Social Security Disability Advocate

Serving Central California Since 1995

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of related neurological disorders inherited through genetics. It affects the nerves, muscle bulk and strength, and sensation in the feet and legs. Occasionally it also affects the hands and arms as the disease progresses. CMT disease is a lifelong and currently incurable condition.

In individuals who have CMT disease, the nerves in extremities like the feet, lower legs, hands and forearms do not send proper signals to the brain, causing loss of sensation and muscle. CMT causes weakness, muscle loss, loss of sensation, numbness and pain, and changes the structure of the… Continue reading

The annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) can provide an increase in the benefit amount people receive each month. By law, the monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefit rate increases when there is a rise in the cost of living as determined by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).

The CPI-W rose this year. When inflation increases, your cost of living also goes up. Prices for goods and services, on average, are a little more expensive. Since the CPI-W did rise, the law increases benefits to help offset inflation. As a result, monthly Social Security and… Continue reading

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or lupus is an inflammatory auto-immune disorder that can affect any body part or only one or a combination of body parts. For example, SLE may harm joints, heart, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood vessels or even the nervous system. While lupus is incurable and can be fatal, it can most often be treatable. Unfortunately, the disease course is often unpredictable because of alternating periods of exacerbation and remission. Some of the symptoms of lupus are severe fatigue, joint pain, fever, myalgias, involuntary weight loss, skin rashes, anemia, headaches, and multitude of other potential symptoms dependent upon… Continue reading

In the human circulatory system, arteries carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. After the oxygen has been delivered to its destination in the other organs and the extremities, the veins return the now oxygen-poor blood to the lungs, where it can be re-oxygenated. In the legs, contractions of the muscles force the blood upward toward the heart, against the pull of gravity. Small one-way valves in the veins prevent the blood from flowing backward down into the legs so it can make the return trip to the lungs for more oxygen. Sometimes these valves fail, causing blood to pool in… Continue reading

We all need to reach out directly to Members of Congress as soon as possible in support of adequate appropriations for the Social Security Administration (SSA). As you know, SSA’s disability hearings backlog is now at record levels, with over 1 million people waiting over 575 days, on average. The human cost of this backlog is horrific as people with disabilities struggle to pay their bills, get the supports and services they need, and make ends meet while waiting. Without adequate funding, this crisis will only become more severe.

President Obama has requested funding for 2017 that would allow Social… Continue reading

What exactly is connective tissue disease? Connective tissue diseases are referred to as a group of medical diseases. A connective tissue disease has a primary target of the connective tissues of the body. The connective tissues are the structural portions of our body that essentially hold the body together. These tissues form a framework for the body.

Because many connective tissue diseases feature abnormal immune system activity with inflammation, the disease targets one’s own body tissues (autoimmunity). Whatever the feature, it can be a very debilitating condition that can affect every aspect of an individual’s life.

The autoimmune connective tissue… Continue reading

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects how the brain processes information. Symptoms of Autism vary in both type and degree and can develop gradually, but the condition is usually recognized by age three, and often sooner. An infant with autism does not react to social stimulation with healthy behavior such as babbling, laughing, smiling, or making eye contact. Instead, an infant with autism may show a marked inability to interact, and often begins to show signs of repetitive or limited behavior.

There are three disorders in the “Autism spectrum:” Autism, Asperger Syndrome (AS), and Pervasive Developmental… Continue reading

Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary physical movements or vocal sounds. These actions may include kicking, facial tics, sudden jerking movements, shouts, grunts, or many other fits. In some cases, the symptoms can be quite severe, including involuntary jumping or biting, and can put the individual’s safety and well-being in danger.

There are many symptoms that an individual with Tourette’s syndrome may suffer from that can prevent that individual from maintaining full-time work activity. The inability to work can lead to significant financial distress. Fortunately, in some cases, Social Security Disability benefits can help alleviate some of… Continue reading

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is required to periodically review the case of every person who is receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. This process is called a “continuing disability review” (CDR) and is intended to identify recipients who might no longer qualify as disabled. If, during a CDR, Social Security finds that your medical condition has improved enough so that you can work, your Social Security benefits will end. Some of these CDR’s are intended to identify fraud as well.

SSA has set aside $8,000,000 to conduct these reviews. Individuals may have been… Continue reading

What exactly is peripheral neuropathy? Peripheral neuropathy occurs when there is damage to the peripheral nerves, the nerves that carry messages to and from the spinal cord and brain from the rest of the body. When peripheral neuropathy is caused by diabetes mellitus (a common cause), it is called diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by other metabolic disorders, herpes zoster, HIV, nutritional deficiencies, toxins, cancer (directly or indirectly as a side effect of chemotherapy or radiation), immune disorders, or genetic disorders. Whatever the cause, peripheral neuropathy can be a very debilitating condition that can affect every aspect… Continue reading