing routine activities when rehabilitation begins quickly.

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Early voting in Georgia runs from today, October 12 to Friday, October 30th.

Where do find out where to vote:

Dates and hours may vary based on where you live.  You can locate where to vote by logging into your My Voter Page .  There are you can find early voting locations, dates and times.  You can also review a sample ballot ahead of time.  You can also call 1 866 OUR VOTE to verify the proper polling place.

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It’s Pink October, or National Breast Cancer Awareness Month again, and time to remind ourselves and everyone around, that breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women.

If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, there’s no need to panic. Treatment options now are extensive, and very successful.  According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the most commonly used treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Other targeted therapies may also be used, and these treatments may be used solely or in combination with each other. Some treatments target only the tumour, while other treatments actually target the area around the cancer.

Your treatment options will depend on a number of factors, including the stage of your cancer, size of the tumour, general medical health, and age. Menopausal women may have different treatment options, compared to younger women. In some cases, individuals have a genetic history that places at them at a higher risk for breast cancer. This history can also affect their treatment options. Have extensive discussions with your team of doctors about the right option for you.

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