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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Persons who suffer from epilepsy may also experience intense feelings of anxiety over the possibility of suffering seizures.  This condition in which a person suffers anticipatory anxiety over suffering seizures is called seizure phobia, and is very common among patients with epilepsy. New studies reveal that as many as one -third of epileptic patients suffer from such phobia.

Earlier studies have also found an increased risk of anxiety and depression in persons who suffer from epilepsy. Much of this anxiety stems from the anticipation of seizures. Previous studies have found that as many as 53% of persons who suffer from epilepsy also suffer from such anxiety over the possibility of seizures.   While science has been aware of the increased incidence of anxiety in persons who suffer from epilepsy, seizure phobia as a distinct anxiety-related disorder in epilepsy patients has not been sufficiently studied until now.

According to the new study whose findings were released by Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, the risk of seizure phobia is especially high in persons who suffer from epilepsy and also have a history of anxiety. Persons who experienced seizure phobia were much more likely to have also experienced manic depressive episodes in the past. Overall, persons with a pre-existing history of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder seem to be much more likely to suffer from seizure phobia.

 

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This March, the International Society of Nephrology is marking March 10th as World Kidney Day.  World Kidney Days seeks to bring attention to the millions of people all over the world who live with this condition.  Approximately one out of every 10 people worldwide suffer from Kidney Disease.

With the global COVID-19 pandemic, people with kidney disease have more needs.  People who suffer from any kind of kidney disease are already much more susceptible to the infection. Also, a Covid infection can significantly impact the kidneys, causing kidney failure and other complications in patients. Among patients who have suffered a mild version of the infection, there may be no severe impact on the kidney. However, persons who have suffered from severe symptoms of Covid could suffer from long – lasting kidney failure.

Persons who suffer from kidney failure may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. As with any other disability or medical condition, in order to qualify for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, your condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months or must have lasted for at least 12 months. The Social Security Administration lists kidney – related disorders under section 6 of its blue book that is related to genitourinary conditions. If you are currently on dialysis, suffer from kidney disease with reduced kidney function, or have had a kidney transplant, you might find that your claim is easier to process.  However, even if your case does not fall in the above -mentioned categories, you could still qualify for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

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This March, multiple sclerosis patient advocacy organisations in Georgia and around the country will mark National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week between March 13 through 19. The commemoration is designed to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges that persons with multiple sclerosis face every day.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it can help to find people in your community who can help you access the information you need as you move forward with life with multiple sclerosis.  The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has chapters around the country, including in Georgia. The Georgia chapter, which has its main office in Atlanta, has planned several events to mark National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week.

A number of events are being planned throughout Georgia.  MS walks and other events will bring awareness about this condition and raise funds for multiple sclerosis advocacy initiatives.  If you are interested in raising additional funds for research, you can also take an MS leadership class in March. The Georgia chapter also connects individuals living with multiple sclerosis and their families with services that can help them on this journey. These services include references for professionals in this field, peer counselling, social programs, networking, recreational services and other types of services.

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If you ask most women about their biggest health fear, many would reply cancer, specifically breast cancer.  This is in spite of the fact that more women in the United States die from heart disease than any cancer.  Heart disease kills as many as six times the number of women every year as breast cancer.

Cardiac disease is by far the single biggest killer of women in the United States.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019, more than 300,000 women died from heart disease. In fact, heart disease was named as a cause in one out of every five female deaths that year.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimates that only about half of women understand how big of a risk heart disease is.

To understand why there is such a lack of awareness about the risk of heart disease among women, it’s important to understand how certain types of cancer, specifically breast cancer, affect a woman’s sense of self esteem or sexuality.  Also, according to a paper by Harvard University, heart disease typically strikes women above the age of 65, which mean that most women do not give heart disease a thought until they reach that age. Women in their 40s or 50s would be much more likely to know people in their circle who have had breast cancer, but not heart disease.

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If pandemic- related conditions do not worsen, all field offices of the Social Security Administration are set to open on March 30, 2022. This is good news for disability beneficiaries and applicants as well as people waiting to apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Social Security offices around the country have been closed for two years. When the pandemic hit, Social Security offices in Georgia and around the country went into shutdown mode. Since March 2020, all work has been done via phone, mail or virtually.

In- person visits at many offices will start soon. However, that depends on negotiations between Social Security workers’ unions and the federal administration. According to the results of these negotiations, field offices are set to open on March 30, provided there are no more changes in the current pandemic-related restrictions.

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Social Security disability benefits payments can make a significant difference to the quality of life of a disabled person and the person’s dependants. In fact, in 2022, beneficiaries can expect an increase of 5.09 percent in their benefits as a result of cost -of -living adjustment increases.

But, when can you expect payments to be credited to your account?

Social Security payments are not made randomly. There is a specific schedule that the agency will adhere to at the time of disbursement of your benefits.

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Statistically, around seventy percent of  Social Security disability claims are rejected at the initial application level.  Upon receipt of a denial letter, you have the option of filing an appeal of the decision. Filing a timely, effective and complete appeal is crucial.   When the Social Security Administration rejects your claim, the agency will also mention the reasons for the denial, as well as the kind of appeal you need to file. There are different types of appeals that can be filed when your claim has been denied.

At the very basic level, you can ask for a reconsideration of your appeal based on the medical evidence you have provided. If you believe that your claim has been denied for reasons not related to your medical condition, you can ask for reconsideration of the decision based on non-medical reasons. In both of these cases, your file will be reviewed by an officer who was not involved in the earlier decision made in your case.

If you disagree with the decision by the officer reviewing your case, you can apply for a hearing before an administrative law judge. You are making a request for your case to be heard before a judge who will then deliver a decision based on the evidence you have provided in the hearing. A hearing can be conducted in – person or on video. A video- based appeal hearing is just as valid as an in – person hearing.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all live hearings have been suspended.  Hearings currently take place by telephone or video.

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February is American Heart Month.  Heart disease is one of the main causes of death among all ethnic groups in the United States. Some groups, however, have a higher risk of the disease than others. It is also one of the more expensive diseases to treat and manage, costing over than $300 billion in medical costs per year.

Here are the most common myths about heart disease.

Medications can prevent heart disease.

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African Americans account for a higher percentage of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States. This February 7, national organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are aiming to raise awareness about the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in the African American community to reduce the number of new diagnoses among Blacks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, Blacks accounted for nearly 42 percent of the new diagnoses of HIV/AIDS in the country.  This was in spite of the fact that Black Americans make up just 15 percent of the Black population in the United States.

Between 2014 and 2018, the number of new diagnoses among African Americans dropped by 4 percent.  Although progress has been made in increasing awareness of the disease in this community and reducing diagnoses, more needs to be done. Reaching young African Americans is critical to reducing the incidence of HIV/ AIDS in these communities. Between 2014 and 2018, while there was a drop in new diagnoses, there was an increase of 7 percent in new diagnoses in the 25- to- 35 age category.

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A recent study reviewed the link between rheumatoid arthritis and the risk of developing hypothyroidism.  Results showed a significantly higher risk in women with rheumatoid arthritis.

The results of the study were published in Medicine recently.  The researchers focused on the effect of comorbidities on hypothyroidism. They found that older women with rheumatoid arthritis had a risk of developing hypothyroidism at a rate of 3.6 times more frequently than for women with no history of rheumatoid arthritis. Women had a three times higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared to men of the same age. The risk of developing hypothyroidism increased with age. The odds were 12 in 1,000 in the 20- to- 39 age group. This risk increased to 20 per 1000 in people above the age of 60.

Hypothyroidism can cause a number of side effects such as cardiac arrhythmia, mood changes, extreme fatigue and other effects that can make it difficult for you to go to work and earn an income.  If you suffer from hypothyroidism, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. A diagnosis by itself will not be sufficient for you to qualify for disability benefits. Your symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with your ability to earn a sustainable income.

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