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Woman finally gets disability benefits approved after 12-year fight

As we age, we may notice that shoveling snow after another Minnesota winter storm may be harder on our backs than it used to be, and we may realize that it doesn't take much activity for us to lose our breath and become tired more easily. Aging is a part of life, and we simply must accept that some tasks will become a little more challenging, but as long as we are in good health our bodies should still be able to do a lot.

However, our bodies are unique, and some folks might age more quickly than others. Although the changes that take place in our bodies as a result of age may be normal, for some, these changes may have painful and even disabling effects.

For example, WebMD explains that degenerative disk disease is actually a term that describes changes in the spinal discs as people age. These changes are normal, but these changes can also lead to other back and neck problems that may be painful and even affect nerve functions. When this happens to individuals who are relatively young and still working, degenerative disk disease may make it impossible for some individuals to continue working, especially when their jobs include heavy lifting or other strenuous tasks.

Individuals who can no longer work as a result of a serious neck or back injury or disease may be entitled to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Although these types of injuries are commonly listed in disability claims, obtaining benefits for neck and back injuries may be a difficult and complex process. For example, one woman in Florida had spent more than a decade fighting for benefits after becoming disabled. The woman suffered from degenerative disk disease and also from depression adjustment disorder, which is a type of depression that may affect people who are unable to cope with or adjust to major changes in their lives.

The woman's claim for disability benefits had been denied several times. After fighting for disability benefits in numerous hearings and going through the appeals process, the woman finally had her benefits approved late last year. The woman spent a total of 12 years fighting for her benefits.

The process for obtaining benefits should never take this long. Unfortunately, some cases are harder to prove than others. Whether folks believe their disability claims will be easy or difficult to win, disabled workers should consider the benefits of working with an attorney who will protect their rights.

Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, "Port Orange law firm wins 12-year-old case," Jan. 30, 2013

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