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Number of Americans getting disability on the rise

Just in the past 10 years, there has been a 29 percent jump in Americans with little or no work experiencing getting disability benefits, according to the Social Security Administration. CNN Money said in that same time period, there has been a 44 percent increase in disability claims by those who have formerly worked. Veterans benefits claims have gone up 28 percent since 2008, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said. With all of these, those applying for benefits need to have someone with experience to help them wade through the complex application process.

“All told, the federal government spent nearly $250 billion in 2011 paying more than 23 million Americans some type of disability claim,” according to CNN, showing the large number of people that are trying to obtain benefits. “That’s about 7 percent of the overall population, and 16 percent of the workforce.”

Andrew Houtenville, an economics professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, told CNN Money that every recession sees a rise in the number of applicants for disability, with the 2001 recession finding disability claims up 13 percent. With more applicants, the process may grow longer. Those looking to obtain benefits must have knowledge of how they can make their own process of procuring benefits quicker.

Throughout different types of economic climates, the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates has been helping people successfully obtain their Social Security disability benefits. We are are experts in processing the critical evidence necessary to win benefits and represent clients at all stages of the appeal process. Our offices often represent client successfully in cases that other lawyers have turned away or abandoned. As one Social Security expert recently said about our commitment to winning our cases, “Mr. Conick will fight to the death for his clients.”

Mental health disabilities more common in children

Children now have more neurodevelopmental and mental health disabilities than they did just 10 years ago, according to new research by researchers. For families who are affected by these mental health illnesses, medical bills can be large, so they may want to look into applying for Social Security Administration benefits.

Lead researcher of the study, Dr. Amy Houtrow, vice chairwoman of pediatric rehabilitation medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, said disabilities that impair how  child operates and lives day-to-day are up 16 percent, HealthDay said. The greatest increase has been seen in richer families, although conditions such as hyperactivity disorder, autism and attention-deficit disorder seem to be behind the large increase.

Houtrow said the increase could mean there are now differences in how people get access earlier to care. As an example, she said the treatments for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis has increased a lot over the recent years.

“For some conditions, it may be that medical care has improved so much that children may have a diagnosis but not a disability,” she said.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in representing children in front of Social Security Administration judges. The standard for children’s disability cases is different than adult disability cases, as children’s cases must be proven through credible evidence that the child has two marked impairments or one extreme impairment in the various domains of activities of daily living.

This includes health and well being, the ability to manipulate objects and move around, the ability to learn and the ability to interact with other children. If the evidence supports two marked or one extreme impairment in the domains, the child disability claim will be granted.

Burial veterans benefits taking too long

One of the last benefits veterans may get from the Department of Veterans Affairs seem to be taking too long in many situations, according to Aaron Glantz of the Center for Investigative Reporting. Documents from VA have shown a larger numbers of widows and widowers are still waiting for veterans benefits to help plan for burials and planning for survivors’ pensions.

Glantz told the story of Jack Cornelius, a veteran who committed suicide, and his wife Sheryl Ann Cornelius. Jack was tortured during his time in the Army serving in Vietnam and received an honorable discharge, later seeking treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, VA denied his widow’s claim for help with burying her husband. The decision was reversed a year later. However, by this point, his wife had lost her home to foreclosure and had a $700 high-interest loan she took out for the funeral.

“Internal VA documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveal an escalating number of widows and widowers are waiting for burial benefits and survivors’ pensions—breaking America’s final promise to its veterans,” Glantz writes.

Documents showed that veterans waiting more than a year for disability compensation increased from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 in December of last year, with veterans waiting for burial benefits seeing a long wait.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are prepared to assist veterans and their surviving family members with their claims for benefits from VA.

All veterans should look into benefits

Veterans benefits aren’t just for those who have been injured in war. Former troops who are struggling to find work can also use the benefits to their advantage, as Yahoo! News reported that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are pushing for more companies to hire U.S. veterans. A program called Joining Forces has hired or trained 290,000 veterans since August 2011, according to the news source.

The website asked veterans to write how their job hunt during hard economic times has gone and Dan Schaffer, an Army veteran from 1975 to 1979, wrote that he had never thought about using these benefits before until he realized he had 45 months of education benefits through the old G.I. Bill.

“I had never given it a much thought before, and almost let this opportunity slip by,” he wrote. “I was paid $500 a month, tax-free, and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. As a police officer, this degree helped me achieve my Advanced TCLEOSE certification. … In 2003, I settled in Austin, Texas, and have been employed with the same company ever since; I’m making good money, at a good post with good hours.”

All veterans should look to take advantage of benefits that are owed to them from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans are also entitled to VA disability benefits if they received a service-related injury. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in presenting medical evidence to the federal government to obtain disability benefits for their disabled clients. If you have applied for benefits and have been denied by VA, we are ready to help.