Welcome to Disability Audio

Disability Audio looks at all physical and mental impairments the same way. In other words, to be approved for disability benefits on the basis of one or more conditions, the condition must be severe enough that it prevents an individual from being able to perform substantial gainful work activity for a year or longer, or be severe enough that it may possible result in death.

Stress is not a condition that is listed in the SSA blue book; however, when most individuals list “stress” on a claim for disability, they are referring to an anxiety related disorder. Anxiety disorders do have their own section in the impairment listing manual for consideration.

In any event, disability examiners base their determinations on what the medical records have to say about a claimant’s condition, versus what the claimant has to say about their condition. More specifically, examiners use the information contained in the records to rate a claimant’s residual functional capacity, a rating of what a person can still do and can no longer do. Functional capacity ratings including physical ratings and mental ratings.

How are functional capacity ratings used? Essentially, by gauging what an individual is presently capable of doing and comparing it the physical and/or mental requirements of jobs that, in the view of the social security administration, a person might be capable of doing.

Of course, it should be noted that individuals who are filing for disability based on stress or some type of anxiety disorder should attempt to get treatment from a mental health professional. Social Security decision makers generally look for treatment records from a mental health treatment professional that establish a longitudinal history of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.

Finding The Best Electric Mobility Scooters for the Elderly

Are you elderly, or disabled and are in the market for purchasing a new electric mobility scooter? If so, you will want to be sure that you find the best one. There are various factors that have to be considered if you want to find yourself the best electric mobility scooters to consider investing in. Below, we will be going over some of the top things to look at and consider when you are looking to find the best ones.

Finding The Best Electric Mobility Scooters

1. Scooter Price.

The price of the scooter is likely going to be the major deciding factor when it comes to purchasing the right one. Not only do you want to get a good value for your money, but you will also want to try to find one that is going to supply you with a scooter that fits within your budget. If you are dealing with a tight budget, you will likely factor this into your decision making process and you will avoid investing in the higher end models. Because there are electric mobility scooters available for various budgets, you want to try to find the one that is going to work for your specific needs. The price is a major factor that has to be considered.

2. Reviews.

Another major thing that you are going to need to look at and consider when it comes to finding the right electric disability scooter to invest in is the reviews of the scooters on the market. You want to try to find the disabled scooter that has the best overall reviews in order to really be able to find the right one to invest in for your lifestyle. By purchasing the electric scooter with the best reviews, you should be able to successfully navigate through the market and really find the scooter that is most likely to satisfy your needs.

3. Warranty.

Whenever you are looking to invest so much money into one machine or product, you also want to consider the kind of extended warranty that is going to come with it. Because an electric disabled  scooter is likely going to be used on a daily basis and because you are investing so much money into it, it is going to be important to find one that has the warranty that is going to cover your scooter for a long time. That way, you know that you will not be responsible for paying for anything that might be a result of a manufacturing defect. Having a warranty that backs up the purchase can make things much more manageable and it can reduce a lot of the perceived risk that you are taking whenever you make the decision to spend so much money on a electric mobility scooter.

4. Portability.

Another major factor that is going to influence your decision greatly is the level of portability that the scooter comes with and the level that you are looking for. Obviously, if you are not interested in moving the scooter around and taking it with you in a vehicle, this is not something that will likely be important to your overall decision. However, if you are planning on traveling with it, portability can be a huge factor.

By looking at all of the factors above, you should be able to find a whole selection of electric mobility scooters here Mobility & Comfort – Electric Scooters.

Will I be Found Disabled for Social Security Disability?

This segment of Social Security Disability Audio addresses a question that is often asked, and perhaps, in truth, asked by every single individual who decides to file a claim for disability benefits with the social security administration. That question is “Will I be found disabled by social security?”.

To give you an idea of the statistics, roughly seven out of 10 claimants who apply for disability benefits with SSA are not found disabled initially. And of those individuals who wisely decide to appeal the denial of their initial claim, more than eight out of ten are denied again. However, for those who decide to appeal a second time, this time requesting a disability hearing before a federal judge, the odds are actually favorable that they will win their case.

As this segment of the podcast illustrates, medical records are what cases are decided on. And the content of a claimant’s medical records can serve to support a case or hinder it. Some claimants may find it helpful, prior to filing a claim for benefits, to look at their own medical records to get an idea of what their records actually say about their condition and limitations. If their records have little to nothing to say about their condition, they may find it practical to speak with their physician to see if the physician can make an attempt to record observations about their physical and/or limitations (for example, difficulty sitting, standing, stooping, crouching, bending, reaching, etc). This type of information, which relates to a disability claimant’s functional capacity, is exactly the type of information that social security looks for when it decides whether to approve or deny a disability claim. However, in all candor, it goes without saying that no one should hold their breath after asking their doctor to adjust his or her approach to recording office notes.

Having a Severe Condition and Qualifying for Disability

It’s apparent to every individual who decides to file for social security disability or SSI disability that an applicant must have an impairment of some kind, either physical or mental in nature, or a combination of impairments (that may be physical, mental, or both). Furthermore, the great majority of applicants for SSD and SSI benefits realize that the strength of an adult’s claim will hinge on the extent to which their ability to engage in work activity will be affected. However, few disability claimants typically have any concrete idea as to how the social security administration, through its use of judges and claims examiners, actually makes the determination as to whether or not a claimant can work. The answer is actually fairly simple. Disability adjudicators, the individuals who make decisions on claims (judges and examiners) evaluate a claimant’s medical records to ascertain if their impairment is severe. The records are also evaluated in an attempt to learn how the claimant’s condition functionally limits them and interferes with their ability to perform work activity. By rating a person’s current abilities and limitations, and then comparing this rating to what was required in the jobs previously held by the claimant, social security can determine whether or not a return to past work is possible. Social security also uses the claimant’s work history information and their medical information to determine if the claimant might be found capable of performing some other type of work, assuming they cannot return to their past work. However, one overriding factor in this process is whether or not the claimant worked and received earnings (or is currently working and receiving earnings) at the substantial gainful activity level. As this segment explains, SGA is a monthly earnings limit that cannot be exceeded by anyone filing for disability or receiving disability benefits. The amount is indexed to the cost of living and, therefore, does change annually.

Veterans, PTSD, and the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Many veterans deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the trauma of being in combat. This anxiety disorder can include sleeping difficulties, flashbacks, anger, problems functioning in society, issues with work and relationships, and the avoidance of topics, experiences and things that may induce flashbacks or anxiety. A recent study finds that this may be linked to increase risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s for older veterans. The reason is unknown, though PTSD has been linked with a reduced volume in the part of the brain that affects stress and memory, the hippocampus. The findings suggest that older veterans with PTSD should be watched closely for signs of early dementia.

The study was led by Kristine Yaffe, MD, Associate Chair of Research for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology, and Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry and Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

The study included over 53,000 veterans with PTSD and no dementia, and over 127,000 veterans without PTSD and dementia. The data was gained from the Department of Veterans Affairs National Patient Care Database. The veterans were followed for six years to find whether or not they would develop dementia.

What they found that those without PTSD developed dementia at over 10 percent, while those with PTSD developed dementia and double that amount. The results suggested clearly that those with PTSD were more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s. These results were adjusted for medical and psychiatric comorbidities and demographics, and excluded those with a history of depression, substance abuse and brain injury.

Do Nitrates Increase the Chance of Death?

A group of Rhode Island researchers, led by Suzanne de la Monte, MD, MPH, studied typical old age diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and found that exposure to nitrates may increase deaths from these diseases. The study was extensive, and began with a 37-year study of mortality for people aged 75 to 84 years old, studying not only these diseases, but also cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases. The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. At first they suspected a genetic cause, but after a dramatic increase in diabetes and two other insulin resistant diseases, they started looking at possible environmental causes. They found that nitrates and nitrites had increased over the same 37-year period as additives in preserved foods, processed foods, pesticides, cosmetics, rubber products and fertilizers, and deduced that exposure to these toxic substances may be at fault. Diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular diseases actually decreased over the same 37-year period. Nitrites and nitrates are carcinogenic at high levels, and heat from frying and cooking can turn sodium nitrate into nitrosamines. Nitrosamines cause damage to DNA by altering gene expression. The researchers believe this damage causes the cells to change in the same way cells change during diabetes and aging. The researchers believe that the high amount of nitrates and nitrates found in foods such as cheese, cured meats, beer, and fried bacon, is contributing to the development of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. To help cut back on this potential health issue, they recommend cutting nitrates and nitrites out of one’s diet, and also in agriculture processes and the use of these toxins in other items, such as fertilizers and cosmetics. They also recommend finding a way to prevent nitrosamine formation when cooking these compounds, since this reaction to heat seems to be the cause of DNA damage.

Can Dietary Oil Supplements Affect Fat Loss and Increase Muscle?

A new study lead by the Carol S. Kennedy professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University, Martha A. Belury, shows that dietary oil supplements could help obese older women with type-2 diabetes decrease fat and increase muscle. The study involved two oils, safflower oil and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and was published online by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study was noted as receiving no funding from the supplement industry.

The study originally involved 55 women with an average age of 60 years old, but only 35 women completed the full study. The 35 women were involved in two different study periods, each period concentrating on an individual oil for 16 weeks, separated by a four week break. During the two 16 week periods, the women took eight dietary oil capsules of either safflower oil or CLA, for a total of eight grams of oil per day. Although the women did not change their exercise or dietary routines, they did keep a journal of both to note any subtle changes in either.

Safflower oil was noted as decreasing belly fat tissue by 2 to 4 pounds and boosting muscles mass by 1 to 3 pounds. It also lowered blood sugar levels by 11 to 19 points. Safflower is a common cooking oil that is considered a ‘good’ fat.

CLA was noted as decreasing body fat by a little over 3 percent, while decreasing body mass index (BMI) by about half a point. CLA is an omega-6 fatty acid.

Despite study results, experts say it is still best for obese older women with type-2 diabetes to adhere to a healthy diet and regular exercise routine to help lower weight, increase muscle mass and control diabetes.