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Midwest Disability, P.A.'s Blog

Early signs of lung cancer

Lung cancer is often detected when medical professionals run imaging tests and spot a mass in the lungs. Cancer of this type can make it hard and nearly impossible to breathe, which means it can qualify as a disability, even while you are getting treatment and even if you will eventually recover.

While these medical tests are important, it is wise to note that you can see symptoms and signs long before you go to the doctor. With cancer, one the main goals is early detection, which makes it easier to treat and less likely to be fatal. You need to know what signs to watch for so that you know when to go to the doctor. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • You have a cough that lasts for weeks and will not go away on its own
  • You have notice blood when coughing on at least one occasion
  • Your weight has started falling for no other reason
  • You struggle to breathe or feel like you can never get a deep breath
  • Whenever you sneeze or cough, you feel an ache in your chest
  • You get repeated chest infections that may go away and then return
  • You experience a notable loss of appetite or loss of energy
  • You're just constantly fatigued, along with these other symptoms

Long-Term Disability Policies and Offsets

One benefit that is becoming increasingly common for employers to offer is a long-term disability policy.

These policies are private plans that are separate from Social Security, with their own premiums taken out of your paycheck.

The upside of long-term disability is that it is often easier and quicker to be approved for it than Social Security disability.

Supreme Court Will Consider ALJ Appointments

The 2018 Supreme Court decision Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission received little attention from most media outlets when it was handed down, but it's led to a lot of headaches for Social Security disability attorneys.

Lucia held that administrative agencies, including Social Security, could not use internal processes to hire the administrative law judges that decide cases and that under the Constitution, these judges could only be appointed by the president. Essentially, all of the decisions made by roughly 1,500 Social Security ALJs were rendered invalid overnight.

There are a wide range of potential disabilities

Disabilities can look vastly different from one person to the next. A common assumption is that a disabled person has some sort of injury or condition that limits mobility, like a spinal cord injury that means they're confined to a wheelchair. These issues do happen and they are serious, of course, but it's never wise to assume that all cases look even remotely the same.

To see how wide the range of disabilities can be, let's take a look at the top reasons for disability in the United States. They are:

  • Cancer
  • Back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes

How do you deal with nightmares about trauma?

As a veteran, you may experience nightmares upon returning home from combat. This is common when someone has experienced some sort of trauma; this does not necessarily mean physical trauma, but could also include the emotional and mental trauma of serving in combat, even when uninjured physically.

These nightmares, which may be part of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can be frustrating because you cannot always control them or overcome them. This can make you nervous to go to sleep for fear of what may happen, even when you have been avoiding flashbacks and negative thoughts in your daily life.

Unfavorable Decision: Understanding the Next Steps and Your Options

You have recently appeared before a judge and had a hearing regarding your Social Security Disability benefits; however, you received an unfavorable decision in the mail. While this is not what you were hoping for, there are options following an unfavorable decision. If you disagree with the hearing decision, there is the option to ask for a review by the Social Security Appeal's Counsel. This is called an appeal. At Midwest Disability we have attorneys who specifically review all unfavorable decisions to determine whether there are appealable issues. While most appeals are done by attorneys, claimants may also appeal the decision themselves (pro se). When a decision is appealed, the Appeals Council will review the decision. They may deny a request if they believe the hearing decision is correct. However, the Appeals Counsel may decide the case itself or return your case to an administrative law judge for another hearing. Remanding the case to an administrative law judge for further hearing is often what happens in most cases. If you choose not to appeal the hearing decision or the Appeals Counsel denies your appeal request, you also have the option of reapplying. This would mean you would go through the Social Security Disability application process again. It is important to note how a prior unfavorable decision may affect your claim though. Generally, you cannot allege your disability began before the date of the prior unfavorable decision. For example, if you have an unfavorable decision dated September 1, 2019, you cannot allege your disability began on or before September 1, 2019. Therefore, if you reapply for benefits, you will have to at least allege disability began September 2, 2019 or later. However, there are some small exceptions and nuisances to this rule including re-opening a case. Therefore, it is important to talk through all your options with an experienced attorney who can advise you which options best fit your specific case.

3 potential causes of mental disorders

The first thing that people must understand about mental disorders is that those who have these disorders did not cause them. They are being affected by them, just like any other disease, but they have no control over whether or not they have the disorder. It can happen to anyone.

So, if people aren't causing these disorders on their own, what causes are there? What put them in this position? It's tough to pin things down exactly, as every case is unique, but here are three potential causes, per the prestigious Mayo Clinic.

  1. Brain chemistry: Someone may have the wrong level of chemicals in their brain -- this is often what medication seeks to fix -- or there may be other issues with their neural networks. When brain chemistry is off, it can impact mood, energy, physical actions and much more.
  2. Pre-birth environmental exposure: Mothers are told to be very careful while pregnant for a reason. Exposing an unborn child to harmful chemicals -- by smoking, drinking or using illegal drugs, for instance -- can have an impact on the rest of that child's life.
  3. Inherited traits: There is some evidence that mental disorders are genetic and may be passed down from one generation to the next. This doesn't mean that every heir will have the disorder, but that they may be more likely to see it manifest. This is similar to how a family history of cancer may make it more likely that you'll develop cancer, though it is by no means a guarantee.

Supplemental Security Income for Disabled Children: Understanding the Basics

In general, a child who is disabled may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits under the Social Security Act. First, we must determine who is considered a "child" for purposes of Social Security benefits. A child for purposes of Social Security benefits is a person who is neither married nor head of household and is under the age of 18 or a student regularly attending school who is under the age of 22. It is important to note there is no minimum age requirement. Once the definition of a "child" is met then the child must meet the criteria of disabled or blind. To be disabled, the child must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which result in marked and severe functional limitations. Additionally, these impairments must have lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. There are childhood listings to consider; if a child meets or equals one of the listings then they would be found to be disabled. However, most cases will be assessed by looking at whether the child's impairments "functionally equal the listings" (SSA Code of Federal Regulations§ 416.926a). Basically, a judge must find that the impairments results in "marked" limitations in two domains of functioning or "extreme" limitation in one domain. So, what are the domains considered? There are six domains considered which are: 1) acquiring and using information; 2) attending and completing tasks; 3) interacting and relating with others; 4) moving about and manipulating objects; 5) caring for [themselves]; and 6) health and physical well-being. The child's limitations and abilities in these domains are compared with other children in their age group. Overall, every child's impairments are different and individualized as to how it affects their functioning. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to determine whether your child may meet/equal the listing or what domains to focus on when presenting the case to the judge.

I'm dying. How can I access benefits quickly?

You received the bad news recently from your doctor that the condition from which you're suffering is terminal. Now, your main focus is how you can quickly access whatever Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to which you may be eligible.

The good news is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) does have a fast-track plan for just these situations. Known as the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, there are currently 242 approved conditions that can decrease the time it takes to process an SSDI claim from months to sometimes days.

Contact Us To Get Started

Contact us online or call our offices directly at 888-351-0427 for a free case evaluation. All cases are taken on contingency, meaning there are no fees until we recover benefits for you.

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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.

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Coon Rapids, MN 55448

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