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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

Scientists announce new, faster method for studying MS cells

Scientists have announced that they have discovered a new way to observe how multiple sclerosis works on the cellular level. By using cells from people with MS, researchers may now be able to “turn back the clock” to observe how the cells develop the disorder. This would make it much easier for researchers to test new treatment and cure options.

In its advanced stages, multiple sclerosis can affect your nervous system to the point that working is no longer an option. If that occurs, Social Security Disability benefits may be necessary to pay for basic needs.

U.S. senator rejects calls to cut SSD, SSI

Readers may be aware that the Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) programs, which numerous people in Missouri rely upon, are in a financial crisis. The trust fund that pays for the benefits are expected to run out of money by 2017, unless Congress acts to replenish it before then.

Some political figures believe that the programs, along with Social Security payments to retirees, should be cut back for budgetary reasons. But lawmakers do not agree on this question. In recent remarks, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio rejected calls to shrink SSD and SSI. In fact, he argues that Social Security and the disability benefits programs need to be expanded.

Report finds high unemployment among mentally ill in U.S.

The recent recession in the U.S. and the country’s slow recovery affects all sorts of people, including those living with mental illness. A new report finds that more than 80 percent of people with a serious mental illness were unemployed as of 2012.

Many people are unable to work because of a mental disorder. Depending on their circumstances, they may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. These programs provide a safety net for people who otherwise may not be able to afford basic necessities for themselves and their families.

Parkinson's can strike while you are still working

Parkinson’s disease is often thought of as an illness that affects older people. If that were true, no one would ever have to retire young because of this serious, progressive neurological disorder.

Sadly, some people develop Parkinson’s earlier in life, at a point when they are still working. At some point, it is likely that the disease will make it impossible to perform basic work duties, even if the patient has an office job. When this happens, it may be time to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. As regular readers know, SSD is a federal program to pays benefits to people who cannot work because of a disability.

What are the effects of rheumatoid arthritis?

Arthritis is a common condition in Missouri, especially among older people, though in some cases middle-aged people have been forced to stop working because of the pain and other symptoms of the condition. Actually, there are two types of arthritis, one of which is more likely to affect people in their 40s and 50s.

Unlike osteoarthritis, which is caused by deterioration of the cartilage in the joints, rheumatoid arthritis (or RA) is caused by a problem in the immune system. Due to unknown reasons, the immune system of people with RA attacks healthy cells in their body, including the cells that line their joints. It could be that a combination of genes and infectious disease trigger RA, which affects more than 1.5 million people in the U.S.

Police sometimes use excessive force on disabled people

Disabled people are as much a part of society as everyone else, including here in Columbia. Some disabilities required reasonable accommodations, such as wheelchair ramps. In another example, when police encounter a disabled person, it may be necessary for the officers to change their tactics to avoid harming the person.

Unfortunately, many police departments are untrained for dealing with disabled people. In one incident, a 26-year-old man with Down syndrome was killed by a trio of police officers in January 2013.

Diabetes 50% more likely to give women heart disease than men

New research suggests that, for women at least, having one serious medical condition could easily lead to another one. A study one physician calls “profound” has concluded that women with diabetes are 50 percent more likely then diabetic men to develop heart disease.

As those in Columbia with diabetes know, the condition can be managed, but it still carries the risk of serious side effects. Blindness, nerve damage and amputation are potential complications. So are heart disease and stroke. Some patients must stop working and utilize Social Security Disability benefits.

How can bipolar disorder prevent you from working?

People in Columbia who are living with bipolar disorder may find it difficult performing day-to-day tasks, even if they are physically not disabled. For those who do not have bipolar, it may be difficult to understand why someone with that mental illness seems to have such severe mood swings. Their behavior may seem strange or disturbing without a greater understanding of how bipolar affects your mental processes.

In today’s blog post, we will provide a brief overview of bipolar and how it is treated.

Crohn's disease may be hard to talk about, but it's treatable

Many disabilities, such as paralysis and blindness, can be fairly obvious to other people. But there are many disabling conditions that may not appear on the outside. Some of these, like heart disease, are talked about openly by those with the illness. Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to some disorders that may hold back many people from receiving treatment and SSDI benefits.

One such condition is Crohn’s disease. This is a condition that causes a person’s immune system to malfunction and attack cells in the digestive tract, usually the end of the small intestine and the top of the large intestine. Crohn’s disease can cause abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhea. People living with the disorder often are reluctant to go anywhere without knowing there is a bathroom available nearby. As readers can imagine, the fear of having an accident can limit one’s ability to work.

'Breaking Bad' author supports causes for disabled

Many of our readers no doubt were fans of the television series “Breaking Bad,” which aired its finale earlier this year. One of the characters on the show, Walt Jr., was a teenager living with a disability that affected his speech and his ability to walk. However, unlike many disabled characters on TV, Walt Jr. was not a villain or a helpless victim. For RJ Mitte, who played Walt Jr., this fact made the role extra attractive for him.

Mitte, 21, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 3. Cerebral palsy is a condition that can affect movement, muscle tone or posture. Severity can vary from person to person, but those with severe cases may not be able to support themselves through work.

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