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Midwest Disability, P.A.'s Blog

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.

Signs of liver cirrhosis

Liver disease progresses through five main stages: A healthy liver, a liver with fibrosis, a liver with cirrhosis, a liver with cancer, and liver failure. While there are treatment options, there are not always cures.

This is important because a failing liver can be fatal. The key is for doctors to treat whatever has led to the cirrhosis -- or whatever stage of the disease the liver is in -- to keep it from progressing. In some cases, liver transplants are also possible. However, there are a lot of factors that have to work together for that to be an option.

How long a disability has to last for SSDI benefits

One option that injured workers sometimes have is to claim benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This is different than other benefits in a few key ways, one of which is the relatively narrow scope of the qualifying injuries. Another difference is how long that disability is expected to last.

After all, not all disabilities are permanent, even though that is what many people assume when addressing the issue. Someone could suffer a back injury which means they can't work for six months, rendering them disabled, but they may recover enough in that time to start working again.

Is the war in Afghanistan over?

There has been no war in the history of the United States that has lingered for as long as the war in Afghanistan. Many famous wars were actually relatively short. The U.S. entered World War Two in 1941, for example, and it was over by 1945. The war itself was longer, of course, since the U.S. entered late, but American involvement only ran for four years.

In Afghanistan, historians note that the U.S. involvement really began in 1999. Someone born that year would be 21 years old this year. Many soldiers who joined to fight in the war served their entire careers without seeing it end. Now, in 2020, is it over?

Veterans may have invisible, internal injuries

If you ask the average person what types of injuries veterans suffer, they're probably going to mention two things: Amputation injuries and traumatic brain injuries. These do happen often in such a dangerous line of work, and they often fit the profile that people have in mind of an injured military member.

However, it's important to remember that veterans could look healthy and still be dealing with serious internal injuries. These "invisible" injuries could still lead to a disability.

Age: Not Just a Number in Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration has a strict set of laws and regulations that determine how disability cases are decided and awarded. It is important to note that age will not disqualify someone from applying or receiving disability benefits. However, an individual's age is factored into how the Social Security Administration views the case. There are four basic age categories that are considered by Social Security. First, there is the category of younger individuals. Younger individuals are individuals who are anywhere from 18 years old to 49 years old. Second, there is the category of individuals closely approaching advanced age. These individuals are anywhere from 50 years old to 54 years old. Third, there is the category of individuals of advanced age who are 55 to 59. Lastly, there are individuals approaching retirement age who range from 60 to 65 years old. As a young individual, age generally does not come into play but instead the individual must show they are unable to perform any full-time work in the national economy. However, once an individual is 50+ years old, the burden of proving disability shifts somewhat. These age groups used by the Social Security Administration are examined along with an individual's past work, educational background, and residual functional capacity. For example, say an individual is 52 years old, has a high school education, and past work as a truck driver and machine operator. If this individual was found to be limited to "sedentary" work due to severe back pain issues then this individual wound likely be found disabled per the vocational grid rules. This finding would be contingent upon verifying the individual has no transferable skills to sedentary work. Overall, as an individual ages the burden for proving disability lessens a bit. However, due to the complexity of the vocational grid rules and the individual issues in each case, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney about your specific case and circumstances. An experienced attorney will help you understand more on how your age may affect your case in getting approved for benefits.

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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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