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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

Link between Parkinson's and depression suggested

As Robin Williams’ fans in Missouri continue to grieve and celebrate his career, new information about his health may provide some insight into his state of mind in the days before his death. Williams’ wife said that he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease when he committed suicide on Aug. 11.

It is highly possible that Williams was dealing with depression before his Parkinson’s diagnosis. However, a combination of depression and Parkinson’s can be a “perfect storm” that worsens the mood disorder, according to a neurologist interviewed by NBC News.

I'm healthy now, but could I ever need SSD benefits?

People who are able-bodied and free of mental illness may not think that they will ever become disabled. It is natural to assume that such a life-changing event could possibly happen to you, but the fact is that disability is quite common. Among 20-year-olds, more than 25 percent will become disabled before they turn 67, according to the Social Security Administration.

This means that, at some point, a good percentage of today’s adult workforce will eventually have to stop working due to a physical or mental disability. Whether due to a workplace injury, unrelated accident or the worsening of an existing condition, many people may someday need Social Security Disability benefits to supplement their income. Some of our readers could be among them.

Missouri organization offers tech classes for adults with autism

As the name implies, autism spectrum disorders can affect people who have one in a wide variety of ways. Some autistic people are highly intelligent, able to hold down jobs and live independently, though they may struggle with social skills. Others are more severely disabled. They may qualify for Supplemental Security Income if they cannot work.

Many parents of autistic people find that it is difficult to find educational resources after high school. For example, the University of Missouri provides services for disabled students, but does not have any programs specifically designed for people on the autism spectrum. These students may need significant adaptations to be given the chance succeed in a university environment.

Disabled man could be evicted if SSI not approved soon

Waiting for the Social Security Administration to award Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income funds for a disability can be frustrating. For some people, their condition or their financial situation can make a long wait virtually impossible.

Those with certain severe illnesses or disorders can expedite their claims. Many of the conditions on the expedition list are terminal, and the SSA does not want people to pass away before they receive the benefits they deserve, so they and their families can enjoy a degree of financial security in their final days.

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.

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