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What does the midterm election mean for Social Security disability benefits?

There was a considerable shift in the political spectrum this month, as Republicans increased their lead in the House of Representatives and took over the lead in the U.S. Senate.

What does this mean for those who receive disability benefits through the Social Security Administration? Dan Caplinger of The Motley Fool said the chances are low that it will negatively impact disability benefits. In fact, he believes benefits may be enhanced in some cases.

“Despite some of their benefit-cutting proposals, some Republicans owe their victory at least in part to campaign strategies that emphasized the value of preserving Social Security benefits,” he wrote, adding that states such as Colorado, Arkansas and North Carolina all saw Republican ads highlighting the reasons why Social Security benefits needed to stay in tact.

One change Caplinger sees could happen to the Social Security Disability Trust fund, which has enough to last until 2016. However, this fund may see cuts of 20 percent after 2016. While there could be a solution for this, such as money transferred between this fund and the retirement benefits, this is definitely an issue to watch out for, especially for those who receive SSA disability benefits.

Hopefully, the SSA is sufficiently funded by Congress so benefits are not reduced. It is important for citizens, and the disabled especially, to communicate with their Congressmen and insist that the Social Security program is maintained. Anyone can unexpectedly become disabled and need SSA disability benefits; we must ensure they are there for us.

Early treatment necessary to treat OCD in young children

Anxiety, stress, depression. These are not usually attributes that might be associated with a child but are very real in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Suffering may include loss of sleep, increased anxiety and even causing harm to themselves or others. Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are available for children who suffer, but diagnosis and treatment should be every parent’s aim.

Janet Singer wrote on PsychCentral that while rituals are an important part of helping young children understand the world, children with OCD will only experience “a fleeting calm” once they complete their ritual. This means that over the days, months and years, children will likely develop even more rituals they feel they need to take on. Parents should take note of which rituals are soothing for children for more than a few minutes and pay attention to how long the child performs rituals on a daily basis.

Treatment is the best option for children suffering from OCD. Not only is a record of treatment necessary to attain disability benefits from the SSA, it will also help fight the disease. The New York Times reported that when properly treated, 60 percent to 85 percent of patients see significant improvement and will remain better for years.

“If you suspect, for any reason, that your child might be suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, I’d suggest taking him or her to a doctor who can do a proper assessment,” Singer wrote on PsychCentral. “If your child doesn’t have OCD, you will have peace of mind, and if your child does have the disorder, he or she can benefit greatly from early therapy.”

Children affected by OCD require sustained medical treatment. Social Security benefits are available for these children. However, many children who suffer from this disorder will be denied benefits by the SSA.

To prevent denial of benefits, it is important for the parents to secure all relevant medical and school evidence in order to document the symptoms that affect their child’s daily activities and limitations.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are expert and zealous advocates on behalf of children seeking disability benefits as a result of suffering from OCD and other mental illnesses.

VA may not be ready for wave of veterans affected by PTSD

The numbers have been shocking. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said 11 to 20 percent of veterans were affected by post-traumatic stress disorder during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The number was estimated at 12 percent during the Gulf War and 15 percent during Vietnam. While veterans benefits are available through the VA, many still have to live with the horrors of war on an everyday basis.

The Huffington Post quotes Sandro Galea, who said we may be on the “cusp of a wave of PTSD,” meaning VA and Congress may not be prepared for the amount of troops who are mentally scarred by war. The website spoke with Akshay Nanavati, a six-year marine corps veteran who said he struggles with PTSD every day.

Coming home, he said life seemed very unstructured and meaningless. He also experienced guilt over not dying and had to learn how to reconnect with people.

Thousands of veterans suffer from PTSD and are entitled to veterans benefits and mental health treatment. PTSD can come in many different forms; it is important to be properly diagnosed to get the best possible treatment for the disease.

PTSD is the great silent killer of our veterans. It’s a fact that veteran suicides are on the rise and many more of those returning home are mentally disabled from their wartime experiences. Although the VA is attempting to treat the Veterans who are suffering from PTSD, their efforts often fail due to lack of an appropriate number of medical providers or Veteran non compliance with established VA treatment protocols.

It is important for Veterans to seek medical treatment as soon as PTSD symptoms become apparent. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are knowledgeable and zealous advocates in proving PTSD claims and winning benefits.

Mental disability affecting more children

It’s one of the biggest fears of every parent: a child who is physically or mentally disabled. AAP News, a newsmagazine by The American Academy of Pediatrics, said while there are fewer children who are physically disabled, a higher rate are now diagnosed with mental illness.

The report, originally published in Pediatrics, found that the number of children under the age of 18 with a disability rose from 6.9 to 7.9 percent, or 4.99 million to 5.91 million, from 2001 to 2011. While the rate of children affected by physical ailments shrunk over that decade, the number of children with a mental disorder grew more than 20 percent.

Mental disability was found to know no bounds or social status, as even homes well above the poverty line experienced a vast increase in children affected.

Parents may have a hard time figuring out what to do when they find out their son or daughter has been diagnosed with autism, anxiety, depression or another mental disorder. However, not all hope is lost. While disability benefits from the Social Security Administration may not solve every problem, the additional money can help pay doctors bills and ensure your child is getting the best possible treatment for their disability.

While mental illness is on the rise among children, the proof necessary to convince the SSA that a child meets the their definition of disability is critical to obtaining benefits. Attaining physicians notes and reports, IEP reports, schools records and psychological testing are necessary to convince SSA judges of the merits of a child’s disability claim.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are expert advocates in these cases and have successfully represented numerous children suffering from mental illness before SSA judges.