Developmental Disability: A Curse in the Ancient Era

A blessing for developmentally and intellectually disabled people in the world today is that most of the general population believe in keeping an open mind and their attitude towards disability guided by a tolerant and informed perspective. With the rise of technology, people are more aware than ever. Almost every country has organizations and laws in place that allow disabled people to lead respectful lives. A meaningful life was not always the case, and the harsh plight of disabled people only began to look up a few decades ago. It has taken centuries for people to change their attitude towards the disabled and to be a disabled person in the ancient era was perhaps the worst kind of curse.

The most ancient historical evidence of treatment of disabled people dates back to 7000 B.C and involved the application massages, baths and herbal treatments that attempted to cure developmental and intellectual disability. There are also evidences of “magic” being used in attempts to rid the person of demonic possession. Between 800 BC and 400 BC, however, the idea of treating people for their disability was for the most part abandoned. With little regard for human life, the cultures of the ancient era found it easier to simply kill anyone born with disabilities rather than try to care for or cure them. Ancient Greece and Roman cultures valued perfection and beauty over everything else. As a result, most tortuous malpractices towards developmentally disabled infants, children and adults were inflicted in these cultures.

Disabilities were not understood or tolerated and even the most revered ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle had commanded, “As to the exposure and rearing of children, let there be a law that no deformed child shall live.” Aristotle’s recommendation led to perhaps one of the evilest practices towards the disabled- abandoning disabled infants and children in the cold and leaving them to die. It is hard to imagine the slow and painful deaths thousands of infant and children must have suffered. Infanticide was widely carried out in Ancient Greece for decades in light of Aristotle’s decree.

In ancient Rome, disabled people were referred to as “monstrum” and the birth of a disabled child was seen as an evil omen. The Romans were allowed the freedom to sell, injure or kill their disabled children and people with disabilities often ended up as beggars or in court as a source of amusement and entertainment.

Perhaps the first person to firmly state that developmental disabilities were not because of evil spirits but were a medical illness that could be cured was the great Greek healer, Hippocrates. Later, the Greek physician Sonarus opened the first hospital of its kind, dedicated to treating people with mental and developmental disabilities.

People’s attitude began changing slowly, but nothing changed it as surely as religion. The rise of Christianity, in particular, taught followers; LUKE 9:48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. (n.d.).

The One Key Report That Will Win a Social Security Disability Case

After over a 1,000 successful Social Security Disability cases, as a disability lawyer I have found there is one report that can make a difference. What is that report?

First, the agency considers the opinion of the treating doctor to be the most important document in the medical file. However, the critical opinion often does not exist. Why is this? Simply, doctors are involved in treatment. They are not concerned with legal disability issues.

Second, the agency will not allow doctors to make the legal determination in the case. Thus, if the doctor says a claimant is “disabled” the agency will reject this “naked” statement. The agency will say this is a legal determination to be made by the Social Security Judge.

Third, a mere statement that you are “disabled” will not be accepted. However, an opinion (from the treating doctor) stating what impact the claimant’s impairments have on important body functions can be extremely important and may be decisive in a case. For example, the doctor’s opinion on how long the claimant can walk, stand or sit is critical. Also, the doctor’s opinion regarding lifting, bending, etc. is critical.

Fourth, an experienced disability lawyer will have a set of evaluation forms for your doctor. They will be tailored for your individual impairment. For example, for a low back problem, there will be a lumbar spine form. This form will ask the doctor critical questions on how the low back problem impairs important body functions like walking, standing, sitting, lifting, bending, etc.

Fifth, unlike a “naked” statement of disability, this report will elicit what the doctor’s opinion is about the claimant’s ability to perform critical work activities. If the doctor’s opinion in this matter is supported by the doctor’s treatment records over a period of time, then the Social Security Judge may be compelled to give this report “great weight” in the claimant’s case.

Sixth, even if other medical evidence disagrees with the treating doctor’s opinion, the treating doctor’s opinion will prevail if the opinion is well supported by the treating doctor’s records.

In summary, a single report can win a Social Security Disability case. However, it has to fit the above criteria: (1) the doctor must be a treating doctor; (2) the opinion must indicate how critical body functions are affected by the impairment; (3) the opinion cannot just say the claimant is disabled; and (4) the doctor’s opinion must be grounded in the doctor’s treatment records. An experienced Social Security lawyer can work with the claimant’s to develop this winning report.

Appealing Your VA Disability Claim at the CAVC

As a disabled veteran, did you know that you have the right to fight back if the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denies your disability claim at the final level of your appeal? You can take your case to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) in Washington, D.C.

What is the CAVC?

The CAVC is not part of the VA. It is a national court created to give disabled veterans the opportunity to seek an unbiased review of their case after they have been denied at the Board of Veterans Appeals. This is the place to go to if you want to present your reasons for why you deserve the disability compensation that has been denied to you.

Likewise, if you take your case to the CAVC, you can expect that the VA will defend their decision to deny you the disability benefits you believe you deserve.

It is strongly advised that if you choose to take your case to the CAVC, you should get legal representation to help you. Why? Because a VA disability attorney, or non-attorney representative, has experience in appealing claims at the CAVA, and know how to formulate the best possible arguments to help you win.

Who Should Legally Represent You?

You will want to make sure that you get a legal representative who is not only savvy about veterans disability and VA law, but is also someone who really cares about veterans and understands what they are going through.. The person you choose can be either an attorney or a non-attorney who has been admitted to the bar and has an attorney present while arguing your case at the CAVC.

You should know that there is no cost for representation services at the CAVC. This is because of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), which requires that the federal government take responsibility for paying your legal fees.

Once you find your legal representative, it will be his or her task to develop a convincing argument in your defense. You can expect that the VA attorneys will be doing the same.

When to File For A Review

You have 120 days after the Board of Veterans Appeals has made their final decision about your case to file a Notice of Appeal with the CAVC.

What Could Happen at Court

After arguments from both sides have been heard, the CAVC will decide your appeal. The CAVC could reverse the Board of Veterans Appeals’ decision, in which case you’ll get your benefits. Or they could request that your claim be sent back to the Board of Veterans Appeals for reconsideration.

The important thing to know is you don’t have to settle for a VA disability claim decision that you do not agree with. As a disabled veteran you have rights.

Appealing your claim at the Court of Veterans Appeals is recourse available to you. The CAVC has been in existence since 1988 for the purpose of ensuring that disabled veterans,are getting their fair share from the VA.

Here’s What You Must Know About Social Security Disability Insurance Law

If your medical condition prevents you from taking a job or find employment, you might be eligible to get disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Law. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the Social Security Administration has set up a few norms.

– The person cannot work as before

– The person has a condition, usually physical disability, which prevents him in engaging in profitable activities to earn a living.

– The disability is expected to last at least for a year or has been the same for more than a year.

– The person has a disability that can eventually result in death

– The person cannot take up or adjust to a job, because the medical condition makes it hard to do so.

It might be confusing for people to understand if they qualify for SSDI benefits, which is why many choose to get in touch with a lawyer. As for the amount paid, it largely depends on the average of past earnings of the person. As for 2017, the monthly disability payment on an average was $1171, with maximum benefit reaching about $2,687.

When to seek legal help?

Thanks to the formalities involved, one can be denied SSDI benefits, and such cases are not uncommon. In fact, legal experts and lawyers can solve the issue for you. The first step is to understand if you are actually eligible to get the benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance Law. Your lawyer will explain everything in detail, following which the follow steps are to be taken.

– Completing the application. The paperwork involved in Social Security Disability Insurance Law application can be complicated at best. Many people are not sure of how to go ahead, which is why they seek legal expertise on the matter. The lawyer’s team can ensure that the trail of papers is completed as per requirements.

– Assistance with the reconsideration. Applications are often rejected, as mentioned earlier, and if that has occurred, do not panic or lose hope. Talk to your lawyer, who can file a request for reconsideration. Do not delay with the step, because the reconsideration request must be filed within 60 days after the first application is rejected.

– The third step is about Administrative Law Judge Hearing, which is required when the request for reconsideration is denied, as well. Another application will be moved by your lawyer before an Administrative Law Judge.

If your lawyer is competent, you can win the case in your favor in no time. It is important that you choose the right attorney for Social Security Disability Insurance Law application and follow-up procedures, if required. Take your time to evaluate the legal services available, and don’t shy away from asking relevant questions. Keep in mind that your lawyer can save considerable time and money, and their payments are usually linked with the services they provide. Ask for references and meet your legal team in person before taking the final call on moving an application.