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Atlanta Social Security Disability Law Blog

Schizophrenia and Social Security disability

Throughout one's life, an individual may struggle to find harmony between perception and reality. For most people, how they perceive an event or situation is closely in line with reality and merely colored by one's own insecurities or personal experiences. However, for an individual living with schizophrenia, the lines between perception and reality are very blurry and, in some cases, nonexistent.

Schizophrenia is categorized as a mental disorder and affects approximately one percent of the population. Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia often exhibit symptoms classified as being psychotic in nature and include hallucinations, trouble focusing, delusions and movement disorders. Additionally, in an effort to self medicate, schizophrenic individuals often develop substance abuse problems which exacerbates symptoms.

For those living with multiple sclerosis, every day brings challenges

Imagine waking up one day and having difficulty walking. The next day you may not even make it out of bed due to extreme fatigue and dizziness. For those living with multiple sclerosis, every day brings new surprises and challenges that can adversely impact an individual’s mental and psychological health.

MS is a disease that affects an individual’s central nervous system. The symptoms associated with MS are devastating and unpredictable. For an individual with MS, the disease disrupts signals the brain tries to send to different parts of the body. When these signals are disrupted; a host of painful, unpredictable and highly disruptive symptoms may present.

Veterans struggling with PTSD may be eligible for SSD benefits

The men and women who serve in the U.S. military sacrifice a lot. In addition to spending months or even years away from family and friends, military service members often live in foreign and hostile regions where they must constantly be on guard. Those who do participate in or witness combat or some other traumatic event may never fully recover.

In recent years, there have been many news stories about the physical and psychological health of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. In addition to lost limbs and traumatic brain injuries, many veterans of the recent conflicts also suffer psychological wounds and thousands have been diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Lower back injuries: common and debilitating

Chronic pain not only affects an individual's physical health but can also have psychological effects. Experiencing pain day in and out is tiring and may prevent an individual from being able to participate in activities he or she previously enjoyed as well as work. Two new studies that examined the prevalence of lower back injuries amongst people around the world and amongst workers in various industries were recently published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

According to one of the studies, almost 10 percent of people worldwide suffer from lower back pain. For some, the source of their persistent pain is unclear. In other cases, however, lower back pain is traced back to injuries suffered while performing work duties.

Brain injury victims may qualify for social security disability benefits

The human brain is incredibly complex and fragile. When a blow or jolt to the head occurs, it's likely that an individual's brain is somehow adversely affected. In some cases, a brain injury may be considered minor. However, research shows that even brain injuries suffered while playing soccer or falling off a bike can take a toll and impact an individual’s memory and ability to process information. In cases where an individual suffers a brain injury in a car or work accident, the symptoms may be more severe and result in permanent disabilities.

A 12-year-old girl recently described how a traumatic brain injury she suffered at the age of four has impacted her health and life. The young girl was involved in a serious car accident in which she was thrown 20 feet from a car that crashed into a bridge at 60 MPH. As the four-year-old lay in a coma with several injuries to her brain, doctors doubted she would live.

Expenses associated with raising autistic children, often costly

Many Georgia residents likely know a family that's been affected by autism. According to the non-profit organization Autism Speaks, an estimated two million men, women and children in the U.S. have been diagnosed as having some form of autism. However, despite the prevalence of the mental disorder, scientists have yet to definitively determine its cause, although both genetic and environmental factors are believed to play a role.

While there is no cure for autism, early diagnosis is vital to ensuring a child receives the attention he or she needs to continue to progress and learn to manage and cope with the disorder. A recent U.S. study revealed that the average yearly costs associated with providing medical care, education and non-medical services for a child with autism is roughly $17,000 more than for a normally developing child. For many families, the financial costs associated with raising a child with autism are difficult to manage.

Individuals applying for disability benefits face challenges

An adult or child may be rendered disabled for a number of reasons. Some children are born with genetic conditions that may affect them physically or mentally. Others may become disabled later in life as the result of a work or car accident in which an individual suffer a traumatic brain injury or spinal injury. In other cases, a serious illness or medical condition such as cancer, an autoimmune disease or mental illness may also result in an individual becoming disabled.

Regardless of the circumstances, individuals who suffer mental or physical disabilities are often unable to perform basic everyday tasks or work duties. As a result, many disabled Americans are not able to work resulting in a large percentage of these men and women being forced to live in poverty. Thankfully, social security disability benefits are available to provide financial assistance for those individuals who qualify. Unfortunately, the process of applying for SSD benefits is complex, lengthy and confusing.

Social Security expediting disabled veterans SSDI claims

Veterans in Georgia who are living with a disability should be aware of a new program that could help them receive Social Security Disability benefits faster. The Social Security Administration recently announced a new program to expedite SSDI claim decisions for veterans with disabilities.

The new initiative would help veterans with disabilities have their claims reviewed much faster compared to the regular review process. The new program starts March 17 and could help many veterans have their SSDI claims expedited, but veterans have to meet eligibility requirements to have their claims and decision process expedited. 

Rare Disease Day highlights struggles of delayed diagnosis

Many Americans suffer from diseases that are uncommon and unfamiliar to the public. People who suffer from rare diseases often struggle with treating their disease due to the difficulty in diagnosing their disorder as well as finding approved treatments. 

Rare diseases can be very difficult to live with. Feb. 28 is Rare Disease Day, and advocates hope the day will help raise awareness to rare diseases and people living with rare diseases throughout the world. What is a rare disease? When fewer than 200,000 people are diagnosed with a medical condition in the United States. 

Job market tough for intellectually disabled

Adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the United States may have a difficult time working, and those that are able to work struggle to find a job. Despite government programs that are supposed to help people with disabilities find and stay employed, many adults with disabilities end up working in low-paying and dead-end jobs. 

In the U.S., 34 percent of adults with intellectual disabilities are working, according to a survey by the Special Olympics. They reported that only a total of 44 percent of intellectually disabled adults are either working or looking for work in the country, compared to 83 percent of adults without disabilities. 

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