November 2011

How Well Are You Keeping Track of Your Quest for Social Security Disability in North Carolina?

November 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

As a North Carolina Social Security Disability claimant — or someone else who wants or needs government assistance, like Supplemental Security Income, to balance your budget and meet your financial needs in the wake of a serious injury or illness — you face a curious problem.

You are being ‘fed’ a lot of information from diverse sources about your Social Security Disability situation: you’re not quite sure how to process it all. Emotions like overwhelm, anxiety, frustration, and even depression may be clouding your thinking about your claims situation. These feelings likely have their roots in this “info processing” problem.

So how can you meet this challenge?

How can you process the competing sources of information about Social Security Disability to make better choices and feel more in command of your life? There are lot of ‘mental tools’ you can use. We’ve talked before about some of these thinking tools, such as author David Allen’s (Getting Things Done, Make It All Work) techniques as well as the “Five Whys” analysis. Rather than run through those models again; in this post, we’ll examine another method to help you clean out and clear up the informational chaos clogging your life.

This technique is called ‘Swallow the Frog.’

Every morning, do the hardest task of the day first. That’s it.

Say you’re urgently seeking a qualified Social Security Disability law firm — and you know you need to make calls and analyze your findings. That might be your top priority. So first thing in the morning — before you make breakfast, read the paper, surf the web, or do another ‘easier’ work task — you would ‘swallow the frog’ and make measurable progress on your law firm research.

When you swallow the frog first thing in the morning, you gain confidence and ‘productivity steam’ for the tasks ahead. Even if you accomplish nothing else for the rest of the day, you will still have gotten a big important task out of the way.

Stay tuned in two days for our next post, during which we’ll reveal another hugely helpful productivity tip to help you get clarity on your “information processing” dilemma.

Understand that you will not “fix your life” in one day or untangle the mess that’s been building in your life for years by following “one simple trick” or something hokey like that. The key to success is to understand and develop a toolbox of info-processing tools and then leverage those tools more and more over time.

How to Solve a Terrifying Social Security Disability Benefits Dilemma? (‘Sell Yourself’ An Hour A Day)

November 27, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

As someone who has been injured or diagnosed with a serious illness, you’re desperate for help with your Social Security Disability claim. You may need outside resources, like an experienced law firm, such as DeMayo Law, to help you navigate the shoals of the SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) system. You may also need to call in favors from your spouse, your family, your employer, and even peripheral friends and loved ones to get through the challenging months (perhaps years) ahead.

Unfortunately, all too many Social Security Disability claimants develop a pathological mentality about their situations. This ‘victim mentality’ can lead them not only to make bad decisions but also to suffer depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues.

The reality is this: you may be sick and low energy. You may not have many resources at hand. But you can still leverage your own insights, over time, in a systematic way, to improve your life and deal with your problems.

This isn’t to say that you should (or can) figure out your problems on your own. However, you will likely see a world of difference if you adopt just the following powerful self-improvement habit:

Sell yourself one hour every day to think, reflect, and create a better life.

This trick is used by the most brilliant high performers in all types of human endeavor, from Olympics sports to high stakes business to politics. Great performers take responsibility for their fates and invest in knowledge, introspection, coaching, etc., to “problem-solve” themselves.

Now, you may be so enfeebled or depressed or time-strapped that you may only have 2-3 hours a day during which you can function productively. If that’s the case, maybe you will need to ‘sell yourself’ only 15 or 20 minutes a day. But just make sure you ‘hoard’ some time and energy to give to yourself, so that you can do things like: write in a journal; reflect on where you want your life to be five years from now; and analyze your recurring problems better.

You likely won’t see instant results with this kind of technique. But if you persist will selling yourself an hour a day, over months or years, you will develop deeper and deeper insights into your own yearnings, fears, hopes and habits. And this self knowledge will in turn allow you to make far better decisions not only with respect to your Social Security Disability case but also with respect other diverse problems you encounter in life.

So Obamacare Lives But What About Social Security Disability, SSI, and Other Programs?

November 22, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

With President Obama’s surprisingly vigorous defeat of Mitt Romney in the November 6 election, pundits, policymakers, and Social Security Disability beneficiaries everywhere are speculating on what the next administration will do or at least attempt.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware that North Carolina was one of only two states that ‘flipped’ from its 2008 results in the Presidential election. Prior to voting day, we talked about how dangerous it can be to get wrapped up in macroscopic discussions about Social Security Disability in North Carolina or elsewhere  at the expense of paying attention to your own personal journey to wellness and financial security.
The reelection of Obama does have potentially immediate ramifications for your situation.

For instance, had the Republicans triumphed in the presidential race, and had they overtaken the Dems in the Senate, then the Affordable Health Act – colloquially known as Obamacare – would likely have been headed for the chopping block  or at least for significant modifications.

The prognosis for our healthcare system would be extremely different from what it is today.

As it stands, on November 16, many ambitious and meaningful aspects of Obamacare go into effect. Some claimants or would-be claimants will likely enjoy the fact that, pretty soon, insurance companies not be allowed to discriminate against folks on the basis of their preexisting conditions. Others will be less thrilled with Obamacare for various reasons.

We could go on for pages about the arguments and counterarguments about what Obamacare’s survival means. But just recognize that the system is changing in certain ways. It’s important to stay abreast and understand specifically what you need to do to improve your situation.

You don’t need to understand all the dynamics involved; you just need to understand what’s important to you. If you’re a 37-year-old on Social Security Disability claimant, you don’t need to pay attention to stuff that only applies to claimants who are over 65, to give an obvious example.

That said, even if you restrict yourself thusly, you can still get confused and overwhelmed. There is a lot to know! Turn to the team here at DeMayo Law for experienced, patient, and systematic guidance with your mission to get collect your claim.

The Pundits vs. Nate Silver: Implications for Your Quest for Social Security Disability in Charlotte

November 20, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re desperate to claim Social Security Disability, so you can balance your personal budget and gain some modicum of security about your future. However, you’re bombarded with advice about what to do and what not to do. The more you contemplate your options, the more overwhelmed you feel. You know you can’t ‘do nothing.’ But you also don’t want to make the wrong choices. And so you are stuck at this point of paralysis. In this sea of information overload, how can you find a good voice – ideally, voices – to steer you in the right direction?

Is it only a matter of listening to the conventional wisdom? Should you take an unconventional route? Will connecting with a reliable, trustworthy North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm, like DeMayo Law, be enough to solve your problems? Do you even need a law firm?

These are profound questions. As you contemplate them, you might be tempted to take the path of least resistance: the path that you are currently on. That can actually be a big mistake. Sometimes, the conventional wisdom is far off the mark.

Consider, for instance, the prognostications of the pundits leading up to the November 6 election.

Seemingly informed politicos, like Joe Scarborough (host of ‘Morning Joe’ on MSNBC), declared the race a ‘toss up’ days before the election. On the other hand, New York Times blogger Nate Silver claimed that President Obama had an advantage over Governor Mitt Romney that gave Obama something like 80% odds. Turns out that Silver’s predictions were on the mark, not only in terms of who would win the race but also in terms of how each state would vote. His model was 50 for 50 in terms of predicting Electoral College votes.

This isn’t to say that Silver had a crystal ball or that his model was flawless. Rather, it suggests that an idiosyncratic but empirically validated model or resource can be more accurate than an army of conventional thinkers.

When in doubt, go with the empirically validated solution

Whether you are striving to win a claim or searching for solutions to other problems in your life, consider beginning with questions like ‘what’s worked in the past in very similar situations to the one I am in right now?’ Look for empirical validation over big promises or conventional wisdom to guide you through chaos and uncertainty.

3 Signs You Need Help from a North Carolina Social Security Disability Law Firm

November 15, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’ve been dazzled or confused about the Social Security Disability system, a specialized North Carolina law firm might be a great ally in your quest for justice and fairness. Certain people need legal help more than others.

Here are 3 signs that you likely should get legal help ASAP:

1. Your initial attempts to get compensation have backfired.

Maybe you failed to understand eligibility requirements. Perhaps your claim was denied because you poorly executed your paperwork. Or maybe there is a deeper, more subtle reason that a well-equipped law firm can surface and resolve.

2. You’re disorganized — unable to track critical calendar reminders.

Especially in tricky cases — involving claim denials and stringent eligibility requirements — you could be at risk of making a critical error or omission. Many Charlotte Social Security Disability claimants (or would be claimants) are exhausted, emotionally overwhelmed, physically, and even cognitively impaired. If you have any of those problems, you can benefit from talking to a strategic law firm.

3. You’re unaware of mission critical legal or filing guidelines, eligibility requirements, etc.

Unfortunately, in the “game” of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income, what you don’t know can hurt you. Theoretically, the system should be navigable even by uneducated, fatigued, and unsavvy citizens. But in practice, the SSD bureaucracy is complicated, and you may benefit hugely from good guidance.

Whether you retain the services of the DeMayo Law team or not, consider seeking legal help with your case, particularly if you face any complex or uncertain issues. “Complexities” often emerge only after you’ve started down the process.

Why It’s Important to Find Good Help Now — Not Later

Your ability to obtain appropriate benefits can have profound ramifications not only in terms of your ability to keep your house, get good medical care, and control over your finances, but also in terms of managing your overall state of mind during these challenging times.

Charlotte Social Security Disability Thought Experiment: In an Alternative Universe, You Won the Presidential Election. Who Cares?

November 13, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Most blogs about Social Security Disability in Charlotte and beyond focus on the narrow nitty-gritty of the SSD and SSI claims process. For instance:

•    Best practices for what to do at Reconsideration or at an Administrative Law Judge hearing;
•    How to interpret and execute necessary paperwork;
•    How to apply for the Compassionate Allowances program;
•    Etc.

These nuts and bolts issues are very important, and we try to address them from different angles here at this blog.

However, there is a hidden danger that waylays all too many Social Security Disability claimants. And that is this: when you have too many options for how to solve a problem or pursue a goal, your ability to get things done degrades instead of improves.

This is paradoxical.

You’d think that the more ìstuffî you throw at a problem, the better results you’d get. Not necessarily. As books like The Paradox of Choice and Stumbling on Happiness showcase, our ability to understand how our decisions will play out is horrendous. Moreover, examining too many scenarios — taking information from too many different sources — can have deleterious effects, not only on your general wellbeing but also on your capacity to move forward.

This brings us to the metaphorical title of this blog post: According to certain incarnations of quantum field theory, every possible universe exists simultaneously in different quantum dimensions. The physics underlying this theory is obviously beyond the scope of this blog; you can Google it, if you’re interested. The point is that this theory allows for a prolific and essentially wasteful universe, in which abnormal things happen an infinite number of times.

The recent election pitted President Obama vs. Governor Romney. In other quantum universes, YOU personally won the election for President, even though you were just sitting at home worrying about your Charlotte Social Security Disability benefits the night before.

In that universe, today, you are getting briefed by your soon-to-be Presidential advisors, and pundits everywhere are going bananas trying to understand how you won. According to quantum theory, that scenario has happened not just once but an infinite number of times in an infinite number of universes. It sounds wasteful, and improbable, but that’s what the theory says.

But if you spent any amount of time entertaining that premise — planning for it in any way — you would obviously be wasting your time. The odds of it happening are vanishingly small. The point is that you need to focus on the ìstuffî in your life that’s going to make a difference – that’s going to give you the best probability not only of winning your claim but also of fixing and improving your life.

The odds of you being able to divine “best practices” regarding your legal strategy on your own are also slim to none, even if you’ve taught yourself a little bit about the Social Security Disability system. You gain leverage when you work with experienced (and successful!) lawyers, such as the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo.

What Reddit Can Teach You about How to Maximize Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Claim

November 8, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

The online social community Reddit has ìup votedî its way into the zeitgeist. Whether you’re filing a North Carolina Social Security Disability claim or simply struggling to figure out what to do after an injury or illness that’s knocked you out of work, odds are that you’ve spent some time on Reddit (or similar sites) distracting yourself from your painful reality. It’s fun to laugh at cats doing odd things, trade conspiracy theories, and engage in needless banter (or trolling) with other anonymous Reddit users.

But can Reddit’s existence tell you anything meaningful about how to be a better Social Security Disability claimant?

Perhaps. Here are three takeaways.

1. Our problems are more alike than we realize.

The interesting thing about Reddit is how it exposes the hopes, fears, tribulations, etc of people from around the world. What makes people laugh? Well, according to reddit: cats and also weirdly doctored pictures of Nicolas Cage and the so-called overly attached girlfriend (OAG). What makes people really angry and impassioned? Debates about whether God exists or not. Etc.

You may think that your particular problems with Social Security Disability are so out there or unique that they are insoluble. But that’s almost uncertainly not the case. Almost certainly, your situation is more average – even boring – than you realize.

2. A team of impassioned individuals can often achieve far more than even the most committed single individual.

If you’ve ever checked out some of Reddit’s AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) – during which special guests answer a flurry of questions from the Reddit community – you will notice how wide ranging and passionate the discussion can become. When people are truly committed about a topic, they can often surprise even though the world’s foremost experts on it. That’s why it’s helpful to have a North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm, such as the team at DeMayo Law, to analyze your situation to come up with the new and better ways of approaching it.

3. The cream rises to the top.

Yes, sites like Reddit are full of ìinjusticesî – just like the Social Security Disability system isn’t always fair. However, in general, at least according to most observers of the social media site, ìgood stuffî gets up-voted to the front page, while ìbad stuffî gets down voted into oblivion. Likewise, legitimate Social Security Disability claims in general can succeed, while scammy or illegitimate or poorly assembled claims get denied.

To metaphorically “up vote” your claim, get in touch with the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today for a free consultation.

As Election Day Nears, Will the Implications for Social Security Disability in Charlotte Be Negligible Or Dramatic?

November 6, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

As you go out to vote in the Presidential and statewide elections today, your Social Security Disability claim will press on your mind and potentially impact what levers you pull.

Unfortunately, despite what the pundits want you to believe, there is no way to know how or whether a particular election outcome will have a particular result for Social Security Disability.

If Romney wins the Presidency, perhaps he will deliver on his promise to fix up the economy and get Americans back to work… and his successes may ultimately improve government programs.

Conversely, perhaps the reelection of Barack Obama will spur him and his team to alter and/or fix aspects of our entitlement system.

Although both candidates – and their parties – obviously want what’s best for America and for SSD claimants, there is no telling how or whether politicians will be able to translate their intentions into positive actions. As anyone who has ever run a business or government initiative will tell you, plans have a funny way of changing even before they get implemented.

So what’s the takeaway for you — someone who’s concerned about your capacity to get benefits, improve your life, and recover from an illness or injury that’s led you to seek government help?

Would that there was a simple takeaway!

Truth be told, the election may shepherd interesting changes, but the real hard work that needs to be done will come from you and from the team that you assemble.

So, yes, exercise your franchise. Pay close attention to the outcomes of this year’s political battles. But give the lion’s share of your attention to understanding and reckoning with your personal problems. These may include your struggles for Social Security Disability but may extend way beyond SSD and include issues with your relationships, general struggles with your finances and budgeting, questions about your medical conditions, and so forth.

The team at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you manage you solve nagging, thorny problems related to your quest for benefits. Get in touch with us now for a free consultation.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Beneficiaries to Get “Pay Bump” — But a Shockingly Low One (1.7%)

November 1, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’re on Social Security Disability in North Carolina, get set for a small pay bump come January.

Over 56 million people in the United States collect Social Security. They will be receiving a 1.7% pay hike – little less than $20 a month – in 2013. This may sound like good news, but it’s actually the lowest hike (to adjust for inflation) since 1975.

Simultaneously, 10 million people who still work and who make above the cut-off income of $110,100 will need to pay more in Social Security taxes next month. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) typically averages just over 4%. This super low 1.7% increase may challenge family planners.

Struggling with a North Carolina Social Security disability issue can be hard, whether you are wrestling with a serious illness or injury or you are simply financially flustered and unsure how to begin to respond to, say, the looming prospect of an Administrative Law Judge hearing.

The tested, trusted team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can educate you, support you, and give you the structured support to protect your interests, financially speaking and otherwise. Get in touch with the DeMayo team today for a free consultation.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Challenge – Seeing All Events as Opportunities

November 25, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Let’s face facts. Having to go on North Carolina social security disability is no fun.

You would probably much prefer to be back at your job and engaged in productive, creative work, instead of at home or in a hospital or other recovery center battling a scary illness or recovering from a chronic, tormenting injury.

Moreover, once you get hurt or sick, your challenges don’t end. They only seem to ratchet up. The “business of life” doesn’t just go away when you get sick or hurt. Indeed, it’s easy for things to get far more out of control than they used to be – and, chances are, your life was already somewhat out of order and in chaos before the event or illness hit you.

It’s easy to descend into a downward spiral and pessimistic mentality. And what’s so tragic about this pessimistic mindset is that it perpetuates itself. Once you begin to think about yourself as a victim — “someone who is sick or ill” — your brain literally believes it, and it will even filter out contrary information and reinterpret it to support your negative mindset. As we have discussed in previous posts on this North Carolina social security disability blog, “unplugging” from this pessimistic mentality is a challenging, ongoing process.

Here is a tactic to put in your toolbox – to help you think optimistically and proactively about your challenges. The tactic is simple: View every problem or setback as an opportunity.

Easier said than done, right?

We’ve all heard that the Chinese symbol for danger is the same symbol for opportunity. When events happen, whether they’re positive events or “setbacks,” we can perceive them any way we want. Events are simply transitions. Nothing is static. Even though you may feel “stuck” in your current situation; that belief, in some sense, is an illusion of the mind and of perception.

Let’s ground that in a practical example. Say you prepare for your Administrative Law Judge hearing. The day before the hearing, your doctor calls with unpleasant news about your prognosis. You go into a downward spiral. The next day, you lack the energy, self-regard, and “fighting spirit” to present your case to the ALJ, and the path to benefits becomes even more elusive.

Instead of taking the phone call from your doctor as a purely negative thing, you could have seen it as an opportunity to raise your game and be more assertive. Then when you go before the ALJ, you will put up a vigorous, passionate plea for assistance. In other words, you turn what on the surface was purely bad news into something that helps you – in this case fuel for your rhetorical fire.

Arm yourself with good information and good help by connecting with a reputable North Carolina social security disability firm.

More Web Resources:

Preparing for Your ALJ Hearing

The Danger/Opportunity Duality

North Carolina Social Security Solutions: Communicating Your Feelings and Needs More Effectively

November 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

In several posts on this North Carolina social security disability blog, we’ve discussed how important it is for sick and injured people to stand up for themselves, make their voices heard, and communicate their feelings and needs in clear, concise, powerful ways.

Unfortunately, many of us have been so poorly trained in how to communicate that we blunt our ability to get the help we need — not just from friends and family members, but also from important resources like a North Carolina social security disability law firm.

Why is it so difficult to communicate? Why, despite all of your powerful and painful needs, can you not get them met?

Part of the problem might be the actual language you use – how you structure your requests, criticisms, and even your self-talk.

In modern American society, we tend to conflate observations with judgments and feelings, and we tend to deny responsibility of our own feelings when we say things like we “should do x, y, z” or “we have to.” We also say things like such and such person “made me feel” sad, angry, happy, lonely, etc. In this language of self-denial, we automatically make ourselves the victims. If an Administrative Law Judge hands down a verdict we don’t like, we give the judge power over us by saying he or she “made me furious” or the decision “made me helpless.”

Furiousness and helplessness are states of the mind. Certain actions or events can trigger these states of mind, but the feelings’ roots are internal. Until we learn to separate objective actions from internal reflections about those actions, we are doomed to give up some control and power.

Let’s apply this philosophy to a real life situation. Let’s say that a judge gives a ruling that you don’t like. Instead of saying “the judge made me angry,” or “the judge is idiot” – statements of blame and judgment that really don’t get you anywhere – reflect on your own feelings about what happened. You might say: “boy, when the judge handed down that ruling, I felt humiliated and angry, because I have a need for money to pay my bills and also a need to resolve my North Carolina Social Security Disability situation.”

Notice how, in the second way of thinking about it, we have detached the objective reality (the judge’s ruling) from your feelings (frustration, humiliation), and we have also unearthed two crucial needs – a need for money and a need for resolution of your SSD situation. Now that you know those two needs, you can think strategically about how to meet those needs. In other words, you are no longer helpless: you are empowered.

More Web Resources:

Separating Observation from Feelings

Non-violent Communication

Can Overdependence on North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits Shorten Your Life?

November 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina social security disability benefits provide life-giving (in many cases, life-saving) resources to help sick and injured citizens.

Benefits help the poor and injured put food on the table, live safely, and even enjoy the occasional indulgence. However, some research from the social sciences suggests that overdependence on government programs or other programs – coupled with a lack of self-directed, creative activity – can wear people out, reduce immune function, and possibly even hasten the progress of an illness.

Human beings, in other words, thrive once they are given agency over their problems – even if that agency is not complete.

Consider, for instance, a famous study that looked at senior citizens in a nursing home. A group of seniors was given a plant and instructed to water that plant twice a week. Another group of seniors was given the same plant, but someone from the nursing home watered the plant for them.

You might think that this was a trivial distinction. However, the results showed something extraordinary. The people who had the responsibility to water the plant (who could not count on someone else do it) showed a statistically significant amount of “thriving” compared to the control group. The effects of the experiment were so significant that experimenters discontinued it for fear of putting members in the control group at higher risk for death and disease.

In other words, the injection of a little bit of responsibility can make a world of difference, even to someone who is sick, depressed, injured, and without many resources.

What does this mean for North Carolina social security disability beneficiaries and their family members?

Extrapolating from this research, one might conclude that all beneficiaries – no matter how dependent on the generosity of others – should be offered opportunities to manage responsibilities and control aspects of their own fate. When SSD beneficiaries take responsibility, not only do they alleviate some burden on caregivers, but they also improve their own prognosis. In business literature, this is described as a classic “win-win.”

For help with an SSD benefits question, connect with a North Carolina social security disability law firm.

More Web Resources:

Does adding a plant to a nursing home make a difference?

Why responsibility matters

Key to Riding the North Carolina Social Security Disability Rollercoaster: Expecting the Unexpected

November 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Perhaps your elderly mother recently received a disturbing diagnosis, and you want to help her secure North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits to pay for crucial costs, including living expenses. Or maybe you are a hurt, sick, or injured worker who is desperate to stabilize your finances, provide for your family, and resolve your medical crisis. In either case, your thinking is likely off-kilter, and you may be hoping for something that simply does not exist: a sure-fire, one-time solution to resolve your pain and simplify your life planning.

While North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits can be quite a boon to people who are cash-and resource-strapped, even the most generous benefits package won’t erase unexpected and surprising events. In fact, in retrospect, consider the circumstances or events that led to your illness or injury. Did you ever expect to be in this position? Probably not.

As the inimitable Alanis Morissette eloquently (if not so accurately) described in her hit song from late 1990s, “Ironic,” “life has a funny way of sneaking up on you…life has a funny way of helping you out.”

In other words, surprising events are always just around the corner. It’s not just pop singers who make this argument. Indeed, internationally respected productivity guru David Allen described in his bestselling book Ready for Anything that most individuals will receive a radical, game-changing surprise at least once a month. We can speculate on whether out of the blue events – serendipities and catastrophes – occur on some kind of regular cycle or not. However, chances are, these “black swan and white swan” events – those that drive our lives in unanticipated directions – probably happen far more than we recognize.

How does this all tie back to your quest for Social Security Disability? It ties back because it suggests that beneficiaries need to prepare for the unexpected. It’s not enough to obtain a certain monthly stipend and expect the rest of your problems to go away. You need planning, vigilance, discipline, and help.

For instance, as you develop your relationship with your North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm, plan to leverage that relationship over the long-term. In other words, the legal team you retain should help not just with the immediate and urgent questions about your case. They should also introduce you to additional resources to help you improve your finances and get your life back on track.

More Web Resources:

David Allen’s Ready for Anything

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you…life has a funny way of helping you out.

Avoiding the “Scam Me” Mentality: a Primer for Potential North Carolina Social Security Disability Beneficiaries

November 14, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Individuals who desperately need North Carolina Social Security Disability (and possibly supplemental security income) often struggle not only with financial and medical problems but also with emotional problems, such as isolation, negative self-talk, addictions, and hosts of other troubles. North Carolina Social Security Disability beneficiaries (or would-be beneficiaries) are vulnerable. They are vulnerable to self-sabotage. They are vulnerable to exploitation. And they are vulnerable to scam artists.

In your physically and morally weakened state, for instance, you might take leave of your commonsense and invest a significant portion of your remaining savings with a dubious company or annuity salesman in the hopes of winning a “big pay day.” Alternatively, you might become so sick or incapacitated that you no longer can defend yourself against con artists, who might take advantage of your incapacitated state by stealing your Social Security Number or other confidential information, siphoning your Medicaid or Medicare benefits, or committing other crimes that leave you even more vulnerable and exposed.

So how do you escape this “scam me” mentality? How can you protect yourself against con artists?

The common answer is that vulnerable individuals need to educate themselves and get protection. You can follow the link at the bottom of this post to read up on some common scams to gird yourself appropriately. However, good education is no substitute for a successful, long-term defensive posture. Con artists may “change their games” routinely. So even if you memorize every common scam out there, you still run the risk of getting conned through some unknown or undocumented scam.

A longer-term, more robust solution would be to set up systems and processes in your life and assemble resources to protect you from scams you can’t even see coming. For instance, you might want to research identity theft protection services, or you may even want to talk a trusted North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm about local or regional resources you can tap into to shield your assets.

At the very least, it’s worth your while to research the nuts and bolts of scam protection. Alternatively, if you are too sick or injured, deputize someone you trust, such as a close relative, to help you do this mission-critical research, so you avoid getting caught flat footed.

More Web Resources:

Common scams perpetrated on the elderly and the sick


Good article on scam protection

Don’t Let the North Carolina Social Security Disability Experience Strip You of Your Confidence

November 9, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Ever since you went on North Carolina social security disability (or initiated the process of exploring the possibility of doing so), you probably endured something of a struggle with your self-esteem. For most of your life, you thought of yourself as someone who could “work hard” and recover from anything. Unfortunately, due to your medical circumstances, you now need more help than you once did. You might be confused and overwhelmed by your medical options, unsure whom to trust or even how to begin researching.

So, first of all, appreciate that multiple things have thrown you off-balance. When you get sick or injured, you must attend the urgent medical crises in your life. But other, indirect crises could “sprout up” all around your life as indirect results of the primary medical crises.

Let’s give an example so that you understand that in more plain language.

Let’s say that you contracted a rare bone disease, and you now need at least 12 to 18 months off of work to recover from multiple courses of medication and surgery. On top of the medical crises you face, you and your family also face an ongoing financial squeeze. You won’t be bringing in as much income as you once did. Even if you do manage to collect North Carolina social security disability benefits, those benefits won’t make up for all the money you are missing out on.

But it’s not just the financial stress that really gets you. It’s the emotional, logistical, and intangible factors that degrade not only your real world assets, such as your bank account, but also your psychic assets, such as your self-confidence and self-esteem. This is dangerous because, if you allow negative thinking to become habitual, you may find it harder to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” and get your life organized and recalibrated.

To staunch the damage, you need to find help from compassionate, experienced outside resources. A reputable North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm can help. But good legal assistance is just the beginning of your mission to obtain the health and support you need.

More Web Resources:

The Dangers of Negative Self-Talk.

Crises are Dynamic.

Finding the Light at the End of the Tunnel: Is There Any Real Hope for People on North Carolina Social Security Disability?

November 7, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

As a current or prospective North Carolina Social Security Disability beneficiary, odds are you are feeling somewhat pessimistic not only about your life and health, but also about the general direction of our state and our national economy.

Just tuning into cable news these days can be depressing in and of itself – and that’s without layering on all of the “psychic baggage” you bring to the table as someone who is hurt, sick, or both. The global, national, and state economies are sputtering. You are worried about how you are going to support yourself and your family, and you are probably constantly overwhelmed by bad news, catastrophic headlines, and self-doubt.

Digging out from all of the psychic rubble is no small task, and no single blog post can eradicate the challenges or lift all that weight off your shoulders. Even if you do retain a reputable, effective North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm to help you, you will still have a lot of “heavy lifting” ahead of you.

How, within this context, can you maintain optimism, focus, and ensure progress?

Again, there is no “sliver bullet” solution. But don’t ever expect someone to hand you the answer, either. If they try, chances are they are trying to sell you something or possibly even scam you. Self-development is an incremental, challenging process. It is possible, however, to make more progress than many social security disability beneficiaries realize, both in terms of dealing with your financial stresses and feeling better both physically and emotionally.

Here are some principles to keep in mind:

• Avoid getting too caught up in the lows or too carried away with the highs. Moderate your expectations, and steer the middle path.

• Get help. Depending on your perspective, even if you are located remotely, you can find tons of free, compassionate help from good-hearted people online. Again, beware of people who are trying to sell you things or scam you. Most people aren’t, fortunately, and communities abound to help people struggling with practically every problem out there.

• Your perspective on your problems can be hugely influential. If you think that your SSD crisis will be the end of you, then it very well might be. But if you view the challenges in front of you as opportunities instead of merely as depressing items, you may find that you achieve more progress and enjoy the journey more.

More Web Resources:

It All Depends on How You Look at It.

Gaining Control and Perspective

Tragic North Carolina Car Accident Claims Life of a Child on Go-Kart

November 6, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last Tuesday, 6-year-old boy from Duplin County was killed in a horrific North Carolina car accident on NC-111 in Chinquapin. The AP reports that the fatal North Carolina car accident occurred around 4 PM. According to the news report: “authorities’ said the boy was riding beside his older brother, who was driving a four-wheeler…the boy apparently didn’t see the oncoming vehicle and pulled out into the road.” http://www.northcarolinainjurylawyerblog.com/cgi-bin/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=119145&blog_id=423

According to a local station, WITN, the 6-year-old, who attended Chinquapin Elementary School, was hit by the secretary of his school.

This horrendous tragedy strikes an emotional chord in anyone who has cared for young children. In many ways, this is every parent’s worst fear come true, and we can only hope that the family of the boy receives compassion, empathetic attention, and good healing.

Can the North Carolina car accident prevention community draw any lessons from this sad case?

Without probing into the details of what happened, it’s difficult to extrapolate. However, the report does highlight, once again, how tragedies can happen even under close adult scrutiny. Young children are constantly testing the limits of their physical environment, and they may not be fully aware of the risks inherent in their activities until too late.

While caretakers can (and probably should) do more to monitor children’s behavior and erect safe, protective areas for kids to play (without serious consequences), there are only so many strategies and tactics you can deploy to protect yourself against the chaos of life.

All that said, if you or someone your care about has been hurt in a North Carolina car accident, you may be able to avail yourself of powerful resources to get compensation for injuries, medical care, and more. A respectable and experienced North Carolina car crash law firm can help you understand your rights and what to do next.

More Web Resources:

6-year-old boy dies in a go-kart crash

Go-kart tragedy in Chinquapin

North Carolina Social Security Disability Wars: Tom Coburn v. Adult Baby (Coburn: 0, Adult Baby: 1)

November 4, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Many North Carolina social security disability cases are dry, mundane, and difficult to “sift through.” But a recent case involving an adult baby and outspoken Republican Senator Tom Coburn has galvanized interest beyond the North Carolina social security disability blogosphere.

At issue is whether a so-called “adult baby”, a one Stanley Thornton, should be entitled to collect social security disability for conditions like ADHD, spinal problems, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. Thornton starred in an episode of the TV show “Taboo” (National Geographic Channel) earlier this year. Producers documented Thornton’s secret life:

• Role playing a baby;
• Sleeping in a crib and drinking from a bottle;
• Even getting changed by an adult woman role playing his mother!

Needless to say, the show elicited both titters and fascination from millions of viewers. But Thornton’s shenanigans outraged Senator Tom Coburn, who called for an investigation into why someone like Thornton should be allowed to collect social security disability benefits when he ostensibly looked like a normal, relatively healthy man.

Now, Thornton has allegedly been cleared of any wrongdoing, pursuant to an August letter from the social security disability administration. According to the letter: “we recently reviewed the
evidence in your social security disability claim and find that your disability is continuing.”

Score one for the baby!

Thornton laced into Senator Coburn on his website, accusing the Senator of wasting tax payer money to “conduct a three agency investigation.” Coburn himself remained recalcitrant and disgusted. His spokesperson said “Dr. Coburn believes Congress should apologize to the American people for failing to provide adequate oversight over our disability programs. This case highlights the need for comprehensive reform in order to better define who is eligible to receive disability benefits. We need to hold accountable not only adult babies but the politicians and bureaucrats who coddle them.”

While the blogosphere has certainly gone goo-goo and gaga over this admittedly juicy story, you and your family likely have more serious, specific questions about what to do to get your SSD benefits and protect them. A competent and experienced North Carolina social security disability law firm can help.

More Web Resources:

Should adult baby get $860 a month in social security disability?

Senator Coburn loses to adult baby in fight over SSD benefits

 
 

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