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Nerve disorders can qualify for Social Security disability

Brain and nervous disorder problems can easily alter lives. The able bodied can quickly turn into a shell of their former self after being hit with a disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, or epilepsy. While many of these problems carry no easy fixes with them, those who suffer can apply for Social Security disability to help them live their lives without drowning in debt.

On the Social Security Administration’s website, they give examples of what would qualify one for disability benefits if they are suffering from epilepsy:

“In epilepsy, regardless of etiology, degree of impairment will be determined according to type, frequency, duration, and sequelae of seizures. At least one detailed description of a typical seizure is required,” the website said. “Such description includes the presence or absence of aura, tongue bites, sphincter control, injuries associated with the attack, and postictal phenomena.”

Other cases may not be quite as easy to prove, as WebMD notes that the nervous system is complex and highly specialized. Having testimony from a doctor would be very helpful in certain cases of nerve disorder.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates have successfully represented numerous clients suffering from nerve and brain disorders. We are skilled in obtaining critical opinions concerning the clients disabling symptoms from the clients treating physicians as well as the Social Security medical experts via cross examination.

Fibromyalgia diagnosis hard to pin down

One disorder has been affecting women across the world, but many do not know what it is for a long time. The Times-Herald record got a question from one reader about Fibromyalgia and Fred Cicetti, healthcare writer and author of How to Be a Healthy Geezer, said it is not an easy disease to diagnose, as doctors must rely on symptoms. For this reason, it may be hard to immediately get Social Security disability benefits and a skilled attorney may be needed to assist.

“Fibromyalgia is not a disease. It’s a syndrome, which is a group of symptoms without a single cause,” Cicetti wrote on the website. “It is characterized by widespread pain, tenderness and fatigue. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia may include cognitive difficulties (“fibro fog”), sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, painful menstrual periods, numbness or tingling of the extremities, restless leg syndrome and sensitivity to heat, cold, noises and light.”

Cicetti said about 5 million people in the United states have this disease, and approximately 4 million of those are women, mostly in their middle age.

MedlinePlus said those with rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disease may be more likely to get fibromyalgia. It is something that can only be managed, not cured.

The attorneys at the law office of Harold W. Conick and Associates have successfully represented woman suffering from fibromyalgia for over 20 years. In the early days, the Social Security judges did not recognize the disabling nature of this syndrome and would often deny the claims at the hearing stage. We successfully appealed several such decisions to the appeals council and Federal court to obtain favorable outcomes for our clients .

Many veterans have long waits for their benefits

Whether they have been home for just a few days or a few decades, many who have battled for this country are finding a wait when they go to get their veterans benefits. The New York Times reports that last year, veterans filed for more than 1.3 million claims, which is double the number of 2001. While the Department of Veterans Affairs added 4,000 new workers since 2008, the agency completed less than 80 percent of its inventory, not keeping its same pace, the news source said.

“We’re not gaining any ground here,” Eric K. Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, said to the Times, but added that they are trying to fix this problem now.

The New York Times said while the survival rate of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan has been higher than previous wars, there are more disorders than ever. Troops stationed in these countries have nearly 10 disorders each. This is compared with six for Vietnam veterans and four for those in World War II, which makes these claims more complex to process. This may add to the backlog, along with the fact that nearly half of these veterans are filing for benefits. This is about double the usual rate, the source said.

Although veterans can expect a long wait for justice from the VA, the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates is committed to helping veterans expedite the claim process by all means possible in order to obtain a decision from VA.

Report may mean stricter Social Security disability process

While there are many people in the United States and in the Chicagoland area who desperately need Social Security disability benefits to survive, there are people who have taken advantage of the system due to relaxed oversight. According to a Senate subcommittee report, which was spearheaded by one Oklahoma senator, more than a quarter of disability claims are approved despite conflicting or inadequate information. This may mean the screws will be tightened on the disability benefit process.

Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, headed the report, which said it doesn’t mean that these applicants should have been turned down. However, it does mean that there have been “unfounded approvals” that have slipped through the cracks of the process. This may make it harder for those with legitimate claims to get approved.

“Administrative law judges are under immense pressure to clear away a deep backlog of applications,” according to The Hill. “Coburn’s review uncovered examples of judges holding hearings that lasted only 10 minutes, at which the disability recipient didn’t even speak. Some judges seemed to overtly ignore evidence indicating that applicants were probably able to return to work.”

All claims systems in the United States have some flaws and unworthy cases approved. However, there are instances when legitimate cases are denied or delayed due to unreasonable proof requirements. The new Social Security Administration policy of keeping the identity of the judge secret until the day of the hearing further places a disadvantage on the claimant and their attorney.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates have never requested a change of judge for fear of presenting a case before one who is known as “difficult.” We work our clients cases up in anticipation of presenting the case to the toughest judge employed by the SSA. When compelling evidence is presented, the judge is required to follow the law and approve the claimant or be overturned by a higher court.