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Houston Social Security Disability Law Blog

Passing of Jerry Lewis spotlights muscular dystrophy

Recently, Americans across the United States mourned the passing of Hollywood legend Jerry Lewis. Although Lewis made a name for himself and enjoyed a long career as comedian, singer, actor, director and writer, he is perhaps best known as a humanitarian for his work fundraising for research for muscular dystrophy.

One of the more common forms of the disease is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which involves progressive muscular degeneration and weakness in the human body. The illness is caused due to the absence of dystrophin in the body, a protein that protects the body's muscle cells from degenerating. The disease typically affects the pelvic area, shoulders and thighs of boys between the age of three to five. The affected area often moves on to the arms legs and trunk after, and by a person's early teenage years may affect respiratory muscles and the heart as well.

Construction worker death highlights dangers at workplace

We all know that construction work can be dangerous. Unlike many other forms of work, construction work zones are often fluid and situations often change and evolve by the week, day or even hour. Workers are often working in construction sites with many unreliable variables, including large equipment and materials that are moving at different places and times. This is why construction accidents are common throughout the United States, including in Texas, where a construction worker is killed on average one every three days.

In fact, Texas leads the United States in construction-related fatalities. Such was the case recently when a worker from Austin, Texas, was killed after being crushed by a large concrete slab, weighing between 15-20 tons. Thankfully, not all workplace construction accidents are deadly, but serious construction injuries are also quite common.

Work-related injury could qualify for Social Security Disability

Each year many workers throughout the United States, including many from Houston, Texas, and the surrounding area, are injured in the workplace. While the types of injuries often vary, some injuries such as neck, back and brain injuries are not uncommon, especially in construction areas.

The two most common workplace injuries include overexertion, common for neck and back injuries, and falls, which could also lead to catastrophic injuries requiring long-term or even life-long care. Being struck or caught between equipment or objects is also common.

Helping you recover SSD benefits for disabling injuries

Suffering a disabling health condition is oftentimes something that Texas residents are not prepared to deal with. When an accident leaves an individual seriously harmed, it can become rather challenging to return to normal life. This is especially true when an individual is unable to work because of a disabling injury. A permanent or temporary disability not only means living with pain and suffering associated with the condition, but also means not being able to afford the basic needs in life. Those living with disabilities often seek out financial support through programs sponsored by the Social Security Administration.

Social Security Disability benefits are very helpful for those living with a disability caused by an injury or illness. These payments can meet the financial needs of an individual, helping them pay for medical care, food and shelter. At our law firm, we do our best to help our clients with initial applications, a reconsideration or appealing a decision by the SSA. We are devoted to helping those in the Houston area understand their rights and navigate these actions.

A multiple sclerosis diagnosis can result in permanent disability

The human body is vulnerable to a wide range of diseases and disorders. Some of them have short-term symptoms, while others persist for life. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can lead to lifelong disability because it affects the brain and spinal cord. The condition involves your immune system attacking the outer layer of nerve cells. This, in turn, creates a wide range of symptoms.

There are also several kinds of MS that have different prognoses. Some people experience short-lived attacks, while others rarely experience remission between these debilitating medical events.

The differences between SSDI and SSI

The Social Security Administration understands how serious health conditions can be and that disabilities prevent millions of Americans from working. They have two programs in place, Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, and Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, to provide some financial relief to those who are out of work. To qualify for either program, applicants must prove that they are suffering from a debilitating condition that is expected to last at least a year, or end in death. The two programs are funded differently, and if an applicant does not qualify for SSDI, they may still qualify for SSI if they meet the proper criteria.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program is funded through payroll taxes. In order to qualify, the applicant must have contributed through at least 20 quarters of coverage over the previous decade. After receiving SSDI benefits for two years, recipients are transferred to coverage by Medicare. For the disabled who have not contributed to SSDI, there is another option that might work.

Lymphedema victims may qualify for Social Security Disability

Lymphedema affects as many as 10 million Americans, more than all victims of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, ALS and AIDS combined. It is not uncommon for lymphedema to occur following a surgery to remove lymph nodes, often done during treatments to fight cancer.

Lymph nodes are important in the human body as they act as a filter, trapping viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances flowing through the body. Normally, such infections are fought by white blood cells, but they can be compromised during cancer treatments.

How brain injuries affect Americans

One of the most important organs in the human body is the brain. Due to its location on the human body however, this leaves the brain vulnerable to injury, especially after a slip and fall, being struck by an object, common in construction accidents and sports, or a car accident. It should then come as no surprise that traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs are among the most common injuries in America. According to statistics provided by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, TBIs account for nearly one third of all injury deaths in the United States.

A traumatic brain injury includes any type of jolt or blow to the head that disrupts normal functioning of the brain. Mild TBIs often cause a minimal change to one's mental status, but severe TBIs can lead to long-term change in consciousness, memory loss, or even death. Each year, it is estimated that approximately 50,0000 deaths are related to traumatic brain injuries.

The basics of schizophrenia

Many people have heard of the mental disorder schizophrenia, but unless you have or know someone with the condition, you may not know what it is or how it affects a victim. Schizophrenia typically starts to affect people between the ages of 16 and 30, though in rare cases children can experience it as well.

There are several ways that schizophrenia can occur, including an exposure to certain viruses, malnutrition before birth and issues during a birth as well as psychosocial factors. Generally, schizophrenia is caused by a different combination of chemical structures in the brain, including an imbalance of necessary chemicals typical in a normally functioning brain.

Those with CRPS or RSD could qualify for disability

There are a host of serious medical conditions that can prevent you from continuing to work. In some cases, these conditions are psychological. Severe depression, personality disorders and even post-traumatic stress from a work accident or assault could leave you unable to work.

The creation of Social Security, particularly Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), stemmed from a need to ensure that those who work don't end up in poverty if they become unable to work. Conditions that limit your ability to focus or your ability to finish tasks could qualify for SSDI.