Chronic Heart Failure

Heart failure is represented by a condition in which an inability to supply sufficient blood flow throughout the body is brought about by a problem with the structure and/or function of the heart. This term is sometimes incorrectly associated with other heart-related conditions such as cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Heart failure can be caused by various forms of ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, hypertension and cardiomyopathy. Symptoms brought about by heart failure can include ankle swelling, shortness of breath (especially when lying down), coughing and easily brought about fatigue. Since there is no universally accepted definition of heart disease and challenges posed by no definitive diagnosis, heart failure is often undiagnosed. Treatment will usually consist of lifestyle adjustments (such as salt-free diets), medication and possibly surgery.

Heart failure can be a costly, disabling and potentially lethal condition. Approximately 2% of adults in developed countries suffer from heart failure. However, this number increases to 6-10% in those over the age of 65. The high cost factors are related to the expense of hospitalization and have been estimated at $35 billion in the United States, alone. The disease is also closely associated with a marked decrease in the quality of life. The condition may deteriorate over time (with the exception of those cases involving reversible conditions). The average annual mortality rate is 10%, though some patients will survive for many years.

Chronic heart failure can originate from causes that are difficult to identify, due to population differences and changing causes associated with aging. However, the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (in a 19 year study) indicated that the primary causes (by rank) are: ischemic heart disease (62%), cigarettes (16%), hypertension (10%), obesity (8%), diabetes (3%) and valvular heart disease (2% – although much more prevalent in older populations).

The more rare causes of chronic heart failure will include viral myocarditis (heart muscle infection), infiltrations of the heart muscle, cardiomyopathy caused by HIV, connective tissue disease, use of drugs and alcohol, certain pharmaceutical drugs and arrhythmias.

An independent cause of heart failure has been related to a combination of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and a sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.

For assistance with Social Security cases involving chronic heart failure, contact Attorney Gerard Lynch, servicing clients in San Antonio, and throughout Texas by clicking here.


Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a term used to describe a group of non-contagious, non-progressive motor condition-related disabilities that affect various areas of body movement. The term cerebral refers to the cerebrum area of the brain, which is the section of the brain that is thought to be affected. However, this disorder most likely affects the connections between the cortex and other areas of the brain, such as the cerebellum. The term palsy refers to a disorder that is connected with movement.

Cerebral palsy is caused by the motor control centers of the brain sustaining damage during pregnancy (around 75%), during the process of childbirth (around 5%) or after birth (about 15%). The remaining percentage involves adults with CP, but not much has been studied about this, as of the present, since the main focus on this disorder currently involves pediatric cases.

The symptoms of cerebral palsy include limited mobility with accompanying problems with perception, sensation, communication, cognition and behavior issues along with epilepsy and musculoskeletal disorders.

None of the types of CP are curable and treatment of CP is confined to managing any complications that can arise from cerebral palsy along with the prevention of any further complications. A 2003 study indicated that the economic cost for those with CP (in the United States) averaged at $921,000 per person, annually (including lost income).

In some cerebral palsy cases, there is no cause that can be identified – but in others, the disorder has been related to issues associated with intrauterine development, hypoxia of the brain, asphyxia before birth and birth trauma that can occur during labor and delivery along with complications that arise during childhood. Cerebral palsy is also more common in cases of multiple births.

The University of Liverpool has conducted studies that have led to the conclusion that many instances of cerebral palsy (and other birth problems) can be related to the death of an identical twin in the very early stages of pregnancy. This can happen when the twins have joint blood circulation by both sharing the same placenta.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.

Cerebral palsy may prevent someone from seeking productive employment and enjoying a good quality of life. More detailed information, on Social Security claims, can be obtained by contacting Texas Social Security disability lawyer Gerard Lynch, serving clients in Sherman, Texas.

Understanding COPD Social Security Disability

COPD, or Cardiac Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a difficult disease for a person to manage. This is compounded by those who suffer from COPD and also need employment. Suffers of the disease often find it difficult to maintain employment as a result of how the disease impacts their body.

Cardiac Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a disease that qualifies for disability benefits under the Social Security Administration (SSA). The challenge with this type of disability case is proving to the Social Security Administration that you are disabled, because their definition of disability is very strict.

Defining Social Security Disability Benefits:

The SSA has a very rigid definition of who is disabled. To receive SSI or SSDI benefits a person must provide evidence that they are permanently disabled and this condition will last at least one year, or result in their death. No benefits are awarded for a partial or short-term disability.

Documenting a COPD Disability:

The most important thing for a COPD patient to do is to see a doctor on a regular basis. While at the doctor’s office, this is your opportunity to help build your COPD disability case. Remember to win benefits you’ll need to provide documentation of your disability. The notes and records your doctor maintains on file are critical evidence to help support your claim.

It is your responsibility to ensure your condition is being documented properly. Make sure your doctor is writing down your symptoms (and that the writing is legible). When talking to your doctor, be specific about your symptoms. For example if you are experiencing a shortness of breath, tell your doctor when it occurs, examples below:

– Carrying groceries
– Walking from room to room
– Standing for long periods of time (how long?)

COPD Chest Pain:

Another common COPD condition is chest pain. If you are experiencing chest paint, describe the pain to your doctor. Tell your doctor how long it takes to recover from COPD chest pain. This information is critical to support your COPD disability case and also helps ensure your doctor is able to adjust your treatment as needed.

As you can see your doctor’s records will be one of the greatest sources of supporting evidence for your case. Too often qualified applicants are denied disability because they were unable to document their disability to the Social Security Administration’s standards. It is important to remember that though you may seem to be disabled, if you do not provide the SSA with the evidence and documentation that they need, you will be unable to receive the benefits you are entitled to. If you are uncertain, or want to increase your chances of winning benefits you may want to contact a COPD attorney.

COPD Disability Attorney and COPD Disability Lawyer:

An experienced COPD disability attorney or COPD disability lawyer can be a great resource when applying for benefits. Disability lawyers and attorneys will be able to help you with your claim by assisting in gathering documentation and testimony if needed for your impairment and associated symptoms. Whether you need to apply for disability benefits or have applied and been denied, finding a lawyer with COPD disability experience can be the difference of winning benefits and being denied.

Matt Berry is a COPD disability lawyer. As a COPD disability attorney he has a passion for helping clients with COPD disability questions.

Understanding the Social Security Disability Application

Applying for Social Security Disability can be an intimidating experience. Did you know that you can apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled? To apply for benefits you’ll want to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA). This can be done by phone, mail, online or by visiting a local Social Security office.

Note: You are eligible to receive benefits from the date that you become disabled. If you apply after one year of becoming disabled you will only be eligible for a maximum of one year of back benefits.

Social Security Disability has several names that you may or may not be familiar with. It can be abbreviated as SSD, but more often you’ll hear of it either as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The two programs are under the umbrella of SSD, but each function differently.

Supplemental Security Income is available for those who have not worked enough to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, are in fact disabled, and economically qualified. Social Security Disability Insurance acts more as a policy to help those workers who have been contributing to the Social Security pool during their working career. Both programs cover full (total) disability only.

Recent Work Test:

Part of the SSD application process involves a recent work test. During this test the SSA reviews the disabled person’s work history to determine if the person has worked long enough to quality for disability benefits. In general for those over the age of 31 passing the test means the person has worked 5 of the last 5 years prior to becoming disabled. Below are a few samples of recent work test requirements for a Social Security Disability application:

– < age 24: worked 1.5 of the last 3 years prior to becoming disabled

– Between age 24 and 31: Age when you become disabled minus 21, then divided by 2. Example a person age 27. This person would need to have worked 3 years from the time he turned 21 (math: 27 – 21 = 6. Then 6 / 2 = 3).

– Age 31 and older: worked 5 of the last 5 years prior to becoming disabled.

Lawyers and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Application Process:

There is a very strict definition to quality for SSI Disability. Completing the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application is the first step to winning benefits. It is suggested you consider working with an experienced SSI lawyer during the application process. A lawyer will be able to work with you an help assemble to cause to present it in a manor that helps fulfill the strict requirements necessary to win disability benefits.

Lawyers and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Application Process:

SSDI also has a strict definition. The first step a person needs to complete to win benefits is the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application. Persons seeking SSDI benefits may want to contact an experienced Social Security lawyer for assistance with the application. A lawyer will be able to help gather the proper documentation and medical evidence necessary to present your case in the most favorable manor to the SSA.

Before submitting a SSD application it is important to remember that the SSA awards disability benefits around strict criteria. Those that are awarded benefits have documented that their condition will last at least one year or result in death. The process to win benefits can be significant from a time perspective, sometimes lasting two or more years. It is recommended to consider working with a Social Security lawyer to help increase your chances of winning benefits. Remember, the earlier you involve a lawyer the earlier the process can be affected.

Matt Berry is a lawyer and advocate who can help with a Social Security Disability application, including a SSDI application attorney assisted and SSI Disability application attorney assisted.

Requirements for SSDI Eligibility in California

Are you a resident of California and presently planning to file for Social Security Disability benefits? Well then, you have to know if you are eligible for the benefits first.

Are you a resident of California and presently planning to file for Social Security Disability benefits? Well then, you have to know if you are eligible for the benefits first.

Here are several of the specific requirements in the state of California that you need to comply with in order to qualify as a disabled person and be eligible for benefits.

• You must prove that you did not have the capacity to carry out any kind of “substantial” work because of a mental or physical condition. This condition must have persisted or would have expected to persist for a year or more. This condition may also be expected to have fatal consequences.

• For a work to be considered “substantial” you must have earned at least $780 monthly.

• Your mental or physical condition must have affected or impaired you severely subsequently preventing you not only from performing your usual job but also other occupations even with due consideration to your work experience, training, education and age.

Your tax contributions directed towards the Social Security trust fund is the base factor for your eligibility. By having paid tax contributions, this means that you are insured. You will have to earn credits depending on the age when you have incurred a disability. Credits are required of you in order to become eligible to receive disability benefits.

• Before you have reached the age of 24, you must have gained six credits over a period of three years or 12 quarters.

• If you are between 24 – 30 years old, then you must have already gained credits for “half of the calendar quarters” during the time after you have reached 21 years old and until the time you became disabled.

• After 31 years old, you must have already gained work credits for 5 years or about 20 quarters in the calendar during a period of 10 years or 40 calendar quarters. This ends at the time or after the quarter when you have become disabled.

These are the salient points you must be aware of, before ever you start your application for Social Security Disability benefits.

Aside from these, you must also have a proper understanding of the Social Security’s system in handling claims for Social Security Disability benefits.
1. Everything starts with your initial application – with this, you are initially starting your claim for disability benefits. During this first step, it is a disheartening reality that 75% of all of the applicants find themselves denied.

Usually, the reasons for denial are usually based from the forms and medical records you have included supporting your claim. If you find that you are among this percentage, do not give up easily. You have to file for an appeal within the next 60 days after you have received the decision.

2. Reconsideration – this is the second step that you have to undergo, but you must still brace yourself for a denial. 82% of claimants for reconsiderations are denied. There is still recourse for you if you decisively push through with your claims.

3. Request for a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge – you will have a good chance to win your case. Your case will have the benefit of being reviewed by a Judge and you can testify about your situation.

Bear in mind that it is best to understand and be well prepared for everything before filing for a Social Security Disability claim. You will do well to increase your probability at gaining your rightful benefits.

For more information about social security disability claims, visit us at

Important Reminders in Applying for Social Security Retirement Benefits

Retirement benefit is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk of social security. The retirement program of the Social Security Administration covers approximately 96% of the entire workforce in the United States. This entitles them to support from the government when they retire from their

Retirement benefit is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk of social security. The retirement program of the Social Security Administration covers approximately 96% of the entire workforce in the United States. This entitles them to support from the government when they retire from their jobs.

How to qualify for retirement benefits
Primarily, an individual must have worked and paid his social security contributions to earn the credits needed to qualify for retirement benefits. If a person stopped from work before reaching the required number of work credits, he will not be able to get his retirement benefits from the SSA. However, the credits will be kept in the SSA’s records so that you may still augment it if you have decided to continue working. This will give you a chance to be entitled to retirement benefits.

How to calculate the amount of retirement benefits
Usually, retirement benefits are calculated based on the claimant’s amount of earnings during his entire working career. This means that the higher the income a person had, the bigger retirement benefits he can get from the government.

Moreover, the age of retirement is also an important factor in determining the amount that a retiree may receive. The “full age of retirement,” as set by the government, is at 67. However, a worker may opt to retire earlier, but doing this will definitely decrease the amount of his benefits. On the other hand, he may also decide to delay retirement until he reaches the age of 70 in order to increase the said amount.

How to apply for retirement benefits
There are three possible ways to apply for retirement benefits – online (, through phone (1-800-772-1213) or filing an application form to the nearest SSA office in person.

These are some of the documents needed:

• Social Security number or ID
• Original copy of birth certificate
• Tax returns
• Military discharge documents (for military personnel)
• Proof of citizenship (for those who were not born in the U.S.)
• Bank account number where the benefits would be directly deposited

Note: The SSA, depending on the situation of the claimant, may require other documents

How to increase the chance of being approved
It is true that a large percentage of retirement claims are being rejected. Thus, it is advisable to hire an experienced Social Security attorney for proper representation. A credible attorney can ease the claimant’s burden in preparing the requirements and following up on his application. In addition, a competent representative has the capability to address the problems that may result in the process of filing.

Our LA County Social Security Retirement Benefits Attorney and Social Security Disability Attorneys Los Angeles are experts about cases involving Social Security retirement program and Social Security Disability Program.

A Gender Sensitive Social Security Program

Our laws have always been couched in the neutral sense that is, it is applicable to all regardless of your status in life, your age, your race, and even your gender. It is so neutral in fact that no one is considered to be above the law, and that any acts running counter to it are punishable with a corresponding penalty, which may even include imprisonment.

Our laws operates in two ways; first, its serves as a rule of conduct to be followed by the people in the society. Meaning that any act not in consonance with what the law has obligated to do is punishable and may result in time behind bars. Second, is that our laws, actually outlines the rights available to an individual, and how these rights should be respected and how they should be exercised. The latter are our substantive laws.

Our Social Security Laws are examples of substantive law. They provide the rights afforded to a disabled employee for example, and how he or she may be given benefits because of the injuries he or she has suffered. Yet as like any other laws, it is also couched in a gender sensitive manner giving rights both to the male and female populace.

It is a given that the male and female genders’ physical make-up is different from each other, this difference affecting the method of performing work, and even how prone they may be injured or plagued with a disability. Yet notwithstanding these obvious distinctions, the rights afforded to the female gender are also equally available to the male. That is how particular our laws on Social Security are. To further testify on this balance, the test in determining whether an individual is indeed incapacitated to pursue his or her work, are the same in both sexes. There is no qualification whether you are a man or a woman, it is written in plain and simple language, with no qualifications and distinctions.

Our laws have been the considered the foundation of our society. As the passé line goes.. It actually brings balance to the force. Without it there would be chaos in the society. With such grave responsibility, it is very vital to note that our Social Security Laws did not favor any one, gender irrespective.

Atty Gabriel Cosh is a legal advocate and a practitioner of law for over 10 years now. He is also an expert in the field of social legislation and personal injury cases.
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