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Disability benefits may be crucial for people with paralysis

There are many people with partial or full paralysis in Atlanta who are able to work, make a living and are in no need of disability benefits. At the same time, however, there are others whose paralysis interferes with their ability to keep a job and need benefits to help pay medical bills and living expenses. For some people, there spinal cord injuries are so severe that they have no movement below their neck and need around-the-clock assistance. For them, these benefits are crucial.

The Social Security disability insurance program is designed to help anyone who has been paying into the Social Security Administration. They are benefits to ensure that individuals who have an accident or develop a medical condition are cared for and protected from poverty after a lifetime of hard work.

Spinal cord injuries can do more than just leave someone paralyzed, too. Damage to the spinal cord can affect muscles, nerves and the internal organs. The control over our bodies that many of us take for granted may just not be there for people with spinal cord injuries.

The spinal cord itself goes from the base of the brain to the lower back, running through a small tunnel in the spinal column. It is no bigger than the width of a pinkie, but that bundle of nerves is incredibly important. Spinal cord injuries are often caused by a narrowing of the space surrounding the spinal cord. This can either be because of a break in the spinal column or a tear in the ligament supporting the spinal column. There are a whole host of other reasons as to why the spinal cord can become damaged, too.

Regardless of the reason why someone's spinal cord is damaged, if a spinal cord injury interrupts someone's ability to work, he or she is likely eligible for disability benefits.

Source: The Missoulian, "Family health: Spinal cord injuries change lives in drastic ways," Renee Redler, June 18, 2013

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