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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

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.

The Social Security Disability process, explained

Those in Missouri who are dealing with a severe long-term injury, condition or illness that forced them to stop working probably know that they may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. But if they have no experience applying for SSD, the process may seem confusing and overwhelming.

Basically, there are five steps that SSD applicants may have to go through before the Social Security Administration approves their benefits. Of course, every case is unique, and some applicants do not have to do all of these steps, so this is more of a general guide.

Mother urging Disney to create 'princess' with Down syndrome

Though Walt Disney animated films remain hugely popular in Missouri and, indeed, around the world, some people criticize the media giant of not being inclusive enough in its characters. For example, they point to the lack of racial diversity among its heroes, and note that many of Disney’s “princess” characters portray an unrealistic body type.

The mother of a baby girl adds another criticism that many parents of children with disabilities may share: none of the characters in any Disney movie have ever had Down syndrome.

Obsessive compulsive disorder can take over your life

There is a difference between relatively minor compulsions and obsessive compulsive disorder. This mental disorder causes intrusive and disturbing thoughts that are impossible to ignore. In the grip of these thoughts, patients turn to irrational rituals that provide some relief from their anxiety.

These rituals can be tied to a particular fear, such as germs. Excessive hand washing or an inability to touch doorknobs are common symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, which is also known as OCD. However, OCD-related behaviors need not be tied to a specific anxiety. Other rituals can include opening or closing a door a specific number of times, or counting to a certain number before the person is able to do an activity.

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.

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