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Children with learning disabilities could be eligible for benefits

While many children suffer through years of struggling at school with learning disabilities, those same students could have disability qualifying benefits and be eligible for payment by the Social Security Administration.

“It is believed that learning disabilities are caused by a difficulty with the nervous system that affects receiving, processing, or communicating information,” according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s website. “They may also run in families. Some children with learning disabilities are also hyperactive; unable to sit still, easily distracted, and have a short attention span.”

Frequent signals of a learning disability include difficulty understanding and following instructions, trouble remembering what someone just told him or her, failure to master reading, spelling or other skills and more, according to the ACAP.

Parents whose children suffer through these learning disabilities will need to get acceptable medical documentation from a licensed or certified psychologist, according to the Social Security Administration. The documentation would have to establish that the child has a learning disability, mental retardation or borderline intellectual functioning, the SSA said.

Additionally, school records and evidence of difficulties with social activities and family relationships can be very compelling evidence in support of a child’s learning disability claim.

The law offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates, Ltd. have successfully represented numerous learning disabled children in obtaining Social Security disability benefits.

September a month to be aware of chronic pain, arthritis

This month is one that should make many suffering through pain consider social security disability if they have disability qualifying conditions, as many states across the country have proclaimed September as Pain Awareness Month.

States such as Mississippi and Wisconsin, among others, have dedicated this month to increasing awareness of chronic pain, which affects 116 million American adults, according to the Institute of Medicine, and is considered a disability qualifying condition.

The Arthritis Foundation have also put forward a campaign which tries to spread awareness of arthritis, which Dr. Patience H. White, vice president for public health for the Arthritis Foundation, told The New York Times affects one in five adults. White said arthritis currently affects 50 million adults and could affect as many as 67 million by 2020. Ads from the foundation will try to spread the word of exercise by using athletes such as Billy Jean King, who suffers from osteoarthritis.

Claimants suffering from chronic pain should be aware that SSR 96-7p, which is a rule used by the Social Security Administration to evaluate claims of disabling pain, recognizes that a claimant’s persistent efforts to obtain relief from pain or other symptoms serve to enhance their credibility. In other words, claimants who follow up with their medical treatment for pain stand a much better chance of being awarded benefits by the SSA.

It is our opinion that claimants should make every effort to seek regular medical treatment for chronic pain symptoms. Infrequent or irregular medical visits or failure to seek treatment will be strongly considered by the SSA under SSR 96-p7 as evidence against a claim for disability benefits.

The law offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are experts in obtaining benefits for clients suffering chronic pain from arthritis as well as other painful and disabling medical conditions.

VA adds to list of ships exposed to Agent Orange

The Veterans Affairs Department has expanded the list of ships exposed to Agent Orange, thereby broadening the amount of veterans with disability qualifying conditions who could apply for veterans benefits.

Ships added to the list were in Vietnam between between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Veterans who served aboard these ships during that time may be eligible to receive VA disability compensation for 14 medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange. A list of new ships exposed to Agent Orange are available at publichealth.va.gov.

According to VA’s website, Agent Orange is a mix of herbicides used during Vietnam. Millions of gallons of Agent Orange was sprayed across trees and vegetation to deny cover to enemy forces. Diseases associated with Agent Orange include multiple forms of cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and Acute and Subacute Peripheral Neuropathy, among others.

The “presumption” rule comes into effect for soldiers with disability qualifying conditions exposed to Agent Orange. This means veterans don’t have to prove a medical link between their illness and service, the VA said, adding that the department presumes exposure for any veteran who served within Vietnam or on its inland waterways.

It is our opinion that any Vietnam veteran who served aboard a watercraft in or near Vietnam may have been exposed to Agent Orange and or other herbicides employed by the U.S. armed forces. If the veteran is ill from one of the deceases associated with the use of herbicides, they should consider filing a claim with the VA immediately. The law offices of Harold W. Conick, & Associates is available to assist the veteran with such claim.