Because you are disabled.

File for disability benefits.

Appeal your case.

How you presented your initial application was the best you could do at that time given what you knew and were told.

But, if you were not successful, appeal (1) because you are disabled and (2) because you can improve on your presentation.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Pain and Glia Research

 An interesting article in the NY Times regarding pain and glia.




Thursday, January 12, 2023

Another Way Benefits Are Denied


Despite spending at least $250 million to modernize its vocational system, Social Security disability programs still rely on 45-year-old job titles to deny thousands of claims a year.  So stated a recent story in the Washington Post.


The article noted that: “The jobs are spelled out in an exhaustive publication known as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. The vast majority of the 12,700 entries were last updated in 1977.”


To mitigate the existing system, it is crucial for anyone applying for Social Security or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) disability benefits to hire an attorney or non-attorney representative who is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives and/or the National Association of Disability Representatives and who is familiar with vocational publications such as, Social Security Disability Advocate's Handbook by David Traver and David Ferrari.


The newspaper report was probably correct when it observed:

“Social Security’s delays in updating the database of job titles are rooted in conflicting political considerations, shifting leadership, and the drift that can bedevil large federal projects . . . .[And] many advocates believe the agency is motivated to delay the project so it can deny more claimants benefits.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Long Covid 19

“Roughly 18 million American adults (7 percent of the adult population) have at least one symptom [of Long Covid 19] that has lasted 12 weeks after infection” according to an article October 31, 2022, in the Boston Globe. The most common symptoms people report are “fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, and muscle aches.” Some people with these symptoms say that their daily activities are limited; 4.5 million describe their limitations as “a lot.”

The recommendations of Katie Bach, a writer on the economic impact of Long Covid 19 and David Cutler, an economics professor at Harvard University, include expanded access to affordable treatment and more research. As to work issues, they urged accommodations where possible. For those workers, “whose jobs are physically demanding and ineligible for remote work,” for whom accommodations are not sufficient, they listed the following short-term disability proposals that Congress should address:

“[F]ederally funded short-term disability insurance to allow long COVID patients early in their disease to rest and, hopefully, recuperate; adjusted Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance guidance and expedited review processes for infection-associated illness patients, who need a different standard of “proof’’ of disability and for whom early rest may be crucial to recovery.”

Bach and Cutler also noted that the 24-month Medicare waiting period for those on disability should be waived.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Comfort TV

Brian Broome wrote an article Monday of this week ( about turning off “the strife” in our relentlessly cruel, crazy world. His solution is to watch comfort TV, and he listed his favorites.

He said: “And I watch them over and over. I long ago memorized all the dialogue and every twist and turn that these shows and episodes will take.”

Broome noted that, “You might even engage in this soothing ritual alone . . . .[because you] just can’t deal with the outside world. . . . We are supposed to ignore those nagging feelings of worry, angst and helplessness . . . .”

Broome’s article resonated with me because I also watch comfort and escape shows and also because this is also something that disabled people sometimes do. See my blog post of October 1, 2019:

As I pointed out in that blog, taken from my book on how to apply for Social Security & SSI disability, claimants for disability benefits actually have to explain their “watching television” so as not to be denied benefits.

Social Security disability administrative law judges are trained, when questioning about memory issues, to ask claimants, “Can you follow the story on TV[?]”

Television comfort shows, as I have written, serve many purposes:

“In reality many people leave a television on as background noise or to offset other noise in an apartment building or on the street outside, as a way to block out intrusive thoughts and/or as company when lonely and depressed. Many people identify with the characters portrayed in television series—they become almost like real friends. Many people will doze off for brief periods when watching television particularly people who are in constant pain and people who are unable to sleep through the night. Perhaps a claimant may be able to concentrate on television programs, and that while watching TV, his pain is somewhat dulled.”

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Long Covid

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—, long Covid or post-Covid conditions are “a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems” about four weeks after a Covid 19 infection. [Accessed 06-25-2022]

The CDC has found that people with possible long Covid report the following symptoms:

Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life

Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (post-exertional malaise)


Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath


Chest pain

Fast-beating or pounding heart (heart palpitations)

Difficulty thinking or concentrating (brain fog)


Sleep problems

Dizziness when standing up (lightheadedness)

Pins-and-needles feelings

Change in smell or taste

Depression or anxiety


Stomach pain

Joint or muscle pain


Changes in menstrual cycles

“Some people, especially those who had severe COVID-19, experience multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multiorgan effects can involve many body systems, including the heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain. As a result of these effects, people who have had COVID-19 may be more likely to develop new health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, or neurological conditions compared with people who have not had COVID-19.”

The CDC states, “for some people, post-COVID conditions may last months, and potentially years, after COVID-19 illness and may sometimes result in disability.”

According to the CDC:

“Estimates of the proportion of people who had COVID-19 that go on to experience post-COVID conditions can vary:

13.3% at one month or longer after infection

2.5% at three months or longer, based on self-reporting

More than 30% at 6 months among patients who were hospitalized”

Thursday, June 23, 2022

My new book, Money & Insurance Claims for Injuries & Illnesses: Medical RecordKeeping, is now available at

Money & Insurance Claims for Injuries & Illnesses: Medical RecordKeeping provides a guide for creating a Medical Appointments Book, a Prescription Journal, and a Medical Status Journal. It seeks to respond to three needs of people impaired now, or who may be in the future:

One, it helps to find the words, to describe or explain their symptoms, including pain.

Two, it advocates that people must properly complete “medical” forms and retain copies of completed forms and their own records of their care and treatment.

Three, it recommends that people create medical status diaries to describe their baseline health and/or to record symptoms that may be associated with future illnesses such as Long Covid or fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

This book is a guide to creating a Medical Appointments Book, a Prescription Journal, and a Medical Status Journal.

In 2013, Patricia A. Petow, a now retired Massachusetts attorney, published How to Get Social Security Disability & SSI Disability at