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Atlanta Social Security Disability Law Blog

Overcoming the struggles associated with obtaining SSDI benefits

According to a July 25, 2012 U.S. Census news release, approximately 20 percent of all Americans are living with a disability. Disabling conditions, illnesses and injuries don't discriminate and can impact individuals of all ages, races and socio-economic classes. For many, a disability makes it difficult or impossible to complete physical tasks, think clearly, learn and recall information and function in the capacity of an employee.

The attorneys at Rogers, Hofrichter & Karrh, LLC understand the daily struggles individuals living with debilitating conditions and injuries face. For years, our attorneys have served disabled residents in the Atlanta area who are unable to work and in desperate need of financial assistance.

Help and hope for workers suffering with debilitating back injuries

Until an injury occurs, many people fail to realize exactly how much they use the muscles in their lower back. An individual's back is engaged and necessary for nearly every movement and certainly any that involves walking or lifting. Even sitting can cause an individual's back to become strained and ache. In cases where an individual strains, pulls or tears the muscles in his or her back, it can be difficult to perform simple everyday tasks much less work.

In some cases an injury to the lower back just needs time to heal. In other cases, however, a lower back injury may prove to be chronic and debilitating in nature. Injuries suffered at work, in car accidents or while playing sports are among the most common causes of serious back injuries. Any injury to the muscles, tissues, nerves or bones that make up an individual’s back can result in an individual suffering pain that ranges from a dull ache to shooting and radiating pain.

Can I work and still maintain my SSDI eligibility?

Social Security insurance disability benefits provide monthly income for individuals who are considered disabled and therefore unable to work due to an injury or illness. In some cases, workers who suffered a debilitating injury or medical condition may eventually attempt to return to the workforce. However, these individuals often have concerns about whether or not they are physically or mentally capable of doing so. Many also fear that their SSDI benefits will automatically stop once they return to work.

The Social Security Administration allows an individual to work and maintain SSDI eligibility provided his or her monthly income does not exceed $1,070 per month. In cases where an individual's monthly income exceeds this amount, the SSA offers a nine-month trial work period.

Willing but unable to work, millions rely on SSD & SSI benefits

An individual's ability to take in and process information, think clearly, reason and make rational decisions are critical to not only succeed in one's personal life, but also professionally. For millions of Americans living with a mental disorder, disruptive symptoms often interfere with their ability to be one time, process information, pay attention to details and make decisions; thereby making it extremely difficult to both find and keep a job.

A recent report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports an 80 percent unemployment rate among Americans living with a mental disorder. In many cases individuals who suffer from anxiety, major depression, bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia want to work, but are unable to do so without the assistance, guidance and support of others.

Economic assistance often vital for individuals diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's

Prior to vaccines and widespread public health initiatives, people in the U.S. frequently died at a young age from infections and illnesses that are today treatable or eradicated. As a result, many of the modern medical conditions that develop later in life are relatively new to medical researchers. One of the most prevalent and mysterious of these disorders is Alzheimer's disease.

Individuals who develop Alzheimer's experience problems with memory loss as well as loss of cognitive functioning, both which worsen over time. Eventually, the disease robs those affected of their ability to think clearly, reason and perform everyday tasks. The disease is often devastating to the lives of those afflicted as well as close family members and friends as individuals who are diagnosed with the disease only live an average of eight years after symptoms first appear.

Barring congressional action, Social Security disability will be insolvent by 2017

The quintessential American dream is heavily reliant upon an individual's ability to work and earn an income. Through the acquisition of a job, Americans are told they can move up the ladder and continue to earn, afford and spend more. What happens, however, when an individual in America isn't able to work?

In many countries, individuals who are born with a physical or mental condition, suffer a debilitating injury or are stricken with a serious illness are often forced to rely upon the kindness of family and friends or face living in total poverty. Thankfully, our U.S. government established the Social Security disability program which currently helps an estimated nine million disabled American workers afford basic life necessities like shelter, food and clothing. Unfortunately, the SSDI program is expected to become insolvent by 2017.

Acceptance of PTSD prompts more military personnel and veterans to seek treatment

While the horrors of war and combat are frequently written about, few civilians can truly understand how events participated in and witnessed during war can adversely impact one's life. Active military service members and veterans frequently suffer physically and mentally as a direct result of combat.

Imagine living in a constant state of fear and uncertainty for months or years at a time. Never feeling safe or secure, never knowing if or when an attack or explosion may occur and never knowing who may be injured or killed next. Combat situations experienced in Iraq, Afghanistan and other recent wars have resulted in a growing percentage of military service members and veterans developing a condition known as post traumatic stress disorder.

Disability stories to be recorded in Atlanta

In the next year, Atlanta residents with disabilities may have a special chance to tell their stories to a wider audience. The needs and concerns of the disability community are generally underrepresented in national conversations, and the Disability Visibility Project is working to change that by recording the stories of everyday people living with disabilities.

A major participant in the project is the nonprofit group StoryCorps, whose recordings can be heard on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition." In the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which will be celebrated in July 2015, StoryCorps is partnering with the Disability Visibility Project to record casual conversations with people with disabilities, and Atlanta is among the cities where recording sessions have been scheduled.

Disabled workers might face difficult working conditions

At first glance, it might seem like any worker who is disabled would want his or her employer to be aware of this fact. After all, while disabled people aren't after special treatment, there are circumstances that make it necessary to have accommodations made for them so that they can do their job at the same high level as their co-workers.

This isn't as clear-cut as it might seem, however. An employee might not to reveal a disabling condition for personal reasons -- and, sometimes, to avoid any kind of special accommodation that would make the situation seem unfair to co-workers.

Audits of VA hospitals uncover more disturbing details

The men and women who serve and have served in our nation's armed forces deserve the utmost respect and honor. These brave individuals risk life and limb to protect the U.S. and its citizens without asking for much in return. After serving in conflicts and wars and suffering debilitating physical and mental injuries, the least the federal government can do is provide veterans with free health care services.

We recently wrote a post detailing disturbing information that was recently uncovered when one VA whistleblower decided to speak out about the inadequate care provided to many veterans. As a result of this and similar reports, former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki called for audits to be conducted at 731 VA hospitals and clinics across the country.

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