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Camden County Social Security Disability Law Blog

Federal report raises concerns about future of SSD

Almost 11 million Americans depend on payments from social security disability insurance to make ends meet. These payments are designed to help those who are unable to work due to an injury. Workers contribute to this fund and most go through a rigorous application process to determine if they are eligible for payment. Unfortunately, even after receiving approval for receiving SSD benefits these workers could see a reduction in payments in the near future.

A federal report was recently released analyzing the future of both the Medicare and the Social Security disability insurance programs. According to an analysis of the report by The Wall Street Journal, the disability insurance program could be in trouble unless Congress intervenes in the near future. More specifically, the report notes that SSD will need to start cutting back on payments as early as 2016 if there is no Congressional intervention. Payments were estimated to go down to 81 percent of the original amount.

Scientists find new genetic links to schizophrenia

A new report by Medical News Today highlights a potential connection between certain genetic mutations and the development of schizophrenia. The details of these findings could lead to the development and use of more effective medications for those suffering from this mental health condition.

The most recent study from the Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium analyzed almost 40,000 genetic samples from individuals with schizophrenia. These samples were compared to 113,075 samples from healthy individuals. The findings are scheduled to be published in the scientific journal Nature and point to 108 locations within DNA linked to the development of this mental disorder. Some of these genes control how messages are sent through neurons and others impact the role the affected genes play in the immune system. The findings are significant, since 83 of these locations were previously unknown.

Push to reduce veteran disability backlog leads to high denials

It's no surprise that those applying for disability benefits will likely have to wait to hear if their applications are approved or denied. Unfortunately, a push to decrease the wait time and move veteran applications for disability benefits through the system at a faster rate may have contributed to a the large rate of denials. The push fuels debate over the question: is faster really better?

When it comes to approval or denial of veteran's application for disability benefits, the answer may very well be no. A recent report by The Wall Street Journal addressed the growing issues surrounding veteran benefits claims, noting a 60 percent increase in the appeal rate for denied claims. More specifically, appeals have jumped from around 168,000 five years ago to over 275,000. The VA has seen an increase in claims for benefits, likely contributing to the jump in denials. In 2009, the VA had approximately 385,000 claims pending review, in 2012, the number rose to almost 884,000 claims. Currently, there are an estimated 565,000 applications awaiting review.

Social Security Disability: A safety net for injured workers

Disability is a reality in the United States. According to the Center for American Progress, one in three young workers entering today's job market will either die or turn to assistance through disability benefits before reaching the full retirement age of 67. With baby boomers reaching an age that faces a higher level of disability and population growth, it is no surprise the Social Security Disability program has grown in recent years. Actuaries with the Social Security Administration further project that the use of the program will soon level off and decline.

The Center for American Progress recently reported that although the current number of Americans in need of assistance through this program has increased, the number of denied applications is high. In fact, less than 4 out of every 10 applicants receive approval.

Legislatures recommend expanding Social Security

A Senator from Ohio recently spoke of the importance of expanding, as opposed to cutting, Social Security benefits. The speech was made at the Centers for American Progress, where the Senator countered claims of rampant abuse within the Social Security program. Instead, he noted abuse occurs with a very small portion of those who receive Social Security Disability benefits. 

He specifically addressed the issue of "double dipping." This occurs when SSDI recipients also receive unemployment benefits. He noted that "less than 1 percent of the beneficiaries" receive both, according to a report by Cleveland.com. In addition, he also argued that some of these so called "double dippers" have disabilities but are able to hold a low level of employment. When they lose these jobs, they qualify to receive a small amount of unemployment to supplement their SSDI payments. 

The potential for antidepressants to help with chronic pain

Chronic pain is difficult to treat. For one, pain is a subjective condition. There is no easy way to measure it. It is not like a fever that can be measured clearly with a thermometer. There is also no simple way to compare it to the pain felt by other people. Every individual has a unique tolerance to pain and may experience it in different ways. This can cause difficulties for treatment.

One form of treatment is the use of antidepressants to help manage pain. The theory behind this treatment method focuses on the fact that those who are suffering from chronic pain may be more likely to suffer some form of depression. In addition, those who are depressed may be less likely to cope with pain. This can lead to a downward spiral of pain issues. Some researchers believe that managing depression with antidepressants can help provide the person suffering from pain with the energy needed to manage their symptoms and possibly find alternative treatment methods to further lessen the pain.

Disabling conditions can assume many guises

A recent article illustrates some of the misunderstandings employers and media commentators may have about disabilities.

The story profiled one college student’s difficulty with finding employment after college. Although the young man had graduated with honors in journalism studies from a respected institution, he only met with rejection from prospective employers. The man suspected that his visual appearance -- he is wheelchair bound from cerebral palsy -- might have been a factor in the hesitancy he encountered at interviews. 

Stem cell treatment shows promise for cerebral palsy in newborns

A new therapy involving stem cells shows promise in babies that may be at risk for developing cerebral palsy.

The procedure involves taking stem cells from blood in the umbilical cord, and administering those cells to newborns within 12 hours of their birth. At present, pre-clinical studies in some countries have involved newborn animals, although other countries have tried human clinical trials.

New diagnostic technology for breast cancer shows promise

In the war against breast cancer, early detection can dramatically impact an individual’s outcome. Toward that end, a new digital mammogram test shows promising results.

Called tomosynthesis, the test involves a moving X-ray machine that takes multiple shots at different angles, resulting in a three-dimensional image. Researchers hope that the test will improve early detection rates and reduce false alarms.

Will office closings affect Social Security disability benefits?

A recent Senate committee report confirms that the Social Security Administration has been cutting back on services and closing many of its field offices.

Specifically, the SSA closed at least 24 field offices last year. That could affect a great many Americans. According to data, SSA field offices helped over 43 million Americans last year.

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Client Testimonials

  • Anthony & Janell S.

    Just wanted to say thank you for all your help. It couldn't have come at a better time. It is a shame it takes so long, but it all worked out well. Thank you so much.

  • Bill and Carol S.

    Thank you so much for all that you did for us, and so quickly. We really appreciate everything. Again, thank you.

  • Dom & JoAnne M.

    My wife and I are deeply grateful for everything you have done in preparing my case. Your spirited and creative presentation at the hearing was indicative of your expertise and professionalism.

  • Paul H.

    Just recently received my social security disability. This will enable me to continue to bring my life around. Just wanted to thank you all for the professional effort, fair treatment and responsiveness you provided me.

  • Lindsay U. and family

    You've all been so wonderful, it's hard to know how to begin to say thanks. Please know that your kindness will always be remembered.

  • Laura

    I got a call from Social Security today telling me I was awarded my claim. Thank you so much! I never could have succeeded without you. Thank you endlessly!

  • Donna J.

    Thank you for your efforts in successfully helping me obtain my Social Security Disability benefits. I can honestly say that without your help I probably would not have been approved.

  • Denise A.

    Thank you so much for all your help! I received the money and I was satisfied with the outcome. You're a very special man!

    Thanks again!

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    I would like to thank you for your help and support in this matter. I will be sure to tell everyone that I know that may need your service that you are the one to contact. Thank you again.

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    Thank you again.

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    This little "Thank You" can only being to tell how much your thoughtfulness was appreciated. Thanks ever so much! I would like to add, too, it is nice to know there are people like you!

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    Thank you very very much for everything you have done for me. You are the best of all. You do your job well and I thank you again. I will tell others about you. Thank you.

  • Anna M.

    Thank you not only for the special things you did, but for being the special kind of person to think of doing it. Thanks for all your help!!

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