Tag Archives: personal information

Do I have a personal injury claim or law suit?

bike_injuryPersonal injury claims occur when you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by someone’s negligence or intentional act. There are countless ways in which such a claim could arise including everything from an auto accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, atv accident, to a defective product that causes injury or death, nursing home negligence or medical malpractice, and negligent hiring, among other things. The best way to evaluate whether you have a legititmate case for damages is to contact an attorney.  You can start right here by calling our office at 937-432-9775 or filling out our free online consultation form.

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Can I get Social Security disability for having sleep apnea?

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by moments during which a sleeping person is unable to move their respiratory muscles or maintain airflow through the nose and mouth. In short, this means a person stops breathing for short periods of time. Generally those suffering from sleep apnea stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time while they sleep. These short periods without air can happen up to 400 times ever evening.

Those who are overweight are at an increased risk of developing sleep apnea, as fat deposits can develop in the neck and then block the airway. Those suffering from the disorder, perhaps unsurprisingly, sleep very badly and wake up most mornings still feeling tired.

There are two types of sleep apnea, first and most common is obstructive sleep apnea which occurs when something blocks the windpipe. Central sleep apnea, by comparison, is rare. Central sleep apnea is related to the central nervous system, and occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles used for breathing. Sleep apnea can be treated or improved by wearing a positive airway pressure device at night. These devices are masks worn over the face to assist with breathing.

While many people who have sleep apnea will have a hard time qualifying for disability, those who have suffered complications from sleep apnea are more likely to qualify. For instance, if you have pulmonary vascular hypertension, or heart trouble such as cor pulmonale, or a severe cognitive impairment that resulted from your lack of sleep, you may be eligible for benefits. The SSA lists certain criteria for sleep-related disorders, and if you fulfill the requirements, you will be approved for disability benefits.

The first thing the SSA looks for is a sign of cognitive impairment. Chronic sleep disruptions caused by apnea can affect daytime alertness, intellectual ability, memory, and mood. But to qualify for disability benefits, your symptoms must be severe. The SSA requires that your sleep apnea has caused cognitive or mood changes that limit your activities, your ability to function socially, or your ability to focus and keep up with work. These can include severe personality changes, memory problems, delusions or hallucinations, emotional instability or a loss of more than 15 IQ points.

Another way that those suffering from the effects of sleep apnea can receive disability benefits is if they have cor pulmonale. This is an enlarged right heart ventricle caused by hypertension which can result from years of sleep apnea. To prove that your cor pulmonale is severe enough to keep you from working, your doctor must have evidence of either: high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery or extremely low oxygen levels in your blood.

If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law Offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.

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Can I receive SSI for my spinal stenosis and back pain?

Spinal Stenosis and SSDI benefits
Spinal stenosis is the term for the narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord, or narrowing of the openings where spinal nerves leave the spinal column. If the narrowing progresses to the point that the nerves passing through these areas are compressed, this compression can cause severe pain. Spinal stenosis usually occurs as a person ages and the spinal disks become drier and start to bulge. Spinal stenosis may also be caused by arthritis of the spine, bone diseases, congenital birth defects, herniated or slipped disks, severe injuries or even tumors on the spine.

Typically, stenosis symptoms get worse over time and, while they often start by affecting only one side of the body or the other, they can grow to encompass both sides. These symptoms include: numbness, cramping, pain in the back, buttocks, thighs, calves, neck, shoulders, or arms, weakness of part of a leg or arm. Symptoms are more likely to be present or get worse when you stand or walk. They will often lessen or even totally disappear when you sit down. It for this reason that most people with spinal stenosis cannot walk for a long period of time.

Spinal stenosis can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications and pain medications, some of which specifically target nerve pain. Physical therapy and cortisone injections can also be prescribed. In some cases, surgery might be recommended to remove the bony tissue that is compressing the nerves.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) discusses Disorders of the Spine, including spinal stenosis, under Section 1.04 of the Blue Book. In order to meet or medically equal listing 1.04 with respect to obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, your medical records might show the following:

• You must be diagnosed with spinal stenosis.
• Your records must show that your condition has caused nerve root compression and that this compression has resulted in pain, limited range of motion of the spine, and muscle weakness. The SSA will require a straight-leg raising test to prove this.
• You must also demonstrate evidence of pseudoclaudication (leg pain that becomes worse with walking) that is severe enough that it results in an inability to effectively walk, and should include the results of all imaging studies (meaning, an MRI or CT scan).

It’s important that your medical records also document the precise treatments you have received and your reaction to those treatments. It’s critical that your doctor make sure to list all limitations spinal stenosis has caused in your everyday life, further demonstrating the need for disability benefits.

If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law Offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.

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Receiving disability for bi-polar disorder and anxiety

Getting disability due to mental limitations such as bipolar disorder.

There are many possible symptoms of bipolar disorder that can affect a person’s ability to work. In a manic episode the individual may experience over confidence, racing thoughts, increased energy, irritability, sleeplessness, inability to concentrate, denial of condition, drug abuse, bad judgment, euphoria, or aggressive behavior. In a depressive episode symptoms may include hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, sleep difficulties, helplessness, guilt, difficulty with memory, difficulty with concentration, irritability, physical symptoms of pain, overly sad, weight gain or loss, and decreased energy.

Thankfully, bipolar disorder is recognized by the Social Security Administration as a legitimate basis for the payment of disability benefits. If you are a claimant who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder symptoms, there are two primary theories for receiving benefits.

The primary theory for those suffering from bipolar is to argue that your condition is so severe that it meets the listing as defined by the Social Security Administration in Listing 12.04. To qualify this way you will need supporting documents in the form of a written declaration attesting to the fact that you experience specific systems that result in difficulties with your mental functioning.

To qualify under the listing, the following requirements must be met:

• persistent conditions of depression (at least four medically documented): loss of interest; change in appetite; sleep disturbance; decreased energy; feelings of guilt; difficulty thinking; thoughts of suicide; hallucinations or paranoid thinking
• persistent conditions of manic behavior (at least three medically documented): hyperactivity; inflated self esteem; decreased need for sleep; easy distractibility; involvement in high-risk activities for pain; hallucinations or paranoid thinking
• inability to maintain (at least two of the following): daily activities without restriction; social functioning; concentration or pace; a period of time without episodes
• medically documented history of two years of chronic affective disorder limiting the ability to perform basic daily activities as a result

Another common avenue utilized to win your case based on bipolar disorder relies more on the work limitations that your doctor has identified. This is the approach known as ‘residual functional capacity’ where you must assert that your condition has caused your capacity to work to become so diminished that you are not able to perform even simple, unskilled work.

If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law Offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.

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