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Disability benefits for spinal cord injuries

It isn’t easy dealing with a spinal cord injury, and according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5.6 million Americans are trying to survive with this affliction. Most are paralyzed and were injured when they were young. While there is no bright side to being injured this severely, these people can get help in the form of Social Security disability benefits.

“Disability under Social Security is based on your inability to work,” The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s website said. “You are considered to be disabled under Social Security rules if you cannot do work that you did before and it is decided that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s). Your disability must also last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.”

Even though many people can be seriously affected by spinal cord injuries, it isn’t easy getting approved by the Social Security Administration for benefits and many will have to appeal. For any applicant to successfully gain benefits, they must show medical evidence that shows their medical troubles. The website said the best evidence in many spinal cord injury cases can be the applicant’s doctor.

Credible medical evidence is always necessary to proof a disability case. Physicians reports and progress notes, hospital records, therapy records, function reports, lab tests, MRI’s and X-ray reports can all support a claim for Social Security disability benefits. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in establishing the proof necessary to win these benefits.

Appeals process for SSD benefits doesn’t have to be hard

Although it may seem like Social Security benefits won’t come once a denial happens, there’s always a new chance in the process. The Social Security Administration allows people to appeal their decision within 60 days from the date a letter of denial is received, at which point the old evidence, as well as any new evidence, will be reviewed once again as part of the reconsideration process.

“Most reconsiderations involve a review of your files without the need for you to be present,” the Social Security Administration’s website said. “But when you appeal a decision that you are no longer eligible for disability benefits because your medical condition has improved, you can meet with a Social Security representative and explain why you believe you still have a disability.”

If the claimant still disagrees, they can go to a disability hearing. If disability benefits are denied again, the next two steps include appeals council and federal court. People that need to get help can get a representative, who cannot collect fees on a case until there is a positive decision from the administration.

It is extremely important for claimants to appeal their unfavorable decisions in a timely fashion. While people can apply for benefits on their own, once they are denied benefits it is advisable to retain the services of an attorney. The data from the SSA indicates that claimants have a better chance to win disability benefits with the services of counsel than if they were to represent themselves.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates is available to represent claimants from the initial application through lawsuits in Federal court.

Form eliminated for veterans benefits to shorten process

Each year, veterans would have to fill out the Eligibility Verification report to keep getting their benefits, but Consumer Reports said the Department of Veterans Affairs are eliminating these forms and bringing in a new process for confirming the eligibility of benefits. Now, VA said it will work with the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration to help verify continued eligibility for pension benefits.

“By working together, we have cut red tape for Veterans and will help ensure these brave men and women get the benefits they have earned and deserve,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

Cutting out the EVR form could go a long way toward cutting down the large backlog VA has accrued over the years, as VA estimates that it would have sent out 150,000 EVRs to beneficiaries just in the month of January alone. Eliminating this form will allow the veterans to have less of a burden, and as an added bonus for VA, will redirect 100 employees that usually process these forms to work on the backlog.

Although there can be numerous forms and red tape procedures for veterans to follow in order to obtain their VA benefits, the Law Offices of Harold W Conick, & Associates are committed to assisting it clients seeking VA benefits with professional advice and related services in order to help them obtain their benefits within the earliest possible timeframe.

Depression in elderly linked to increased dementia risks, cognitive impairment

Depression is never an easy Social Security disability case to prove, as there needs to be a lot of medical records and proof lined up that the disease is truly affecting someone’s work life, but a recent study may give some more weight to this disorder. Dr. Edo Richard of the University of Amsterdam and colleagues recently found that depression in the elderly may be associated with an increased risk of dementia and prevalent mild cognitive impairment.

“We found that depression was related to a higher risk of prevalent mild cognitive impairment and dementia, incident dementia, and progression from prevalent mild cognitive impairment to dementia, but not to incident mild cognitive impairment,” Richard said in a statement.

The study, published in full by the Archives of Neurology, looked at a group of 2,160 community-living U.S. Medicare patients. Those with mild cognitive impairment and co-existing depression at baseline at a higher risk of dementia, especially vascular dementia, the report said. However, Alzheimer’s disease did not see an increase in this study.

“Our finding that depression was associated cross sectionally with both mild cognitive impairment and dementia and longitudinally only with dementia suggests that depression develops with the transition from normal cognition to dementia,” the authors of the study said.

Many people who suffer from physical illness can also suffer from symptoms of depression. Physical and mental impairments as a basis for disability benefits requires proof that the symptoms of this sickness are so severe that the person cannot perform the work requirements of any substantial and gainful employment in the national economy.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in obtaining and presenting sufficient proof of disabling depression allowing its clients to be approved for Social Security disability benefits.