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Top 5 Adaptive Sports for Staying Active With a Disability

Top 5 Adaptive Sports for Staying Active With a Disability

adaptive sports and recreation

Studies have shown that regular exercise, in conjunction with a healthy diet, can boost mood and energy levels. But staying active when you have a cognitive or physical disability can sometimes be difficult. Adaptive sports and recreation activities aim to make it easier for those with different abilities to reap the physical and mental benefits of exercise.

Due to all of these benefits, it’s important for those of all ages and all ability levels to find an exercise routine that works for them. Additionally, it is just as important for them to always consult with a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. Check out this list of the top five adaptive sports for staying active with a disability, brought to you by our team at Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

What Are Adaptive Sports and Recreation?

Adaptive sports are inclusively designed to match the abilities of different individuals. More specifically, existing sports and activities are modified in order to make them more accessible for people with different ability levels, both physical and mental.  

Adaptive sports include both competitive athletic events and purely recreational activities, meaning everyone—from professional athletes to workout novices—can enjoy the rewards of adaptive sports and recreation.

Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact sport. It’s also extremely easy to modify and adapt for varying levels of mobility and endurance. Another major benefit of swimming as an adaptive sport? It requires little to no adaptive equipment. Swimming also builds endurance and provides heart-healthy aerobic exercise. Swimming can be done one-on-one or in group aqua fitness classes, which often offer built-in modifications.

Horseback Riding

Equine-assisted therapy, also called hippotherapy, has been recognized as an invaluable resource for those suffering from physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities for more than half a century.

Those with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy and movement or balance disorders have been shown to benefit significantly from this type of exercise. Horseback riding also boosts coordination, muscle tone, and often provides a sense of relaxation and confidence in riders.

Paddling

If you enjoy being on the water, paddling can be a very versatile adaptive sport. It includes canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and rowing. Many of these sports incorporate tandem riders, making it easier for those with disabilities to participate with their caretakers. Modifications to allow for adaptive grips or positioning are also easily accessible.

Cycling

Cycling offers many benefits—exercise, the opportunity to appreciate the outdoors, and even an alternative form of transportation. Handcycles, recumbent bikes, two-wheelers, and tandem bikes make it possible for people with all kinds of ability levels to cycle, either solo or in a group. 

Those with visual impairments, balance issues, and limb mobility impairments can all take part in cycling. Amputees can also enjoy cycling, often only requiring slight modifications to utilize these types of bikes.

Sitting Volleyball

Sitting volleyball is a fun way to engage in competitive team sports and foster social bonds with others. In this adaptive sport, participants remain seated on the ground and use a shorter net and a smaller volleyball court. 

Aside from these modifications, no additional equipment is required, and players can get an excellent core and upper body workout. 

Have Questions About Your Social Security  Disability Benefits?

Through social security disability benefits, you may be able to offset the cost of adaptive equipment or membership fees to adaptive sports and recreation centers near you. For more on the ultimate disability secrets the Social Security Administration doesn’t want you to know about and how to get the most monthly compensation for your disability, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

Wondering how to check on your SSDI application status? We’ve got you covered. You can reach us by phone at 602-952-3200, visit our office during regular business hours, submit the details of your case online, or chat with a live representative now. 

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.
Age and Social Security: How the Two Interact

Age and Social Security: How the Two Interact

how age affects social security benefits
It’s important to know how age affects social security benefits. SSDA USA is here with a primer.

Millions of people receive social security retirement and disability benefits. However, not everyone receives an equal amount, and one critical factor in your benefits calculation will be your age. But how does age affect social security benefits? Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here with the answers. 

How Age Affects Disability Benefits

The truth is that people of nearly any age can receive social security disability benefits. Even children under the age of 18 can receive disability benefits, so long as they suffer “marked and severe” functional limitations as a result of their disability.

Furthermore, if a child over age 18 but younger than age 22 becomes disabled, they may also be eligible for disability benefits. However, in evaluating their eligibility, they are treated as an adult rather than a child; i.e., the standard of whether they can work matters most, and the “marked and severe” functional limitation criteria is eliminated. Because they are considered an adult child by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the parents’ earnings records will be considered before granting the adult child social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Adults younger than their full retirement age may also be eligible for benefits. Generally speaking, the closer you are to full retirement age, the more favorable your case may be. For instance, if you are age 30, literate, have little formal education, and are unable to perform sedentary work, you may be denied benefits. Contrast this with a 50-year-old with the same characteristics, and they may be approved for benefits.

How Age Affects Retirement Benefits

Aside from disability benefits, there is the issue of retirement benefits. Note that SSDI benefits automatically transition into retirement benefits when a person reaches full retirement age. Additionally, the rigorous criteria associated with maintaining disability benefits are eliminated.

Regarding retirement benefits specifically, though, a person can claim benefits as early as age 62, and the benefits max out at age 70. Generally, a person’s retirement age is anywhere from age 65 to 67. Here is a specific chart detailing exact retirement ages:

Year of BirthFull Retirement Age (FRA)
1937 or earlier65
193865 and 2 months
193965 and 4 months
194065 and 6 months
194165 and 8 months
194265 and 10 months
1943–195466
195566 and 2 months
195666 and 4 months
195766 and 6 months
195866 and 8 months
195966 and 10 months
1960 or later67

Now, how does age affect retirement benefits? The earlier you claim, the lower your benefits amount will be. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you claim at age 62, your retirement benefits amount in each check is permanently reduced by 30%. The reason for this is so people claiming earlier don’t have an unfair advantage over those waiting to claim their benefits.

If you claim earlier, you’ll receive more checks over your lifetime, but each check will be worth less. Conversely, waiting until age 70 means fewer checks, but with a greater amount in each check. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when you want to claim your retirement benefits.

Have Questions about How Age Affects Social Security Benefits?

If you have questions regarding how age affects social security benefits, contact an SSDA USA advocate right away for guidance. Our compassionate staff and attorneys work hard on your behalf to get you your benefits. Call us now for a free consultation at (602) 952-3200, or chat with us online via our contact form or our convenient LiveChat feature.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

New Threats to Watch: Social Security Scam Updates

New Threats to Watch: Social Security Scam Updates

social security fake documents scams
The new social security fake documents scams are underway. SSDA USA is here with helpful tips on how to keep an eye out.

Millions of people depend on social security benefits every day. It’s no surprise, then, that social security benefits are a hot target for scammers. There are many ways someone could scam a person into losing money, but social security beneficiaries, in particular, need to be mindful of a new, deceptive tactic. Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here to help you stay on the lookout.

How Do Scammers Operate?

Scammers contact victims through a variety of media, but there is one common thread among all scammers: They want to steal your information and money. It’s as simple as that. 

Typically, scammers may contact you saying they need you to verify some personal information, such as your phone number, credit card number, or even your social security number.

Additionally, some brazen scammers will threaten victims with arrest, suspension of social security number (which is a made up idea), cancellation of social security benefits, etc. The idea is to scare the victim into compliance. And such tactics often work.

Previously, many scammers operated by using robocalls, or recordings that instructed victims to give out identifying information. The calls included warnings claiming that the victim’s social security number was associated with criminal activity and needed to be validated to ensure a clean record. 

Now, however, scammers have stepped up their game and are employing new tactics to prey upon the innocent.

What Is the New Scam?

The new method is known as social security fake documents scams. That’s right. Scammers are now sending fake letters and emails to victims that appear to be from the Social Security Administration or from the Social Security Office of the Inspector General (OIG). 

Such documents may have copies of the official SSA logo and other markers that may mislead the victim to believe the document is legitimate. However, keep in mind that these documents may contain grammatical errors, and are therefore a sign of fraudulent undertakings.

Additionally, remember the following points so you can distinguish genuine SSA contact from scammers:

  • The SSA will never threaten you if you refuse to pay a fine/fee
  • The SSA will never inform you of a social security number suspension—such a phenomenon doesn’t exist
  • A social security worker will never ask for your social security number over the phone
  • Social security workers will never ask for debit card, credit card, or other payment information over the phone
  • Social security workers will never promise a benefits increase in exchange for cooperating with payment

What Should I Do?

If you believe you are the victim of a social security fake documents scam, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation.

  • If you believe a phone call is suspicious, HANG UP. Report the call to the genuine Social Security Administration number by calling 1 (800) 772-1213
  • Do NOT click on any links in suspicious social security emails
  • Never give away personal information in suspicious phone calls or emails
  • Contact your local law enforcement agency and report the suspicious activity

Concerned About Social Security Fake Documents Scams?

Contact the SSA directly if you are concerned about a social security scam. If you have questions about filing for or appealing a denial for social security disability benefits, then contact us. We know that social security benefits are crucial for many Americans, and it’s natural to be concerned that you’re receiving the correct amount. 

At Social Security Disability Advocates USA, we offer free consultations. Call us anytime at (602) 952-3200, or chat with us online through our LiveChat feature or an online contact form.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

EVALI and Social Security: A Complex Relationship

EVALI and Social Security: A Complex Relationship

EVALI and social security
EVALI and social security have a tricky relationship. SSDA USA is here to explain why.

When you suffer from a disability, you may be wondering how you can obtain and maintain social security disability benefits. With the advent of vaping, new conditions have come about, more specifically, e-cig, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). But what is the relationship between EVALI and social security disability benefits? Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here with guidance.

What Is Vaping?

Vaping involves the use of electronic cigarettes that may contain nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or cannabidiol (CBD). The e-cig device has a battery that heats up the e-liquid when the user inhales, thereby allowing the user to breathe in an aerosol. Many people mistake the aerosol for water vapor, but there are actually fine particles, heavy metals, and other dangerous substances in the aerosol the user inhales.

E-cigs were introduced in the U.S. in the year 2006, and they have evolved in a myriad of ways. Some e-cigs try to closely resemble cigarettes. Others are designed as hefty, large “tanks.” The latest and most popular vaping device is called the JUUL, and it is also probably one of the most potently addictive e-cigs on the market, since one JUULpod has as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.

What Is EVALI?

Electronic cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) is a relatively new illness arising from vaping. People of nearly all ages have been sent to the hospital with difficulty breathing and even “glass lung.” Symptoms can mimic those of pneumonia, but patients usually don’t respond to antibiotic treatment. This is because an infectious disease is not the culprit for EVALI.

While investigations are still ongoing, the CDC has noted that vitamin-E acetate in adulterated cannabis oil cartridges is a potential culprit. However, vitamin-E acetate may not be the only cause of EVALI, and the CDC has urged people to stop vaping all e-cigarettes, if possible, regardless of whether they contain nicotine, THC, or CBD.

Additionally, the CDC encourages people to use FDA-approved cessation methods instead of e-cigarettes to quit smoking. As things stand, e-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved cessation method. 

While e-cigarettes are technically regulated by the FDA, there had been much leniency in regulation up until recently, when the Trump administration officially banned flavored e-cigarette pods (except menthol and tobacco).

How Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability?

Qualifying for social security disability benefits requires you to meet some criteria. You must adhere to the following rules:

  • You possess a condition that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA), which, for the year 2020, is $1,260/month for non-blind individuals and $2,110/month for blind individuals, AND
  • Your condition has lasted or will last a period of at least one year (12 months) or will result in death

If you meet these requirements, you will likely qualify for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, there are a few other things to keep in mind. 

First, you must have worked a certain number of years. Depending on your age, you will need anywhere from 6 to 40 work credits (you can earn a maximum of four credits in one year). 

Also, you will need to present substantial, timely, and accurate medical documents supporting the claim that your condition is severe and that you cannot work because of your condition.

Why the Conflict?

Your Disability Determination Services (DDS) center will examine your case carefully. As part of their duties, they will ask you questions about your lifestyle. If they believe your lifestyle is contributing to your disability, you may not qualify for benefits. Therefore, you must prove that your medical condition would persist even if you made positive lifestyle changes, e.g. quit vaping or smoking.

If you cannot prove this, or if you are unwilling to make positive lifestyle changes to alleviate your illness, the DDS may conclude that your lifestyle is in fact contributing to your disability and that you are complicit in such harmful health developments. If this occurs, you will not receive benefits.

TIP: It can be difficult to apply for social security benefits on your own. In fact, many people don’t get benefits on their first application. Speak with an advocate from Social Security Disability Advocates USA. We will help you through every step of the process.

Can I Still Receive Benefits?

It is theoretically possible to receive social security disability benefits for EVALI. However, the issue is tricky. While many claim that vaping e-cigarettes help them quit smoking, it is the e-cigs themselves that play a part in EVALI. 

DDS officials may be sympathetic towards a smoker trying to quit, but they may point out that e-cigs are not FDA-approved cessation methods and that users should know the risks of such devices.

In the end, each case is unique. Whether you receive benefits depends on your specific health condition, your medical history, work credits, and whether you have the skillset to confront the DDS and others (e.g. administrative law judges) to prove your case. If you’re wondering about your social security benefits, don’t panic. Give SSDA USA a call for a free consultation.

Have Questions About the Relationship Between EVALI and Social Security?

If you suffer from EVALI or another disability, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA today for a free consultation. You can give us a call anytime at (602) 952-3200. Also, you can reach us online through our contact form or through our LiveChat feature. Don’t keep your questions bottled up; speak with an advocate today!

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Social Security’s Proposed Fourth Category: What Does It Mean?

Social Security’s Proposed Fourth Category: What Does It Mean?

proposed fourth social security disability category
The proposed fourth social security disability category has a broad range of ramifications.

Social security is frequently changing, and no change goes without consequences. Recently, the Trump administration issued a proposed fourth social security disability category. But what does it all mean, and how will your benefits be affected? Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here with the answers you seek.

The Current State of Affairs

As things are right now, the Social Security Administration (SSA) puts disability beneficiaries into three judgment categories: Medical Improvement Expected, Medical Improvement Possible, and Medical Improvement Not Expected. These categories aid in assessing how often to review a beneficiary’s disability eligibility. 

If medical improvement is not expected, disability reviews may occur once every seven years. However, if medical improvement is expected, for example, a disability review could take place every 6 to 18 months. Such disability reviews are a necessary part of the application process. Follow-up is important in case a beneficiary’s health improves to the point they can get back into the workforce. 

Also, follow-up is important in case a beneficiary’s health declines, thereby necessitating fewer disability reviews and in a greater span of time. While the process of applying isn’t easy (many people don’t receive benefits on their first application), disability reviews are just one of many safeguards in place to make sure those who claim benefits are truly eligible.

The Change: An Additional Category and What It Means

The Trump administration has recently put forward a proposed fourth social security disability category. In addition to the other three judgment categories, a fourth category—Medical Improvement Likely—would aid in determining the severity of a person’s condition and how frequently they need disability reviews. The proposed category would have a disability review period of once every two years. This is a shorter time frame than both Medical Improvement Not Expected and Medical Improvement Possible.

In addition, many people from social security’s “Step 5” classification would fall into the proposed fourth category. A person is a step-5 recipient when they are financially eligible but don’t necessarily meet social security’s medical listing requirements, yet their impairment still prevents them from working. Many elderly people and children are step-5 recipients. Subjecting such people to more frequent disability reviews has some people confused and upset.

Jennifer Burdick, supervising attorney with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, stated to The Philadelphia Inquirer that labeling these people in such a way is “a radical departure from past practice. There’s no medical or scientific basis to say they’ll get better.” 

Jonathan Stein, a former Community Legal Services attorney added, “There’s an underhandedness to this. It’s ideological, not based on medicine or science.”

Some believe the additional category is not necessary and only makes it more difficult for beneficiaries to continue receiving benefits. It is already notoriously difficult to receive social security benefits in the first place, and having to complete ongoing paperwork for years on end is a heavy burden, one that harshly punishes even a slight mistake or failure to comply with the rules. Because of this, some believe the new category is just a way to weed out those who aren’t diligent in keeping up with the procedures.

What Should You Do?

The proposed fourth social security disability category has not yet gone into effect. This is good news: the proposal is available for public commentary through mid-January 2020. After this period ends, the future is uncertain. The proposed change may go into effect, or it may not. Regardless, there are some things you can do to protect your benefits.

  • Speak With an Attorney—An experienced attorney advocate from SSDA USA can help guide you in the right direction during this turbulent time.
  • Be Proactive—Take steps to prepare for any changes ahead of time so the stresses of adaptation don’t hit you all at once.
  • Know the Process—Read up on social security disability application processes and on how to continue receiving your benefits so you know what to expect

Wondering How the Proposed Fourth Social Security Disability Category May Affect You?

If you’re concerned about your social security disability benefits, contact SSDA USA today. We’ll speak with you to address any questions you have. Call us anytime at (602) 952-3200, or get in touch with us online via a contact form or our LiveChat feature. Don’t keep your questions to yourself; contact SSDA USA today!

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.