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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

An untreated brain aneurysm can lead to stroke

While a brain aneurysm may not cause problems on its own, if it leaks or bursts, the result can be a life-threatening stroke. By knowing the symptoms of an aneurysm, patients can see a doctor before that happens.

As the Mayo Clinic’s website puts it, a brain aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning section in a blood vessel in the brain. It often resembles a berry hanging on a stem. Symptoms of an unruptured aneurysm include pain above and behind one eye, a dilated pupil, double vision, numbness or paralysis on one side of the face, and a drooping eyelid.

What is an SSD appeal hearing like?

As we have discussed in this blog before, most initial applications for Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are denied. Once rejected, applicants have the right to appeal and make their case that they deserve SSD or SSI benefits due to a disability that prevents them from supporting themselves financially.

After filing an appeal with the Social Security Administration, the applicant’s case goes before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for a hearing. Readers who have never gone though one of these hearings naturally will wonder what goes on at these hearings, and how they would get to argue their side.

House seems reluctant to keep SSD fund afloat past 2016

Time is growing short for Congress to find a way to keep the Social Security Disability program, but so far this session, doing so does not appear to be a big priority. If nothing is done, your SSD payments could be cut by 20 percent next year.

Shortly after the new Congress was sworn in for the session, the House adopted a parliamentary rule that makes it more difficult to reallocate money between the SSD fund, which is used to help people too disabled to keep working, and the Social Security fund used to pay people after they retire.

Survey suggests pets can help kids with autism socialize

A few weeks back, we addressed one challenge that parents of children on the autism spectrum: creating a home environment that allows them to stay calm and focused on their education. As parents of children with autism know, another common challenge is social development. Many such children struggle to interact with others, and may become socially isolated without help.

Researchers are always looking for new ways to facilitate social development for children on the spectrum. A newly published survey from the University of Missouri suggests that pets can be a big help.

Can I qualify for SSD benefits due to obesity?

Obesity is a major health problem in the U.S., including here in Missouri. A website called the State of Obesity lists Missouri as having the 16th highest obesity rate for adults in the country at 30.4 percent. That is right around the national rate for adults, according to Disabled World.

Among the many negative health effects that obesity can wreak on the human body is a limitation on its ability to move. Many obese people have difficulty walking. If their jobs require them to be on their feet for significant periods of time, those jobs may eventually become impossible.

Chronic pain and SSD

What if you were in terrible pain, but doctors in Missouri could not find what was wrong with you, or they were unable to do much about your condition? More than 100 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain, some of them badly enough that they are disabled for Social Security Disability purposes.

Unlike acute pain, which alerts the victim to injury, there does not appear to be any function for chronic pain, except perhaps to make the patient miserable. Though many people are able to manage their pain through medication or other treatment, many people’s chronic pain does not improve from conventional medicine.

Mother develops interior designs adapted for kids with autism

Everyone’s mood and ability to concentrate is affected by our environment. This is also true for children with autism, but their condition causes them to react to things around them in different ways.

For many young people living with autism, bright colors, loud noises and other things that other children find stimulating can be confusing and upsetting. Living or going to school can hinder their education and development, if they are frequently in rooms that do not allow them to relax and concentrate.

Study sees possible link between sit-down jobs, depression

Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety can affect anyone in any profession, from taxi drivers to electricians to CEOs. If the condition is severe enough, it can make it impossible to keep working, at least for a while.

Despite mental illness being a reality for people from all walks of life, it appears that some jobs put workers at risk of depression and anxiety than others. Specifically, researchers claim that jobs that involve a lot of sitting put people at higher risk of these conditions.

Supplemental Security Income helps many disabled children, adults

Raising a child who is living with a disability can be highly rewarding for Missouri parents, but it can also be more challenging than raising a kid without special needs. Among other things, it may cost more to pay for a disabled child’s medical bills and physical or occupational therapy.

Some families can afford to pay these costs with their household income, but others are struggling to make ends meet. Poverty is a major problem in the U.S., including here in Missouri. Parents who are not always able to pay for decent shelter, food and other necessities are going to have a very hard time affording their child’s disability care, even though they know it is necessary.

Exploiters of disabled parking placards make life difficult

Many disabled people’s conditions make it difficult or impossible for them to walk long distances. In Missouri, the law recognizes this and attempts to deal with the problem by designating certain parking spaces as disabled parking only.

The system is supposed to work by having disabled drivers and passengers use a placard when they park in a handicapped spot, to show that they have the right to park there. Vehicles without the placard may be subject to an expensive ticket.

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