This Bureaucratic World and Your Disability

October 13, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Getting a chance to get up to date on the happenings of the world can be a laughable dream these days.  With everything that we seem to pack into a day, if you don’t hear about it while pouring your morning coffee, making lunches or quickly grabbing a bagel you just don’t need to know it, right?  Well, as you are aware news and events continue throughout the day while we’re steadily watching the clock on our desktop creep closer and closer to 5:00.  People who do have time to stay up on current events—we call them journalists—see big events but relaying that to you and how that could parallel to your disability claim with the Social Security Administration is somewhat more tedious.

To get the heart of it, an Arizona prison is facing an ever tightening budget and sacrifices and appropriations come to the forefront of discussion in an eye-opening way.  Ultimately, prison employees have been forced to cut back on necessities while the budget for prisoner perks is adhered to in a frivolous manner.  It may sound ridiculous to those of us who work day to day just to put food on the table and clothes on the kids, but the red tape that smothers any government decision produces laughable results that leave most of us confused and frustrated.  The red tape can best be described as requirements that one government body have deemed appropriate regardless of budgetary concerns.  The other line items on the budget that are considered requirements such as the essentials for prison employees do not have the same protection.  This could be due to an assumption that is so obvious that no congress person would even consider it necessary to write into a budget.  The result, however, is a pathetic excuse for meeting a budget and the obvious consequences can be detrimental.  What does that have to do with the price of eggs in China?  Well, who knows, but it does correlate to how your disability claim may be approached with the Social Security Administration.

These same bureaucrats use a similar methodology in determining the status of your eligibility for disability benefits by “running it through the system.”  Don’t be surprised if the disability that prevents you from working and providing for your family doesn’t meet the SSA’s requirements.  What’s important is to force the Administration to see your disability in a vacuum.  This is your disability.  Your life and circumstances and you shouldn’t be compared like a piece of data to the hundreds of other people who apply in various cities in North Carolina.  If you’re having trouble with the Social Security Administration, you’re not alone.  Contact an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo and get started on the right track.  Call us at 877-333-1000 or even check out our website for more information.  Our website is   

No Response from Social Security? Consider a Tweet.

August 30, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’re curious as to why you haven’t received a response to your application for social security disability, the answer may upset you more than the actual wait time.  The Social Security Administration is the administrative agency who determines eligibility and essentially handles requests for benefits.  In recent months, however, the SSA has been getting more publicity for its attempt at TV and social media production. 

The most recent commercial involves a cat and required an exorbitant amount of taxpayer dollars.  Exorbitant?  Yeah—exorbitant, given the fact that the SSA has been rejecting people left and right for benefits they deserve for underlying concerns of funding.  The cat commercial is really just the icing for the cake my friends.  No matter how nauseating or gut wrenching the idea of a cat commercial may be, the attempts at social media may be more disgusting.  There has even been speculation about particular groups who are paid to send out messages and blurbs on behalf of the Social Security Administration at an attempt to ramp up support and confidence. 

Bottom Line.  Are these really the people you want deciding if your medical disability meets their definition?  If you have applied or are considering applying for social security disability benefits in North Carolina don’t leave it to chance.  Call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo at 877-333-1000 for a free case evaluation. 

When I Have No More Appeals…

August 18, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Prior to speaking with an attorney about your application for social security disability people apply, get denied and work tirelessly retrying while exhausting the limited number of possible appeals. Depending on where an applicant is in the process, it is important to understand that you may still be entitled to an appeal in a federal court.

I can assure you, if your continued pursuits of a different decision have proven fruitless, you certainly do not want to request that a federal district court hear your case without being represented by an attorney. It is easy to discredit the importance of an attorney during your appeal process—until it’s too late; however, you only get so many chances.

You may think that an attorney won’t know as much about your medical condition and disability as you do and you’re probably right. The value that a social security disability attorney can add is understanding what information is pertinent and relevant at given times and which information could hurt you. Additionally, like all areas of the law, half the battle is complying with procedure.

The procedural aspect of your social security disability claim can prevent your eligibility as easily as the substantive part of your case. If you’re benefits are that important to your livelihood, don’t leave it up to chance. Qualifying for disability, is not about gambling, like a good afternoon of playin’ the ponies, it’s your livelihood.

If you have considered applying for social security disability contact the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today. We are experienced in helping people in North Carolina get the benefits they deserve. Our number is 877-333-1000. Or you can request a free case evaluation on our website at

The Power of the Details

August 11, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

When a mental illness prevents you from living your life and doing things you previously enjoyed then you are familiar with one of the most difficult aspects of being effected by a mental illness. People are quick to cast doubt upon a debilitating illness that cannot be seen as readily as a physical illness. For many people who have been denied Social Security Disability this is an unfortunate reality.

For anybody who is applying for SSD meticulous medical records can make or break your case. It’s easier said than done, but you have to keep your doctor completely informed on everything that is happening in your life. Some people find it easy to carry a journal and document their injuries, pains and other parts of your life that are the result of your disability.

I have even heard of people who review old text messages to understand how they felt on a particular day and what caused that. Old messages explain why you slept late, couldn’t sleep, didn’t get to church and so many reminders of how we felt on a particular day. Regardless of how you record your daily feelings, both mental and physical, it is crucial for your doctor to extensively evaluate your medical condition. The more medical information you have, the better your attorney will be prepared to handle your disability claim in North Carolina.

If you have considered applying for social security disability, call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo at 877-333-1000 today.

Desperate for Social Security Disability Benefits? Get a Hobby!

March 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina Social Security Disability beneficiaries (or want-to-be beneficiaries) can learn a lot from Rock ‘n’ Roll lyrics–specifically from 38 Special’s famous song “Hold on Loosely” which warned “Just hold on loosely, but don’t let go… if you cling too tightly, you’re going to lose control.”

Those are true words–particularly if you’ve been struggling with your Social Security Disability situation. Whether you caught a nasty case of pneumonia that’s kept you bedridden for months, or you wrecked your back in a construction accident in Raleigh, you need assistance and stat.

Unfortunately, life deals out unfair results, all the time. The more you strive to achieve a certain result, the more elusive that goal often seems to become. Ask any teenage boy (or girl) who’s ever been desperate for a date to a dance. When you act out of a desperate energy–as if your life depended on a particular outcome happening (or not happening)–you cede control over your destiny.

That loss of control, in and of itself, can cripple you.

We’ve discussed this theme dozens of times in dozens of ways on this North Carolina Social Security Disability blog, but it always bears repeating.

To break free from dependency on outcome, consider getting a hobby.

That might sound strange–perhaps even a bit insulting. But don’t take it the wrong way! Hobbies can be remarkably refreshing and invigorating. Whether you knit, play chess, participate in a Rotisserie Baseball League or whatever–a hobby gives you an outlet for your talents and energies. A great hobby can get you into a “flow state” and boost your mood. It can get you socialized and build your network, which can be important if you feel isolated and alone. When you get to work at something you’re good at, you will feel more engaged with life. You will be less likely to “dread the day” and more flexible and open.

If you have no hobbies, go on a hunt for at least one–preferably one that you can do without physical taxing yourself and one that involves being with other people.

If you already have a hobby that you love, brainstorm ways to get back to doing your hobby on a regular basis.

After Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Victory…

March 21, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Here’s a simple exercise that, dollars to donuts, you haven’t considered doing, one that can greatly enhance your quest for Social Security Disability benefits in North Carolina or elsewhere.

Open up a Word processing document (or get out your trusty Moleskine notebook) and journal on the following topic: “What would my life be like, after I’ve locked down benefits and decisively gotten on the road to healing from my injury/illness?”

It sounds like a pedantic exercise–perhaps a little boring.

But you might be surprised by how powerful this type of journaling can be. When we struggle with vexing problems, such as how to make the Social Security Disability system work, we tend to accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive (to pun on the classic song). That’s just human nature. When we get in this negative mindset, we tend to explain it away as “just being realistic.” But as elite theoretical physicists tell us, our understanding of “reality” depends sensitively on how we observe nature. Ask any serious student of Einstein’s Relativity or of the theories of quantum mechanics, and he or she will confirm: our intuitions about how Nature works are often WAY off the mark.

The point is this. When you focus on positive feelings, events, habits, and behaviors–what you would love to have in your life in the coming months and years–you can enjoy fresh energy and inspiration. This is not magic. It’s not as easy as closing your eyes and wishing your cancer or obesity into remission. But when you focus productively and proactively on good outcomes, don’t be surprised to see your behavior change and your roster of resources expand.

To that end, if you have yet to connect with a Social Security Disability law firm in Charlotte or elsewhere, please consider calling or emailing the DeMayo Law team today to set up a free consultation. We have excellent processes to help claimants like you succeed. Find out more about us online today, or call us for a free consultation at 1.877.529.1222.

When Should You “Break the Rules” and Deviate from Best Practices for Social Security Disability?

March 19, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

The average person who needs help with a North Carolina Social Security Disability claim should follow a standard set of strategies and principles — “best practices” — to maximize chances of success.

But when is it okay to deviate from these best practices? When is it more useful than not to “break the rules”? (When we say “break the rules,” we of course mean that in a metaphorical sense — you always need to follow the law or risk serious punishments!)

Different circumstances call for different strategies.

For instance, most claimants benefit from discussing their claims with Social Security Disability law firms. But some people may not need legal help. Maybe you have a gift for navigating bureaucracies. Or maybe you qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program — a special “fast track” system that allows certain very sick SSD applicants to jump the line.

Likewise, the average sick or injured person probably should sleep a lot, refrain from unhealthful behaviors, etc. But if you only have six months to live, you might decide that living without cigarettes (for example) is no longer worth the health benefits. So you start smoking. (Again, we are not advocating that anyone do that!)

The point is that you may want to modify or even throw out certain best practices based on the peculiarities of your situation.

How do you know when to deviate from best practices?

In the abstract, no one can really say.

One way to analyze this is to track your progress through metrics, somehow. For instance, maybe you want to eat a lot of junk food, even though you’re 30 lbs overweight. Ultimately, that’s your decision, even though it might not be the most healthful one. But you might hedge by tracking important metrics, such as your BMI, your triglyceride levels, and so forth, to determine how your “non-best practice behaviors” impact you.

It’s a lot easier to make decisions about what to do (and what to give up — or what to do more of!) when you understand your Social Security Disability problems in context. Let the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo educate you about your remedies, rights, and resources. Call us today for help at 1.877.529.1222.

No “Easy Button” for Social Security Disability Benefits Problems

March 14, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

As a Social Security Disability beneficiary — or perhaps more accurately, ‘would-be’ beneficiary — you’re hoping for easy answers.

You would like some person or entity to eliminate all the myriad stresses and make your life simpler. Unfortunately, because everything in your life feels so chaotic right now, you’re likely far more vulnerable to look for “easy buttons” — dangerous quick fixes.

You’re in a precarious position because of this yearning. Just peruse the web for countless examples of senior citizens — and sick and injured people — who’ve fallen victim to despicable “investment schemes” and other con games because they wanted to believe that someone, somewhere had “all the answers.”

So what can you do about your heightened vulnerability?

Unfortunately, you may not be able to eliminate all — or even most — of the uncertainty in your life. Certainly, no single blog post or even consultation with a qualified North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm will take care of all your problems.

But just being aware of your vulnerability can help. The awareness can inoculate you against false hopes, scam artists, and nonstrategic behavior.

By becoming aware, you can not only guard yourself better but also regain a sense of control. That’s very important. When you’re hurt and sick and without substantial financial means, you can easily feel at the mercy of forces beyond your control. When your primal need to exert influence on your environment does not get met, your life can feel pretty awful.

The point here is two-fold:

1. Your vulnerability can put you at risk for problems with your Social Security Disability case. Protect yourself by becoming aware of when and how you exhibit this vulnerability.

2. Your lack of control, in and of itself, can create stress and emotional problems. The more you can reassert control over your situation — even if only by minute actions — the better you’ll feel.

For a thorough consultation with an experienced North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm, connect with DeMayo Law team today at 1.877.529.1222.

Hypochondria and the Social Security Disability Beneficiary: Part II — Strategies

March 12, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

As a hypochondriac who’s in desperate need of Social Security Disability benefits to pay for critical care, drugs and therapies, living expenses, and so forth, you face a peculiar bind.

On the one hand, you are sick — sick enough to qualify for government assistance and maybe so sick/disabled that you may never return to your former employment or quality of life.

On the other hand, you know your anxiety about your health is, at least in some sense, overblown — or at least unproductive. Even if you have something terminal, you want to be able to live your life without being constantly bombarded with negative thoughts and fears. In other words, you would like to increase the efficacy of your thinking and reduce the ambient noise and drama of it.

Here are a few ideas for how to think more constructively.

1. If you haven’t started journaling, start journaling, ASAP.

We’ve talked a lot on this North Carolina Social Security Disability blog about why people should journal and how people should journal. But the message needs repeating. Your minute to minute mental chatter can lead you into a kind of mental cul-de-sac. You wind up making the same observations and having the same thoughts again and again — and these observations and thoughts are neither pleasant, nor particularly constructive.

When you journal, on the other hand, you can spit these observations and thoughts out onto paper and manage them in a more objective fashion, much as you might manage the complaints and fears of a close friend who came to you for help. Journaling also helps you track your symptoms, feelings, and fears. By gathering data, you can begin to make resourceful choices.

First of all, you have a record to show your physician, so he or she can reassess or refine your treatment based on what’s working or what isn’t working for you. Secondly, you can adjust your own routines and behaviors to be more constructive. For instance, maybe you discover, through journaling, that you can stop the hypochondria by watching your favorite movie or getting on the phone with your mom or whatever.

2. Research and learn about the condition as something apart from your main illness/injury.

When you are legitimately sick or hurt, it’s easy to come to believe that your hypochondriacal thoughts are always legitimate because you really DO need to be vigilant about your health. But you might find it resourceful to conceptualize the problem differently. You might also benefit from getting psychological treatment to work on your anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, or whatever else may be stimulating the hypochondriacal response.

3. Get clarity on your SSD benefits situation.

When people endure uncertainty, they tend to feel stress and anxiety, and this strain can translate into somatic symptoms, which can provoke hypochondriacal responses and even cause physical damage due to the excess cycling of cortisone or other stress hormones.

When you work with an experienced Social Security Disability law firm, like DeMayo Law, you may gain clarity on your benefits situation, which can cascade down to relieve some of the stress and anxiety.

For help understanding what to do about your benefits, get in touch with us today at 1.877.529.1222 for a friendly and free consultation.

Social Security Disability and Hypochondria: Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

March 7, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’ve been feeling hypochondriacal after being diagnosed with an illness or injury that’s compelled you to seek Social Security Disability benefits (in North Carolina or elsewhere).

Whether you’re a 20 something who got diagnosed with lymphoma fresh out of college; or a recent retiree stricken with lung disease, your legitimate and real health issues may spark illegitimate and needlessly stress-inducing concerns about your prognosis.

Some studies suggest that hypochondria afflicts around 5% to 6% of the North Carolina population. Although the condition seems hokey or innocuous to people who’ve never suffered from it, it can be quite debilitating.

When a hypochondriac does get sick, the emotional situation can get seriously out of control.

Some people classify hypochondria as an obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD. Methods used to treat OCD, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation and conscious relaxation, often help hypochondria sufferers. But the nature of the disorder creates an unpleasant kind of bind.

You have racing and stressful thoughts related to potential health issues — “Is this lump something I need to be concerned about?” “How come I have a pain in my side?” Etc. You may intellectually understand that you need to ignore useless or trivial signals. On the other hand, part of your brain thinks “what if this is a one in a thousand situation, and this really IS a problem? Shouldn’t I proceed, out of an abundance of caution, to treat the situation as something serious, because the consequences of taking no action are worse than the consequence of seeking reassurance from a doctor for what turns out to be nothing?”

This calculus in some ways is actually rational!

We summoned a similar metaphor recently to discuss why potential claimants should contact North Carolina Social Security Disability lawyers, even when the situation seems “almost totally under control.” If your situation is that one in a thousand case that turns out to be “not so under control,” then you will be very glad you had a lawyer. The consequences of inaction in that one in a thousand situation is far worse than the slight negative consequences of action in non-situation.

We’re going to talk about practical strategies for dealing with this issue in our next blog post. In the meantime, to relieve stress regarding your case, connect with the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today at 1.877.529.1222 for a free evaluation of your case.