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Six percent of the population suffers from serious mental illness

Mental illnesses are often overlooked in modern society. While people have gotten better about going to doctors for issues such as anxiety, depression and other mental disorders, they often go unreported. However, many of these serious illnesses could be bad enough to stop an individual from working and could net them disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

A report from the National Institute of Mental Health claims that about 26.2 percent of American adults 18 and over suffer from a diagnosable mental illness and 6 percent suffer from a serious mental issue. NIMN researchers said mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada.

Anxiety disorders were the most common mental illness for people to suffer with, as there are 40 million Americans ages 18 and older who suffer with this to some degree. Many may actually be affected by compounding disorders, NIMN said.

“Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time,” according to the report. “Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for 2 or more disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity.”

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick Associates have successfully represented hundreds of clients over the past 30 years who suffer from debilitating mental illnesses. This affects adults and children; in both, the symptoms of mental illness and side of effects of treatment drugs can be extremely debilitating such that a person cannot function in a work or school setting. We are experts at proving mental illness claims before the Social Security and Veterans Administrations.

Disability makes finding work much harder

Those who suffer from a disability have a harder time finding work than those who do not, according to a recent Labor Department report. About 12 percent of Americans who are 16 and older have a disability, but this group only accounts for 3 percent of those who have a job in the U.S. It’s not hard to imagine why the number of applicants filing for Social Security Disability has been on the rise over the years.

Rodger DeRose, president of the Kessler Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to improve employment and job-training options for Americans with disabilities, told The Wall Street Journal that there are some big challenges for those with disability and companies looking to hire them. There are fears and doubts that those with disability will be able to meet demands of a job, but he said there is more willingness today than there has been.

“Companies are slowly engaging,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re seeing more of it with big companies now starting to actively participate in hiring.”

However, the numbers do not lie. The Labor Department report found that 17.6 percent of people who were disabled had a job in 2013, which is down slightly from 2012. Currently, there are 28.6 million people over 16 who have a disability. Americans without a disability are much better off, it seems.

According to the Labor Department, 64 percent of Americans without a disability had a job, with a 7.1 percent jobless rate as of the end of 2013. Much of the work was part time, as 34 percent of disabled workers were employed part-time, compared with 19 percent of those without a disability.

When a person can no longer work, the Social Security system is available to replace some of the income lost from the inability to work. If a person is denied disability benefits, the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates is ready, willing and able to help win your disability benefits.

Weight control could help improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Many people are affected by rheumatoid arthritis each year. In fact, the American College of Rheumatology said 1.3 million people in the U.S. suffer from this condition, which can lead to debilitating joint swelling, fatigue and stiffness. In many cases, symptoms can be so severe that people may not be able to work and will feel compelled to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Although the symptoms of this ailment may be severe, a recent report printed in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases said losing weight may help. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own connective tissues; only a minority go into remission when they start treatment.

According to results of this study, overweight patients were 33 percent less likely to have lower disease activity. Overweight patients reported more pain and were less likely to be in remission than those at a healthy weight. Body fat may be a contributing factor to many of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

“Our study shows that on a group level overweight and obese patients have less chance of achieving good disease control within the first six months, compared to normal-weight patients,” Maria E. C. Sandberg, who worked on the study, told Reuters Health. “However, obviously, there will be obese patients with good response and normal-weight patients without good response.”

If the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are such that a person can no longer perform the duties of past work or any other type of work, they should consider applying for Social Security disability benefits. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick Associates have successfully represented numerous clients with this ailment in obtaining disability benefits.

More than 100,000 veterans await VA benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is going through some hard times right now, as their former leader Eric Shinseki recently stepped down. However, no one is going through as hard of a time as the veterans awaiting their VA benefits. According to an internal report released this week, approximately 100,000 veterans across the country are facing long waiting periods to see doctors.

USA Today has reported that VA officials have already contacted about 50,000 veterans to expedite their medical care. However, a total of 57,436 veterans across the country have already waited 90 days to see a doctor and did not have an appointment as of May 15. Nearly 64,000 who have looked to see a doctor over the past 10 years were not seen at all, according to this internal VA report.

This report said VA is moving aggressively to help these veterans, but there have been many supervisors across the organization who have been manipulating veteran appointment data. This has brought the system to a slow crawl, especially considering the large influx of veterans due to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sloan Gibson, the interim secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, said 18 veterans in Arizona died while waiting for doctors appointments at a hospital in Phoenix, but it was not clear whether their deaths were a result of the delays. Either way, veterans deserve ready access to their VA benefits; it may be as serious as a life or death situation.

It is clear that the backlog encountered by veterans is a national disgrace. When dealing with the VA disability program, veterans must arm themselves with resolve to pursue their rightful claims and retain aggressive counsel to assist them. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates is ready, willing and able to represent veterans with their claims before VA and Federal Court systems.