Topic: Social Security fraud

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 www.demayolaw.com/.com.   

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 www.demayolaw.com.

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.

Overweight and Metabolically “Screwed Up” and in Need of Social Security Disability? Read this!

March 5, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Something like two-thirds of Americans currently suffer from obesity or overweight. Being overweight puts you at higher risk for metabolic syndrome and as well as for problems ranging from obesity to cancer to diabetes. If you’re in this group, you may be so metabolically damaged that you need to apply for Social Security disability in North Carolina to pay your bills, because you’re too sick and fatigued to support yourself through work.

Obesity and the diseases that coincide with it constitute the most epic challenge facing our state and our country. Yet the conventional treatment for this problem — “just stop eating so much” — in some ways treats all obese people the same way. This one-size-fits-all solution may not be the right approach — at least for a lot of people.

According to an alternative point of view, advocated by the so-called low carbohydrate diet research community, the quality of the calories we consume matters as well as the quantity of those calories. Certain types of calories (e.g. soda calories) cause our bodies to store fat, while other calories (e.g. broccoli calories) are somehow fundamentally healthier.

The debate over the viability of this second perspective — i.e. that some calories are inherently worse than others — can get heated. Groups like the Nutrition Science Initiative (a new non-profit based out of San Diego) are trying to help us better understand what causes and perpetuates problems like metabolic syndrome and obesity.

There are several important takeaways here.

First of all, if you’ve been struggling not only with your Social Security disability benefits, but also with metabolic problems, don’t give up hope. You might still find surprising resources that can help you bust through obstacles and get results faster and more effectively than you realize.

Secondly, and to that end, if you’ve been struggling with your case — or if you’re about to confront a serious challenge to your claim at Administrative Law Judge Hearing or Reconsideration, call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo at (877) 529-1222 for a free consultation.

Surviving the Social Security Disability Journey: The Art of Creative Improvisation

February 28, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

As you move forward on your journey through the Social Security Disability process, you will encounter surprising obstacles, and, more hopefully, serendipitous opportunities to possibly improve your fortune and speed up your recovery from illness.

So how should you find these opportunities and surface these obstacles? What can you do to gain clarity on your situation and feel more in control?

One tool to use is creative improvisation.

Most Social Security Disability beneficiaries believe that their problems flow from a lack of resources — physical resources (e.g. you are too sick and tired); relationship resources (e.g. you don’t have enough of a social support network); or financial resources (e.g. you don’t have money to pay for your bills, house, medical care, etc.)

No doubt, you may have extremely limited resources. However, by cultivating your inner resourcefulness, you can often find solutions to challenges that currently seem intractable — perhaps impossible to break through.

Let’s talk through an example.

Let’s say you only have $200 a month to spend on food.

Until you get Social Security Disability benefits (if you can get them), you are strapped. You can’t afford to eat out, and you might feel compelled by your lack of resources to eat really low quality food because that’s the only stuff that you can afford.

However, if you get really resourceful and creative, you can find solutions. For instance, if your monthly budget for food is just $200 a month, that means you have just a little over $6 a day to spend on food. That’s not much, and the unresourceful person might be tempted to eat a lot of empty calories, like soda pop or boxed pasta and rice. Those foods aren’t very nutritious.

But you could get creative! For instance, maybe you could find a great all-you-can restaurant and make a regular habit of eating one very, very, very big meal a day — healthy foods, of course! (An added benefit: so-called “intermittent fasting” may have certain health benefits, especially with respect to insulin sensitivity).

Or… you could pitch a local restaurant owner on an arrangement, wherein your write very positive (but ethical) reviews of their cuisine in exchange for discounts on meals or something along those lines.

You can also tap into local food pantry programs… and on and on.

The point is that your inner resourcefulness is a powerful tool, and the more you cultivate this resourcefulness, the more you will feel back in control of your life and destiny, irrespective of what happens regarding your benefits. All that said, you probably do want to find a good Social Security Disability law firm. Please connect with the DeMayo Law team today for a free consultation by calling us at (877) 529-1222.

Big Update to Social Security Disability Compassionate Allowance Program — 35 Additional Components Approved

February 26, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Big breaking news in the world of Social Security Disability law: the Social Security Administration (SSA) has expanded its popular Compassionate Allowances Program (CAL) to include 35 more conditions, bringing the total number of conditions to 200.

Depending on the nature of your ailment and its severity, you may qualify for benefits within just days as opposed to months or longer. If you qualify for the CAL program, you can bypass the typical detailed investigative process that the typical claims applicant needs to go through.

The CAL program dates back to 2008. At first, only 50 ailments qualified for this fast track approval. The initiative has been updated multiple times since then — last April, administrators added over 50 new conditions to the short list. The collaborative process that updates this program draws upon knowledge from medical professionals, scientists, and Social Security Disability beneficiaries themselves, along with research from the National Institutes of Health.

The new disease additions include Roberts Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, aplastic anemia, adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and other serious cancers and neurological conditions. For a full catalog of conditions covered under the Compassionate Allowances program, please visit the CAL’s official website.

If you’re confused about whether you might qualify either for the CAL program or for Social Security Disability in general, connect with us for clearheaded and thorough insight into your case. The team here at The Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo would be happy to provide a smart, complete and strategic evaluation of your case and give you good guidance about what to do (and what not to do) to maximize your chances for getting your claim accepted and minimizing the stresses and often needless hassles. Call us now for assistance at (877) 529-1222.

Social Security Disability Theft of $62,000 Suggests Desperate and Sad Situation…

February 21, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Many stories about Social Security Disability in North Carolina and beyond focus on grand problems (e.g. will the trust fund start to run dry as early as 2016, as some Republicans now argue?). Other stories focus on the painful and horrific elements (e.g. the Compassionate Allowances program just added 35 new conditions to its list — a “who’s who” of diseases that you would never wish on your worst enemy, including an array of scary sounding neurological diseases).

But sometimes it’s the minor sounding, almost “work a day” cases, that provide the most insight.

Gavin Fowkes, a 40-year-old mechanic from Delmont, Pennsylvania, has been ordered to pay over $62,000 in restitution to his father (and serve six months’ detention) for stealing his dad’s SSD benefits. U.S. District Judge Diamond also sentenced Fowkes to five years of probation for pilfering the benefits. Per the Tribune Review, Fowkes somehow arranged it so that his father’s checks got deposited into his account. He engaged in this low level thievery for seven years, until authorities figured out what was happening last September.

Judge Diamond applauded Fowkes’ “acceptance of responsibility” and cited his “lack of a criminal history” in the relatively light sentencing.

As much as the story reveals, it also leaves so much unsaid. Why would this man steal his own father’s Social Security Disability benefits? What kind of pressures or stresses might lead someone to do that? What was the relationship like? What’s the relationship like now, if it exists? And so forth.

The broader point is that fights over Social Security Disability benefits can often lead to all sorts of very fraught interactions with close friends and family members — and damage even close, trusting relationships. To protect yourself from these financial-stress-induced problems in your life, first you need clarity with respect to your claim. With more knowledge, you can make more accurate decisions and plan your finances more mindfully — so you can avoid having to make spontaneous and potentially dumb (even illegal) decisions regarding your income needs.

Call DeMayo Law at (877) 529-1222 now to set up a free, confidential consultation with us regarding your benefits situation.

Private Detective Indicted on Social Security Disability Fraud Charges

February 19, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

It’s all too easy to judge Social Security Disability fraud defendants from afar.

If you are sick, and you desperately need benefits yourself, you may bitterly resent anyone who “cheats the system,” while you struggle to make ends meet while following the rules.

But many fraud cases are subtle. Studying them can help you understand what to do better (potentially) with respect to your North Carolina Social Security Disability claims process.

Consider the complex and sad case of 45-year-old David M. Disney (no relationship, it appears, to Walt Disney or the Disney Entertainment Company), who was indicted in January by a Federal Grand Jury for conspiracy to commit Social Security Disability fraud. Mr. Disney is a private detective who suffered a head injury back in 2003. He applied for Social Security Disability shortly thereafter. He succeeded with the claim and started collecting monthly payments. In spite of his ailment, however, he returned to work at his old company, DM Disney & Associates. He continued to work in violation of his arrangement — he was paid for doing surveillance for clients and for testifying before the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board for a different client.

Disney wasn’t exactly raking in tons of money. And starting in 2007, he told the Social Security Administration what he was doing — that he was working again for $10 an hour, working 20 hours a week. All told, he logged 150 hours and earned just under $20,000 for doing so. Nevertheless, his acceptance of $140,000+ in benefits over the years  may have constituted fraud, and now he faces a possible battery of punishments, including but not limited to forced restitution, jail time, probation, and so forth.

The point of the sad story is that, as a potential beneficiary, you really need to play by the rules and to understand both your rights AND your responsibilities. Even seemingly innocent — or totally unconscious — mistakes can create problems for you, years down the line. These subtle issues can throw off your financial planning, endanger your profession, elevate your stress levels, and cause embarrassment and injury to your reputation.

Go through the process correctly. Get the help you need by connecting with the DeMayo Law Social Security Disability law team today at (877) 529-1222 for a free consultation.

Does It Feel Like Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Case is Taking Too Long? (Perhaps You Need to Slow Down!)

February 14, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You are sick, injured, and finically desperate. You want your North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits to kick in right away — yesterday, if possible.

While a savvy and thorough social security disability law firm, like DeMayo Law, can help you with the process, including advocating for you at Reconsideration or an Administrative Law Judge Hearing, no law firm can work miracles. You may have to wait weeks or even months for clarity about your benefit situation.

Those words can sound harsh, but that is the reality for some claimants.

So what should you do to make the waiting period less agonizing and uncertain?

On this North Carolina social security disability law blog, we talk a lot about the importance of embracing uncertainty and of using various self-reflection tools to surface and eliminate sources of anxiety and frustration. For instance, in past blog posts, we have talked about using the Five Whys, journaling, and leveraging the insights of mentors to strategically address some of the “stuff” that makes would-be beneficiaries so anxious.

But if you really want to speed up time — to bypass the waiting period and press fast forward on your life — please stop and reconsider. Try this other strategy. It’s going to sound trite at first, but don’t dismiss it off hand.

Focus on your blessings.

What are the blessings in your present life? Forget about your pain, destitution, uncertainty, and anger for a minute, and contemplate all the joyous things in your life right now. If you’re pessimist, your first instinct might be to say “all my joyous things have been taken away by the accident/illness.” But if you’re comfortable, ask yourself to dig a little deeper. Your eyesight is good enough to read these words. Your brain is healthy enough to understand the concepts being presented to you. If you haven’t yet found a good attorney, the DeMayo law firm is just a click or phone call away. If your case hasn’t been decided yet, you have at least an ember of hope that you will collect benefits — and perhaps much more than that. Even if you have a fatal diagnosis, you can still give thanks for the air that you will breathe for the time that you have left on this planet. By focusing on what you have — instead of what you lack — and doing so repeatedly and consciously, you will slow down the pace of life and also enjoy the journey towards collecting benefits, even if this was a journey you never wanted to go on.

This counterintuitive advice is well worth repeating: when life feels too slow, slow it down EVEN MORE and smell the flowers.

3 Tips for Working Better with Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Law Firm

February 12, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re on the verge of retaining a social security disability attorney to help you cut the Gordian knot that has become your SSD claim. You are just too tired, sick, and overwhelmed with the bureaucracy — trying to parse the “should’s” from the “should not’s” with respect to your claim — and you want a trusted, experienced entity, like the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, to lead you to clarity and protect your ability to collect benefits.

What “best practices” should you follow while working with a social security disability attorney or law firm? Here are 3 ideas:

1. Be honest, forthcoming, and fully disclosing.

You may have a checkered medical history or other issues regarding your past jobs, personal history, or whatever. You may feel reticent — perhaps even deeply ashamed — to reveal this information to anyone, even an attorney in confidence. But do NOT hide key information from your lawyer. If you fail to disclose key facts — for instance, maybe you were convicted of healthcare fraud as a young man or woman — and your lawyer doesn’t know, then you can accidentally crush your hopes of getting benefits. Protect yourself by being honest.

2. Got a question (or many questions)? Write them down!

Throughout the claims process, you will no doubt encounter dozens, even hundreds, of questions. Instead of calling the attorney’s office every hour in a haphazard fashion, write down the questions on a word document or in a notebook, so that you and your legal team can process them in an organized fashion. Document your journey — over document, if you need to. Doing so will keep you focused, give you peace of mind, and help you work more seamlessly with your team.

3. Ask for diverse help.

A good social security disability law firm can not only help you with the nuts and bolts of your claim but also with diverse and dynamic problems related to your claim.

For instance, maybe you’re having trouble finding a good doctor or financial advisor to see you through this difficult period. Maybe you don’t have any friends or family in the area to advise you. You’re not the first person who has gone through this experience, and your law firm should be able to connect you with many different types of resources in your local community (in Charlotte or wherever) to get clear headed answers.

How Can You Make the North Carolina Social Security Disability Experience Slightly Less Dreadful?

February 7, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Your injury would be horrific enough in its own right. But now you also need to jump through hoops to collect minimal Social Security disability benefits? It all seems downright cruel. Given your extremely limited strength, time, attention and resources, what can you do to make a positive difference, both in your life generally and in your quest for benefits?

First off, if you haven’t yet connected with an attorney or Social Security disability law firm in Charlotte, please consider doing so to protect your rights and to identify potential problem areas with your claim. The team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo is available for free and confidential case consultations — call us now at (877) 529-1222.

Beyond that, you can also adopt changes to your lifestyle and diet to fix your metabolic issues and help you manage seemingly indirectly related problems, such as stress, depression, and so forth.

Cutting out junk food — and focusing on food quality

You’re sick, injured, and financially hard up. Right now, you’re just “trying to get by.” The idea of improving your diet somehow may not even be on your radar screen. But if you’re eating a lot of junk food — especially sugary stuff like cola, desserts, and other snacks that have a lot of easily digestible grains and starches — you might really give consideration to improving the quality of your food, not only to boost your metabolism, but also to improve your attention span, mood, blood sugar control, and beyond.

Determining what foods are “healthy” and what foods are “junk foods” is not necessarily so simple!

Even if you commit to eating a diet that’s “healthier,” you must wade through a lot of conflicting information. A new non-profit organization, the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), is funding research to help answer these questions in a more definitive fashion. But you might be surprised to learn that bacon — one of the most stereotypically “sinful” foods — is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids as well as stearic acid and essential amino acids. One can perhaps build the case that bacon is actually a health food, believe it or not.

Conversely, other research suggests that soda pop might be more than just a source of empty calories. It could actually be a cause and perpetuator of insulin resistance in liver — the starting point of a cascade of metabolic issues, including diabetes and obesity.

Different people have different needs, regarding both their health and their Social Security Disability concerns. Talk to your physician before making any kind of changes to your diet and exercise regimen. And take time to research the true nature of a healthy diet.

3 Tragic Mistakes Many North Carolina Social Security Disability Applicants Make

February 5, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Applying for Social Security Disability should not be rocket science.

Unfortunately, all too many mental and physically ill people in North Carolina and beyond make basic mistakes that vastly complicate their claims and lead to lots of stress and frustration. Here are three very common ones.

Mistake #1: Based on incorrect assumptions about your health and/or income generation capacity, you fail to investigate your claim at all.

If you make $700 or more per month, you will generally have a hard time collecting benefits. Likewise, if you haven’t paid much into Social Security, and if you don’t have much of a work history, your road to benefits gets harder.

All that said, odds are high that you are overlooking important details about your claim. Furthermore, even if Social Security Disability benefits remain out of reach, you may be able to tap into other resources or programs to solve your problems.

Mistake #2: You get discouraged by your first rejection and fail to appeal vigorously.

The Social Security Disability process is multi-tiered. In an ideal world, your claim would go through seamlessly and rapidly on the first try. But you can still win on appeal, and any money you collect will still be good legal tender in the United States! Please read more about the various types of appeals, including Reconsideration and the Administrative Law Judge hearing, here on our website.

Mistake #3: You wait far too long before getting legal representation.

Since you’re already financially bereft, you may believe that you should just “represent yourself” to maximize how much you’ll collect. This calculus intuitively appeals. But — statistically speaking, at least — it’s wrong. Claimants tend to do better — i.e. collect more money overall and feel more certain and satisfied with their outcomes — when they find good legal representation.

Of course, not all Charlotte Social Security Disability law firms are equally up to the task of helping you succeed. Please consider calling the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a consultation with our experienced and helpful people.

Rebounding After Your Social Security Disability Claim Gets Rejected

January 31, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

No one likes to be rejected. We human beings have a deep drive to “belong” — to win acceptance and approval from other people. This is true, whether you’re a 6-year-old adapting to a new elementary school or an elderly adult filing a North Carolina Social Security Disability claim.

When we’re hit with a rejection, for whatever reason, we tend to take it personally. For instance, perhaps you suffer from a terrible intestinal disease that’s made it difficult for you to work and bring in an income. You’ve seen doctor after doctor after doctor. You now take a veritable truckload of medications. And you’re still in pain, confused and scared about your prognosis. Even though you’ve suffered tangible physical harm, and you literally cannot work, you may — to your great dismay — find that your Social Security Disability claim gets rejected, for whatever reason.

That hurts on a number of fronts.

First off, you need a cash flow to pay for your medications, buy food to eat and keep a roof over your head. Secondly, you may feel greatly aggrieved at the lack of empathy for your profound pain. How could anyone who understood “what it’s like to be you” possibly reject your claim? Lastly, you may feel resentful of other people who’ve successfully navigated the Social Security Disability maze. You wonder: what did those people do differently? You may get angry at the Social Security Disability bureaucracy… or even at the person who nixed your claim.

These are normal, human feelings. But they can get in your way. Right now, you need to think less about how unfair life has been and more about your optimal steps, tactically and strategically, to get benefits and to rebuild your life.

In other words, you need to cultivate a spirit of resilience.

That can be a tall order, especially if you’re physically and emotionally run down already. But you might be surprised by how even just a little help — and a little positive news — can turn your distress around. First of all, Social Security claimants get multiple opportunities to press for benefits. If your Administrative Law Judge hearing went badly, you can still win at Reconsideration.

Likewise, even in the worst case scenario — i.e. you get no benefits at all — odds are overwhelming that you’re missing “hidden opportunities” to leverage your current resources to make your situation somewhat easier. For instance, maybe you currently live alone. But you could — at least theoretically — sell your home and move in with your sister or with a close friend.

To make sense of your possibilities, and to fight back against a rejected Social Security Disability claim, get in touch with the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo today for a confidential and thorough consultation.

Letting Go Of Your Social Security Disability Fears: A Surprisingly Simple Tactic

January 29, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

What is that you fear most about your quest for Social Security Disability benefits in North Carolina?

If you’re like most people who’ve been diagnosed with a scary disease or who’ve been incapacitated, multiple sources of fear challenge you. You may feel almost paralyzed by the scary “what if’s?” floating through your mind. You know you need to take action on your claim — to get started with the paperwork; or to appeal, if you got rejected. But you are so overwhelmed and flustered that you can’t even get going.

When our fears crouch in the darkness, unclarified in our minds, they control us and lead us to miss out on positive opportunities. Life itself is a fundamentally vulnerable and risky act. Every one of us will die. Every one of us fears similar fundamental things, like heights and loud noises. These mental alarms are in-bred, and they serve a function. It’s good that we’re afraid of heights, since that fear protects us from meandering off of cliffs or highway overpasses.

On the other hand, our fears, badly managed, lead us towards dysfunction and paralysis.

Here’s a simple exercise to at least begin to come to grasp with what’s holding you back. It takes just 10 minutes or so. It’s a kind of free form writing. Here’s what you do. Open up a Word document, or crack open your handwritten journal, and write this question: “What am I afraid will happen regarding my Social Security Disability claim?”

Spend several minutes writing down anything that comes to your mind. Don’t worry about censoring yourself. Just write as much as you can. You might write things as diverse as “I am afraid that I’ll die; I am afraid that I won’t have enough money to buy Jimmy a nice birthday present; I am afraid that even an experienced Charlotte Social Security Disability law firm won’t be able to help me.”

Allow yourself to dump all your thoughts onto the document. You might be surprised by how few fears you ultimately “dredge up.” Typically, one or two fears cause 90% of the total distress. For instance, two common fears include: fear of financial catastrophe and fear of death. Surfacing your fears won’t make them go away. But you might be surprised by the immediate sense of relief that you’ll feel just by getting them down on paper.

Creating a “Plan B” for your Social Security Disability Claim Quest

January 24, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

You hope to qualify for Social Security Disability to collect money to pay for your bills and medical care. It’s a difficult time for you, even if you have help. The stresses of the medical treatment alone can make you feel miserable and helpless. Furthermore, your quest for Social Security Disability benefits is by no means a sure thing, even if you cannot work and you have supportive medical documentation. Some claimants wait months, if not years, before they collect benefits. Others go through a traumatic rigmarole, only to find their hopes dashed.

Even if you prevail, the uncertainty during the intermediary weeks can lead to stress, which in turn can hamper your immune system and exacerbate your illness. You need some tools to help you deal with your situation. Here’s an idea for you. Create a Plan B.

What’s a “Plan B”?

A Plan B is an alternative, secondary method of solving a problem. You begin by assuming that your Plan A fails. Then you construct an alternative scenario that meets all or most of your critical needs. For instance, your Plan A might be to succeed with your claim and get cash flow ASAP. But your needs underlying the claim might be met in different ways. For instance, you need shelter from the elements. So you may want benefits to help pay your rent or mortgage. You could find alternative ways of shielding yourself from the elements, though — e.g. move in with a friend or relative; or sell your place and buy a smaller place.

Arming yourself with a Plan B gives you a greater sense of psychological freedom. Here’s how to construct one. First, make a list of all the things that you believe that the Social Security Disability money will do for your life – e.g. pay for your medical bills, keep you in your home, relieve your financial stress, et cetera. Next, brainstorm how to address these needs, if you don’t win your case. Get creative! Then edit the brainstorming and compile your plans in a “Plan B” document to review and update as need be.

Just having this document with you will give you a boost: you’ll know that, no matter what happens, your basic needs will be met.

For help with “Plan A,” get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today by calling us or connecting with us through our website.

Why Don’t My Friends and Family Understand How Hard It Is to Live on Social Security Disability?

January 22, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Social Security Disability claimants — or would-be claimants — are often greeted with a surprising lack of empathy from friends, colleagues, and even family members.

People close to you may intellectually appreciate that you’re struggling with a serious illness. But that intellectual understanding may not translate into loving or tender care. This is especially true if you suffer from a debilitating mental condition, such as schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety. When people can see that you’ve been injured — e.g. you can no longer walk; or your hair is falling out due to chemotherapy — they tend to be more understanding. But when they cannot see visible signs of your pain, they can become surprisingly impatient. This also happens to back pain sufferers. Back pain can be felt (excruciatingly), but others cannot easily “see” the injury.

This lack-of-empathy problem can be particularly devastating, if you have a history of ailments or other “issues.” For instance, perhaps you owe child support payments. Your ex-spouse may accuse you of exaggerating or even making up your illness to win sympathy and get out of paying your share. Or maybe you have a history of a drug and alcohol addiction. People in your life may believe that you’re “indulging” your injury/illness as a kind of side effect of your rehab or treatment.

Avoid getting caught up in other people’s expectations or judgments!

Of course, that’s easier said than done.

Truth be told, you may find it very difficult to make active, accurate progress on your Social Security Disability case by yourself, especially given your lack of knowledge regarding “best practices” for filing a claim. Rather than start off at a disadvantage, get in touch with the DeMayo Law team today for a free consultation about your rights and potentially diverse remedies. Our team can provide the support you desperately need to get a handle on what you’ve been going through.

Removing the Obstacles in the Way of Your Social Security Disability Claim

January 17, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Why haven’t you already succeeded with your North Carolina social security disability claim?

One reason might be that you’ve yet to define what victory means or what it might look like. You may define victory in purely financial terms — if you get XYZ dollars by ABC date, then you’ll “win.” You might define victory in terms of your health or ability to work — if you recover your stamina and get back to the office by June, for instance, that might be a victory.

You also might be struggling because you’re sick, isolated, and faced with a complex series of legal challenges. In that case, your solution might be as simple as getting in touch with the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo, an experienced Charlotte social security disability law firm, to strategize and handle the hurdles in your way.

However, even if you’ve defined success articulately, you can still encounter surprising setbacks along the way. Prepare to be unpleasantly surprised! To gird yourself, you must surface your hidden obstacles, proactively, and strive to deal with them in advance. We discussed why this approach is important in our previous blog post. Today, we’ll provide an example.

Let’s say that your goal is to return to work by July. You want to return to your former salary (or something like it) and be doing work that leverages your skills and passions. So you’ve determined your outcome.

The next step is to ask your inner pessimist to supply what might be in your way. For instance:

•    ”What if I don’t recover enough to do my old job by July?”
•    ”What if my boss doesn’t have a job for me or can’t give me the same work at the same pay rate?”
•    ”What if, after I return, I discover that I lack the stamina I once had?”
•    ”What if the injury/disability puts me so far back, financially, that I can’t make ends meet even WITH my old job?”
•    etc

Do this exercise. Take ten minutes and exhaustively brainstorm all the possible “stuff” in your way of getting a positive outcome. Once you finish this brainstorming, set this blog post aside and come back to it at a later time — give yourself at least an hour of rest.

Done? Okay, great!

Once you’ve rested, return to your list and then engage with it in the following way. First, eliminate the obstacles that aren’t obstacles yet. For instance, you may have written down something along the lines of “my boss might fire me because she’ll be unimpressed with my performance because I’ll be rusty.” That’s not an obstacle yet, so don’t give yourself extra work!

Instead, focus on the stuff that’s true now that’s blocking your efforts. For instance, you might only have enough energy to engage with your world productively for two or three hours a day. Given your current stamina, you can’t work the way you want to work. So that stays on the list.

Go through all the remaining obstacles on your list and brainstorm how to blast through them or make them irrelevant. For instance, you may need six hours of productive time a day to do the work you once did. You only have three hours of energy currently. One way around that obstacle is to increase your stamina to six hours a day. ANOTHER way around it is to reduce the amount of time you need to work a day by half. If you did that, you’d already be at your goal!

Give the process a try. You’ll likely find that thinking through your goals this way will make a world of difference.

Succeeding with Your Social Security Disability Claim in 2013

January 15, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

It’s a New Year and a fresh start, but if you’ve spent a long time in the queue for a social security disability in North Carolina or elsewhere, you may not feel terribly enthusiastic about 2013. That’s understandable. 2012 was likely a harder than expected year for you and your family — you might have been diagnosed with a serious illness out of the blue, and/or you might have experienced crushingly bad news about your claim and overall finances. To bounce back effectively, you need to do two things:

1. You need to avoid fooling yourself about the reality and severity of your situation.

2. You need to develop and focus on positive goals to move forward.

Unfortunately, many social security disability beneficiaries resist setting goals because they figure “why bother” dreaming big when so much has already gone wrong? You feel pressure to avoid raising your expectations, only to see them dashed.

Rather than abandoning making resolutions – or even setting short-term goals – for fear of failure, consider the following alternative. Instead of just picking an ambitious goal and “going for it” — be it a goal to collect fair benefits within the next several months or to get yourself healthy and fit by the end of 2013 — focus on removing the OBSTACLES to achieving your ideal life.

That’s a subtle distinction!

What’s the difference between focusing on a great outcome and focusing on removing the obstacles to that outcome? The difference is — or at least it can be — nothing short of life changing. When you ruminate on the obstacles in your way to your goal, you invite your inner pessimist to participate in the process of goal setting/attainment with you. This is useful because the inner pessimist can subconsciously hold you back.  When leveraged successfully, your pessimist can alert you to key details that you might gloss over if you proceeded in overly polyanna-ish manner. By focusing on obstacles, you can figure out ways to blast through them or go around them. You may also creatively change your goal/objectives to make them more achievable, based on a more sober read of your situation.

In our next blog post, we’ll dive deeper into this concept using a real world example or two, to help you make immediate progress towards getting what you want and regaining a sense of control over your future.

2013 can represent a new beginning for you, for your family, for your health, and for your finances. If you need help with your Charlotte social security disability claim, the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo can provide a free thorough consultation. Find out more about us online, and get in touch with us now to start this year off on the right foot.

Persistence: A Magic Word for Getting Through Your Social Security Disability Crisis

January 10, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’ve been flabbergasted by the disorganization of the Social Security Disability system, you have company!

Sadly, more and more Americans every year apply for disability. Experts debate why. One factor is demographic: as the Baby Boomer generation ages and retires at a rapid rate, the social safety net feels more weight. Other problems lurk. For instance, rates of degenerative diseases of civilization, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes mellitus (Type 2 diabetes), have reached epidemic proportions. The spike in preventable chronic diseases has really taxed the Federal government’s infrastructure.

Other potential reasons for the Social Security Disability “mess” include:

•    Bureaucratic incompetence;
•    Insurance company shenanigans;
•    Bad doctors and hospital processes;
•    Undereducated patients

The theoretical dynamics may be interesting, in an academic sense, but you don’t have much time/interest in parsing theory. You lack the time, energy or wherewithal to figure out the “big picture” problems — you just want fair compensation, a simple procession through the system, and honest and clear communication.

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you gain clarity on your Social Security Disability situation. Whether you’re scrambling to prepare for Reconsideration or an Administrative Law Judge hearing — and you’re baffled by the process — or you’re still just investigation your diagnosis, our team can candidly, empathetically help you get clear and stay on course with a responsible strategy.

Persistence — hard-headedness even — can be a great weapon, as you face down your diverse Social Security Disability related problems. But you must combine persistence with intelligence. It’s great to “refuse to back down” regarding your health and welfare. But you also want to avoid reinventing the wheel. The DeMayo Law team possesses deep and practical knowledge of how to make the system work. Even if we can’t force the system to “play fair” instantly, we can introduce you to best practices and get you feeling a lot more confident about what your future might hold. Connect with us today for a complimentary consultation.

Is the North Carolina Social Security Disability Debate Poised to Move in a Radically New Direction?

January 8, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Many policy wonks who study Social Security Disability in North Carolina and beyond believe that change to the SSD program will come glacially.

Yes, more people enter the queue every year. Yes, financial and bureaucratic problems persist. Yes, some extremely vulnerable people receive horrible care. But most experts still believe that the system will only change gradually. There will never be a lightning-quick “flash point” that will send the Social Security Disability system in a radically new direction.

But perhaps our confidence in such a gradual evolution is misplaced!

Here’s why. A bit of background, first:

In evolutionary theory, biologists recognize two discrete types of evolution: graduated and punctuated. In graduated evolution, species or other objects (e.g. memes or computer programs) change incrementally in response to selection pressures. Tens of millions of years ago, for instance, humans, dogs, and cats all likely had a common evolutionary ancestor. Over the glacial process of natural selection, our three species split off and gradually grew distinct. There was no moment in time where a dog-man gave birth to a dog, for instance, or something similarly extreme.

Punctuated evolution, however, also exists! It also explains many phenomena in nature, economics and beyond. Punctuated evolution is dramatic – like a lightning strike. For instance, according to author Julian Jaynes, human consciousness evolved via a punctuated evolutionary process. In the “Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind,” Jaynes argues that human evolution had been proceeding along at a stately pace, when, all of a sudden, consciousness emerged, almost instantly. Something from nothing. Deux ex machina.

Getting back to the Social Security Disability system… perhaps we can find analogues to punctuated evolution in the world of policy. For instance, the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers radically and decisively altered America’s foreign policy. In an instant, everything shifted. Likewise, the recent shootings in Newtown, Connecticut may have already radically altered the national political conversation about gun control.

It stands to reason that an unforeseeable event may similarly radically change the Social Security Disability Program.

All this theoretical stuff may be interesting, but if you’re sick or injured, you want answers, not speculation. The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo would be happy to discuss your case and give you a step-by-step, guided strategy to maximize your quest for Social Security Disability benefits.

Waiting and Waiting and Waiting for Your Social Security Disability Claim

January 3, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

An illness rendered you sick and unable to work. You’re desperate for Social Security Disability benefits. How difficult will it be to make a claim? Will you ever get over the illness and move on with the rest of your life?

The Social Security Disability system is surprisingly complicated, and the queue for benefits seems to be getting longer each year. You can find ways around the traffic jam — such as the Compassionate Allowances program, which helps very sick people (e.g. those diagnosed with late stage cancers) “skip ahead” in the queue. But many people who desperately need benefits often do not receive attentive, empathetic care from the system. This lack of care can create all sorts of additional stresses and even worsen the primary illness/injury.

So what should you do?

First of all, consider obtaining allies on your quest to claim benefits. The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has tremendous experience helping people like you get Social Security Disability in North Carolina. We are ethical, effective, and resourceful. We can also hook you up with additional resources to make your situation significantly less challenging and scary.

Even with best care, and a great law firm on your team, you may find your situation perplexing at times. To gain clarity and calm, spend time thinking about what you want to achieve in your life regarding your health, finances and other goals.

What would “life success” look like to you?

Focus on images of what you want to bring into your life, and brainstorm shortcuts to reaching that nirvana. Obviously, your focusing on a pleasant outcome will not necessarily wish such an outcome into existence! But far too many Social Security Disability claimants (and would be claimants) spend far too much time focusing on what they don’t have or what they have lost.

That kind of pessimistic, “I don’t have enough” thinking can harm you and make you depressed. Understand that you have agency. The more that you exercise your sense of control over your environment — and future — the more empowered you will feel, and the better choices you’ll make.

3 Resourceful Things You Can Do While Waiting for Your Social Security Disability Claim to Go Through

January 1, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you’re in the throes of preparing for an Administrative Law Judge hearing or Reconsideration, or you’re just starting out on your journey to get Social Security Disability (in North Carolina or elsewhere), you may need to prepare for a long, uphill battle. How can you make the most productive use of this time?

Here are three pretty cool ideas.

1. Consider reducing the amount of sugar you consume… or at least significantly curtailing it.

Sugar is woven into the fabric of American culture. Every holiday, it seems, is another excuse to eat sugar. On Valentine’s Day, you have Valentine’s Day chocolates. On Thanksgiving, you get sweet potatoes with brown sugar. Christmas is time for Christmas cookies. And Halloween – well, basically the entire point of that holiday is to eat sugar. Unfortunately, as much we love and crave the stuff, compelling science suggests that sugar may be extremely bad for our health and may be a primary cause of insulin resistance, which is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and beyond.

2. Get enough sunlight.

Obviously, you don’t want to sit out in the sun until you bake and get sun burned. However, a lack of sunlight can lead to Vitamin D deficiency. Especially if you’re sick or ill and waiting for Social Security Disability, find time to spend time outside.

3. Journal – a lot – about diverse topics.

What are our recurring patterns? What do we do, day to day, that helps or hinders our health, thoughts, relationships, and other dynamics? The more we understand ourselves — what makes us tick, what we like, what we don’t like — the more control we’ll enjoy over our experiences. When you journal regularly, you also may begin to understand what “stuff” flairs up your injury or illness and what stuff helps you feel better. The more accurately you can recognize these patterns, the more you can engage in productive behaviors. It’s a self perpetuating cycle.

Regaining Autonomy in an Out of Control Environment

Human beings possess a fundamental need to feel in control. When you’re stuck in the queue for Social Security Disability — and you can’t figure out what to do next to make more progress — you can easily feel powerless. These three almost universally applicable tools allow people to reassert control. By eating slightly less sugar — or potentially cutting out sucrose from the diet all together — you’ll at the very least eliminate a source of “empty calories” and, at best, protect yourself against an array of medical problems. If you get slightly more sun — you don’t need to be a Brazilian model or a buff Venice Beach weightlifter — the light may boost your mood and help you produce more natural Vitamin D. If you journal — you don’t have to write deep introspective monologues every day — you will become more in touch with yourself, your feelings, your likes and dislikes, and your other needs.

To exert even more control over your environment, get in touch with the diligent, experienced law team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a consultation now.

A Shortcut to Solving Your Social Security Disability Claims Crisis: Surfacing Your Obstacles!

December 27, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

What’s holding you back from collecting your North Carolina Social Security Disability claim? Why aren’t you leading the life you want?

Odds are, if you dwell on those questions for 10 minutes and brainstorm answers, you’ll come up with reasons along the lines with the following:

•    The queue for Social Security Disability is too long;
•    I can’t find a law firm to help me understand my rights and figure out what to do next;
•    I’m not feeling good, and the doctors keep changing their minds about my diagnosis;
•    My friend/relatives/co-workers are far less sympathetic than I thought they would be;
•    I’m feeling depressed and confused.

These concerns all might need to be addressed. However, before you start to plough forward and try to “solve” these problems, you might benefit from thinking in a different way.

Formulating a Positive Vision: And Finding the Constraint Preventing You from Achieving It

The first step is to imagine an idealized future, one in which your Charlotte Social Security Disability crisis has been handled, and you’re in a “great place.” Get expansive here! Don’t just imagine returning to the status quo — before you got sick, hurt, or financially entangled. Picture a wonderful outcome for your life, finances, health, et cetera. For instance, you might imagine living debt-free, in a nice house, and feeling good about your body and your health. Get very specific about what you would like your future to hold. Avoid constraining yourself with analytical thinking. That can come later.

Next, give yourself some time away from the process — a few hours or days. Then come back and refine the vision with analytical thinking: build a realistic but optimistic portrayal of how you want your life to be in, say, two years from now. For instance, one prerogative might be: “I have enough money from Social Security Disability and other sources to live comfortably.”

The next stage is key. Imagine all the obstacles in your way right now. Tap into your inner pessimist. What’s the disconnect between your present life and your idealized future. Name that disconnect — specifically! What’s “stuff” — if you had it, tomorrow — would transform your present situation into that great future?

For instance, one obstacle might be the in-limbo status of your Social Security Disability claim. Once you’ve listed your obstacles, brainstorm solutions. You need not “blow through” the obstacle. You can find shortcuts around it or search for ways to alter your goal, so that the obstacle becomes irrelevant.

For instance, if your ultimate goal is financial security, and you’re constrained by your inability to collect Social Security Disability benefits, perhaps you can find a proxy for that security. Perhaps a dear relative can lend you money, or you can try to qualify for other types of benefits.

Kickstart your journey towards getting fair, accurate benefits: connect with the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo now for a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.

Accepting the Uncertainty of Your Charlotte Social Security Disability Claim

December 25, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You want a resolution regarding your North Carolina Social Security Disability case – ASAP, if not sooner.

Although you’d really like to collect money, you’d almost (in a sense) welcome even a rejection of your claim, because at least then you’d have some clarity about your future. If you knew that you’d never collect benefits, for instance, you’d be forced to come up with a “Plan B” to pay for your living expenses, care, and so forth.

People hate to live in limbo. We want clarity. Without clarity and constraints, we find it hard to function. This is why we build guardrails on our roads and why we discipline our kids. Structure that confines us, appropriately, in some sense also frees us.

On the other hand, uncertainty is a fact of life: it’s fundamental to the human condition. Your life can be ordered and organized to the maximum, but a strange diagnosis, car crash, or even an asteroid landing on your house can destroy the game plan and force you to reassess everything.

The notion that we can “plan everything” is just not supported by reality. This isn’t to say that people should not strive for clarity — or take advantage of knowledgeable resources, like the law firm of Michael A. DeMayo. Quite to the contrary! Indeed, the quest for clarity, itself, can yield immense benefits. You can’t just sit there and let the forces of chaos bother you.

Ultimately, we need balance — we must embrace chaos and order simultaneously. Most people are far less comfortable with uncertainty than they could be. The degree to which you can find inner peace and balance — even as your quest for Social Security Disability remains in limbo — in many respects represents the degree to which you’ll be happy, no matter what happens.

For help understanding how to maximize your benefits, get in touch with the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo now for a confidential evaluation of your case.

The Connecticut School Shootings: Forcing Us to Put Our Problems in Perspective

December 20, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last week’s unbelievably repulsive school shooting in Connecticut left over two dozen people dead, many of whom were children. The national horror has forced all of us introspect and put our own problems in perspective.

If you’re struggling to get Social Security disability benefits in North Carolina, for instance, or striving to compel a reckless or a negligent corporation to compensate you or your family for serious harm done, the shootings obviously don’t “take away” your problems or make your struggles any less real. However, they do drive home the point that our time on this planet is short, and the forces that work on us are often unpredictable and malevolent.

All of us are on a mutual quest for clarity. We need help from other people to understand the rules for filing a Social Security disability claim, for instance. We also need less technical and more emotional help with issues like how to deal with one’s sense of guilt and shame following a workplace injury or how to deal with tragic, epic losses that seem purposeless and just so sad.

It’s the American way to “try to fix things” by engaging in tactics — to process towards a resolution or at least towards some clarity with respect to our problems. There is definitely a time and place for action and for planning. However, there is also time for reflection. There is a time to sit back and just appreciate your blessings. Yes, you’re struggling. Yes, life has been difficult and perhaps ferociously unfair and tragic.

Yet the human spirit is surprisingly resilient.

People can bounce back from the most epic of tragedies. Witness the heroic work of people like Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, or anti-apartheid champion, Nelson Mandela, in South Africa.

It’s a sad beautiful fact of the human condition that we cannot “rewind the clock” and get back time, energy, and physical stamina that we once had. However, if we can appreciate the blessings of the present and focus on what is possible not what “once was,” then maybe we can all begin to reclaim our humanity a little bit.

If you want to talk about your Social Security disability case, please call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a free consultation.

The Crazy Chaos of the North Carolina Social Security Disability System

December 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

When you read statistics about the Social Security disability system, they sometimes seem “dry.”

What does it mean that hundreds of thousands of people are “in the queue” to try to obtain benefits? We’ve never seen an actual line of human beings stretching hundreds of thousands of people long and taking months, if not years, to process. So we have no real world metaphor to understand the diversity and depth of the chaos of the current process.

When you “toss in” other disconcerting aspects of the process – insurance company headaches, struggles with diagnoses and treatment, secondary effects from drug therapies, relationship-related struggles caused/worsened by your illness – the situation can seem absolutely pell-mell. Where do you start? How do you even begin to formulate a plan of action, given that you’re not just dealing with the “known” problems associated with your illness/injury, but also with what ex-Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, cheekily once called the “known unknowns and the unknown unknowns”?

First of all, before you get overwhelmed by the chaos, consider the following piece of good news. Many people in situations very similar to yours have been able to get benefits, work through their medical issues, and get their lives back in order. Secondly, rest assured that you do not have to reinvent the wheel. You’re not the first person to struggle with your Social Security disability claim, and you won’t be the last. Solid law firms, like DeMayo Law here in Charlotte, have tremendous experience helping claimants strategize to get best results and deal with all the “known unknowns and unknown unknowns” that crop up along the way. Finally, appreciate that, for all the uncertainty around your claim, life also often offers possibility of serendipity. For instance, an old friend or family member may come forward to provide logistical help, financial assistance, or even moral support out of the blue. Even during our darkest times, positive serendipities can arise.

For help understanding what to do next about your North Carolina Social Security disability situation, get in touch with the Law Offices of Michael DeMayo today for a consultation.

What If Your Only Income Was North Carolina Social Security Disability… And You Had No Arms? How Would You Survive?

December 13, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re exploring or fighting for social security disability benefits in North Carolina. Your situation is hard, complicated, and confusing. You’re stressed about what might happen if you fail to collect benefits (or enough benefits), an agitation compounded by your medical woes, overall financial problems, and the emotional strain.

Believe it or not, some people have it worse!

Consider the case of Ty Williams, a North Carolina social security disability beneficiary who collects $962 a month. That’s Mr. Williams’ only income. Oh, and he is a double amputee.

His base line situation could be no metric be considered “easy.”

Yet forces beyond his control have conspired to make his problems even worse. Social Security gave him a raise earlier this year – ostensibly a good thing – but the 3% raise bumped him over North Carolina’s Medicaid cap, which legally compels Mr. Williams to pay a $700 per month deductible to keep his (obviously very necessary) in-home care. In an interview with NBC Charlotte, Williams admitted that this added burden would essentially forced him into a nursing home.

The state ostensibly solved this issue earlier in the year, by untethering Medicaid caps from federal cost of living adjustments (COLAs). Problem solved? Not so fast. The firm that pays for Williams’ caregivers slapped him with a past due bill for over $1000 and informed him that if he failed to pay the balance by the end of November, “his contract … and care … would be terminated.”

Fortunately, there may be a happy ending yet to Mr. Williams’ North Carolina social security disability odyssey. NBC’s Charlotte I team has goaded both Mecklenburg County Commissioners and North Carolina Legislators to deal with this issue, so that Mr. Williams and others who are similarly positioned won’t be disastrously afflicted.

Williams’ situation illustrates how fights over SSD or SSI income can easily lead to dire outcomes. When your finances are literally hanging by a thread – and you are dependent on federal government largess for support – you lose agency, and small problems (such as an overdue bill for $1000) can metastasize into enormous, life changing events.

If you’ve been confused and scared about what might happen to your benefits, get in touch with the DeMayo law team today to explore possible avenues toward success.

Metastasized Breast Cancer? It Could Still Take a Year Before an Administrative Law Judge Hears the Case!

December 11, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

11 million people collect Social Security Disability benefits in North Carolina and elsewhere every year.

The queue is long.

The process of securing success is littered with obstacles, both visible and invisible. We’d like to think that our benefits system is fair – that the most needy and sick get attended to first. However, that’s sometimes not the case. A recent Arizona Republic news piece highlights just how unfair the process can sometimes be.

A mother of two, Adria Howard, was diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer. The illness stopped her from being able to work. So she applied for Social Security Disability. Her application got rejected without an explanation. She sought an appeal, only to discover that she might need to wait up to a year before the Administrative Law Judge hears her case. Meanwhile, her chemotherapy has caused constant pain, and her bills continue to stack up and cause stress.

The Baby Boomers are graying. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic diseases, like diabetes, hypertension, and heart trouble. These two issues have stoked the horrifically long queue. Although the SSD program’s administrators have taken steps to expedite the claims process, many people still struggle. Part of the problem is, of course, the paperwork. You need to be super accurate. Even small errors, or lack of sufficient documentation of your disability, can lead to your claim getting stuck or rejected.

Getting Help Early in the Process Is the Key

Talk to an experienced Charlotte social security disability law firm about your options. A little accurate knowledge can inoculate you against problems that affect all too many beneficiaries. Getting clarity on your situation can reduce your stress. When we don’t understand what our future might hold – when we operate from a knowledge deficit – we stress more and make rash decisions that doom our quest. Clarity is the key to handling your claim and managing the diverse problems associated with your injury/illness.

The Importance of Considering Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Case from Multiple, Novel Angles

December 6, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re vexed by a problem regarding your Social Security Disability benefits.

Maybe you’ve tried and failed to get on the Compassionate Allowances list. Perhaps your benefits have been denied – or they are on the verge of being denied. Alternatively, perhaps you have been able to collect some money, but you’re unsure how to protect those benefits and carefully follow all the rules, so that you maintain your safety net.

Most beneficiaries (or would-be beneficiaries) lack perspective on the depth and breadth of their medical and financial challenges. They also lack the time and energy to think effectively about them. As a result, they wind up defaulting into old patterns, which deliver old results.

As Albert Einstein and other great thinkers have pointed out, to get fundamentally different results from a system or process, you need to approach that system or process from a perspective that’s fundamentally novel.

Outsourcing to experts can be a way to break through.

For instance, say you’ve been struggling to collect benefits or understand even how the SSD process works. Consider outsourcing that task to a trusted North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm. Or maybe you’ve been having trouble budgeting your living expenses. Perhaps you could outsource that task to a personal financial advisor.

To get new solutions, you need not always solicit the services of outside experts, however!

You can also “work this process” yourself, but you need to do so in a very specific, structured way. The brain uses two different cognitive apparati to solve problems: the brainstorming brain “goes diverse” to generate options, and the analytical brain hones and tests these options.

If you mix brainstorming and analyzing, you are likely to get a muddle. To gain new perspective on your current problems, first spend some time just brainstorming. Focus your question before you start brainstorming. “How can I get my cost of living down?” is far less evocative than a more specific question like “How can I get my monthly fixed expenses under $5,000 a month?” The more specificity you add – and the most constraints you put on your goal – the easier it will be to come up with novel, innovative, and potentially hugely powerful solutions.

Of course, you need not go through this process by yourself. Connect with the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for detailed, compassionate assistance with your Social Security Disability problem.

How Can You Spend Money on Christmas Gifts When You Haven’t Even Collected Your Social Security Disability Benefits?

December 4, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Christmas time approaches, and it can be a challenging time for injured and sick people who are in need of North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits.

On the one hand, you want to exhibit your custom generosity and purchase gifts for friends and loved ones (and possibly for yourself!) On the other hand, you need to maintain a strict budget, especially if you have yet to learn whether you’ll qualify for benefits.

So you need to be frugal. But you also don’t want to be a scrooge, and giving gifts makes you feel good.

Substantial scientific research suggests that altruism – so-called “giving from the heart” – can have medically salutary effects. Altruism can boost immune function, lead to more clearheaded decision making, and improve perceived quality of life.

It may be possible to achieve both goals – to give generously AND maintain a strict leash on your spending. You’re just going to need to be a little more creative this year.

For instance, instead of buying presents for people, consider writing handwritten thoughtful cards or poems. If that’s too challenging, consider just volunteering your time. You don’t need to lift anything or “do work” for other people – just lending an empathetic ear can be an incredibly powerful gift, for instance, if you’re too weak to get out of your bed or leave your house/apartment.

Searching for ways to satisfy both your need to give generously and your need to conserve your money constitutes an example of what business thinker Jim Collins would call “The Genius of the AND.” Collins writes books for “corporate types” and business builders, but many of his principles apply broadly to diverse areas of life.

If you need North Carolina social security disability, you might benefit a lot from thinking deeply about his “Genius of the AND” idea – which, simply put, suggests that successful people often embrace paradoxically optimistic points of view to help them through life’s challenges.

All that said, odds are that you are in a difficult place right now, and you just want the simplest, most proven path to success regarding your benefits. The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you. Our well-trained, battle-tested team will be happy to answer your questions and provide a free, powerful evaluation of your SSD or supplemental security income case.

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.

Social Security Disability Nightmare: Collection Agency Tells Paralyzed Vet That He “Should Have Died” — All While Illegally Seizing His Wife’s Benefits!

October 30, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Every once in a while, you come across a story about a North Carolina Social Security disability situation that’s so blood boiling that it makes you question what’s become of our society.

Such is the case of Michael Collier, a U.S. veteran who suffered massive head and spinal trauma while defending our country – trauma that left him 100% disabled. Adding insult to surgery, a debt collection agency, Gurstel Chargo, recently froze Collier’s wife’s credit union account and then seized $6,000 from the account over Michael’s defaulted college loan – a loan that he had not been able to keep paying because of his 100% disability.

As any North Carolina Social Security disability law firm will tell you, collection agencies cannot seize disability benefits. When alerted to this at a hearing, the lawyer for the collection agency acknowledged that the money would be returned to the Colliers “right away” — but then the agency allegedly did something so horrifically misanthropic that it’s painful even to rewrite the words in this blog.

Allegedly, right after that hearing – the lawyer called up Mr. Collier and sneered that he would have to file a lawsuit to get the money back, knowing full well that the debtor and his wife lacked means to retain an attorney. In a later conversation with an employee of Gurstel Chargo, an employee told the Army veteran “F— you! Pay us your money! You can’t afford an attorney. You owe us. I hope your wife divorces your a– if you would have served our country better, you would have not been a disabled veteran living off Social Security while the rest of us honest Americans work our a– off. Too bad; you should have died.”

Although the Gurstel Chargo has said that such statements, if uttered, would have been “contrary to the policies, practices and values” of the company — and that they would take urgent disciplinary/corrective action — that may not be enough. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collection agency cannot use harassing/abusive language during an attempt to collect a debt. It’s illegal, not to mention unethical and, quite frankly, disgusting.

Even if your situation is not as dramatic and heartbreaking as Mr. Collier’s, you likely have a tremendously difficult road ahead. Fortunately, you do not need to fight your legal battles on your own. Connect immediately with the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo to schedule a free consultation withae member of our team. We can help you understand your options and make sensible, strategic choices to shield your rights and get fair treatment.

Will Social Security Disability Be Affected by the Presidential Election?

October 25, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

It’s coming down to the wire here in the North Carolina and elsewhere, as Governor Romney and President Obama battle to become the 44th President of the United States. What will the election results mean for North Carolina social security disability beneficiaries? More specifically: Will the reelection of Obama — or the new election of Romney — in any way substantially change the federal benefits program in a way that impacts your life?

No one has a crystal ball, so we can’t conclusively say anything. However, it’s highly unlikely that the election will massively change the Social Security disability program, at least in the short-term, in a way that radically upsets your life, for better or for worse.

Obviously, pundits on both sides of the aisle will try to make the case that “their guy” will help the program, while the “other guy” will hurt it and thus cause you pain. There’s not enough space on this blog to even identify all the arguments and counter-arguments on both sides, let alone address them or refute them at any meaningful level of detail.

That being said, people who spend their time thinking about the Social Security disability program — and helping beneficiaries like you make the system work for them — understand that big federal programs are not easily changed or modified. That’s for better and for worst.

What it means is that, if the pundits have made you anxious about your benefits, you can breathe a little easier. In fact, if you get too distracted by political sideshows, you might miss out opportunities to take action in your own life to radically improve your financial outlook, medical situation, and even at level of happiness.

This isn’t to say that you should ignore your benefits issues. (And if you’re struggling to make headway with an Administrative Law Judge hearing, Reconsideration, or any other point of the process, the DeMayo law team can offer you tested guidance.) Just recognize that you have limited time and energy, especially now that you are sick or injured.

Use your energy and time wisely. Spend time doing things you love, improving yourself, understanding your condition better, reaching out to friends and family, etc. Don’t waste it worrying about whether events that you cannot control might have some incremental influence on your financial situation 5 or 10 years into the future.

Being Young and on Social Security Disability in Charlotte or Elsewhere

October 23, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Picture in your mind someone who’s on Social Security Disability in North Carolina.

Whether you conjured up a man or woman, you likely pictured an elderly person, likely struggling with multiple medical conditions, such as Type II diabetes and joint and back problems. Odds are, you did not picture an ill (but otherwise vibrant looking) 30-something or 20-something. But thousands of young people in North Carolina and elsewhere need and receive North Carolina Social Security disability benefits, and thousands more apply for these benefits every year.

After all, any worker at any age can get seriously sick or fall ill.

Sadly, however, the stigma of asking for help – particularly help normally associated with older Americans – can drive needy, perhaps even desperate young North Carolinians away from taking positive action.

It’s not a sign of weakness – rather a sign of strength.

You might fear that applying for benefits will lead you to be harassed, mocked, or otherwise humiliated. Or maybe you’re just worried about being further isolated from your peers, who are out cavorting at bars or raising families. Understand that seeking help when you’ve been waylaid by serious injury or illness is an act of courage, and you should be commended.

Also, understand that your challenges may be far less daunting than you realize.

The hardest part about getting help is accepting your current reality. The second hardest part is identifying how you want your world to change in light of this new information. You clearly want to obtain benefits, dispatch with your medical issues, and get your life “back on track” – whatever that means.

•    So what does your most positive outcome look like?
•    What resources do you need to get there?
•    Can a North Carolina Social Security disability law firm, like DeMayo law, help you deal with questions about your benefits or struggles with an insurance company?

Although you may feel victimized, now is the time for you to act in precisely the opposite way – act as someone who has agency, intelligence, independence and power to do what’s needed to change your life and circumstances.

The Charlotte Social Security Disability Puzzle: Where Do You Begin?

October 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Your mission to collect Charlotte social security disability is anything but simple. Indeed, the number of projects associated with your benefits quest alone could probably fill an Excel sheet or two. Let’s just review some of the personal crises that might be ìtop of mindî for you right now:

•    You are worried/scared about an upcoming verdict on your social security disability case at reconsideration or administrative law judge hearing or elsewhere in the process;
•    You are financially overtaxed and under supported, and you’re genuinely concerned about how you will pay the rent and keep the lights on over the winter;
•    You’re an emotional wreck because of all the financial and physical stresses – and because you haven’t been getting the kind of support that you hoped you would get from the system or even, frankly, from friends and family;
•    You’re fighting an important and very difficult physical battle against an illness or potentially debilitating medical condition;
•    You’re overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about social security disability in North Carolina and beyond, and you don’t know whom to trust or even how to move forward.

It’s easy enough for the team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo to recommend a simple strategy like ìjust call us, and we’ll take care of everything.” But you know that your problems are far too diverse and deep seated for any one person or one institution to solve immediately, even if that person or institution can provide excellent support.

So the question before you is: how can you begin to corral your problems and move in the right direction? In other words, you’re probably less concerned with solving everything right away than you are with making sure that you’re taking the necessary requisite actions.

So how do you get started, exactly? What’s the best way to organize your approach?

Schools of thought about this abound.

Some experts suggest that you should ìjust get started doing somethingî and then refine your approach as you gain experience and get feedback. Other experts suggest that you need to plan effectively, prioritize, and husband your resources. In other words: be strategic and focused.

1.    There is compelling evidence to support both general philosophies – the ìready, fire, aimî approach and the ìbe super strategicî approach.

You don’t necessarily need to choose between them!

You cannot strategize and dither forever, or you will never get anything done. Likewise, you cannot simply take action randomly and hope to achieve your goals. So combine these two methods through an iterative process that gives you feedback. In other words:

1.    Set a strategic course for what you will do next to deal with your social security disability problems;
2.    Then take some informed, responsible action forward.
3.    Engage in that action for a while.
4.    Then stop and assess your progress using objective measures and an independent review, if possibly. For instance, if you have a North Carolina social security disability law firm working for you, talk to the members of your legal team to assess how you’ve been doing.
5.    Then restrategize and go through the process again.

Alternate between taking decisive action and reflecting strategically, and you will pivot more effectively towards success.

Your Understandable Anger When Other People Break the Rules for Social Security Disability

October 16, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re someone who really, desperately needs North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits. Or perhaps you’re a caregiver or a close family member of someone who is in major need.

If so, you may be simultaneously heartened by your potential to collect much needed benefits – according to one recent estimate, the average payout over a lifetime could be around $300,000. That’s no small amount of change! At the same time, you may have read reports like a blistering expose recently published in Forbes, which suggest that one out of every four Social Security Disability cases between 2006 and 2010 did not get carefully scrutinized.

The Senate’s “Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations” report – culled from 18 months of analysis and data mining – found that many benefits requests got approved ìwithout properly addressing insufficient, contradictory, and incomplete evidence.î

This new report has, unsurprisingly, touched off a political firestorm. On a personal level, the implications could be pretty devastating. What if you don’t collect Social Security Disability benefits because the government arbitrarily decides to ìclamp downî on you and does so unfairly. Or what if your legitimate claim gets rejected, while someone else’s flimsily compiled claim gets accepted? It’s a tough pill to swallow.

One key – and this is kind of a universal truism for dealing with problems in life, not just problems with North Carolina Social Security Disability – is to consider your own problems in a vacuum. You would never compare your body with the body of a supermodel or your income with Bill Gates’ or Warren Buffett’s. So don’t compare your SSD struggles with someone else’s. Instead, focus on what you can do to positively affect your world, and do your best to let go of the negative ruminations and envy and other unpleasant emotions. Focus on positive, tactical, and strategic steps that you can deploy to get to where you want to be; over the long-term, this frame of mind will pay off, both economically and even spiritually.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Reform: Lessons from Greece, Part II

October 11, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Do we need to reform the social security disability system ASAP?

If we fail to do so, will we “wind up like Greece”? That is, will our inaction in the face of fiscal crisis decimate our economy, our credibility in the world market, and our capacity to right our own ship?

These questions intrigue, and they are pregnant with political implications. The debate over the reform of federal benefits programs, such as social security disability, Medicare, Medicaid, student loan programs, etc often devolves into partisan bickering. Frustratingly, this bickering gets couched in the language of science and policy. All the squabbling leaves the average North Carolina social security disability applicant confused and flustered.

What are we supposed to do, as individuals and as a society, to make the system “work”?

Sure, there may be parallels between Greece’s situation and ours, but how relevant are those parallels, and what practical lessons can they teach us? Even more importantly: if you’re struggling with an illness, should you pay attention to the broader political debate, at all? Or should you focus exclusively on your own situation and leave the “big picture thinking” to others?

Here are a few counterintuitive lessons from the “Greece situation”:

1. Most people believe what they want to believe and then shoehorn in “facts” to fit those pre-conceptions.

If you want to believe that Greece’s disaster portends a similar US disaster, you’ll find parallels that support that conclusion. Conversely, if you believe that there is no relationship between Greece’s economic turmoil and our own, you’ll find facts and experts who will support you.

When it comes to big picture political thinking – where your opinion doesn’t really matter that much – this confirmation bias is all well and good. But when it comes to your own health and wellbeing, you need to be very careful to avoid fooling yourself. That’s why it’s helpful for beneficiaries to speak with an experienced North Carolina social security disability law firm, like DeMayo Law.

2. Life is always pregnant with crises and opportunities: To handle yourself with grace, focus on what you WILL do, not what you won’t do.

Regardless of your thoughts on Greece’s relevance to our entitlements dilemma, understand that the nature of your focus can influence not only what you see but also what you do. When you focus on getting a positive result, you’ll be more attuned to resources and people who can help you achieve that reality. Conversely, if you’re struck in a cynical point of view, you might miss important help that could make all the difference.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Reform: Lessons from Greece (Part 1)

October 9, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In a two part series, the DeMayo Law North Carolina social security disability blog will examine a common “meme” in the political world. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have been mulling over the “situation in Greece” and wondering what the situation in the Mediterranean might portend for the United States’ government benefits programs.

We won’t get into too much detail regarding the background: even a basic historical overview of what’s happened recently in Greece would take 20 to 30 pages. But suffice it to say that the Mediterranean nation — which was once the central powerhouse of the western world — is struggling mightily with debt accrued, at least in part, because of an overextended program of entitlements. The country’s economic productivity is not sufficient to pay off Greece’s committed obligations to protected groups, such as retirees, state pension owners, students, etc.

This budgetary imbalance is complicated by the fact that Greece belongs to the European Union, an economic and quasi political confederacy that maintains its own currency but lacks a cohesive nationality. Economically stronger nations in the European Union, such as Germany, are sort of being put in a position of having to “bail out” the economically weaker nations, like Greece and Spain.

To curry favor with the EU, governments in these nations have tried to impose so called “austerity measures” to clamp down on benefits and thus stop the downward economic spiral. But these measures have not gone over well, and some recent protests have turned violent.

Many pundits in Europe and elsewhere worry that the United States might be headed down a similar path to the one that Greece is on. These pundits want to enact reforms to Social Security Disability and other government programs to stave off the disastrous end game that we see playing out in the Mediterranean today.

•    On the one hand, advocates of this theory can draw many compelling parallels between our situation and Greece’s situation from several years ago.
•    On the other hand, we are taking about two very different kinds of economies, so it’s not just a simple apples-to-apples comparison – it’s more like apples-to-coconuts.

The differences between the two entitlement-related “crises” are important, potentially vitally so, if we want to make the most effective reforms possible.

In Part II, we will talk more specifically about what Greece can teach us about social security disability reform. Until then, if you need help with your case – getting benefits, fighting at Reconsideration or at an Administrative Law Judge hearing – get in touch with the DeMayo Law team to discuss your options.

More Tips for Caregivers of Charlotte Social Security Disability Beneficiaries

October 4, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’re a caregiver for someone on Social Security Disability in North Carolina, your life can get quickly out-of-control. Even the most mindful of us have a limited attention span. When we devote hours of our day to helping other people, we can feel a certain kind of grace and gratitude, but we can also accidently let our own needs fall through the cracks. In our last post, we discussed what caregivers can do to attend their own needs more effectively. In this post, we’re going to provide some tips for taking care of others in a compassionate way.

Tip #1: Avoid “taking it personally.”

When you give care to a close friend or a family member, the experience can lead to the arising of many emotions and thoughts, some of which may be disturbing or unpleasant. For instance, say you’re taking care of an elderly parent who’s been ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease or some other degenerative disorder. The experience of caring for a helpless person who once cared for you can be confusing in many ways. Plus, sometimes people who are sick or ill or otherwise disturbed can lash out and “say things” that can hurt your feelings. Again, your watch word should be compassion – pay attention to these feelings and thoughts, and understand that they are normal. Try to let the guilt, shame, and fear go and embrace the positive thought that you are doing something profoundly positive and wonderful for another human being in distress.

Tip #2: Get organized!

Care giving is hard enough – with all the appointments you need to remember, the doctors names, prescriptions, phone numbers, emergency procedures, etc. It can be infinitely harder if your personal systems are disorganized or in disarray. Just like new parents must get superorganized to create “their nests” for their kids, so too should you “get organized” to create a more pleasant environment, so you don’t forget appointments or let your needs go unmet.

David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system provides a great general overview of how to increase your productivity.

Tip #3: Resolve any benefits questions ASAP.

If the person you’re caring for has not yet secured Social Security disability benefits, talk to the team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo to discuss your options. Our team is patient, compassionate, and thorough, and we can help you move forward effectively.

Tips for Caring for Someone on Social Security Disability in North Carolina or Elsewhere

October 2, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether your mom was just diagnosed with cancer or some other terminal illness, or your spouse or good friend just lost her job after an injury, you know someone on Social Security Disability in North Carolina who really needs help.

You want to be a compassionate, generous caregiver. At the same time, you need to protect your own needs for health, well being and financial solvency. In this article and one that follows, our North Carolina social security disability blog will provide a slew of ideas to help you at multiple stages of this process.

Tip #1: Avoid “going it alone.”

Far too many caregivers take on way too much responsibility way too quickly and wind up feeling bitter, resentful, and overwhelmed. Even small “stuff” that seems like it should be easy to do can quickly overload you. For instance, say a person you love has an Administrative Law Judge hearing or Reconsideration for Social Security Disability coming up. Rather than doing the prep all yourself, consider connecting with a Charlotte social security disability law firm to avoid mistakes.

Tip #2: Establish your ground rules early on.

What will you or won’t you do for the person who needs help?

You need to think this through before you get started. You need to be clear with the person – and with yourself – about your own limitations. If you need to work to support your husband or children, you must make sure to meet that need while providing care. One way to “surface” the values that might best govern your interaction is to do the following exercise. Open up a journal and spend 5 to 10 minutes writing down the instructions that you would give to someone who had total dominion over this caregiving process. What would you tell that person to do and/or avoid doing? Those are your values, and you should hew to them.

Tip #3: Introspect and pay attention to yourself.

It’s easy enough to enter into “emergency mode” when someone you love desperately needs help. And there are some times where you just don’t have time or space or energy to “introspect.” For instance, you might need to take the person to an emergency doctor’s visit or to stay up all night with him or her and talk about feelings or something along those lines.

Do what you believe needs to be done.

But ALSO budget time and mental space to check in with yourself.

Rest or meditate for 15 minutes a day, for instance, and/or write about your experience in a journal and then re-read that journal periodically (at least once a week), so you can get a deeper intuition for what your inner voice is telling you. Don’t sacrifice your own needs. Ironically, when you pay close attention to your own needs, you would be more likely to give better, longer, more compassionate care.

Social Security Disability in Charlotte: Missing the Forest for the Trees

September 27, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

It’s hot out. What are the implications of this crazy weather for the debate over Social Security disability in Charlotte and elsewhere?

If you live in Charlotte, and you’re struggling with Social Security disability issues, your concerns are probably narrowly focused and centered on yourself and your situation. And this is as it should be. You might have a serious medical problem that needs immediate care. You might have serious financial headaches that need to be quelled. And so forth.

But “bigger picture” concerns lurk, and if you fail to attend to them – that is, to see your struggle in a larger context – you could make less than strategic decisions.
It’s easy to miss the forest for the threes – to mindlessly go along with the herd – when you’re analyzing your North Carolina Social Security Disability situation.

It’s easy to make conventional mistakes that could cost you dearly and blunt you from obtaining proper compensation and managing the new chaos in your world.

We all demonstrate what psychologists call conformation biases. That is, we tend to interpret evidence that comes into our world as confirming what we already “know” is true. This happens even when we confront conflicting data or obtain dubious results.

Consider, for instance, the question of anthropomorphic global warming (AGW). Without getting too much into the science – or getting too political! – it’s interesting to note that this summer has seen a spate of extremely high temperatures across United States.

We’ve seen record-breaking heat here in North Carolina and elsewhere. Advocates of the conventional global warming theory – which argues that man-made CO2 emissions have exacerbated the Earth’s greenhouse effects, changing the climate and making the earth hotter – quickly seized on this evidence to augment their case that global warming is, indeed, occurring.

Whether the advocates are correct or not remains to be seen. But the point is that, if you look at other data regarding the climate, many of these data challenge conventional global warming models, or even significantly undercut them. But you will never read about these “contrary” data points in the headlines, unless you’re already skeptical and thus looking for them.

In generally, you will generally only “see” evidence that seems to confirm your opinion on any given subject.

If the subject is something you have no vested interest in – or that’s way beyond your personal control, such as the earth’s climate – then your confirmation bias (or lack thereof) is not a big problem. But if you “go with the flow” regarding certain ways of approaching your Charlotte Social Security Disability case, you could inadvertently cripple your chances of success.

The way out is to find well-versed, success-proven guides to help you navigate the labyrinth of our federal Social Security Disability program. The team here at DeMayo Law can help you do just that. Get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation, and let us help you try to maximize your benefits and peace of mind.

Could the Launch of NuSI Mark the Beginning of the End of Our North Carolina Social Security Disability Struggles?

September 25, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Everyone wants to know: when will the Social Security disability system be fixed?

Well, on one hand, the situation is obviously mindbogglingly complicated. The number of stakeholders, diversity of problems, and number of competing theories about what to do and how to do it could easily fill up half the internet.

On the other hand, certain themes emerge, when you study policy proposals. One of the themes is the crushing burden of obesity and chronic disease on our healthcare system and infrastructure.

North Carolinians and Americans are trapped in twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes, and these two diseases are closely linked with other chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Obesity alone is estimated to ravage national economy to something along the lines of $150 billion a year.

But what if we’re wrong about the very CAUSE of obesity?

And what if, as a result of that fundamental error, we’ve inadvertently caused the crippling of the North Carolina Social Security disability system?

Furthermore, if we have gotten some of the “big picture” stuff wrong, could innovations in science and policy based on a more correct perception of the problem help staunch and even reverse damage done to our healthcare system and thus make programs like Social Security disability more solvent?

We may soon find out.

A bold new non-profit, the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), launched last week to explore fundamental questions about obesity and chronic disease. The founders, science journalist Gary Taubes and Dr. Peter Attia, believe that a lot of the research conducted in the fields of obesity and chronic disease has been poorly designed and poorly controlled. According to Dr. Attia and Taubes, this rash of “bad science” may be impeding us from solving our obesity and chronic health problems because our health authorities have been encouraging Americans to eat the wrong types of foods to prevent/treat obesity.

Funded by a powerful hedge fund out of Texas, NuSI has coordinated some of the most talented scientists and researchers in obesity and chronic disease to engage in truly rigorous scientific experiments to suss out the true causes (and potential cures) of obesity.

It’s exciting times. If NuSI succeeds, we all succeed, our future may be a lot brighter — and lighter! — than many of the doomsdayers would have you believe.

An Unspoken (But Important) Truth about North Carolina Social Security Disability

September 20, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

One of the great tragedies of the North Carolina Social Security Disability system (and indeed government benefit systems the country over) is that many sick and injured people work under the assumption that there is someone or some institution that’s emotionally interested in your success. But there’s not.

This observation is not meant to be cynical.

Obviously, there are many good, warmhearted people who work in the Social Security Disability bureaucracy, and one could document thousands, perhaps millions, of small acts of kindness committed by healthcare providers and others “in the system.”

But the gaping unspoken truth is that we are all in this alone, together.

Yes, your physician may be personally invested in you. Yes, you can obviously lean on legal resources, such as the team at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, for practical, thorough help with your Charlotte Social Security Disability questions and much more. But the journey from sickness to health – from financial trouble to financial solvency – can be a lonely, exhausting, surprisingly challenging trip, indeed.

Why is it important to talk about how lonely and challenging this journey can be?

Well, it’s important because, when you operate under the assumption that there is someone or some institution looking after you, who is going to be more invested in your success than you personally will be – then you may take a too-passive role in your own care.

This can be dangerous.

It can be dangerous because you might, for instance, assume that your doctor’s office did not call you back for an appointment because “they realized you’re a-ok”… when in fact, a clerical error was to blame, and you really do need to go back to the doctor to change your medication or whatever.

Taking personal responsibility in your condition is very different from accepting culpability!

For instance, you may have gotten sick or injured at work or slammed by a series of financial catastrophes – that’s in no way your fault, and anyone who would try to make the case that it was would be not only presumptuous but also wrong.

On the other hand, personal “responsibility” is different.

Even when you’re waylaid by an injury or illness or fatigue or financial trouble – or all of the above – the degree to which you can exert agency over your situation will not only nicely predict your ability to conquer your problem but will also predict your degree of happiness with the outcome. When we exert agency – even if we’re constrained by multiple factors – we tend to feel more motivated and more persistent, and we tend to succeed more often.

So let go of the idea that there is a person or institution who will care more about your fate than you will, and understand that we are all in this alone together. Just by recognizing that truth, you should feel more motivated and more positive about what you might be able to do.

The Aftermath of the GOP and Democratic Conventions – What it Means for Social Security Disability in North Carolina and Elsewhere?

September 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you were glued to the TV for both the Republican and Democratic conventions — or you were too busy managing the multiple crises spawned by your quest for North Carolina Social Security Disability to pay attention to the political theater — you are probably wondering how the November election results will impact your personal finances and medical care.

As election season heats up, pundits and prognosticators are going to be making all sorts of predictions – some cataclysmic, some pie in the sky – about how various election outcomes will change Social Security Disability in Charlotte and other benefits programs.

Both GOP boosters and Obama boosters will come with compelling and emotionally taught arguments for their positions. But in the midst of all this confusion, understand that it’s nearly impossible to discern exactly how different election results will impact you on a personal level.

After all, consider the myriad factors that influence not only Social Security Disability solvency but also its processes and systems. These include:

•    The medical needs of people in North Carolina and beyond;
•    Political considerations on multiple levels;
•    Budgetary/economic considerations;
•    Foreign policy needs/concerns/threats;
•    The emergence (or lack thereof) of innovative methods to solve SSD problems.

That’s only a rough categorization of some of the macroscopic factors that could influence Social Security Disability and other benefits programs. It doesn’t even beginning to touch upon your personal situation.

The reality is that we live in an integrated, complicated world.

Although we like it when politicians paint simplistic pictures – compelling emotional stories – the reality is that it’s just not easy to link causes to effects in complex systems, even when you’re talking about predicting the workings of a system instead of just rationalizing it.

So where does that leave you?

First of all, seek to control what you can control. Don’t worry about the solvency of the Federal Government’s programs – it’s really outside of your control. The time that you waste thinking about it is the time that you could spend thinking about your own problems and figuring out how to solve them better.

Secondly, try to solve all of your benefits problems on your own. Life is complicated, and you’re probably not an expert in the law, processes, and nuances of federal benefits programs. Connect with the team here at the Law Offices on Michael A. DeMayo for deep insights and step-by-step assistance with you quest to get the money that you need to live your life.

Obama’s Post-Convention “Bounce” and Your Charlotte Social Security Disability Journey

September 13, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

It’s your mission to collect Charlotte Social Security Disability benefits.

Whether you contracted a terrible illness that’s knocked you off your feet or you suffered a serious injury that’s waylaid you, you just want “the system to play fair.” This is totally understandable. But if you’ve been obsessing over the details of the North Carolina Social Security Disability system – reading about the benefits program for hours online, chatting with other sick and injured folks on web forms, scouting law firms, like DeMayo law, for possible help – then you may be falling into a kind of trap.

The trap is a classic one: missing the forest for the trees.

To illustrate this, let’s just take a look at the political pundits’ analysis of the GOP and Democratic conventions. According to ace pollster Nate Silver of the New York Times, President Obama saw a small but definitive “bounce” in his poll numbers following the two conventions. This observation sparked a cascade of reactions in the political blogosphere, ranging from hand-wringing among Republicans, who worry that Romney is not waging an A+ campaign, to cautionary enthusiasm among Democrats.

Speculation can be useful, obviously. Just as detailed researching about SSD can be, as can reading stories of successful beneficiaries.

But there is a limit to how much any trend can tell us.

Just like there is a limit to how much “detailed research” can illuminate and resolve our concerns.

After all, polls are just polls, trends are just trends, and stories are just stories.

To make more sensible progress – and draw better conclusions – you need to look at the bigger picture as well as the little details. When you ask bigger picture questions, you tend to frame your struggles differently and to identify different resources and new ways of thinking about your challenges. For instance, instead of getting mired in the details of “how much am I going to collect from Social Security Disability?” you might frame your crisis in more general terms:

•    What do I want my life to look like six months, a year, five years from now?
•    What’s my number one priority – if I had to choose just one thing – for the next year?
•    What’s the minimum amount of money or help that I need to achieve that one outcome?

Thinking on this grander scale can help you break free from the tedious minutia that throw us off-track and get us revved up for nothing. For instance, if your main concern isn’t milking the benefits program for a maximum dollar amount but rather recovering from a serious back injury, then the lion’s share of your time, resources, and energy need to go to that problem.

Obviously, you can and should fight hard for your benefits – the team here at DeMayo Law can help with that – but if your primary concern is to heal your back, researching about the future of federal benefits programs is not going to get you there fastest.

The moral is this: Understand the purpose of your quest – before you get into the nitty gritty – whether the quest is for benefits, better health or a good Charlotte law firm.

What the Ravens’ Crushing 44-13 Victory Over the Bengals Can Teach You about Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Case

September 11, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness or just waylaid by a horrible injury, the last thing you need is drama over your Charlotte Social Security Disability situation. Unfortunately, the queue for government benefits (including Social Security Disability, supplemental security income, etc) seems to be getting longer every year, as more and more North Carolinians and Americans face problems like obesity, diabetes, and other “Western diseases.”

Perhaps your claim has been rejected, or perhaps you face an Administrative Law Judge hearing or Reconsideration. But in any event, it’s hard, and you’re sick, and you just want a break.

You might find inspiration from a surprising source – the sports news headlines.

Last Monday, the Baltimore Ravens rebounded from a heartbreaking season ending loss to the Patriots in the AFC championships to trounce the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 44 to 13. Quarterback Joe Flacco turned in one of the most aggressive offensive performances of his career, stunning some NFL analysts, who believed that last year’s play-off devastation would have crippled Baltimore’s confidence.

The lesson here, if you’re searching for Social Security Disability in North Carolina or elsewhere, is that resilience counts.

Yes, you’ve had horrible setbacks. Yes, they might have been unfair, and you might be confused, disoriented, and ill. But don’t give up. Odds are, you have yet to do the metaphorical equivalent of turning over every stone and looking under every leaf to get benefits – and general help/resources – available to manage your problems.

Resiliency is a character trait that you can cultivate over time.

Substantial research suggests that resilient people tend not only to get what they want more, but they also tend to feel better about their outcomes, because they feel more in control of their environment. Be compassionate with yourself. Letting go of the past doesn’t come easy for anyone, and if you are in a pessimistic state right now, no single action that you will take — including retaining a well-respected firm like the Law Offices of Michael DeMayo – will make your pain go away overnight.

But understand that you may be radically underestimating your capacity not only to get benefits but also to rebound from your physical and financial setbacks. No one is saying “be a Pollyanna” – it’s important to face your financial and medical realities. Clear headedness is required. But it is possible to see clearly and also cultivate a core resiliency in your spirit. So keep fighting for your rights and nourish your soul by reading about big comebacks – like the Ravens’ victory (or comebacks involving your favorite sport teams).

Where Is the Constraint That’s Preventing You from Getting North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits?

September 6, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Right now, you are in desperate straits; you want North Carolina social security disability benefits – and ideally, a lot more help – to manage your financial, medical, logistical, and emotional problems.

Given the chaos currently in your world, you might be tempted to “try a lot of things at once” to improve your situation. For instance:

•    You might invest dozens of hours reading about the social security disability system online.
•    You might talk to half a dozen Charlotte social security disability law firms (such as DeMayo Law) for help/insight into your issues.
•    You might hire a financial counselor to help you plan.
•    You might call in help from friends and relatives to assist you with adjusting to the chaos and coming up with a strategic life plan.

Any one of these approaches might be appropriate, at this time. But if you diversify your energy too much, you could wind up doing the equivalent of “being a jack of all trades and master of none” – in other words, in your diversification, you may inadvertently become inefficient, slow, and unsuccessful.

How to find the biggest leverage point that’s going to help you make the most progress: an uncommon approach

Preeminent author and business thinker Eliyahu Goldratt developed a school of management called the Theory of Constraints — a very useful set of ideas about how to manage complexity in the business world. One of Goldratt’s theses is pretty simple — it basically riffs on the old adage that a chain is only as strongest as its weakest link.

Picture a metal chain in your mind. Maybe one link is strong enough to hold 100 pounds and another link is strong enough to hold 200 pounds. But a third link can only hold 50 pounds – due to its shape or the alloys used in it or whatever.

If you spend your time and energy supporting and strengthening the other links on the chain, the chain itself will still break down at that third link (the 50 pound tolerance). Thus, you could invest massive amounts of resources and not get any more results.

The key, according to Goldratt and thinkers who agree with him, is to identify and support the constraint in the system. If you add 50 pounds of support to the weakest link, you’ve added 50 pounds of support to the entire chain – with a fraction of the investment and resources that you might otherwise invest.

Identifying Your Constraint Is Massively Important

The key in this model is to identify where your weakest link is now and to do something about that. Your constraint depends on the intimate details of your system. So if your system is designed to try to get you maximum social security disability benefits – as quickly and easily as possible – you need to figure out why you are not yet at your goal. That takes a certain kind of creative experience-based thinking.

The team at DeMayo Law can help you – and we provide free confidential consultations – but you can also just use this model to start thinking about your benefits quest more efficiently.

Social Security Disability Reform: Obama vs. Romney Implications

September 4, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

We’re heading into the homestretch of election year 2012, and pundits on both sides of the aisle are contemplating what the big vote will mean for the future of social security disability here in North Carolina and elsewhere.

If the Obama-Biden ticket wins reelection, will that mean a relatively static outcome for the social security disability program and other government benefits programs? Or will team Obama take a different strategic approach in term two? Meanwhile, if the Romney-Ryan ticket wins, will they radically overhaul government programs based on Ryan’s budget and Ayn-Rand inspired capitalistic philosophy? Or will the Romney-Ryan team more or less perpetuate similar policies, despite the ideological differences they claim to have with the Obama campaign?

Missing the forest for the trees, perhaps?

It’s easy – especially during election season – to get ginned up about the implications of any one election (or one decision) for the North Carolina social security disability program. And it’s not like the political choices that we make (or do not make) as a country have no consequences for the program. But there are two hugely important points that pundits, policymakers, and would be Charlotte social security disability beneficiaries often fail to pay attention to when they contemplate the impassioned debates about government benefits:

1. It is exceptionally rare for any one moment or decision – in politics or in life – to have powerful long term consequences.

Social security disability is, in some sense, “its own animal.”

It’s evolving in its own way. The factors and elements involved are dynamic and diverse. No one “push on the wheel” in any direction – towards reform or towards expansion – will have profound long term effects. True big transitions in policy are often born of cumulative incremental effects.

Subtle forces build for months or years before any kind of breakthrough. For instance, consider that the concept of artistic “overnight success” – an unknown artist or writer “breaks through” and suddenly becomes the darling of Hollywood or of the book industry or whatever. Usually, when you look at the stories of individuals who become “overnight successes,” you will find that they have been laboring for years – possibly decades – in obscurity, honing their craft before breakthrough.

Likewise, changes in programs happen via the accumulation of incremental impacts, not via a single pull of a lever on Election Day.

2. It’s almost impossible to predict, in advance, how decisions will impact complex systems, like social security disability.

You might pull the lever for the Romney-Ryan ticket, in hopes that the Republicans will somehow constrain our government. But it’s really impossible to say whether your choice will have its intended results. Consider, for instance, what happened early in the summer, when a Republican appointee to the Supreme Court, John Roberts, “switched sides” from his ideological predilections to salvage “Obamacare.” Few Republicans had been expecting that one!

That point is that we all live in a somewhat chaotic environment, and we need help dealing with our issues, because the solutions are often very counterintuitive.

If you’re struggling with a benefits question, the team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you put you on the right track and keep you there.

Surviving the Charlotte Social Security Disability Journey: Doing “The Last Thing You’d Ever Do” to Survive

August 30, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You’re facing a seriously desperate financial, medical, and even emotional situation, and you need North Carolina social security disability benefits to help make ends meet, pay doctor’s bills, and provide a buffer against the instabilities of your world. Truth be told, you have so many different and diverse “issues” in your life right now, it’s hard to know where to start. At the same time, you also have standards about what you will and will not do – values and other “rules of thumb” that help you govern your life and organize the chaos.

In times of trouble, it’s more important than ever to stick to your values.

All that being said, if you’re in a situation where you really need social security disability benefits or supplemental security income, you really need to start thinking creatively about how you can meet your needs with minimal resources.

First of all, given the limits on your time and energy, you might find it worthwhile to utilize a North Carolina social security disability law firm, like DeMayo Law, to make the process work for you.

Beyond that, however, you might want to brainstorm ways to more resourcefully meet your challenges. This might mean breaking some of the rules that you’ve set for yourself – either consciously or unconsciously – or at least testing them to see if there is any wiggle room.

For instance, maybe you and your sister had a falling out 20 years ago, and you “swore to yourself” that you would never speak to her again for the rest of your life. Your sister is well off financially, and if you hadn’t ever gotten into that fight, she would likely be a huge support for you right now. She and her husband might even offer you a place to stay while you recover, etc.

If something like that were the case, it would behoove you to test the rule that you made up 20 years ago. Is holding the grudge really worth needlessly putting yourself through extra struggle? Depending on your situation, it might be! But now is the time to go through your problems and examine how you might creatively solve them or get around them.

What the Violence in Syria Can Teach You about Your Charlotte Social Security Disability Crisis

August 28, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Half a world away, the country of Syria has been torn apart by violent civil unrest, the details of which are almost too gruesome and tragic to publish. What can the Syrian crisis – specifically, the way in which Americans seem to contextualize this crisis – tell us about the Charlotte social security disability benefits journey?

If you are someone who really needs money to pay for medical bills, physical rehab, rent, and other living expenses, you may face challenges like reconsideration, an administrative law judge hearing, or some other constraint in the process. The seemingly very distantly related events in the Middle East can give you perspective on what to expect – how to cut through your challenges.

May sound like a stretch, but please read on.

Before reading this article, how closely were you following the political situation in Syria? Whether you followed it in detail — and you have a strong opinion about what needs to be done — or you really haven’t been paying attention to it because you’ve been so caught up in your own medical, legal, and financial crisis – you recognize that the situation is “way too big” for you to do anything about it. And obviously, the broiling political debate over how (or even whether) to fix our entitlement programs, like social security disability and supplemental security income, is also huge. There is nothing you personally can do to affect that system, either.

Here is another parallel: Even in the midst of the horrific crisis in the Middle East, “life goes on” for most people around the globe.

Likewise, you may personally be in the middle of a horrific medical or financial crisis, but the world around you continues to go on. And that can make the journey quite lonely and alienating — kind of like how it feels to be a kid trapped inside during recess, hearing all of his friends play outside on the jungle gym.

One of the best ways to make progress given the diverse difficulties you face – and the magnitude of those difficulties – is to work with a proven team to get results. The Law Office of Michael A. DeMayo is here to help you unravel your challenges and make progress to get the benefits that you need and deserve. Connect with us online for a free consultation with our North Carolina social security disability law firm.

North Carolina Social Security Disability: Do You Have a “Plan B”?

August 23, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

You have learned, perhaps the hard way, that the quest for Social Security Disability benefits in North Carolina (or elsewhere) can be a fraught and uncertain one. We all want clear and easy to follow, guaranteed solutions to our diverse life problems. But — except if you’re baking brownies or something — it’s hard to come up with a recipe that’s guaranteed to work every time.

Part of what holds many Social Security Disability beneficiaries back from greater success is that they come to believe in a fantasy that someone or something will be able to “take care of them and make everything better.”

This isn’t to say that a terrific doctor can’t make an enormous difference, or that a really respected, experienced law firm, like the team at the Law Offices of Michael DeMayo, cannot be a crucial resource for you.

But understand that your challenges are too diverse and prolific for a “one size fits all” solution.

Practical Implications of This Message

Most people would accept the argument just offered. But very few understand how to put it into action. The implications are very clear: you need a Plan B when you engage in a task or project of any size and complexity.

In other words, you currently hold a certain vision of how you want your benefits situation to play out. Perhaps you want X amount of money to come your way, starting within one month or two months: that’s your ideal outcome. It’s always better to have a strategic objective then to “fly blind,” since planning your ideal strategy can increase the likelihood that you will achieve what you want. On the other hand, life tends to surprise us with obstacles and opportunities at the least appropriate time. How we pivot to react to those opportunities and obstacles may be a core reason why some people fail and some people succeed.

To put that in more specific terms: say you’re depending on Social Security Disability to pay for your groceries and your at-home care and some medical bills. Your Plan A is to get the disability money and live your life. But you should also have a Plan B waiting in the wings. What would you do if you didn’t achieve your goals within your timeframe? What resources could you draw upon? What alternative arrangements could you make? How could you shortcut solutions to your problems?

Once you have a Plan A and Plan B, you will feel a lot more liberated when it comes to acting and responding to events on the ground. After all, if your Plan A doesn’t work out, you have a Plan B to fall back on: that knowledge can free you up to pivot faster and more effectively to the unknowns that the world is guaranteed to throw your way.

Making Small Changes to Reach Your Charlotte Social Security Disability Goals

August 21, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Leading a successful life after going on Social Security Disability in Charlotte, NC often requires that you make adjustments in your daily habits, thoughts, and behaviors.

A few simple, incremental improvements – when done repeatedly, over a long period of time – can create magnificent positive change in your life, even if you are struggling with an injury, financial problems, relationship issues, etc.

Understand that there is no one single “big push” that is going to get you towards a successful state of mind or “state of wallet” or what have you. Even if you make a big push – for instance, retain a top caliber Charlotte Social Security Disability law firm, like the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo – your problems will not be evaporated overnight.

Embrace the “small positive changes, done consistently over time, add up to big successes” mentality.

What’s nice about this mentality is that it liberates you from the feeling of “I have to get this done now, or else…” that afflicts all too many people who suffer from pain and discomfort in diverse areas of life. You are not going to get it all done at once. Think about it: your problems didn’t form all at once, did they?

So what incremental steps should you take, starting today?

Everyone’s “recipe” for successfully pursuing the incremental advantage will be different. But you might want to begin simply. Choose one area of your life where you want to improve. Choose one habit, which if you did consistently, would absolutely guarantee improvement in that area. Then simply pursue that one habit. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Just focus on that one thing that you know you need to do — the thing that will give you the most leverage over your problems, whatever they may be.

Then track your results in a daily journal and measure how you do.

For instance, say you are trying to lose weight, and you want to stay away from fattening carbohydrates, like bread and candy and soda. You know you eat way too many carbs. But you are terrified about giving them up all at once. You might try to slowly reduce the bad carbs you eat every day and track your progress. Eventually, ideally, you will get to a better intake, but the transition won’t be as jarring or dramatic for you.

Likewise, if you are trying to rehabilitate the strength in your legs in the wake of a surgery, just strive to make incremental improvement in your strength every week as opposed to turning into superman overnight. The key is twofold: 1) be consistent and 2) pick the right leverage points that will give you maximum utility over the long haul.

What the Search for Exo Planets Can Tell Us about Your Quest for North Carolina Social Security Disability

August 16, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Twenty years ago, the world’s top astronomers hotly debated whether there were other planets in the Milky Way galaxy outside our own solar system. Today, thanks to new techniques and telescopes, “planet hunters” have documented hundreds of planets outside the solar system planets (“exo planets”). This radical shift forward holds important lessons, if you or someone you care about needs social security disability benefits in North Carolina or elsewhere.

In this article, we will take a brief tour of the exo planet hunting journey… and tie these exciting discoveries back to your quest for benefits.

Finding planets outside of our own solar system is devilishly difficult.

Stars in the sky are so far away that they appear to our eyes like points of light. The closest non-sun star to earth, Proxima Centauri, is over 24 trillion miles away! So trying to find planets revolving around these distant fiery objects requires an unbelievable amount of precision.

But researchers ultimately honed techniques to zero in on these dim planets. One of these involved very carefully measuring the light around distant stars to look for something called occlusion. In other words, the light from a star may dim for several hours or days as an object, such as a nearby planet, passes between the star and our vantage here on earth. Using this method and others, astronomers managed to find planets. In fact, our techniques have gotten so good that we’ve found entire solar systems around other stars – and we’ve even managed to finally take an actual picture of a large exo planet, some 20 odd light years from earth.

What The Scientific Advances Mean For Your Quest For Benefits

The idea that the planets could be found and photographed was dismissed by some of the most respected minds in the institution of astronomy. But slight improvements in technology and processes have led to remarkable results – and a paradigm shift among these experts.

Likewise, your situation might seem financially, physically, or emotionally untenable right now. You might feel overwhelmed and miserable – as if your life will never “get back together.” But with slight improvements in your methods, processes, and resources, you might make surprisingly remarkable progress. For instance, the right rehab specialist and physician can potentially help you recover from your back injury or illness. A powerful law firm, like the team here at DeMayo Law, can help you navigate the Charlotte social security disability bureaucracy better and lock down a fair benefits amount. And so forth.

The moral is: persistence can often pay off, especially when that persistence is linked with a critical focus on a key objective. Strive for incremental improvement and for getting the right people and resources in place.

Watching the London Olympics While Out Sick on Charlotte Social Security Disability

August 14, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you’ve recently been hurt or diagnosed with a serious illness, you may be on social security disability in North Carolina – or you may be seeking those benefits.

Like many Americans, you’ve probably been glued (at least some of the time) to the XXX Olympics in London, following Michael Phelps’ increasingly preposterous medal count, feeling your heart leap out of your chest as Usain Bolt practically breaks the speed of sound, and pondering with your friends and family and Facebook friends about what the Chinese badminton scandal ultimately means for geopolitics.

But in the midst of all this distraction, you are still very aware of the complicated problems and potential opportunities in your future, at least as far as your North Carolina social security disability benefits are concerned.

Perhaps you are already knee deep in the process: you’ve gone to a million and one doctor’s appointments, had multiple appeals of your case, and read every free internet resource there is about social security disability. Or perhaps you are at the start of your research — you’re still trying to figure out if you are a fit for the program or, if so, how you should best proceed.

In any case, you may find it all too easy to ignore your present personal needs and focus on “stuff” that’s interesting but out of your control, like the Olympics.

While it’s important to relax and de-stress after all that you’ve been though, you also need to keep adequate focus on your goals — on your potential options to collect benefits and make your situation better. Unfortunately, all too many people these days tend to “give up” on their own lives and retreat into virtual worlds. They play video games, cruise the web all day, or veg out to the Olympics or some other distraction on television.

If you’ve been distracted — “putting off” the important stuff in your life — you are not alone.

To break out of that mentality requires a certain degree of activation energy. You cannot be expected to deal with all of your legal problems by yourself. Even if you are healthy and working, you would likely have multiple points of stress in your life. Not only are you not healthy – and possibly not working – but you are also undoubtedly overwhelmed by the complex bureaucracy that is the social security disability or supplemental security income system.

Unfortunately, you might take the complexity at face value – and just assume that you will “never get anywhere” — that you might as well just “deal with your fate.”

This is a tragedy, in that, you may be overlooking simple, easy solutions not only to your social security disability problems but also to other problems in your life.

The challenge is: how do you find the right people and resources to connect you with positive solutions and take some of the burden off? While the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo obviously cannot guarantee success and can’t help you with every facet of your challenges, we have a vast and deep bench of legal talent, and we can examine the elements of your case and help you formulate a strategic blueprint to get what you want.

Is North Carolina Social Security Disability “A Form Of Slavery”??

August 9, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Florida Congressman Allan West made a bold declaration in middle of July: He called the social security disability insurance system “a form of modern, 21st Century slavery.”

West had been rallying against President Obama’s economic policies — trying to build a case that federal benefits programs, like SSD and supplemental security income (SSI), create economic dependence and disincentive people from finding work and taking responsibility for their own welfare and economic betterment.

The social security disability system has taken a lot of rhetorical punches recently. But West’s hit marked a new kind of escalation.

On the one hand, his position is understandable. His position is sympathetic. Our entitlement system is knotted up. As you likely know from your personal quest to obtain Charlotte social security disability benefits, the queue can be long and complicated and confusing. Also, our programs are running out of money.

So it’s understandable to feel fed up with the process and to start looking for scapegoats, especially as more and more hurt and injured workers join the ranks of those seeking aid.

On the other hand, to denigrate social security disability as a kind of “slavery” seems to be both less than compassionate and less than accurate.

Social security disability is kind of a national insurance: you pay into it when you work. While of course some try to abuse the system – and some do succeed – it’s not at all fair to denigrate those who need the help as contributing to a slave-like system. Are really going to tell a woman who just discovered that she has late stage cancer — and who’s thus been crippled by medical problems and depression — that she is participating in a system of slavery simply by collecting much needed benefits?

Likely, that probably was not West’s intention.

But when you make radical, broad-brush statements like he did, you need to understand that you could be doing harm by accidentally intimidating people who need help.

Ensure that you are treated fairly. To get clear on your rights and responsibilities as a potential beneficiary, talk to the North Carolina social security disability team here at DeMayo Law. We are happy to provide a free, confidential consultation for you.

While Your Charlotte Social Security Disability Quest Has in Common with Michael Phelps’ Quest to be the Most Decorated Olympian Ever

August 7, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

At first blush, you may not put yourself in the same category as elite Olympian Michael Phelps. After all, you’re struggling to tap North Carolina social security disability benefits and other help to manage your finances, business, medical costs, etc. Meanwhile, Michael Phelps just retired at the age of 27 in tip-top shape as the most decorated Olympian in the history of the world.

However, you and Michael Phelps actually have more in common than you realize.

As a Charlotte social security disability beneficiary (or would-be beneficiary), you face difficult odds on many levels. Your resources are limited. Your time is limited. Your energy is limited. Michael Phelps faced all those constraints, by the way, as he trained for his various Olympic runs. But he managed to overcome them in high style. How?

The answer boils down one word: Focus.

When you have a very, very clear vision of what you want to achieve in mind, you can easily leverage all sorts of resources in your life to help you achieve your ends. Just as important – perhaps even more important – you will have an easy mechanism to screen out “stuff” that might distract you. Getting distracted is a big problem if you lack a powerful focus pulling you towards success. Michael Phelps, for instance, developed a focus – rather, a series of sequential focuses – that helped him to train precisely, pick his battles, husband his resources, etc. He didn’t just dive into an Olympic size pool on day one and beat the pack. He methodically improved over time based on the clarity and intensity of his focus.

So too can you improve your journey towards wellness and financial health.

The problem is that focus does not come naturally to most people. We live in an age where everyone and his brother has advice, even on topics as arcane as North Carolina social security disability. There is too much information for us to sort, even if you had all the time in the world and all the mental and physical energy to make better decisions – which most of us obviously don’t have.

One useful way to shortcut this information overload problem is to find people or resources who have succeeded in the past in the precise quest that you are on right now.

In other words, if you want to be a great Olympic swimmer, you probably want to talk to great Olympic swimmers and the trainers of those swimmers.

If you want to be a great chef, you want to read about the journeys of the great chefs and how they learned and how they trained, etc.

Likewise if you want to be a successful North Carolina social security disability claimant, you want to find and cultivate resources that can help you become that.

So instead of focusing on everything that’s gone wrong in your life, focus on what you want to achieve now. What’s past is past. It cannot be changed. Michael J. Fox’s DeLorean from Back to the Future does not exist. But we can move forward. And the way to move forward is to accept what’s true now in your life, to identify where you want to be, and then to come up with ways to bridge the gap between what’s true now and what you want to be true later.

The social security disability law firm at DeMayo Law is here to help you make progress on all elements of that challenge.

A Magical Fix for Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits Problems?

August 2, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Search around for help with your social security disability benefits in North Carolina or elsewhere, and you will be inundated with brilliant-sounding advice from highly credentialed people who’ve apparently achieved major success – either for themselves or for their clients.

If you just went off your Google research, you’d almost certainly come to develop a belief that getting benefits is relatively easy – as long as you buy xyz product!

Look: truth be told, there are good systems and bad systems – proven processes and unproven processes – for handling the flotsam and jetsam of your benefits quest.

Your odds would likely increase, for instance, if you retained a good law firm, like DeMayo Law here in Charlotte, to help you navigate the confusion. But understand this. Your problems are complicated. There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution for you – or even a one-size-fits-all solution to part of your problems.

An Integrated Approach – Incremental, Goal-Oriented, Purpose-Driven

The average person who needs social security disability is sick, injured, demoralized, bereft of good support, confused, and overwhelmed.

If you fit that mold – or someone you care about fits that mold – your drive to try to “solve it all at once” will no doubt be intense. You want to make the pain go away – now. But understand that your problems likely did not just explode on you over the course of a single day. They developed over time. Even if the “event” that touched off your current crisis was an acute event – i.e., it happened “out of the blue” – odds are some aspects of your financial or physical or emotional foundation were shoddy well before that event occurred.

To extract yourself, play the long game. Focus on the purpose of your social security disability benefits quest as opposed to the specific outcome that you want to achieve. By working from purpose – as opposed to a vision that lacks purpose – you might find shortcuts to satisfy your needs that require less time and effort.

For instance, say what you really need is a guaranteed place to live over the next five years. Maybe you’re facing foreclosure or another financial crisis. Rather than “bet the farm” (perhaps literally) on your ability to collect benefits, you could search for an alternative living arrangement. For instance, maybe a brother or cousin could offer to take you in while you recover. This way, you can still go after your benefits, but you no longer will feel compelled to get them “or else”.  Your more relaxed posture will actually help you be smarter and more strategic (as opposed to desperate and tactical).

Of course, you also do want to vision out an ideal outcome. The clearer the vision you have for success, the better.

Lastly, strive for incremental, measureable progress as opposed to “getting it all done at once” – that way you can give yourself “wins” and work towards a better future methodically.

Social Security Disability Benefits: Do You Really Need Them?

July 31, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

It might even sound odd for a prominent North Carolina social security disability law firm, like DeMayo Law, to suggest that you might want to think carefully about whether to pursue government benefits, like Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.

But stop and ask yourself: do you need government help?

Have the courage to ask this question. To deal effectively with a medical or financial problem, you must strive to cultivate your own resourcefulness. Obviously, if you’re really sick or injured — or if you’ve been tackled by a variety of horrific obligations and/or bad life events — you need a safety net to pull you back to equilibrium.

On the other hand, it can be all too easy for would-be beneficiaries to give up control over their fate. To pass off the responsibility for success to some other party, agency, government bureaucracy, etc.

When you hand over your fate like that, you empower other people… and disempower yourself.

Once you begin to believe that it’s someone else’s responsibility to “take care of you” – you then in some sense lose a certain capacity to take care of yourself.

So what mindset do you possess? Do you have a “resourceful” perspective or not? If not, why not?

Whether or not you ultimately go after Charlotte Social Security Disability benefits, you need to be thinking in terms of “what can I do to make my situation better/easier/more livable?” Because there is no one who is going to be more interested in your outcome than you. At the end of the day, you are living your life – no one can live it for you.

So take time to introspect and ask yourself questions like:

•    What can I do to eliminate some of my financial burdens?
•    How can I slash my budget to make my financial life easier?
•    What information do I need to get next to deal with my injury/illness?
•    Who can help me figure out what needs to be done?
•    What are the real constraints holding me back in my finances, life, work, relationships, and personal development?

Changing your mindset to become a more self-reliant and self responsible person is never easy – particularly if you face a major and urgent medical crisis. But there may be no more crucial time to acquire this mentality.

In some ways, the ideal situation is somewhat paradoxical: you want to accumulate resources to help you deal with your problems – on the other hand, simultaneously, you want to cultivate a capacity to “do things on your own.”

For help planning your next steps, connect with the Charlotte Social Security Disability law firm of DeMayo Law for a free case evaluation.

FDA Panel Sees “Little Use” for MOM Hip Replacements, Asks for Long Term Studies of Dangers

July 30, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Metal on metal (MOM) hip replacement devices are in the news again. An FDA panel that convened on June 27-28 concluded that they see few, if any reasons, to use these devices. According to the panel’s chair, Dr. William Rohr of Mencocino Coast District Hospital, “I do not use metal-on-metal hips, and I can see no reason to do so.”

Evidence continues to mount showing that these implants break down much earlier than other types of artificial hips they were intended to improve upon. Even more alarming, they also deteriorate, exposing patients to potentially hazardous levels of cobalt, chromium and other metals in the blood. Because of the danger of this metal toxicity, guidelines have been proposed for patients who have already received MOM hip replacements.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina defective hip replacement lawyers noted that the FDA has not yet mentioned taking these devices out of use. This is surprising, considering the multitude of recalls, the 17,000 reports to the FDA about problems caused by these devices, the thousands of lawsuits filed by victims of these implants and their panel’s own findings.

What does this mean to you, if you already have a MOM hip replacement?

We urge you to take this matter very seriously. If you are experiencing pain or inflammation in the hip, please see your doctor immediately for an X-ray as well as blood tests to determine the level of metals in your blood. The pain may be caused by metal particles which have ground off the implant and seeped into the joint. This can damage the surrounding tissue and the bone itself. If your doctor finds that the implant is breaking down too quickly or your health is being endangered by it, we recommend consulting a qualified defective hip implant attorney.

If you have a MOM hip replacement, the FDA panel recommends a yearly X-ray to monitor your situation, whether you are experiencing pain or not. However, this recommendation is weaker than others put in place overseas, such as in the United Kingdom, where regulators also recommend yearly blood tests to check for the presence of dangerous metal toxicity.

The ramifications of elevated metal in the bloodstream over long periods of time are as yet unknown, although preliminary studies suggest there may be links to various neurological problems and heart issues.

The FDA panel pointed out a couple of disturbing facts. There are problems with determining the levels of dangerous metals from common blood tests, and interpreting the results is not cut and dried. No standardized diagnostic kits even exist to test for levels of chromium.

The FDA has asked hip implant manufacturers to conduct long-term, follow-up studies of the over one hundred different MOM hips currently available. They are hoping the studies will provide answers to some important questions, including the effects on the human body of these metal particles. Obviously, a long term study could take a decade or more, leaving many patients at unnecessary risk.

If you have had an MOM hip replacement failure, or are experiencing other complications, we urge you to immediately seek expert medical help and legal help as well. Please contact our North Carolina hip implant law firm today. We provide free case evaluations to individuals experiencing complications from a DePuy or other MOM device.

Justice Roberts’ Surprising Move: Lesson for Your Social Security Disability Benefits Dilemma

July 26, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Last week, in a stunning turn of events, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts – a Bush appointee – threw his vote in with SCOTUS’ “liberal wing” to save Obamacare by a five to four vote.

Roberts’ shocking decision threw conservative opponents to Obamacare for a loop. The reversal neatly illustrates a deep and powerful truth that can help you, if you or someone you care about is searching for a resolution to a North Carolina Social Security Disability problem.

Rather than dissect the Obamacare case – which is extremely intricate and obviously very politically charged – let’s focus on the most salient detail about the court’s ruling: very few people – including close case watchers – anticipated that the vote would happen as it did.

Most SCOTUS watchers focused on which way Justice Kennedy (the typical “swing vote”) would go. Would Kennedy side with the liberals or the conservatives? According to close observers of the case, Justice Kennedy had clearly been leaning towards the conservative wing.

Few anticipated that Roberts would “abandon” his conservative colleagues.

And this holds such an important and deep lesson! The lesson is that often the experts – the brilliant people who closely analyze a situation – can miss major clues about an outcome. Of course, in the aftermath, many insiders have gone on the record saying that they predicted that this would happen “all along”.

But really, what they are doing is reinventing their own narratives. Beware: this happens throughout life in different domains. Very few people anticipated that Al-Qaeda would attack the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, for instance. And very few people predicted that we would see a massive recession and the collapse of institutions like Lehman Brothers in 2008. Yes, sure, there were some accurate naysayers. But the experts’ record predicting at big events is generally not so great. Only “after do the fact” do they — and we — construct stories in our minds that make it seem is if these events were “inevitable.”

Here’s the bigger point. If the experts’ record at predicting the future is not so great, what might that mean about your own ability to predict the future? Assuming that you are not an expert in North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits, how accurate do you think your vision of how your case will play out might be?

This isn’t to say that you should abandon the advice of experts! Indeed, good resources, such as the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, can often help you solve problems that otherwise seem insolvable.

The bigger takeaway here is that your outcome may be less certain than you realize.

This is both good news and bad news. If you are a pessimist who believes that you are never going to get benefits — or that this may take months or years to settle — there is a likelihood that you are wrong. Conversely, if you think that your situation is simple — that it will only take a few days or few pieces of papers to sign — you also might be wrong. Embrace the uncertainty of your situation, and you will feel better and more prepared to handle whatever comes your way.

Are the Stories You’re Telling Yourself about Your Charlotte Social Security Disability Quest Accurate?

July 24, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In our last blog post, we talked about how the stories we tell ourselves about our Charlotte Social Security Disability journey can have a monumental impact — not only on our ability to get the benefits that we want but also on our general happiness and satisfaction with our outcome.

We highlighted why it’s so important to surface these subconscious stories and talked a bit about how negative, inaccurate thinking can influence our actions in the wrong direction. Bogus and overly pessimistic thinking can lead us to take desperate measures, choose the wrong people or companies that help us, etc.

But once you know the various stories that you are telling yourself, what’s the next step?

The next step is pretty clear: determine whether your stories are true! Odds are, many of the stories you have been telling yourself have kernels of truth, but they likely also include catastrophic or overly grandiose ideas.

For instance, you might have thoughts like “the system is going to screw me over.” Yes, the system can be unfair and difficult. But if you get good help from a seasoned Charlotte Social Security Disability law firm, like DeMayo Law, for instance, you can reduce the potential for unfairness. The catch is, you won’t likely take action towards retaining a good law firm if you believe the situation is hopeless!

It’s a good idea to go through each one of your stories and to assess it logically and objectively.

Get help from outside, objective sources, if possible. For instance, show your list to a family member or a friend you trust: get his or her take. If you have a law firm at your disposal, ask that team to vet your stories.

Once you have some realistic assessments, document them!

Ideally, you want a single sheet that lists all the subconscious stories that you tell yourself and also lists the “antidotes” to your inaccurate thinking. It’s very important to write this stuff down, since the brain has a funny way of playing with our perceptions.

One final point: once you have these answers written down, you need to review the document on a fairly regular basis – once a week or even once a day, if you’re really stressed out.

Over time, as you go through this process again and again – and it should be an iterative process, not just a “one-time thing” – you will find that you will develop new stories, as old stories phase out. Make a concerted effort over time to think realistically, and you will ultimately feel more and more in control of your situation and your life – irrespective of how your battle for benefits goes. And that’s the really exciting part! By becoming a more accurate thinker, you will feel less and less at the mercy of outside forces, like an insurance company or an administrative law judge.

The North Carolina Social Security Disability Stories We Tell Ourselves: How True Are They?

July 19, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you’re a North Carolina worker just learning about Social Security Disability benefits in the wake of a scary medical diagnosis or a big injury; or you are someone who is already “knee deep” in the process, and you’re flailing to get a handle on what to do at Reconsideration or at an Administrative Law Judge hearing – you have likely told yourself many different stories about what your situation means and what will ultimately happen to you.

It’s probably worth it to surface these unconscious or subconscious stories and to evaluate whether the facts support the narrative.

What are some stories you might tell yourself?

•    ”The only way I am going to “win” is to retain the very top most North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm in the universe”
•    ”The system is so broken that, even if I succeed, I will wind up on a government benefits programs my entire life”
•    ”It’s totally not fair! The Compassionate Allowances program allows someone with terminal cancer to “skip the line,” while I have to wait in the normal queue and suffer – what I have is nearly just as bad!”
•    And so on and so forth.

Odds are that these stories – or others like them – are deeply informing your quest for North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits.

Odds are, too, that you have yet to consciously surface most of these stories – much less assess whether they are true or logical in some objective way. But don’t be fooled. These narratives are almost certainly informing your behaviors, habits, emotions about your case, etc.

For instance, say you hold a belief that your whole situation is “just unfair” — deep in your gut, you believe that “nothing is going to work” or that the system’s going to get the better of you. You might consciously try hard to get results, but you might subconsciously engage in behavior – or fail to take certain actions – that will torpedo your goals. A secret subterfuge.

Surfacing your Social Security Disability “stories” and getting to the truth about them

Rather than let these stories wreak havoc on your emotions – or on your potential for success – why not get real and get honest about what stories you are telling yourself.

Surfacing these unconscious tales is surprisingly easy.

Just get out a piece of paper or open a computer file and start writing about your situation. What concerns you about your benefits quest? What do you think will happen? Who should you trust and who shouldn’t you trust? Ask yourself diverse questions about the experience, so you can get the deepest read into your subconscious.

Spend a while just getting these ideas down on paper (or on a word document) and then bookmark this site and come back in two days; we’ll talk about techniques for assessing your stories for validity – and moving past the ones that you deem not to be “valid.”

A Fairytale North Carolina Social Security Disability Ending

July 17, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Who doesn’t like to believe in happy endings? If you or someone you care about has recently gotten a terrible diagnosis or has suffered an injury at work or elsewhere, you are probably hoping for a fairytale solution to your North Carolina social security disability problems.

It’s easy to understand why one might crave “bolt from the blue” assistance.

Practically nobody fully anticipates all the problems that come with being suddenly sick or injured. And even if your illness developed somewhat slowly – e.g. you’ve been struggling with fibromyalgia or chronic arthritis like symptoms for years before the pain got so bad that you couldn’t work — odds are that you’ve entered a new domain of intensity and diversity of problems.

These issues likely range all over the place and include budget problems, health issues, concerns about people under your care, worries about your career legacy and otherwise.

What the cynics will tell you.

The cynics will underline the difficulty of your journey and the potentially long odds against your success in various domains. For instance, if you are in your mid-60s, and you’ve had to quit your business due to a chronic condition like advanced diabetes, you will never reboot your career. So you need to play conservative with your money and time from here on out.

The cynics will use numbers and statistics to hammer home their points.

Why it’s important to believe in fairytales – but not to be a Pollyanna about it, either!

There is a reason why little kids love to imagine themselves as princesses, rock stars, and the like. It’s a very human reason. We need positive fantasies to fuel real world motivation. Even if we never reach the ideal – e.g. become an astronaut, win a noble prize, win first place in a marathon, etc – the positive vision fuels us to achieve self betterment.

What this means in a practical sense is that you can and should spend time envisioning a perfect, ideal solution to your North Carolina social security disability benefit situation. Taking the example we mentioned earlier … imagine that our 60 something year old developed a positive vision, in which he started his own company based on a hobby (e.g. woodworking) and started selling wares via the web.

Maybe he might not make a fortune doing it. He might not even succeed! But this positive vision would almost certainly spur him to take good action – to take better care of himself, to fight harder for his benefits, to live for something beyond that nihilistic vision of “play conservative from here on out.”

Getting the help you need to increase the likelihood of your fairytale coming true.

The team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMeyo has a rich and diverse history of helping individuals who need benefits – and the caregivers of those individuals – solve, fight and win myriad battles. Find out more about us online, or call us today for a free consultation.

Over 20% of North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits to Be Cut??

July 12, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In just four years, Social Security Disability benefits in North Carolina and elsewhere might be slashed by a dramatic 21%, according to a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

That’s not the only stark news. Another study, conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), looked at over two decades’ worth of unemployment data; it found that Social Security Disability applications in North Carolina and elsewhere spikes by 10% whenever the unemployment rate goes up by just 1%.

Needless to say, conservative pundits and others who have serious reservations about the feasibility and structure of our nation’s entitlement programs are up in arms about the statistics. According to reports, eventually these programs will have to make concessions somewhere, and SSDI recipients will be among the first to see shrinkages.

Per projections, if Congress does nothing to change the trajectory or structure of these programs, by the year 2033, benefit cuts will need to be slashed by 25% across the board.

These numbers are scary, and the policy analysis can be incredibly “doomy and gloomy” – not exactly the optimism inspiring news that you need to get you through the day, if you’re dealing with back pain, a mental disorder, or a disease or physical ailments. You alone obviously cannot change behemoth institutions like SSDI – or even really understand in depth the philosophies critiquing and supporting the SSDI project.

Concentrate on what you can control and “let go” of stuff that you can’t control.

Your time, energy, and mental stamina are limited. You need to be focusing all your efforts right now on achieving a positive outcome for you and your family. That doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand with respect to these larger issues. But it does mean you need to focus.

Based on your current diagnosis and financial situation, what’s an ideal outcome for you? Get specific about how much money you need. Where do you want to live? How do you want to feel a year from now? Put your energy into mentally designing solutions and an ideal future. And then work on acquiring resources to help you turn that vision into reality.

For instance, the team at Michael A. DeMayo’s Law Offices is here to help if you have North Carolina Social Security Disability questions.

What Should Happen to a Same-Sex “Second Parent” Regarding His Or Her North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits?

July 10, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

In May, voters in North Carolina approved a Constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. But the ban has not stopped six same-sex couples from striving to protect their civil rights and ensure North Carolina Social Security disability benefits (and other benefits) for their children.

The lead plaintiffs in the case, Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne, have argued that the ban on second parent adoption is unfair to children involved, because it prevents these children from collecting benefits from the second parent – such as veterans, life insurance, health insurance, and Social Security Disability.

According to NC law, step-parents are afforded these rights – that is, they can adopt. But back in December 2010, the NC Supreme Court reversed unmarried second parent adoptions, despite the fact that Washington DC and 20 other states allow the gay or lesbian partner of a legal parent to adopt.

This is obviously a morally and legally hotly contested issue in the Tar Heel State and elsewhere.

It’s useful to bring up this situation, however, and because it illustrates a critical point that many other pieces on North Carolina social security disability miss – which is that SSD benefits (or lack thereof) are just a component of a larger package.

In other words, your quest for benefits does not exist in a vacuum. There are other financial, medical, and relationship-related issues that you’re managing simultaneously. To the extent you can view your financial situation as one big system – as opposed to getting obsessed with the discrete elements of that system – is the extent that to which you should be able to find shortcuts to success.

For instance, let’s say that, even after working with a trusted and experienced law firm, like the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, you’re still unable to secure the benefits you want.

If you can see your quest in context, perhaps you can find other ways to meet your financial needs. For instance, maybe you can reduce your expenses or rely on a relative or friend to help you manage some of your struggle. The broader and more diverse the context of your quest, the more opportunities you will have to succeed.

Sobering Statistics about Social Security Disability in North Carolina and Beyond: Are We Spiraling into Disaster?

July 5, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

There is no shortage of critics of Social Security Disability in North Carolina and elsewhere.

The government benefits program is growing every year, and there are fewer and fewer people in the workforce to deposit money into the system.

Consider, for instance, Bureau of Labor Statistics from early 1990s, which ID-ed 120 million working Americans and 3,330,000 workers on federal disability. Back in 1992, there was basically one worker on disability for every 36 people working.

Fast forward 20 years later, to May 2012: 142 million Americans were employed, but 8.7 million workers were on disability. That’s nearly 2 people on disability for every 36 people working! P

The SSD program is funded by a payroll tax that workers and employers both pay into, at a rate of 1.8%. But despite all that income, the trust fund that supports SSDI has run a deficit for fiscal year 2009, 2010, and 2011 – and that deficit is growing every year.

What should you do, if you or a loved one needs benefits money to pay bills, get care, and generally keep your financial head above water?

If you’re worried that the crush of people in line for disability benefits might impede your chances, you might just be right.

Per the rules of Social Security Disability, you can qualify for benefits if you are unable to do the work you did prior to getting hurt/sick, can’t adjust to other gainful employment due to your illness/injury, and your disability is slated to last 12+ months or until your death.

Demonstrating that you are qualified can be tricky in and of itself. There may be an array of hidden obstacles along your path towards getting fair benefits and making the most of them. Empower yourself by getting a free and thorough consultation with the experienced team here at the North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm of DeMayo law.

Social Security Disability is Big Business in North Carolina

July 3, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to official tallies, over 310,000 people received Social Security Disability in North Carolina last year.

All told, the Federal Government’s Social Security system pumped in over $22 billion into our economy and provided over 50% of the income to all North Carolinians aged 65 and older. Recent Census Bureau figures found that 8,733,461 workers collected (or will collect) federal disability in June – nearly 500,000 more people than the total population of New York City, the biggest city in the US, which boasted only 8,244,910 residents, according to last year’s Census Bureau estimates.

With so many people getting benefits — and so many more in desperate need of North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits – it’s understandable why the policy debate over entitlement reform often gets so fierce and emotional.

There is a lot at stake for a lot of people!

Unfortunately, the debate is incredibly complicated, and the economic theories that underlie the Social Security Disability program are at once sophisticated and by no means settled. In other words, the theories about why SSD and Supplemental Security Income works — and what can be done to improve the system and make it more fair — are still theories, susceptible to disproof.

What does this all means for you?

You are sick or injured – and suddenly facing massive financial pressures as well as a scary and vexing medical prognosis. You are almost certainly operating in something of a vacuum. And you almost certainly will end up relying on the judgments of others who have either studied the system directly or studied it indirectly by studying those who study it. (That’s a mouthful!)

The bottom line is that you’re dealing with major uncertainties in many aspects of your life, health, and beyond. To the degree that you can find reliable, trustworthy resources may be the degree to which you ultimately succeed.

The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you untangle some of the chaos and explain your rights and responsibilities in clear, easy to understand language, so that you make informed, empowered decisions and regain control over your destiny.

How to Stretch Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits

June 28, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you’re in a tooth and nail fight for Social Security Disability benefits in North Carolina; or you’re just beginning to investigate your options for how to protect your nest egg in the wake of a injury or scary medical diagnosis, you need to prioritize getting your financial situation under control. Many beneficiaries (or would be beneficiaries) make a grievous mistake here, however. They focus extensively and almost exclusively on getting benefits… without really looking at how those benefits might interplay with the rest of their financial plans.

By analyzing your budget/financial situation carefully, you’ll almost certainly find inefficiencies — places where improvements can help you stretch the value of your income. The team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo has a lot of experience helping people like you, who are struggling to collect Social Security Disability benefits in Charlotte and elsewhere. We can provide a free consultation about how you might best proceed – and give you other resources to get going on your quest.

In the meantime, consider these practical tips about how to slash your budget/boost your income while you are in this tender state, where you don’t have a lot of money to spend, and you don’t have a lot of energy/time to earn:

    Cut out “unnutritious” foods from your diet. For instance, stop buying soda, potato chips, desserts, etc and focus on real, nutritious foods like healthy meats and fruits and vegetables. You will save more, eat better, and hopefully enjoy the nourishing benefits that come with eliminating junk.

•    Speak to a professional financial consultant. Yes, you probably will have to pay money for the help. But if you find a good person, that person should be able to save you more money over the long-term than you will pay out for the consultation. If not, you haven’t found the right person!

•    Assess stuff that “really sticks out” such as a high heating bill, high cable bill, or whatever. Ask yourself whether you really need that service. If not, cut it. If so, brainstorm ways to get the price down. For instance, you might want to ask your cell provider if you can get a loyalty discount.

•    Remember: what gets measured gets managed. If you notice a recurring, annoying expense – such as your electricity or gas bill – measure that number on a weekly or monthly basis and strive to get it down. You don’t have to get it down instantly. Incremental progress is still good. But MEASURE.

•    Be realistic about both your options and your opportunities. Yes, it would be nice if you could find a job that paid just as well as your old job. But that may not be possible. Accept reality as the new starting point and then go from there.

•    Remember: this is a marathon; it’s not a sprint. Even if a sudden accident threw you off your game and created these sudden financial stresses, the road back to good physical and financial health may not be swift. Accept that. Strive for incremental progress. Small positive goals, regularly achieved, will make you feel better and help you feel like you’re making progress towards a better life.

Embracing a Paradox about North Carolina Social Security Disability Benefits

June 26, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

What’s the best way to acquire, spend, and enrich your life vis-à-vis your North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits?

This question holds powerful subtleties worth study.

In fact, the entire quest for Social Security Disability is possibly best met by embracing a paradoxical mindset. On the one hand, you need to pursue your benefits as vigorously as possibly – ideally with the help of an experienced team, like the folks here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo. On the other hand, however, you want to position yourself – and your finances – in a way that minimizes any negative impacts a bad outcome might yield for you.

Here is why this paradox possibly works:

It deals in reality

Your reality is that you are short of funds, possibly unable to work, possibly facing mounting medical bills, and challenged in many other ways. The more assets that you can collect, the better. Therefore, if an insurance company is causing you hassle, or if you’ve been stumped by an Administrative Law Judge hearing or problems at Reconsideration or whatever, you must aggressively go after your Charlotte Social Security Disability benefits.

It provides peace of mind

While it’s important to pursue benefits aggressively, however, if you become dependent on them – psychologically or otherwise – or, worse, dependent upon their promise – you surrender control over your life and your destiny. That’s damaging for a number of reasons. Psychologically speaking, a loss of control over your fate can make you less motivated. It can also hurt your immune system and make you more dependent on other people or entities.

Hidden “shortcuts” to resourceful living

Once you embrace the paradox that you need to push hard for benefits and also make yourself immune to the results, you then must look for ways to be resourceful about your situation. For instance, what could you do to slash your budget right now to make yourself less vulnerable, financially? Could you move in with a friend or a family member? Could you make your home heating system more efficient? Could you tap into some other asset or cancel vacation plans to reduce your expenses? Conversely, could you take on extra work to boost your income stream?

It’s really hard to work through these options on your own, particularly if you’re mired in a tough medical situation, unable to think clearly, and generally scared by your benefits quandary. That’s why outside resources can be so helpful.

The Dismantling of Al Qaeda: Lessons for North Carolina Social Security Disability Beneficiaries

June 21, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you are struggling with Reconsideration, an Administrative Law Judge hearing, or other aspects of the North Carolina social security disability quest, probably (hopefully) the last thing on your mind is international terrorism.

But often, we can learn critical lessons about our struggles by looking beyond our normal scope of inquiry. To that end, we’re going to take a look at a news development — regarding the American fight against the Al Qaeda terrorist network — and draw some pretty interesting lessons to help you gain perspective on your North Carolina social security disability issues.

Al-Libi reportedly killed in a drone strike – is U.S’s persistent mission finally paying off?

It’s now been over 11 years since the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks on U.S. targets. Recent news from the front has been pretty positive, at least from the U.S.’s perspective. Two weeks ago, an unmanned U.S. predator drone killed Al-Libi, who reportedly had been elevated to Al Qaeda’s number two, after the U.S. killed Osama Bin Laden in a Special Forces raid last year.

The recent success in targeting the Al Qaeda leadership is notable for several reasons.

1.    First, it took the United States over a decade and millions of dollars to succeed.
2.    Secondly, the U.S. tactics and strategies changed many times over the course of the mission.
3.    Success happened due to perseverance and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances.

Those three lessons are very important because they are universal lessons. They are applicable not only to geopolitical problems but also to smaller scale (but no less important) personal problems that we face.

Back to North Carolina social security disability benefits.

When we employ those 3 lessons to proper effect; we can often see great results. When you are dealing with an illness and financial problems and potential battles with the legal system and other indirect consequences of your social security disability struggle, you need to FOCUS on the long-term strategies and keep the faith.

Of course, you can avoid “reinventing the wheel” and potentially save yourself lots of time and effort. The team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo can help you surface and deal with all the underlying issues that may be holding you back from getting the benefits you need right now to make the situation easier.

Attorney Michael A. DeMayo Interviewed about Increase in Nursing Home Negligence

June 20, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you might be interested in a video interview with Charlotte personal injury attorney Michael A. DeMayo, conducted by StateLawTV. In the video, DeMayo addresses the appropriate course of action if someone suspects a parent or other family member is being neglected or abused in a nursing home.

Nursing home negligence seems to be appearing more and more frequently in the nightly news, leaving families of nursing facilities wondering about their loved ones. Of course, the reason that most individuals wind up in nursing homes is because they can no longer properly take care of themselves. To be taken advantage of, neglected or even actively abused by the very people who are hired to care for them is extremely distressing.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, they are seeing more cases of nursing home mistreatment. This has become a common occurrence in this day and age many care facilities, whether private or state run, are understaffed and simply cannot provide adequate care or supervision. Many residents of nursing facilities are left in the terrible position of being unable to help themselves or sometimes even inform family members of what’s happening.

Falls are one of the most common injuries that occur in nursing homes, along with bedsores resulting from a resident not being turned in the bed frequently enough. DeMayo law has even represented clients in cases where the neglect or abuse resulted in severe brain injury or even death.

When asked what course of action a family member should take if they suspect a loved one is being neglected or abused in a care facility, Michael DeMayo suggests immediately going in and speaking with the director of the facility, along with some of the care staff to try and find out what is going on. If the level of injury or abuse is blatant, he suggests moving the resident to a different facility, and perhaps even going so far as to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer.

When asked why a family might hire a personal injury lawyer even after they have moved their relative to a different facility, DeMayo explains that it’s not just to stop the abuse of one individual but to also put an end to what is occurring in this particular facility. If a loved one has suffered injuries or gross negligence, there is a potential cause of action that can be brought on behalf of the individual or of the family, if it turns out to be a case of wrongful death.

Says Michael DeMayo, “Speaking as someone who has a family member in a nursing home, if I ever get report or any inkling of neglect I would move him first. Second, I’d take it up immediately with the director of the nursing home.”

Click here to listen to this important and informative video interview with Michael A. DeMayo and Cindy Speaker of StateLawTV.

Charlotte Social Security Disability: Knowledge is Power…Or Is It?

June 19, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether your doctor just diagnosed you with a scary, long-term illness, and you’re just beginning your quest for Charlotte social security disability benefits – or you’re farther along on the journey – you probably have been told something along the lines of the following:

“To make the most of your benefits — to ensure a maximum result with minimal effort — you need to educate yourself about the social security disability system.”

Of course, the team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo agrees with this general principle. On the other hand, we also want to identify and alert you to a potential problem that “self education” can create.

That problem is sneaky, it’s not often talked about.

“Knowledge is power” is true… but only sometimes, and the power can be “double edged.”

Discussions about the nature of knowledge can easily turn into rambling conversations about epistemology and philosophy, and you obviously want answers and actionable help – not speculative philosophy!

But it’s important for us to discuss what knowledge actually does for us – and what it doesn’t do.

Knowledge can empower, in that when you know the rules of the game, you can often get results faster. This is why an experienced North Carolina social security disability law firm can often solve benefits-related problems that flummox “ordinary folk.” When you know how the system generally works, how to make insurance companies behave, how to talk to your doctor, and how to deal with setbacks, you are “empowered” in the sense that you can get a better likely outcome.

On the other hand, the wrong knowledge can actually take you in the wrong direction!

Being represented by a bad law firm, for instance, can often be worse than being represented by no law firm at all.

If you misunderstand a certain tactic – that is, if your knowledge is only partial instead of zero – you may take over confident measures that can get you in trouble. It’s like… a small child has no knowledge about how to drive a car, and so that child is not dangerous. But a teenager who just got her driver’s permit — who has some experience but not much! — can be quite dangerous.

Finally, too much knowledge is dangerous for other reasons. We need to filter what knowledge is important, what knowledge would be nice to know but not essential, and what knowledge we can ignore. Otherwise, we get overwhelmed and stressed.

This article is not meant to dissuade you from self-educating. Rather, it’s intended to highlight the importance of good guides.

North Carolina Social Security Disability: An Idea Grounded in the Laws of Nature and Evolution

June 14, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Many critics of North Carolina social security disability suggest that our collective desire to “take care of” unwell or unfortunate members of society is somehow anomalous.

These critics will admit that modern human societies take care of the old and infirm. But they’ll build a case that, in the real world – back in our “hunter-gatherer” days or in the rest of the animal kingdom – “survival of the fittest” rules.

It’s hard to even describe this point of view as “Darwinian,” since it radically oversimplifies and misappreciates the entire paradigm that Darwin and his followers developed. But it’s an idea that has “legs” – in that, a lot of critics believe it or something akin to it. And if you or someone you love needs social security disability in Charlotte, you could find yourself unfairly attacked or criticized based on this pseudo-Darwinian argument.

We want you to be able to counter it effectively!

Here we go…

In point of fact, human hunter-gatherer societies often exhibited tremendous compassion to the old and infirm. Old sages, for instance, were often deemed to have magical or totemic powers and won the respect of their tribes, even if they could no longer work (e.g. sew oats, harvest, kill wild boars, et cetera).

Likewise, examples of this kind of altruism abound in the animal kingdom. One of the most graceful illustrations of this was on display during an episode of the beautiful documentary, Frozen Planet, which depicts life in the Arctic and the Antarctic regions of our planet. In one scene, two wolves are hunting down a group of buffalo up in the Taiga in the Arctic. The wolves pry away a small, helpless buffalo and attack him. It looks like the buffalo will be finished. But then the herd charges back and surrounds their young, wounded mate and repulses the wolf attackers.

It turns out, these buffalos not only protect the young and infirm but also the elderly.

In other words, this “collective obligation to the individual” is a deep and diverse and powerful feature of nature. Altruism arises out of evolution – it’s not an aberration from it! And that’s such an important point to consider.

Of course, these theoretical concerns are probably less on your mind than more practical considerations, such as: how can I get benefits? How can I deal with my unfair insurer? What should I do about my career? How do I deal with the bureaucracy? Et cetera.

For help with that, look to the team at DeMayo Law for a clear-headed, free case evaluation.

Shooting Down Stereotypes About Social Security Disability in Charlotte (and Elsewhere)

June 12, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

What does the life of a typical Charlotte-based social security disability beneficiary look like?

Stereotypes here abound. For instance, you may believe that most people who rely on government benefits are poor or elderly or both. Not the case! Many people who need benefits are relatively young, in the prime of life, and substantially above the poverty level.

In other words, the diversity of beneficiaries disputes the stereotype most of us hold.

Here’s another yucky stereotype: that people who utilize government benefits programs are somehow lazy or entitled or otherwise trying to “milk” the system.

Look: the United States is a fairly libertarian country. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with our spirit of frontiersmanship, independence, and “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. These are great and essential American values.

And it’s also true that there are definitely some people who DO take advantage of certain assistance programs… and even try to cheat or bend the rules to minimize the effort they need to do.

But the vast majority of people who need this kind of help, actually do need it!

If you or someone know has been rendered sick or injured – unable to work, unable to take care of life’s essentials, unable to even enjoy your time here – you should take umbrage at that stereotype.

Protect yourself against it! Tune out anyone or any “voice of authority” that generalizes or demeans you or your situation.

Stereotype #3: Smart, effective, will-powered-infused people can solve most of their social security disability problems on their own.

Yes, it helps to be smart and experienced. Yes, it helps to have willpower. Yes, it helps to be strategic in your goals.

But your problems may be diverse! And you may not have the skills or knowledge or relationships to get done what needs to get done, even if you’re smart, committed and experienced.

Fortunately, by reaching out to a seasoned and results-driven Charlotte social security disability law firm, like the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, you can take that courageous first step towards getting those resources. That way, you can maximize your chances of getting the benefits you need, and more broadly, of getting your life back on track.

Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo Offer Free Book for Accident Victims

June 11, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

This post is an invitation for readers to download Attorney Michael A. DeMayo’s book, Carolina Injury Law: A Reference Guide for Accident Victims FREE from the DeMayo Law website. Michael DeMayo wrote this book as an introduction to personal injury law for victims of devastating accidents.

Although the book provides an in depth look at Carolina injury law, it is written with the average person in mind. It presents basic concepts someone without any legal experience can grasp. The book also functions as a reference guide for those who are only slightly injured and plan to handle their claim without legal representation.

As DeMayo or any personal injury attorney will tell you, there are many instances when someone is slightly injured in an auto accident, they go to the hospital, get treated, and go home to heal. Although they might not need an attorney to represent them, they will still have to deal with an insurance company for damages.

In this type of situation, a layperson with no legal training is pitted against a business whose bottom line is making money, not giving it away. Although average citizens certainly can and do effectively handle accident and injury claims themselves, there are various “do’s” and “don’ts” that will make a huge difference to the outcome.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we frequently hear of cases “gone wrong” when an average person with no particular knowledge of injury law or dealing with insurance companies find themselves on the losing end of an accident settlement. We hear of victims innocently making the wrong decision, or no decision – much to their own detriment.

Accident victims have many unanswered questions and are forced to make decisions without the necessary information. These decisions can adversely affect the amount of damages they may receive, if they don’t know the correct decision to make. Carolina Injury Law strives to give people the information they need to make the best possible decisions.

If you’ve been in an accident and want to know what you are about to face, the book presents a general overview of the process that goes into motion the minute you are injured in an accident along with a step-by-step explanation of the settlement process.

However, Michael A. DeMayo wants to make it clear that although the book is a helpful and comprehensive reference manual, it will not give you a legal degree or cover every possible circumstance. In cases of serious injury, you are still better off hiring a personal injury attorney with experience in the type of injury you have suffered.

Carolina Injury Law was written for you!

We invite you to take full advantage of this book if you’ve been in an accident and have questions or concerns. You can download it FREE or if you prefer reading a real book that you can hold in your hands, it is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

If your situation is such that you can neither download this reference guide or purchase it from Amazon, we invite you to contact our offices for a complimentary copy.

Not Eligible for Compassionate Allowances: the Frustration of It All

June 7, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

The struggle to get North Carolina social security disability benefits is becoming more and more competitive, as more people flow into the queue and the bureaucracy gets overloaded. This is frustrating news. And if you are sick or seriously injured, your need for help may be bordering on the desperate.

The government provides a number of ways to shortcut the typical waiting process. We’ve discussed one of them in the past – the Compassionate Allowances program – which gives people with certain diseases, such as late stage cancer, the ability to “jump the queue.”

But what if you don’t qualify?

Feelings of regret, anger, and frustration can easily result. So what should you do? First of all, you want to avoid letting these negative feelings consume you. There can be emotional repercussions, if you allow yourself to get too depressed or frustrated.

If you feel hopeless or depressed, you will be less likely to take positive action, find resources that can help you, and articulate your problems clearly, so you can get your needs met. There can also be physical repercussions. When you feel depressed and defeated, you may experience stress and thus flood your body with a lot of cortisol (the stress hormone). This can then cause problems. You may stop eating well; you may stop getting enough sunshine; you may not sleep regularly. All these indirect problems can then compound not only your medical situation but also your other problems.

The point is simple: start thinking rationally and reaching out for good help. The team here at DeMayo Law is here to get your started.

Making progress requires more than just understanding where you are and where you would like to be – with clear eyes. It also requires that you frame your situation in a positive, appealing way. So ask yourself some questions. How do you want to talk to yourself about your social security disability concerns, in a way that serves your life and helps you achieve your goals?

Do you want to say to yourself, repeatedly, “this is so unfair! I can’t believe this is happening to me! This is so unfair! This system is against me!” Or do you want to say things to the effect of “Boy, I really wish things were different, and I am in a lot of pain and anger because of what has happened. But I want to leverage that pain to make a positive difference in my life and do my best to meet my needs.”

Which one of those internal scripts do you think, when replayed over, over, and over again in your head, will lead to better results over the long term?

What If Your Quest for Your Social Security Disability Benefits in Charlotte Totally, Utterly Fails?

June 5, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

It’s the question you need to ask yourself but probably don’t want to: what will happen if you don’t get a single dime from social security disability?

What would you do? How would you survive? How would you feel? Where would you next turn for help?

We bring these questions up not to make you feel uncomfortable or to give you the impression that your situation is unwinnable. Quite to the contrary. With the appropriate help from outside resources, like the team here at Michael A. DeMayo’s North Carolina social security disability law firm, you may discover that your situation is easier and simpler than you had realized.

But you never know.

And that’s why we collectively need to have this conversation. Why visit, even fleetingly, these “worst case scenarios”? The answer has to do with good planning. And also it has to do with issues of control. If you do not have a plan B – if you have not thought through the ramifications of what might happen if you do not succeed with your mission – then the stakes for you will feel higher than they actually might be.

So it’s not that your benefits quest is unimportant! But if you view it as an “all or nothing” “life or death” situation, you will feel more stressed throughout the process. You might also make impulsive decisions, which could ultimately endanger your chances of getting the best results. Unnecessary fears can paralyze us, cause us to stiffen up, and cause us to react with more stress than the moment requires.

Productivity author David Allen talks about trying to achieve a state of “Mind like Water,” where you react in a way that’s perfectly appropriate to the situation. In other words, you don’t want to underreact to a problem in your life. But you don’t want to overreact, either. You want that perfect reaction – just enough, but not too much.

This brings us back to the question of what you might do if you don’t get the results you want. In actual reality, if you don’t achieve your goals, you will almost certainly find ways around your problems. Let’s say you only get half the benefits that you crave. You will then find a way to either cut your costs, find help from somewhere else, or rejigger your budget and financial management plan to make things come together.

Life would go on, in other words — even if your situation would be less comfortable and less ideal than you want.

Just knowing on a visceral level that you will options can be incredibly freeing. This insight can help make the weeks and months ahead feel lighter and lead to more self compassionate.

Social Security Disability in North Carolina: Perils of Giving Up Control

May 31, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you’ve been frustrated by a bad experience at Reconsideration or at an Administrative Law Judge hearing; or you’re just “dipping your toe” into the social security disability process – understanding how it works and what the implications might hold for you – you need to be worried about a hidden danger.

That danger has to do with a loss of control.

When you get on a benefits program — whether government takes care of you, a friend, family member or a neighbor takes care of you — you can experience a subtle but very real loss of control regarding your own life and destiny. Since you no longer can “earn a living” or “pay your way on your own,” you obviously must find a means for support. Otherwise, how would you pay for needed services like medical care, food, housing, etc?
On other hand, psychology research clearly shows that people who lose control over their lives – who cede control to other people or systems – wind up feeling depressed, anxious, and less healthy.

If this research is correct, it creates a kind of paradox for North Carolina social security disability beneficiaries. You obviously need the money. But if you start accepting too much support – then you lose control – then you feel depressed, anxious, and sicker.

A way around the dilemma

The feeling of “being in control” is really subjective. You can be in prison or confined to a wheelchair and still feel control and in charge of your destiny. Conversely, you can “have it all” – be the CEO of a company, be in perfectly good health, etc – and feel out of control because you’re allowing yourself to be constrained by certain rules or societal explanations or beliefs that have been imposed upon you by friends or family members or society or what have you.

So in some ways, the situation is all about your mental outlook. How are you going to frame your frustrations and problems? Are you going to blame other people or blame your situation? Or are you going to accept your current reality and take responsibility for what you can take responsibility for – for what you’re physically and mentally able to do – and use this new frame to set the rules for your conduct and your mental health?

It’s a challenge, and the choice is obviously up to you. If you need help dealing with the logistics of collecting social security disability benefits, connect immediately with the team at DeMayo Law for a free and confidential consultation.

More People On Social Security Disability in North Carolina and Elsewhere: What Does It Mean?

May 29, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

The number of workers who collect social security disability insurance in North Carolina (and elsewhere in the US) has spiked over the past five years, according to recent survey data. In December 2007, for instance, 7.1 million workers collected social security disability insurance (SSDI). In April 2012, that number had spiked to 8.7 million – a rise of nearly 25%. According to professional analysts at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase, this statistic can explain – in and of itself! – about 25% of the drop in the US labor force participation since the beginning of the “great recession” of 2008.

What’s causing this? What are the ramifications?

When people hear about these statistics, they often chime in with their opinions. And there is no shortage of theories. For instance, an executive at a Washington organization known as the National Academy of Social Insurance, Virginia Reno, suggested that the rotten economy created a series of disincentives for certain people to return to work – particularly people who work “blue collar” jobs and who find themselves stranded in an increasingly service-dominated economy.

On a more practical note, the surge of beneficiaries may have implications for you. The queue is getting longer. More and more people are applying for SSDI. In 1990, for instance, only 8 out of 1,000 people applied for SSDI. Last year, that figure was more than double – 18 out of 1,000 working age Americans sought social disability benefits. The economy is contracting, and more and more people are going on benefits programs or seeking benefits.

Rooting out the whys and wherefores of this trend is a fraught business. We can speculate.

For instance, one of the clearest trends in health data has to do with obesity and diabetes rates. Epidemiologists now agree that we are facing what’s essentially an epidemic of obesity and diabetes (“diabesity,” as some people call it, because the two diseases are so closely linked). So whatever might be driving this epidemic might also be indirectly contributing to the woes and frustrations of social security disability.

For help understanding this program and understanding what you can do to maximize your benefits and minimize your stress, connect today with the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a free, confidential, and complete consultation.

Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program a Powerful Reward for Initiative, Intelligence and Community Service

May 28, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina Attorney Michael A. DeMayo is a strong proponent of something that was never taught in law school – giving back to the community. His firm’s signature program, Arrive Alive! Don’t Drink and Drive was just presented for the tenth consecutive year in a row to local area high school students.

When asked why the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo got involved with this issue, DeMayo responded, “Our office deals with alcohol based tragedies almost every day. Our goal is to do whatever we can to prevent these tragic, life shattering accidents from occurring. It’s our hope that teenagers will see the kind of consequences that can result from even one poor decision, and decide to make smarter decisions that will save their lives.”

In conjunction with this initiative that seeks to prevent the tragedies that occur due to underage drinking and driving, the 2012 Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program awards were handed out as well. Fifteen excited high school seniors were each awarded $2,500 scholarships to assist with their college education.

The scholarship program is open to any high school seniors in the 23 counties served by the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo. This includes eighteen counties in North Carolina and five in South Carolina. DeMayo is proud to report that his firm has bestowed $237,500 in scholarships to 97 intrepid, hard-working and civic minded seniors since the inception of this program in 2003.

Click here for a full list of counties eligible to participate in the scholarship program.

The students vie for this coveted scholarship award with a combination of their own community involvement and a personalized presentation that they develop. Its focus is to highlight the dangers of underage drinking and encourage fellow students not to drink and drive. This presentation can be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, a video, a brochure, a website or an essay. And last but hardly least, grades and SAT scores are taken into consideration.

Since this generation of teens is so tech-savvy, Michael A. DeMayo was not surprised to see the presentations come in the form of infographics, professional looking websites and cutting-edge videos, along with the time honored student tradition of essay work. They directly tackle the issues that face them, including peer pressure and even how the scourge of drunk driving has already impacted their young lives.

We want to give a hearty and heartfelt shout-out to these fifteen young adults for their outstanding effort and initiative!

Our kids are one of our society’s greatest resources, and perhaps our greatest hope for ending the plague of drunk driving on our nation’s streets and highways. Please help us honor these kids for their efforts in this vital area by checking out their fantastic presentations.

For more information on these programs, or the work of the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, please contact us today.

Flaws with the Social Security Disability Insurance Program Are Way Beyond Your Control

May 24, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether you are a young, sick worker, who needs social security disability in North Carolina to pay for your rent and blossoming medical bills; or you are a baby boomer who needs supplemental security income due to a diverse basket of health problems (and their attendant medical bills!), you can be easily discouraged by news about the government’s benefits programs.

For instance, a recent report on social security disability insurance found that 10.6 million disabled Americans collected nearly $130 billion last year. This figure is astonishing. To put it into some context for you, the workers and their families were paid 25% more than the federal government collected through taxes on payroll. Why is this concerning? It’s concerning because, if we keep this behavior up, collectively, it will cause serious global financial ramifications. The spiking cost of disability insurance already sucks away nearly 20% of all the social security budget – that’s nearly 20 cents out of every dollar.

It’s an amazing amount. And that high figure combined with the fact that this figure is trending upwards has scared a lot of pundits and policy people. But while it’s good to have conversations about how to deal with this situation, if you or someone is sick or disabled or ill, there is really not much you can do by yourself to handle the social security disability crisis!

So when you do start getting distracted by it – reading news reports, blog entries, editorials, or what have you – know that you are ultimately stealing focus from more productive uses of your time.

We live in an attention deficit age – our attention is stressed and stretched more so than ever before in American history. Even healthy, “I can work easily” type people often find themselves spinning way too many plates. And if you are sick in need of disability benefits, you likely have even fewer productive hours in your day. Thus, you have a reduced ability to concentrate on the vital stuff that you need: to heal yourself, to deal with your bills, to manage the different problems in your life, and so forth.

The point here is not to tell you that we should ignore the grander problems of social security. Rather, the point is to get you to focus correctly! You need help. You need granular, “specific to you” help about how to get benefits, how to deal with a confusing system, how to ensure that you get paid on time, how to manage your out of control bills, how to get the appropriate medical care, and so on and so forth.

The focus has to be on you. (Or, if you are caring for someone else, it has to be on that person.)

Let the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo help you understand what you might be up against and develop strategies and tools to get the maximum results from your benefits quest.

Scary News about North Carolina Social Security Disability: How Concerned Should You Be?

May 22, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

With the 2012 political battles beginning to heat up, be prepared to hear some significant “doomsday” news about social security disability in North Carolina and elsewhere.

Pundits from every point on the political spectrum are going to be talking in grandiose terms about government benefits programs and healthcare — both to whip up their own supporters and also to depress their opponents’ supporters. This isn’t to say that we as a nation do not need to have a frank and diverse discussion about the problems of social security disability in North Carolina and beyond. But the kind of politically-charged atmosphere in which this public debate takes place can be pretty disturbing, especially for people who just want to collect fair benefits, get good care, and regain a degree of certainty in their lives.

After all, say you suddenly contract a serious illness or get into a major accident. Now you need 12-plus months off of work just to recover, and your life is almost certainly topsy turvy for a diverse number of reasons. The last thing you need is to get even more scared and more “thrown off your game” by thunderous proclamations about social security’s imminent bankruptcy or what have you.

On a practical level, do understand that the operatic battle over our government benefits programs might ultimately hold implications for you, albeit extremely indirectly. But also realize that the situation is almost completely out of your personal control. So worrying about what’s going to happen is really a fruitless use of your time.

At the same time, there are actions that you can take immediately that could play an enormously powerful role in helping you deal with your challenges, take advantage of opportunities, and generally manage the chaos in your life. One of the smartest ways to go is to find useful allies – experienced resources and people who can help you understand what you might be up against, help you find shortcuts through your problems, and so forth. Michael A. DeMayo’s North Carolina social security disability law firm has generated exceptional results for clients in similar positions to yours.

Connect with the team immediately for a free consultation so that you can begin to get a handle on your opportunities and potential struggles. Start focusing on the “stuff” that could make a difference in your life and stop worrying so much about the “stuff” over which you have little to no control.

Getting Social about Social Security Disability in North Carolina and Elsewhere

May 16, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Going through the North Carolina social security disability process can be a very lonely and isolating experience, even if you have friends and family around who are supportive — and even if you have a great North Carolina social security disability law firm, like the Law Offices of Michael DeMayo, helping you with issues like an administrative law judge hearing or a problem related to your employer or physician.

In other words, even if you have support structures in place, you can feel pretty scared and isolated.

To that end, many beneficiaries – or friends and family members of beneficiaries – find themselves often going online to connect with other people who have similar plights. It’s difficult to understand the experience of being really sick and needing government benefits when you’re not in that situation yourself. People make assumptions about what happened and what you need to do next. Those assumptions may or not be correct. But they are based on ignorance of the situation.

On the other hand, other people going through this process – waiting for benefits, getting medical care, struggling to keep afloat financially – can validate your feelings and perspectives. They can give you insight into tactics and strategies to use to make life a little easier, communicate with your doctors a little better, make better use of your benefits, and on and on.

So there’s definitely a very positive aspect of “going social” – sharing your story, sharing your struggles, helping others, getting feedback, etc.

But there is also a very clear danger of the “the blind leading the blind.” You need to be careful when it comes to revealing certain information about yourself and your condition online for security reasons and also, potentially, for legal reasons. You also need to be careful to avoid following quackish medical advice. It’s useful to validate information you get online with outside sources to see whether it’s a legitimate source of information or idea.

Wielding the double-edge sword

Getting social about social security disability has serious pros and serious cons. To that end, just use the tool with care. Make sure that you talk to your medical providers about treatment options or diets that you want to try. Be sure to check with your law firm regarding steps to take.

That said, also be willing to expand your mind and listen to different points of view. There are so many different problems associated with being on SSD, supplement security income, or other government benefits programs. The “hive mind” is often very good at solving nitpicky details that other sources of help might not address or might not even recognize are causing you pain and problems.

More Web Resources:

Using social media wisely

North Carolina Social Security Disability – The Price of Not Knowing

May 14, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Why is the quest for North Carolina Social Security Disability so stressful? Why does it keep you up at night? Why are you fretting about the results of your administrative law judge hearing, reconsideration, or other action?

You might default to the obvious answer: you need money. You’re worried because you want to secure benefits to pay for your medical care and pay for your life. That’s all well and good – you definitely need money to support yourself and your family during this crisis. Perhaps you’ve been in financial straits before – or operated in an uncertain environment – and you found it to be hugely stressful. For instance, maybe back when you started working, you had no idea whether you’d receive a promotion or not, and that was stressful. But the stress of that in no way could compare to the stress of your fight for disability benefits. Why?

One reason is that your illness or injury has compromised your ability to work and earn money. And that’s scary. Because if you are out of a job, or you’re not getting promoted, or you’re struggling with credit card debt, your problem is strictly financial. You can always, theoretically, find a new job, get a mentor, or otherwise increase your earning capacity. But when you are sick and injured – and potentially at risk for more health problems in the future – this loss of earning capacity is particularly scary.

The second big reason why it’s scary is that you’re being held in limbo. If you got a call tomorrow from a bureaucrat who told you that there was no way on earth you would ever receive North Carolina social security disability, you’d probably be upset and would rightfully rail against the unfairness of this. But, as the days or weeks went by, you would come to terms with the unfairness of the system, and you would find another way to meet your meet needs. Life would go on, and you would manage somehow.

On the other hand, when you are in limbo – when you have no idea whether you’re going to get the benefits or not – you are spending a lot of time focusing on the pros and cons of different outcomes. Your brain has a very difficult time letting it go. And this causes stress and panic – the vast majority of which is counterproductive, because stress and panic do not help your outcome unless they are connected to positive action.

So where are we all going with this? The answer is essentially this: Whether you work with DeMayo Law or another North Carolina social security disability law firm, you need to give yourself a break. Recognize your challenges, and realize that clarity is needed for you to enjoy true stress relief.

More Web Resources:

Why uncertainty causes stresses

How to overcome uncertainty

Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Quest: Defining Your Values and Vision

May 12, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Earlier this week, we talked about how North Carolina social security disability beneficiaries (or would-be beneficiaries) can gain tremendous leverage by defining and understanding the purpose of their quest. If you know why you want benefits, you can be far more methodical and efficient in how you obtain them – and you can often tap into deep reservoirs of emotion to motivate you to push through obstacles.

Today, we’re going to talk about values and vision. What are the values that you want to govern your North Carolina social security disability push? And what’s your vision for success? Let’s take these questions one at a time.

Values

Here’s a quick, handy way to determine your values for any kind of activity, courtesy of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology. You simply think about outsourcing the entire task to another person or organization. Then you think about what kind of rules you would want that person or organization to abide by as they work for you. For instance, whether you outsourced a job to an experienced North Carolina social security disability law firm (like the Law Offices of Michael DeMayo) or a magical social security disability fairy, here are some values that might be important to you:

•    Stay ethical – don’t violate any laws
•    Give me the most money possible
•    Complete the process as quickly as possible – I don’t want to drag this thing on for months or years
•    Keep me involved at every step of the way, so I can correct the course if need be
•    Make the process as simple as possible.

You get the idea. Basically, you want to define the parameters that govern your quest. You can do this for yourself by imagining the rules of conduct that you would impose on someone else.

It’s very helpful to write down both your values and your purpose for any activity, especially a potentially long and involved process like the quest for North Carolina social security disability benefits.

Vision

Your next step is to get very, very clear and concrete about what you would like to achieve in the future. There are many different ways to define success for your quest. It could be to maximize your benefits. It could be to minimize your stress. It could be to just get some money, so you can get this whole thing “off your plate” and focus on recovering from your illness/injury. Every person is going to have a different vision for success. So the clearer you are about your vision, the more likely you will be to achieve what you want. You can then communicate this vision with people who help you. For instance, if you connect with a law firm and you tell your legal allies, “Success to me means getting as much money as possible, and I don’t care how long it takes or what I have to do to succeed,” then your attorneys will take certain steps to help you. On the other hand, you will take a different route if you tell your allies, “Success to me means getting this done with as soon as possible. I don’t care if I don’t get the maximum amount. I just want to over and done with.”

Getting clear about your purpose, values, and vision can give you a kind of magical clarity and reduce some of the uncertainty and stress you feel – which in turn can help you focus more on healing, dealing with your financial problems, and managing the injury/illness-related chaos in your life.

More Web Resources:

Defining your values, per David Allen’s Getting Things Done system

Coming up with a clear vision for your ideal outcome

 
 

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