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New Jersey Social Security Disability Law Blog

Loving a loved one through all stages of mental illness

If your immediate family member is no longer able to work due to mental illness, you may be among many other New Jersey residents who often feel overwhelmed, sad and worried as they do their best to care for those who are ill. If you're one of the primary caregivers in your loved one's life, your own state-of-mind and reactions to the situation may greatly impact the one entrusted to your care. Tremendous responsibility and obligation coincide with loving someone through the phases of mental illness.

It's often helpful to reach out to support networks, especially if your area provides opportunity to share time and stories with others who understand what you're going through on a daily basis. In the meantime, it's also best to educate yourself as much as possible, not only on the particular illness from which your loved one suffers, but regarding legal matters, such as Social Security Disability Insurance and other pertinent issues that may affect your loved one's or your own life.

New Federal Budget might affect Social Security

During the election, then candidate Donald Trump assured Americans that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would not be among the many cuts suggested in a federal budget if he became President. But now, following choice words by White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, it appears that the administration is trying to create a distinction between "core" Social Security benefits, and the Social Security disability program. This distinction may affect anyone collecting such benefits. This was also confirmed though a four page White House memo recently released.

Multiple ex-NFL players pledge to donate brains for research

Following recent revelation that last year National Football League star quarterback Tom Brady may have played through concussions during the season, two retired players, former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and former New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Marshall announced that they will donate their brains for research on head injuries to the Concussion Legacy Foundation. The two made their announcement in conjunction with their annual Brain Trust: Pathways to innoVAtion event.

Social Security Disability is designed to help accident victims

If you have suffered from a serious injury as a result of an accident or work-related injury, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. In order to qualify, you must prove that your injury is serious enough that you are unable to maintain gainful employment for at least a year, or that your condition is so serious that it is expected to end in death.

This may not be easy, especially considering that you are disabled. You likely are working hard in therapy trying to rehabilitate. You are also out of work, so you are likely suffering from a financial void from not collecting any income.

What are some symptoms of schizophrenia?

While only approximately one percent of individuals in the United States suffer from schizophrenia, it is a disorder with a very negative stigma. However, it is important to keep in mind that individuals with schizophrenia are not a danger to other individuals. They also do not have multiple personalities. Newark residents should remember that, like other mental illnesses, it is not always a disease that manifests itself with physical symptoms. Nevertheless, it can be extremely debilitating.

When a person is having an active schizophrenic episode, they will experience a number of very serious and life-altering symptoms. For example, there are positive psychotic symptoms, in which the person may hallucinate, become delusional and have an exaggerated sense of self.

Compassionate allowance conditions: Heart Transplant Wait Lists

It's unfair to think that the Social Security Administration is a thoroughly heartless entity designed to make things harder for beneficiaries. It might not seem that way when you are the person, or loved one of a person, in New Jersey going through the arduous steps of obtaining benefits to which you believe you are entitled. But the SSA is there to help.

It's important to remember, though, that the agency has to operate within the limits of laws enacted by Congress. Because of that, even some of the common sense policies employed by SSA adjudicators can seem at once generous and on the other stingy. As we noted in a post last month, compassionate allowance determinations might be viewed this way. The allowances mean faster decisions, but recipients still have to wait six months to receive the assistance.

Study points to hand arthritis being quite common

Arthritis can impact a range of different parts of a person’s body. This includes their hands. Sometimes, arthritis causes a person to suffer pain, a reduction in strength and functional reductions in their hands.

A recent study underscores how common hand arthritis is. The study looked at data covering over 2,200 people age 45 and over from one state (North Carolina) to look at hand arthritis prevalence. From this analysis, the study estimated that around 40 percent of people will suffer arthritis in at least one of their hands at some point during their lifetime. The study also found that chances of developing hand arthritis in one’s lifetime were significantly higher among women that they were among men.

Does arthritis qualify for Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides that in certain situations, benefits are available for applicants who are unable to work due to complications with arthritis. Two examples of types of arthritis that can qualify include inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Traumatic brain injuries are not always easy to detect

Newark residents may be surprised to hear that approximately two million people in the United States annually will sustain a traumatic brain injury. Moreover, around 5.3 million people in the United States currently have a disability that relates back to having sustained a TBI. However, detecting such an injury can be difficult, leading to TBIs being called a "silent epidemic" by one physician.

For example, one person who suffered a TBI after being injured during an attempted robbery reports feeling "foggy" mentally for over three months. He'd enter a room but then forget why he entered the room in the first place. Even today he says that the effects of the TBI are still being felt and may last a lifetime.

How do I prove my mental condition is debilitating?

Contrary to the belief of many, Social Security disability is not simply for those who are suffering from serious or debilitating injuries or illnesses, but also those who suffer from serious mental conditions. Although it is often far easier to recognize injuries or illnesses via various tests, scans or x-rays, mental conditions can be equally as severe and could also seriously cripple or prevent someone from maintaining gainful employment.

In order to qualify for Social Security disability, one must prove that they are unable to maintain gainful employment and that the condition is expected to last at least a year or end in death. While making a claim for an illness like cancer or an injury like a spinal injury could both be far easier to prove, proving a mental condition can be far more challenging.

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  • Toll Free: 877-892-0197
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