Social Security FAQs for HIV/AIDS Patients
Aug23

Social Security FAQs for HIV/AIDS Patients

HIV and AIDS—or the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome—are serious conditions that can significantly affect the length and quality of life for those affected with the conditions. While some patients may be able to continue in their previous professions, others find that they cannot work in the roles that were once considered commonplace. Fortunately, men and women who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS may be able to qualify for assistance through Social Security. Understanding the basics of these programs and their benefits is crucial for those living with these serious conditions.   Where Am I Covered? Learning about the programs that offer HIV/AIDS disability coverage is very important for those diagnosed with the condition. Men and women who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS can often obtain benefits from the Social Security disability insurance program. Those who did not pay into Social Security during their working years may instead be covered through the Supplemental Security insurance program, especially if they have little income and few resources. In some cases, HIV and AIDS patients may be able to obtain assistance through both of these programs.   How Do I Qualify? So how, exactly, does an HIV or AIDS patient qualify for the programs described above? According to the Social Security Administration, the qualifiers for the insurance programs listed will often vary drastically depending on the circumstances of the individual in question. In general, applicants must have worked for at least five years during the ten years prior to being diagnosed with HIV or AIDS to qualify for social security benefits. In unique cases where the applicant is quite young and may have never held a job, additional qualifiers may be used. Those who have questions about whether or not they are eligible for social security should consult with a social or case worker experienced in their personal history.   What Will I Get? There are a number of important benefits that will be provided to patients with HIV or AIDS who have been approved for social security. Generally, patients can expect to obtain some financial assistance, which can be used for rent, groceries, utilities, or other everyday expenses. The amount of financial assistance that a patient obtains typically depends on the amount of money that they earned during their working years. After a period of time, Medicare—which covers most of the costs associated with HIV and AIDS—will begin to kick in.   Additional FAQs Navigating the ins and outs of Social Security can be difficult even for those who are experienced in the medical field—so imagine how challenging it is for men and women who are unfamiliar with the...

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Types of Physical Therapy for Cerebral Palsy
Jun27

Types of Physical Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of conditions that involve problems controlling the muscles. Cerebral palsy comes in all levels of severity and some sufferers are essentially unable to perform any physical activities on their own and suffer severe mental impairments, as well. Others, however, can benefit substantially from various types of physical therapy and, as is the case with all modern medicine, treatment options are steadily increasing in number in this regard.   What it Does   Physical therapy provides a way to help people with CP strengthen their muscles, get better control over them and to live a richer life, because of being able to enjoy more independence. Physical therapists need to be licensed and trained. These are medical professionals with vast knowledge of anatomy. If you’re receiving physical therapy for your own CP or are bringing in a child or family member, the program will be tailored to the individual’s needs, so there will be some variation in the therapies given.   Holistic Approaches   According to some research the types of physical therapy that benefit CP sufferers the most are those that involve the person’s entire life. These include more intensive programs that allow them to use training, devices and changes to their lifestyle to achieve better control over their bodies.   There is also evidence that physical therapy benefits CP sufferers in a range of ways beyond what would be expected. Cognitive function, for instance, has been shown to improve for some individuals with cerebral palsy when they engage in active physical therapy. This is, perhaps, not too surprising, since regular exercise has been shown to help healthy individuals mentally, as well.   Some Strategies   Physical therapists will use different strategies to provide different benefits. Some of what they do will depend upon the age of the child in question. For instance, in their early ears, even young children can do exercises that help them to learn to calm their muscles down, to keep their balance better and to adjust their positions. As they age, the therapy can become more advanced.   Walking is a big area where physical therapists offer assistance, for obvious reasons. Some forms of cerebral palsy—ataxic, for instance—are more well-known for having effects on a child’s ability to walk than others. Physical therapists can help children to develop coordination, muscle strength and balance that can help them walk better and, perhaps, transition from a wheelchair to crutches to a walker, if they do very well.   Adults oftentimes keep up with physical therapy to help with their CP symptoms. Regular exercise that is customized for the patient is very useful...

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Social Security Disability: List of Impairments
Jun02

Social Security Disability: List of Impairments

The Social Security administration maintains a list of impairments that is part of the criteria for determining eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. This list is something you should consult with if you’re applying for benefits. In all cases, it’s best to know as much about the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits as you can before you even get started. That being said, this is an enormous bureaucracy, so there are situations where it’s nearly impossible to know everything you need to know beforehand.   The List You can find the list for disabilities for adults located at the SSA site. Part B covers the Social Security disability listings for children. Make sure you’re looking at the correct list, if you’re trying to find information about whether or not your condition may qualify you for disability.   You’ll have to do a bit of research to find out the exact category your condition falls under. For instance, you might have cerebral palsy, which falls under the category of Neurological conditions, but which has effects that are generally most profoundly felt on the musculoskeletal system. This can make it a bit confusing when you’re applying for benefits.   The list contains all the pertinent information about these conditions as they relate to applying for benefits. Knowing your condition and what’s required if you want to apply for benefits, however, is only the beginning of the process. Where Social Security is concerned, nothing is really easy, so you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re in for when you apply.   Applying Applying for Social Security disability payments oftentimes involves a process of application and appeal. Many claims that are later found to be valid on appeal are turned down when they are first applied for. It’s easy to go ahead and blame bureaucrats for this but keep in mind that they have a huge number of claims to process and, unless something looks very obvious to them in terms of it qualifying for disability payments, they may deny it. This is why there is an appeals process.   If you do appeal, your chances of winning are much higher if you contact a lawyer for assistance with the matter. Many people make the mistake of applying for the same benefits over and over again rather than appealing their application when it is turned down. A lawyer can make sure you follow the correct procedure and greatly increase the chances that you will get your benefits.   Remember that, if your benefits are approved, you will get back pay until the time they should have been approved...

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What are the Special Needs of a Child with Cerebral Palsy?
May17

What are the Special Needs of a Child with Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy (CP), according to a general definition from the Mayo Health Clinic, is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by injury or abnormal development in the immature brain, most often before birth. Some individuals with cerebral palsy are only mildly affected and have a relatively large range of motion, while others’ functional abilities are greatly impaired. Depending on the severity of a child’s CP, he/she will have a variety of special needs. Fortunately, there are numerous forms of treatments that allow an individual with CP to have some improved functional abilities. Types of CP and Different Needs While cerebral palsy is the most common childhood motor disability, the needs of a child are based on the type of cerebral palsy. While many CP signs occur or are noticed as early as 2 months or as late as 24 months, it is important for parents and caregivers to contact a medical professional as soon as they notice any changes, such as delayed motor skills. The earlier a child becomes diagnosed; the sooner plan can be put in to action (to improve functional abilities). Yet depending on the type of CP, a treatment plan will vary as each one should be specialized for an individual’s needs. The four main types of cerebral palsy are: Spastic CP: This type is the most common and affects about 80% of people with cerebral palsy. Individuals with spastic CP have stiff muscles, resulting in awkward and rigid movements, due to increased muscle tone. Spastic diplegia/diparesis: refers to individuals who have stiffness in their legs, with the arms either less affected or not at all. Walking is often difficult and walking aids may be needed depending on the severity of the “scissoring” or the way the hips, legs, and knees act while walking. Spastic hemiplegia/hemiparesis: only affects one side of the body and more often the arm than the leg. Depending on the severity, the individual should have little difficult with walking unassisted. Spastic quadriplegia/quadriparesis: is the most severe form of spastic CP as it affects arms, legs, trunk and face. Most individuals cannot walk and have additional disabilities such as intellectual disability, seizures, vision, hearing, or speech issues. These individuals may be wheelchair bound and require the use of a communication board or device to help them communicate. This form of CP does not allow for much mobility or functioning as an independent. Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy (including athetoid, choreothetoid, dystonic CP) Individuals with Dyskinetic CP have difficulty controlling the movements of their hands, arms, feet and legs, making it difficult to sit or walk. The movements can change often...

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