QUESTION: I am a 53 year old man with severe diabetes. I have such bad neuropathy in my feet and hands that I can barley walk. In fact, most of the time I have to use a cane in my dominant hand and occasionally I have to use a rolling walker when the pain gets real bad. I was a heavy equipment operator for CalTrans for 25 years. I was forced to quit a year ago and took a disability retirement.
I have paid into Social Security through my employer. Can I qualify for benefits?
ASK THE ADVOCATE:… 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
Question: I am a 57-year-old woman with chronic pain. I have had a broken shoulder that is poorly healed, herniated discs in the lumbar spine, joint pain and some neuropathy in my hands and feet from diabetes. This has been going on for more than 6 months. My doctors tell me I am not a candidate for surgery and have only offered opioid pain medication and physical therapy. I have not been able to work in 3 years. Now I am having problems with depression and anxiety. My memory is shot. I can’t remember simple things that were once a… Continue reading
Many of us will experience anxiety or panic attacks during our lives, both of which have symptoms that can mimic heart diseases like atrial fibrillation — an irregular heart beat. … Symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks can significantly impair quality of life. Severe anxiety can stem from, as well as cause, depression.
To further complicate things, the stress and anxiety that often cause panic attacks can also lead to heart attacks.
Panic attacks and heart attacks can feel frighteningly similar: shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain,… Continue reading
Post laminectomy syndrome (PLS) or sometimes called failed back syndrome is a condition characterized by chronic pain following back surgeries.
Common symptoms associated with PLS include diffuse, dull and aching pain involving the back or legs. Abnormal sensibility may include sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain in the extremities. The term “post-laminectomy syndrome” is used by some doctors to indicate the same condition as failed back syndrome.
What is PLS? Laminectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the lamina from the back. The lamina is part of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal. This surgery will… Continue reading
I often get calls asking about whether someone should to use an attorney or an advocate. My short answer is “there is no difference.” Attorneys and Advocates both represent claimants the same way and have the same authority. One major difference is that most Advocates have not gone to law school. Many, like myself, have been Paralegals for many years. I have been a Paralegal for 38 years and 24 years as an Advocate.
When I graduated from Paralegal school I decided that I wanted to find a non-traditional way to apply my legal skills. Eventually I found that opportunity… Continue reading
Most folks file for Social Security Disability because they are physically unable to work. But for some, it’s not the work that poses a threat, but the risk of blood clots or unstoppable bleeding.
People who suffer from coagulation and bleeding disorders often live in fear of nicks and cuts. The Social Security Administration allows a person living with chronic blood clots (thrombosis), interrupted circulation, excessive blood clotting, or uncontrollable bleeding disorders to collect disability benefits depending on:
The disorder. Many hereditary clotting disorders can be considered for disability benefits—most commonly hemophilia and thrombocytopenia. In addition to these, Social Security… Continue reading
If you have been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and it has left you unable to work, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Social Security sometimes approves disability benefits for applicants whose use of their legs is limited due to PAD. In order to qualify for Social Security disability or SSI disability benefits, you must provide medical evidence that proves that you either meet Social Security’s criteria for PAD to automatically qualify as a disability or are unable to work any job due to the limitations PAD causes you.
PAD occurs… Continue reading
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is diagnosed by blood tests and X-rays. There is a specific blood test for the disease called rheumatoid factor, which is most often used. There are also specific doctors, rheumatologists, which specialize in connective tissues and diseases of the joints.
The cause of RA is unknown. It is suspected that fungi, bacteria and viruses are the cause, but there has been no proof to this theory. It could be genetic, have environmental causes or be due to certain infections, but whatever the cause, the immune system attacks the body’s tissues and results in inflammation.
The symptoms of… Continue reading
SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, results when you have an excess of bacteria in your small intestine. Until recently, SIBO was thought to be a mythical health condition. But today, research has proven that it’s a real thing. In fact, a whopping 80% of people who are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are also said to have SIBO. However, SIBO does share many of the same symptoms as IBS, which makes it tricky to diagnose.
SIBO has been shown to negatively affect both the structure and function of the small bowel. It may significantly interfere with… Continue reading