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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

University of Missouri fundraiser simulates using a wheelchair

At the University of Missouri, students majoring in physical or occupational therapy may work with disabled clients someday. For those who are not disabled themselves, it may be a challenge to empathize with what it is like living with a disability.

Recently, several MU students spent a while in wheelchairs as part of the 14th Annual Wheelchair Relay on April 5. While a few hours in a wheelchair cannot truly simulate a lifetime, it did give participants at least a taste of adjusting to a life without the use of one’s legs.

Obesity surgery also treats diabetes, 3 years on: study

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States. Around 26 million people in the country have the condition, which can be highly debilitating. It can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other medical complications.

The Social Security Disability program includes diabetes on its list of qualifying conditions for benefits. Meanwhile, investigators are looking for ways to eliminate or reduce the disease’s effects in patients.

Missouri man pleads guilty to SSD fraud

The purpose of the Social Security disability program is to help provide financial security for people who must stop working due to a physical or mental condition. People in this position might be unable to pay for basic necessities once they lose their income.

The benefits are only supposed to last as long as the recipient cannot work. This could be for the rest of his or her life, or for a few years. If the disabled person later recovers and gets a job, he or she is supposed to report that to the Social Security Administration. Failure to do so could lead to serious criminal charges in federal court.

Friends of disabled Missouri teen hope to put him on ESPN

All children dream about they want to be when they grow up. Disabled children are no exception. While some jobs may not be possible for them, that does not stop many kids living with disability from working in a field they love as adults.

A Missouri teen who loves sports is unable to participate for the most part, due to cerebral palsy. Instead, he manages his school’s basketball and baseball teams, golfs, and watches as much sports on television as he can. One of his favorite shows is SportsCenter, ESPN’s daily roundup of sports highlights and analysis.

Some disabled veterans to get fast service for SSD applications

Back on Feb. 10, we discussed how people who cannot work due to a disability sometimes have to wait a long time before their Social Security disability benefits application is decided upon. Most SSD applications are rejected, and it can take years before an appeal finally gets resolved. Meanwhile, the strain of having little to no income continues to be a huge burden.

The SSA is trying to speed up the process for at least a segment of applicants. It announced recently that some disabled military veterans will soon get their SSD claimed processed much more quickly.

Brain injury can keep you out of work for months, if not more

Serious brain injuries happen nearly every day in Missouri. The Brain Injury Association of Missouri reports that residents suffer about 13,000 traumatic brain injuries each year that are so serious that they must be admitted to the hospital.

For many of these people, their TBI causes long-lasting effects, such as physical disability, that takes away their ability to work, at least temporarily. They may need to turn to Social Security disability while they recover.

Disabled political candidates can now use proxies to register

A new law may help disabled political candidates in Missouri have greater visibility at the ballot box. Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a bill that will remove a disadvantage that many would-be office-holders face when registering for primaries.

The problem was this: the names of candidates on a primary ballot appear in an order determined by random drawing. But only candidates who file in person on the first day of the filing period were eligible to be on the top part of the ballot. Candidates who were unable to register in person, such as those whose disabilities made doing so impossible, had the option of registering by mail. However, they were not eligible for the random drawing. Their names were automatically placed on the bottom of the ballot.

Many SSD applications take years to resolve

Just about any legal proceeding that must go through a courthouse is going to take some time. Courts typically have a long list of people seeking to have their claims handled, and all of them are entitled to their day in court. Having said that, too many people in Missouri and around the U.S. are having to wait for years, simply to find out if they will receive Social Security disability benefits.

Backlogs in the administrative courts that handle SSD claims vary from region to region, but the average wait before an initial application is approved or rejected is 393 days. In other words, many applicants who are disabled and no longer able to work have to wait more than a year -- and they may not be approved at that point. Most initial SSD applications are rejected, so the applicant must appeal.

Research finds that sleep habits can be depression warning sing

It is common knowledge in Columbia that sleep can affect your mood. Staying up late can make many of us grumpy or moody the next day. Hopefully, we can catch up on sleep the next night, though many people in the U.S. are chronically sleep-deprived.

For people who are living with depression, this can mean much more than one bad day here and there. A pair of new studies suggests that not getting the proper amount of sleep could be a risk factor for this mental condition. And it isn’t just about lack of sleep. Too much sleep may also be a bad sign.

Disabled student forgotten on Missouri school bus for 6 hours

Every Monday through Friday each fall, winter and spring, thousands of children and teens in Missouri go to school. Among them are students who are disabled and require assistance that enables them to learn and take part in school activities. Many of these students also qualify for Supplemental Security Income, which is a federal need-based program for families with a disabled child.

People whose job it is to assist disabled students have a great deal of responsibility, and the expectation is that they pay close attention to the needs of their clients. But two employees of the state of Missouri have been fired, after they left a disabled teenager on the school bus for nearly six hours on Jan. 10.

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