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Augusta GA Social Security Disability Law Blog

Mental exercise may stave off dementia, Alzheimer's

In recent posts, we’ve explored some of the research breakthroughs for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Although scientists have yet to find a cure for this type of mental disability, new discoveries are being made all the time. The most recent discovery sounds more like urban legend, rather than science.

According to a recent study, speaking a second language may help to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by an average of 4.5 years. Researchers analyzed the medical records of 648 patients diagnosed with dementia. On average, those who were bilingual had been diagnosed with dementia symptoms at just over the age of 65. In contrast, those who only spoke a single language most often displayed their first symptoms of dementia at a median age of 61 years.

Medicaid and Social Security disability standards can disagree

The onset of a disability is never a welcome event, but it can be particularly devastating in childhood. A recent profile of a 2-year-old who was diagnosed with a rare condition affecting her left arm illustrates the financial problems that can face parents trying to care for disabled children.

In this particular case, the diagnosis was Klumpke’s palsy, for which there is no cure. Medicaid covers some of the family’s expenses. However, some commentators estimate that treatment and corollary expenses for disabled children may cost an additional $6,000 to $20,000 beyond medical costs -- and beyond Medicaid coverage.

Social Security Administration reviews disability payments

Disability assistance may be available from several sources. For example, a wounded veteran may receive assistance from both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as the Social Security Administration. In addition, state benefits under Medicaid or other programs may also be available.

Recent media reports have documented rare cases where a disabled individual received overpayments from the SSA. In some cases, Social Security disability insurance payments may have continued after an individual reentered the workforce. For example, current regulations allow SSDI beneficiaries to explore the feasibility of resuming work during a nine-month trial period. When that period expires, SSDI payments are supposed to stop.

Research explores cause of fibromyalgia

A recent profile of fibromyalgia provides context for some of the difficulties that may face disabled Americans in their applications for federal or local assistance.

For years, doctors have struggled to understand for the chronic pain symptoms reported by sufferers of fibromyalgia. In some cases, doctors may have characterized the cause as psychosomatic, rather than physiological. However, recent research suggests that dysfunctioning internal valves between blood vessels, called ateriovenous shunts, may play a role.

Research may have applications to autoimmune disorders

A recent research discovery may have broad applications to the treatment of autoimmune disorders. Researchers have discovered a protective, natural response system that may explain why some individuals are able to remain healthy, despite being at-risk for certain genetic conditions.

The discovery was actually accidental. Researchers were screening more than 54,000 genes from the blood samples of 13 patients with an autoimmune skin disorder called Pemphigus vulgaris, or PV. Researchers also had a control group of 10 patients, as well as eight patients in remission.

Disability and the new health care exchanges

Individuals receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits may have concerns about how the new healthcare exchanges under the Affordable Care Act might affect their coverage.

As a preliminary matter, federal law generally ensures that people with disabilities are eligible for coverage under traditional group insurance policies. Of course, a disability is not the same thing as being unhealthy or sick. In other words, disabled individuals may require special treatments are services that are beyond the scope of traditional medical coverage. Such treatments may even include physical therapy and other forms of bodywork.

Disability applicants may fare better in live hearings

According to recent data, a substantial number of Social Security disability insurance applicants are filing appeals.

Technically, a reconsideration request is generally made after an initial denial. If that outcome is negative, an applicant may then request an in-person hearing before an administrative law judge.  

Federal agency launches asthma educational campaign

For many, asthma is a manageable condition. With the help of medicated inhalers or other treatments, students and workers may be able to carry on their normal activities, without requiring disability leave or assistance from programs such as Social Security disability insurance.

Yet not even the most conscientious asthma patients might escape hospitalization in September, however. According to clinical studies, September is the month when asthma hospitalizations peak. That fact may explain the timing behind the Environmental Protection Agency's new series of advertisements about childhood asthma. 

Researchers look for answers behind miracle recoveries

Readers may have heard amazing success stories from cancer survivors, perhaps involving accounts of unexplained remission. One example might be a patient whose response to a cancer drug or treatment was so positive that he or she was practically cured. In such cases, medical doctors might be at a loss to explain why the patient made a seemingly miraculous recovery. The result might seem even more inexplicable to other patients with the same condition who must face a long battle against their potentially deadly disease or disability.

Several research teams are taking a closer look at the science that might underlie such remarkable recovery stories. The oncology centers at reputed clinics in at least three American states are setting aside resources for such research. 

Wellness strategies and long-term disability

Readers of this Social Security disability blog may be taking efforts toward their long-term health. Although Social Security disability insurance payments can provide some assistance when accident or illness strikes, the eligibility criteria can be tough to pass. An attorney might help improve those odds, of course, but many readers may hope to avoid the situation entirely by taking preventative wellness measures now.

In terms of achieving a healthy weight, there's a lot of information on the Internet and in popular culture offering advice to achieve quick results. Readers may wonder how to assess, let alone prioritize such information. A recent article provides guidance.

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