Cochran Firm's Helping Hands Blog

heart-fingersFebruary is American Heart Month

Heart disease kills over half a million people in the United States each year. Many of these people become sick and disabled, some for many years, prior to the disease taking their life. Recognition of heart disease this month provides an opportunity for us to review some of the causes and awareness signs.

We'll get these two factors contributing to heart disease out of the way right now: obesity and smoking. We all know we should be thin and we all know we should not smoke. Now let's move on.

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injured-veteranVeterans Move to the Front of the Line

Starting in March of 2014 veterans who have been deemed fully disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will be able to have their Social Security disability claims expedited. Currently, veterans have placed claims and had to wait like everyone else for the Social Security Administration to approve their claim in order for them to receive benefits which can take a couple of years. This situation is doubly frustrating for veterans as they have already been declared disabled by one government agency only to wait on red tape from another. 

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Couple in Love, 01-26-12Social Security Disability Compassionate Allowances

The Social Security Administration has a list of medical conditions they go by to determine if a person should receive disability benefits when the initial application is filed. In an ideal situation if a person's condition is on this list they are supposed to be approved for benefits and not have to go through the appeals process. Again, that is ideal. The physical maladies of the applicant may or may not be compared to the list during the review process by the screener. This one way a Cochran Firm disability lawyer can assist in preparing an application or appeal for benefits by making sure the reviewer is aware of the compassionate allowance qualification.

Below is a list of conditions the Social Security Administration has declared to be compassionate allowances as listed on their website and updated for 2014:

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Stressed out lady

How to Handle Debt Collectors

Many people living with disabilities are faced with costly, ongoing medical treatments. A typical surgery can run upwards of $50,000. Even simple procedures can run one or two thousand dollars. Due to these high costs many people find themselves receiving unwanted phone calls and letters from debt collectors. However, how you handle the collectors may make the difference between going to court over a debt and working out a settlement.

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financesJanuary is Financial Wellness Month and Poverty Month

It is ironic that January is both Financial Wellness Month and Poverty in America Awareness Month. Most people who suffer from disabling conditions preventing them from working know all about poverty. Losing a steady income is bad enough, but then many Americans are forced to go without income for as long as two years before the disability insurance they paid for begins paying them, and then only a portion of their previous income. It is no wonder that a leading group of people who file for bankruptcy are also those who have medical problems.

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