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Lawsuit filed for in-house nursing funding

According to Courthouse News, a class action lawsuit have been filed in Illinois in response to drastic cuts of in-home nursing for disabled people once they turn 21 years of age. The lead plaintiff of the class action suit, Don Harris, sued director of the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services Julie Hamos in federal court. Those affected by these cuts with disability qualifying conditions should consider filing with the Social Security Administration.

“This reduction in funding is not due to a change in the plaintiff’s medical needs but on the fact that the plaintiff’s funding at age 21 comes from a different state program, which has significant caps on funding,” the court complaint said, according to the news source. “The reduction in funding will either result in the plaintiff becoming institutionalized (hospitalized) or if he remains in the family home without sufficient skilled nursing care, then he faces a strong possibility of imminent death or a life-threatening episode.”

Harris turns 21 this month and the Courthouse News said he is blind, developmentally disabled, has seizures and severe scoliosis, according to what Harris’ mother wrote in the complaint. For those with debilitating problems like this, Social Security benefits may be a good alternative to the in-home nursing funding.

Social Security disability benefits, including Medicare, can be vital in ensuring ongoing medical treatment for a disabled individual. The law offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in proving disability claims for their clients. We are available for clients to file the initial disability and will go with the client through appealing a case to the Federal court level if necessary.

VA cuts benefits for service dogs

Although many veterans of the United States military may be in need of service dogs due to the effects of post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD,  ABC news reports that according to the Federal Register, these veterans benefits are being cut. The Department of Veterans Affairs told the news source that there is not enough medical evidence to support the need for these dogs. This new rule will start October 5, according to ABC News

“Although we do not disagree with some commenters’ subjective accounts that mental health service dogs have improved the quality of their lives, VA has not yet been able to determine that these dogs provide a medical benefit to veterans with mental illness,” the VA said.

While VA does not believe in the medical benefit of these dogs, many seem to. Lindsey Stanke, CEO of Paws and Stripes, told ABC News that they have a waitlist for trained dogs that is more than 600 long. The news source had an estimate of 100 new service dogs that would be provided each year, but Stanke said the list is growing longer and longer. She believes having these dogs helps not only the veterans, but eases the veteran’s family as well.

PTSD is a serious medical condition that often is not considered as disabling as other medical conditions suffered by the veterans. The law offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are experts in establishing claims based on PTSD through credible medical evidence that will be recognized by VA officials.

Veterans in Chicago face longer waits for benefits

Veterans benefits are one thing that should be extremely easy to get for those who have served our country, but a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting finds that the average wait time for veterans in rural areas tend to have their benefits granted much quicker than those in big cities. Time Magazine pointed out that vets in cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and New York face long waits.

“As a reporter who has spent the last decade covering the war in Iraq and the experiences of American veterans, I can’t tell you how many veterans I’ve met who committed suicide or became homeless while they waited on a disability claim,” said Aaron Glantz of the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting, according to the news source.

Time said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told the American Legion convention earlier this month that no one at the department is standing at rest when it comes to claims, but they are getting more in than they have been pushing out. VA still has a goal of processing all claims within 125 days at 98 percent accuracy by 2015, a lofty goal by the department.

Regardless of the good intentions of VA, the truth is justice delayed is justice denied. The law offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are committed to advancing the client’s VA claim to an early approval of benefits as soon as legally possible.

People with mental illness can get help

While it may not be easy living with mental illness, people who have diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can get help from by applying for benefits with the Social Security Administration. Whether in the Chicagoland area or anywhere in the country, people with these disability qualifying conditions should look to apply with the SSA for some help.

Matthew Rutledge, a research economist at Boston College, told the New York Post that 43
percent of those who file with the Social Security Administration for disability payments do so due to mental illness.

“It could be because their health really is getting worse from the stress of being out of work,” Rutledge, told the news source, adding that it could also just be a safety net for those who are out of work. This is unlikely, as Social Security Administration judges are not likely to approve someone who claims to have a mental illness without multiple claims and records to back them up.

An important thing to remember about applying for disability from the SSA is that a judge will need to see limitations and that the claimant does not have the ability to do their job as they normally could.

In a Social Security case for mental illness, it is critical to have all treatment records and doctor reports be submitted to the SSA. Additionally, it is often necessary to secure medical reports from treating doctors which address the functional limitations suffered by the claimant as a result of their mental impairments.

The law offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in securing the necessary medical reports that will help convince the SSA judges that a claimant is entitled to disability benefits.