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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Gastroparesis is a chronic gastrointestinal condition in which the body’s ability to digest food and empty it from the stomach is impaired.  This impairment could be the result of a nerve injury. Such injuries are especially common in people who suffer from diabetes. Other causes can include infections, the use of certain medications as well as surgeries.

When a person suffers from gastroparesis, the stomach’s ability to empty its contents is slowed significantly because of weakened muscles. The result is that food digests much more slowly, causing a number of complications. Heartburn and nausea are common symptoms.  Chronic, abdominal pain, fatigue, poor appetite and weight loss can also result.  Malnutrition is a very common side effect of gastroparesis.  This can cause anemia and other conditions that result in loss of energy.  In some cases, food that is not digested may also end up as solid formations in the intestine which further prevent the food from moving down the intestine.  In serious cases, a gastric bypass surgery may be used to treat the condition.

You may not qualify for Social Security disability benefits for gastroparesis based on the condition alone, but if the condition is serious enough to have resulted in weight loss, anemia or chronic lethargy which makes it difficult for you to perform your job efficiently, you may qualify for benefits under other listings.

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A government watchdog report is asking an important question – Does the Social Security Administration’s expectation that judges resolve a minimum number of cases every year place an unfair burden on the administrative law judges who oversee disability hearings?

A report by the United States Government Accountability Office titled Process Needed to Review Productivity Expectations for Administrative Law Judges is asking whether these expectations are reasonable or construe an excessive burden on judges.

The massive backlog in the resolution of Social Security disability cases has long been a problem that has plagued the Social Security Administration. In some cases, applicants who have a claim initially rejected may have to wait more than a year to get their case before an administrative law judge. In 2007, the Social Security Administration decided to tackle the backlog problem head on by stating that judges would be required to resolve a minimum number of cases annually. The agency stated that it expected judges to deliver between 500 to 700 opinions annually.

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Long after the pandemic ends, its effects on our system will be felt in a number of ways, including the increase in the number of Social Security disability claims connected to Covid.

Long Covid is now a confirmed health problem for many Covid survivors, and the long term implications of this condition are only now becoming clear.  Long Covid is a term used to refer to a number of symptoms that many Covid sufferers experience after they recover from the infection. The symptoms range from extreme fatigue, respiratory problems like shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, to gastrointestinal problems. Covid sufferers seem to also have a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart problems.

Policy makers warn that long Covid could be the single biggest catalyst for an increase in disability claims over the next few years. They warn that it is important for the Social Security Administration to plan for a larger number of people who are unable to work at their jobs because of their symptoms.   Data indicates that many Covid survivors have still not returned to their jobs even months after recovery. Some continue to be under oxygen support for months after returning home.  There is still not enough data to ascertain how many such survivors are in the population, but a safe guess is in the millions.  Long Covid -related symptoms manifest differently in different people, making the task of determining patterns very challenging.

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A variety of cancers, including skin cancer may qualify for benefits under the Social Security Disability programs.

Applying for benefits can be more complicated in the case of skin cancer than with other types of cancers. Most skin cancers in the United States are basal cell carcinoma type cancers.  These cancers are typically confined to and do not spread to other areas of the body. These cases may be easier to treat and surgery by itself may be sufficient to treat your cancer.  In these cases, your case may be more challenging to prove. However, carcinomas can return.  It’s important to consult with an attorney to determine whether you have a viable claim for disability benefits.

Other less common types of skin cancer include melanomas which can spread to other areas of the body. If a melanoma spreads to the lymph nodes, to other areas of the body, or is recurrent, you might have stronger grounds for a claim. However, it’s important to provide strong evidence in support of your claim. If you are under treatment, you may need to provide evidence that you have exhausted all treatment options and have adhered to all protocols.

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Between Black women and white women, there exists a strong racial disparity in the prognosis for breast cancer. Black women who suffer from breast cancer have worse outcomes compared to white women who suffer from the disease. Those disparities have been reduced over the past few years, thanks to greater awareness and other factors, but the gap continues.

A recent study tracked breast cancer survival rates among white, Black and Hispanic women. Overall, the study found that there was a drop in the number of deaths from the disease recorded across all groups. The improvement was the highest among Black and Hispanic women.

Over a period of time, there has been a narrowing of the gap in breast cancer survival outcomes. For instance, there is now almost no disparity in the breast cancer prognosis between white women and Hispanic women. However, Black women continue to suffer from higher death risks after their breast cancer diagnoses.  In that case, the death rate was approximately twice as high as that for white women.

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Increased drinking among Americans during the pandemic may be causing a rise in alcohol – related liver disease of succient severity to require hospitalizations.

General stress during the pandemic compounded by factors such as joblessness, depression, and uncertainty has left many Americans reaching for yet another glass of wine. For most people, alcoholism has crept in slowly and unchecked. Contrary to what most people believe, you do not need to drink heavy amounts of alcohol for long periods of time in order to suffer liver damage.  Even heavy drinking for just a few months can cause enough damage to the liver to result in serious symptoms that require hospitalization.

Hospitals across the country are reporting an increase in the number of alcohol – related liver disease cases. At Johns Hopkins, researchers found that 41 percent of the liver disease cases that were referred to the facility were related to alcohol use, compared to 30% the previous year. Similar statistics are being reported from facilities across the country.  At some hospitals, there has been a 30% increase in liver damage cases.

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Sarcomas are relatively rare types of cancers that occur in the connective tissue of the body. The condition may qualify a person for disability benefits.  Some types of sarcoma may qualify for faster approval of disability benefits.

These kinds of cancers are seen in the skeletal system, bones, muscles or blood vessels. Sarcomas are divided into two types- soft tissue sarcoma and bone or osteosarcoma.  Soft tissue sarcoma may manifest as swellings or lumps. There may be no pain initially. Bone sarcoma, on the other hand, may initially manifest in the form of pain in the limbs or the legs, or even swelling. The pain may be severe enough to cause a limp if the sarcoma is located in the leg bone.

A range of treatments may be used to treat sarcoma.  Typically, surgery is required, but there may be other types of therapies also used to treat the cancer.  In cases where surgery is not deemed necessary, or deemed impossible, radiation may be used to reduce the size of the tumor.

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The Biden administration is proposing a hefty 10% increase in funding to the Social Security Administration.  This is good news for disability beneficiaries and applicants.

The announcement is part of the White House budget proposal for 2022, and factors in a $1.3 billion increase in funding to the cash- strapped agency. Additional funding will help the agency to return to its pre-pandemic processing and approval timelines.

For disability beneficiaries, the months since the pandemic began have been challenging. The agency closed field offices across the country, and Georgia was no exception. Benefits claims processing has been delayed by weeks and months in many cases, and approvals have been slow in coming.

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Early screening can help diagnose cervical cancer.  With early intervention, cervical cancer can be prevented or treated in its earliest stages.  The Pap test and teh HPV tests are early indicators of  cervical cancer.  However, for many women, the costs of screening tests are too high.

In a recent study, as many as 71% of women reported that the high cost of screening was the biggest reason for their failure to get tested. Another common cause for failure to get screening was the high cost of follow- ups and treatments. As many as 44% cited high costs of treatment as the reason they did not get screening.

Women from lower socioeconomic groups were much less likely to have the kind of insurance that covered cervical cancer screening. Low- income women, according to the researchers, are specifically in need of more insurance options that allow them to get screening earlier. The researchers also recommend expanding free screening programs.  Sixty-four percent of women with no insurance received testing for cervical cancer.  Among women with government insurance, the rate was 78%.  Insurance status seems to play a huge role in whether a woman has access to cervical cancer screening. Actual, out -of -pocket costs may be too heavy for some women to bear, which encourages them to postpone or delay their screening.

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July is Disability Pride Month.  Disability has been called the silent “D” in diversity.  By promoting disability pride, this community seeks to highlight positive aspects and influence  mainstream perceptions of being disabled.  In this way, others may change the way they think about or define disability.  Also, the community seeks to end the stigma of disability.

The creation of Disability Pride Month coincided with the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July 1991. That law continues to protect Americans from discrimination based on their disability. Disability Pride Month honors persons who live with various disabilities, and to celebrate disability as part of human diversity.

Negative perceptions of disabled individuals arise due to misinformation or misunderstanding that people with disabilities are not equal or valued members of society.  Part of being an ally would include being yourself with a disabled person; avoiding awkward jokes and respecting their space and privacy in public (i.e., not staring).  Disability Pride Month celebrates those with disabilities and their unique gifts to all communities.  Disability Pride Month is an opportunity for disabled persons to declare their inherent self-worth.

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