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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

Program adapts motorized toy cars for children with disabilities

Toy companies do not always design their products with disabled children in mind. For example, no motorized cars on the market currently can be driven around by children living with significant physical challenges.

However, a nationwide project called Go Baby Go has a way to let disabled toddlers enjoy the fun and developmental benefits of zooming around in their own toy cars. Go Baby Go modifies existing cars to accommodate a child’s limitations, allowing the child to drive him- or herself.

Examples of illnesses that qualify for SSD benefits

Whether you develop a chronic illness from environmental exposure, or a genetic condition grows worse, or just general aging, the condition could overwhelm you and bring you to the point of disability. The Social Security Administration recognizes many chronic, debilitating and terminal illnesses as causing disability. People with a qualifying condition who can no longer work may be able to receive Social Security Disability payments, depending on their work history.

What disorders and diseases for which the SSA will approve SSD benefits is not static, and changes from time to time. Here is a sampling of the sorts of disabling conditions that can qualify a person for disability benefits:

Slipped disk in the spine can force you to stop working

Anyone who has ever suffered a back injury knows how painful and incapacitating it can be. If the injury is serious enough, it can also limit your ability to do your job. It may even get to the point where you must stop working and go on Social Security Disability benefits, at least for a while.

One common type of back injury is called a slipped disk. As readers know, the spinal column that protects the spinal cord is made up of bones called vertebrae. In between the vertebrae are cushioning disks made of softer material that absorb shocks from our moving around, to protect the bones from harm.

Those with Down syndrome living longer, developing Alzheimer's

Decades ago, people with Down syndrome and their families rarely had to deal with neurological illnesses normally associated with old age, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Though it is grim to say so, the fact was that few with this intellectual disability lived long enough to face dementia.

Thanks to medical advances, people with Down syndrome are living longer than ever. But because of their genetic makeup, this means that they are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Disability Scoop reports. Those with both Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease often lose skills and mental abilities they may have spent years learning.

9/11 first responder cleared of fraud, but can't regain benefits

Part of the horrific tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was the fate of many first responders who bravely tried to rescue victims inside the World Trade Center. Many lost their lives. Others survived, but were left with illnesses and injuries that linger to this day.

As Americans, we honor the sacrifice of these police officers, firefighters and EMTs. However, in some cases when these first responders later applied for Social Security Disability, they were accused of fraud and charged with a crime.

Senate committee: 29% of disabled Americans are in poverty

For those who accuse people who receive Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income payments of taking advantage of the system, a government report recently announced that nearly three in 10 disabled people live in poverty.

The U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee reported the findings after receiving feedback over the summer from more than 400 people living with disabilities. The respondents painted a picture disabled people who are able and willing to work, in some cases, but cannot find adequate employment.

Aphasia can rob the ability to speak, write

With all the attention that brain injuries have received in the press in the past couple of years, most of us are aware of common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, even if we have never experienced one ourselves. Dizziness, sensitivity to light, memory problems, nausea, confusion: these are the sorts of debilitating symptoms the average person associates with TBI.

However, there are more rare effects of brain injury that nevertheless affect a significant number of people, both in Missouri and around the country. They are often quite disabling, possibly forcing the person with the condition to quit working, at least until they can recover.

Those with depression may be able to receive disability benefits

Depression is not something to be taken lightly. Anyone who suffers from depression, also commonly referred to as clinical depression, major depressive illness or unipolar mood disorder, knows depression is more than just feeling a little sad or blue. Rather, depression can be a lifelong mental illness that greatly impacts a person's life and their ability to hold down steady employment. Because of the severity of the illness, those suffering from depression may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, also known as NAMI, depression is something that affects between 5 and 8 percent of adults in the U.S. This means there are 25 million Americans who will have some sort of depression episode this year. 


How does ALS cause disability?

By now, most of our readers have probably heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. For those who have not, it is a fundraiser campaign, where participants donate $10 to the ALS Association and post a video online of a bucket of cold water being dumped over their head. The participant then challenges three other people to do the same within 24 hours, or donate $100 instead.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral, and become a huge sensation. The ALS Association reports that it has received $112 million in donations from the movement.

Appeal is possible after an SSD application rejection

Social Security disability applicants whose claims are denied may feel disappointed or frustrated. This is understandable. However, a denied SSD claim is not the end of the road for people who can no longer work due to a physical, mental or emotional condition.

Because the Social Security Administration denies most SSD claims, it allows applicants to appeal. In fact, people have several chances to appeal a denied claim. Many peoples’ valid claims get turned down, so they should think of their rejected application as the first step, instead of a final message from the SSA.

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