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How do I get help with disability insurance?

Work may not be your life, but work is often how we pay for our lives as well as the lives of our loved ones. If something happens that means you have a new relationship with your work, it often means there are changed to financial affairs.

  • What are the types of support people can expect if they have a sudden disability?

There are private insurance options that cover the possibility of a new disability. A sudden health issue may not be related to work, so these options often cover more than workers' compensation. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits for some types of disabilities.

  • How does the SSA decide which disabilities require benefits?

Disability Benefits and Student Loans

According to current federal government statistics, the total student loan balance of Americans stands at $1.6 trillion.

And student loan debt isn't just affecting millennials. It's not uncommon to meet people close to retirement age who still have tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. 

It Could Get Harder for Non-English Speakers to Get Disability

Many disability applicants understand that because Social Security takes into account age, education, and work history, it is easier for applicants over the age of 50 to obtain benefits.

Essentially, instead of proving a complete inability to work, if an individual over the age of 50 is limited to unskilled sedentary work and has not done this type of work in the past and lacks skills that would transfer to sit down work, he or she is found disabled.

Paralysis: Related issues and disorders

For those suffering from paralysis, whether it is permanent or temporary, the main issue is the paralysis itself. That's what changes their and has such a drastic impact on their future.

However, it is important to remember that people suffering from paralysis may also find themselves enduring all manner of related issues, both mental and physical. It's not just paralysis that causes problems. Some of the other issues commonly related to paralysis and noted by the respected Cleveland Clinic include:

  • Blood clots, especially in a person's legs
  • Issues with heart rate and blood flow
  • Problems with breathing and respiration
  • Pressure sores from not being able to move frequently, along with related skin injuries
  • Deterioration of bones, joints and muscles
  • Issues with glands and internal organs, which may no longer function normally
  • Issues with sexual abilities and performance
  • Loss of control of the bowels
  • Issues swallowing, eating and drinking
  • Trouble speaking
  • Mood changes
  • Behavioral changes

There is still much to learn about spinal cord injuries

If you suffer from a serious spinal cord injury, one of the first things that the doctor is going to tell you is that it may never fully heal. They're not trying to be negative or make you feel like it's impossible, but they want to be honest with you about the prognosis. Many times, these injuries do not ever heal. People wind up dealing with them for life.

What you may ask yourself, then, is how this is possible. How is it that technology is so good today that you can carry a computer in your pocket and people can walk on the face of the moon, but a spinal cord injury just can't heal? Why can we do heart transplants and even face transplants, but we can't heal the spine?

Down Syndrome and Disability Claims

The Social Security Administration will find that an otherwise qualified applicant for SSI or SSDI is disabled if the individual meets the clinical and diagnostic criteria of a listed impairment. There are numerous listed impairments or "Listings" in the regulations which are categorized by body system. Down syndrome, specifically non-mosaic Down syndrome falls under the Listing for "congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems" (Listing 10.00). Listing 10.06 applies specifically to non-mosaic Down syndrome. In order to meet Listing 10.06, certain laboratory findings are required.

Under Listing 10.06, the SSA requires a report of karyotype analysis, which is the definitive test to establish non-mosaic Down syndrome. The SSA will not purchase this test. If a physician has not signed the lab report, the evidence must also include a physician's statement that the induvial has non-mosaic Down syndrome. The SSA will not accept a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test as a substitute. The only exception to the karyotype analysis testing is if a physician's report states that the induvial has the distinct facial or other physical features of Down's syndrome along with evidence that an individual's functioning is consistent with a diagnosis of non-mosaic Down syndrome.

Beware of New Social Security Scams

According to the AARP, there has been a significant uptick in scam phone calls purporting to be from the Social Security Administration. In these calls, the call recipient is told that their Social Security number has been linked to criminal activity and has been suspended. The caller asks to confirm their Social Security number so that they may reactivate the number or issue a new number (for a fee, of course!). There are also fraudulent calls that in which the caller purports to have good news about a cost of living adjustment. The AARP also notes that fraudsters send emails that appear to be from the SSA and, ironically, ask the recipient to click on a link to help protect them from fraud. In addition to attempting to charge you money, the scammers may also attempt to use your Social Security number for identify theft purposes.

In April of 2019, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), a consumer protection agency, reported fraudulent calls claiming to be from the SSA had grown to the point of surpassing fraudulent calls purporting to be from the IRS. According to the FTC, scam calls may actually show up on caller ID as the Social Security Administration and look like the agency's real number. This is achieved through a process known as "spoofing". However, the SSA will not contact you out of the blue. Moreover, the threat of consequences like an arrest or loss of benefits or suspension of your Social Security number if you do not provider payment or personal information should also serve as a red flags.

Veterans say stigmas reduce their ability to find jobs

When soldiers return to the United States, they can find themselves facing a lot of roadblocks regarding restarting their careers. Sometimes, they do not have skills that translate well into the civilian world. Other times, they have just been out of the workforce for so long that they're not sure where to begin.

One major issue to consider is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This can lead to:

  • Inexplicable anxiety
  • Flashbacks
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleeplessness

Getting Disability Benefits with a Questionable Diagnosis

One of the more frustrating aspects of disability law is meeting clients who clearly have severe medical issues that are keeping them from working, yet their physicians can't quite pinpoint a diagnosis.

A common situation is a claimant suffering from severe pain. X-rays and MRIs might be normal, but the individual can still have severe muscle pain all over their body.

Many doctors will diagnose fibromyalgia at that point, but others will refer to it as chronic pain syndrome, or maybe something even more vague.

Another type of case that I see involves seizure disorders. Individuals may frequently fall to the ground and appear to have the typical grand mal seizure, yet no objective test shows epilepsy or any known cause for the seizure. In those cases, doctors will typically diagnose pseudoseizures or seizures with an unknown cause.

What percentage of people have joined the military?

Have you ever wondered just how many people have served in the armed forces? You may be able to find data indicating how large the military is at any given time, but you're interested in the bigger picture. You want to know how many people have served in the past, as well.

It's interesting because this has changed a lot over the years. If you go back to the 1960s, for instance, you will find that anywhere from 40% to 50% of men in the U.S. had been in the military in some capacity. Fast forward to today, and reports claim that the percentage has fallen so far that it's now a mere 7%.

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Midwest Disability, P.A.
408 Northdale Boulevard Northwest
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
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