September 2012

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.

Strength Training for North Carolina Social Security Disability Success

September 29, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

What’s the best kind of exercise for someone who is out sick on North Carolina Social Security Disability?

This seems like a pretty simple question, but you might be surprised by the complexity loaded into the answer.

Most people tend to think of exercise in a broad, somewhat undifferentiated way. It’s something that we do to “get in shape” or to “lose excess flab” or to “feel better.” We tend to think that any old exercise will do, as long as it gets our heart rates up, stretches us out, builds a little muscle, and doesn’t overwork us or harm us in the process.

Along those lines of thinking, Tai-Bo equals running at the gym equals walking around the neighborhood with friends equals swimming laps at your local pool equals weight lifting, etc.

This mindset, however, may actually significantly oversimplify the problem. Specifically, emergent research in exercise physiology suggests that most people — including hardcore “gym rats” as well as regular work-a-day folks who are out on North Carolina Social Security Disability — may be dramatically underestimating the importance of strength training and overestimating the importance of so-called cardiovascular exercise or aerobics.

Again, not to get too controversial here, but the strength training element of exercise may be more important than the “cardio” element – perhaps, vastly so. New York City strength trainer, Fred Hahn – who runs a blog at – likes to talk about how muscle weakness may contribute to problems that we normally associate with a lack of cardiovascular training.

For instance, imagine you are a diabetic, 220 lbs. woman who is on Social Security Disability because of advanced complications due to your diabetes. You get winded every time you walk up the stairs of your apartment. You might think that you are getting winded because you are “out of shape.” And then you might go to the gym to run a few times a week to “build up your endurance.” You do that regimen for a few weeks. Lo and behold, getting up the stairs gets easier and easier. But, Hahn would argue, you are having an easier time not because you built up your heart and lungs through running, but because you’ve strengthened your legs so that your leg muscles have an easier time getting up the stairs. The cause and effect is reversed.

If you go by Hahn’s logic, one of the master keys to success with any kind of exercise or training program is building muscular strength in a safe and effective and manner – ideally overseen by a trainer or doctor, particularly if you have an illness or an injury.

Of course, SSD beneficiaries (or would be beneficiaries) need more help than simple strength training exercises. They often have legions of legal and logistical questions. To that end, you might want to connect with a qualified North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm.

More web resources:

Fred Hahn’s Serious Strength Blog

Which is Better: Strength training or cardio?

Leveraging Parkinson’s Law to Make Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Journey Easier

September 26, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina social security disability beneficiaries often struggle with time pressure.

Although you may not be working or actively engaged in exhausting activities like child care, caregiving for others, running a business, et cetera, you still face many pressures – pressures to recover, pressures to deal with a difficult financial situation on a shoestring budget, pressures to manage your emotional and logistical crises, and pressures to deal with an often uncaring social security disability bureaucracy.

Given all your serious constraints, you would like to find a way to get more done faster… without compromising your care or rehab or sanity.

Enter Parkinson’s Law.

Simply stated, Parkinson’s Law is a truism about work: work fills up the volume of time you allot for it. If you give yourself eight hours to do a project, you will complete the project in roughly eight hours. If you give yourself four hours to do a project, you can probably get it done within four hours. If you give yourself 16 hours to do a project, it will take you 16 hours to do it. And so forth. Obviously, Parkinson’s Law is not the same kind of “law” as the law of gravity or anything like that. Rather, it’s a nice heuristic or rule of thumb that North Carolina social security disability beneficiaries can use to make some serious inroads into their problems.

Here is an example. Say you need a rehab specialist to help you fix myofascial pain in your extremities. You could spend a week or two weeks or even longer researching various practitioners, weighing their strengths and weaknesses, scheduling free visits, et cetera. Or you could give yourself a “drop dead time limit” to make your decision. Maybe you give yourself three or four days. You might intuit that you’d make a better decision if you take the full amount of time – the two to three weeks that you would normally take. But Parkinson’s Law tells you that you wouldn’t gain any tangible advantages.

In other words, you would have essentially the same rehab experience… whether you took three weeks to find a practitioner or took three days to find one. Parkinson’s Law is not a license to be sloppy or to lower your standards. Instead, it’s a tool to help you avoid open ended searches and to make better use of your time.

Of course, there are certain aspects of your SSD struggle that you can’t handle on your own. A reputable North Carolina social security disability law firm can help you figure out what you need to do, how to do it, and how to optimize your resources and minimize your mistakes.

More Web Resources:

Parkinson’s Law Explained

Leveraging Parkinson’s Law to Get More Done in Less Time

Misery Hates Company, so Get Some Company! Common Sense, Easy Ways to Make Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Journey Easier

September 23, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

This blog has cataloged the many, scary, and diverse challenges that North Carolina social security disability beneficiaries (or would-be beneficiaries) face. It’s an intimidating world, and SSD applicants are often mistreated by the system, forgotten by doctors, and treated unjustly by judges and bureaucrats.

Although a competent North Carolina Social Security Disability Law Firm can help you make progress – compelling the system to work fairly for you, for instance, and making you sure you get the right benefits for your needs without becoming ensnared in red tape – your challenges are too broad for any single outside resource, even the best NC SSD law firm, to manage.

So what can you do?

Solutions abound. But all too often, North Carolina Social Security Disability beneficiaries operate in a vacuum. They try to figure out everything on their own. Maybe they use the internet to help them. Maybe they lean on resources like competent law firms and friends or family members. But they probably do not take advantage of the full suite of resources available to them. And one of the key causes of failure, stress, and anxiety is that beneficiaries do not get the empathy they need. No one listens to them.

One Simple but Surprisingly Tricky Solution: Get Connected

The old adage “misery loves company” is actually backward: misery hates company. Depression, stress and anxiety are emotions that often amplify when people are left alone with nothing but their thoughts.

Human beings love to communicate their needs to other people. We evolved to be social creatures.

The first step is to find the resources you need to make better progress. Connect with an experienced North Carolina social security disability law firm to find out what you can do to solve your communications problems and to get connected with people who care about you to work through whatever SSD demons you face.

More web resources:

Human beings are social creatures

How social connections can help us get through problems.

The “Way Way Way Too Much Information” Problem: How North Carolina Social Security Disability Applicants Can Cope

September 18, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

If you have been researching North Carolina Social Security Disability benefits on the internet, the odds are great that you’ve uncovered far more pertinent, possibly crucial information about your SSD benefits than you can process and use. The quest to understand your rights, obligations, timeframes, etc., is hard enough without all the buzz and confusion, but it’s made much more difficult by this constant “informational noise” that you must slog through. What SSD info is correct, germane to your situation, actionable, and smart? What information is out-of-date, inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete? And how can you tell the difference?

This challenge is not unique to North Carolina Social Security Disability applicants – it’s a challenge that we all face every time we get on the web looking for solutions to vexing problems. There’s a good chance that smart people have addressed whatever problems we face. But locating those good answers in a sea of misleading information is like finding a needle in a haystack. It requires vigilance, effort, and the constant, relentless use of your intuition and self-discipline. It’s hard.

And it’s hard enough for ordinary people who are not beset by medical issues or financial problems. But when you are sick, tired, or otherwise incapacitated – and you are suffering from financial stress – you are fundamentally compromised.

So what’s the solution? First of all, there’s no “one solution.” Every SSD applicant will require a different amount of help. Some people might be able to get their questions answered through simple Wikipedia and Google searches, while others might need to read e-books and/or research extensively for weeks before they get good answers. Still others may need the long-term services of a dedicated North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm.

No matter which group you are in, it never hurts to connect with an attorney, especially one who will give a free, upfront consultation. You will benefit from the strategic counsel without the commitment. Remember that consulting with a law firm is very different from retaining a firm for services. The key is not necessarily to get counsel, but to get strategic guidance so that you make the most efficient use out of your research time, simplify your SSD application process, and make the whole experience as stress-free as possible.

More Web Resources:

Too Much Information Problem

informational noise

Shortcutting the Recovery: Applying the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) to Your North Carolina Social Security Disability Problems

September 15, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

As a North Carolina Social Security Disability beneficiary (or wannabe beneficiary), you are stuck facing possible financial insolvency, medical/rehab issues and surgeries, emotional frustrations, family support issues, and possibly trouble getting the benefits you need and crave to restore your life. With so many tasks to deal with at once, which ones do you focus on?

One interesting way of breaking down your problems is to leverage something called 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. This principle was created by a nineteenth-century economist (named, coincidently Pareto), and it suggests that there is an imbalance between system inputs and system outputs. Eighty percent of your effort will only result in 20% of the effects and vice versa – 20% of your efforts will result in 80% of your output. So if you are in business, 20% of your clients will yield 80% of your revenue. If you’re sick, 20% of your care will lead to 80% of the benefits. And so forth. In other words, this principle holds throughout nature and is applicable in many scenarios. For instance, 80% of the wealth of any nation is owned by 20% of the population (roughly), irrespective of that nation’s economic health, size of the economy, political system, etc.

So North Carolina Social Security Disability applicants can benefit from this idea by zeroing in on the so-called “vital few” (the 20% of inputs that make 80% of the difference) to solve their problems faster. For instance, say you are engaged in numerous physical therapies to treat chronically sore back. You do an 80/20 analysis of which therapies are really working for you and which ones are not (by, for instance, journaling how you feel before, during and after each rehab session), and lo and behold, you might find that your deep-tissue massage gives you far more benefit than any other therapies, such as Pilates, acupuncture, movement therapies, etc.

Once you have isolated the “vital few” things that make the most difference, you amp them up and get rid of the 80% of the stuff that’s giving you 20% of results. So in our theoretical example, this might mean that you quit doing yoga, Pilates, and dance, instead tripling the amount of deep-tissue massage you get every week.

In other words, you highlight the stuff that works and get rid of the stuff that doesn’t. If you keep doing these 80/20 purges in all areas of your business, life, and health, you might be surprised by how much more effective your recovery will be. Along those lines, get the help you need by connecting with a respected, highly skilled North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm.

More Web Resources:

Pareto Principle

How to do an 80/20 purge

Young, Seemingly Healthy…and on North Carolina Social Security Disability

September 12, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Conjure up an image in your mind of an archetypal person who collects North Carolina Social Security Disability.

Perhaps, you thought of an elderly diabetic woman who can barely make ends meet and needs help just dealing with the day-to-day. Or maybe you fixated on an image of an injured factory worker who lost mobility in his legs and suffered a disease or illness that has complicated his recovery. If you are like a normal person, chances are your image of the North Carolina Social Security Disability beneficiary is of someone who is old, sick, or otherwise severely infirm.

But young people go on SSD as well – for a variety of medical reasons, such as chronic illness. And the experience of collecting SSD as a young adult may be quite different. It’s one thing if you are 75 and in ill health. That’s obviously unpleasant. But we all recognize the reality that we will grow more infirm as we get older. But if you are 27 and sick with a serious illness – while your peers and friends are out partying, Facebooking, and living their lives as if they literally have forever – your situation can feel quite lonely, scary, and exasperating.

So if you are young and sick, what can you do to make the most of your situation?

Obviously, you can research support groups online, go to therapy, and spend time every day reflecting in gratitude about what you have in your life (as opposed to what you lack). One critical factor is finding social support. We, as human beings, are very sensitive to the judgments of our peers. We can respond to those judgments or become resilient to them, but it’s folly to ignore the powerful effects of peer group thinking. That’s why support groups are so wonderful – not just because they give you a forum to discuss issues — but also because they allow you to redefine what’s socially normative, and thus help you feel better about your situation and your progress.

For help dealing with the myriad logistical, financial, and legal issues that you confront, talk to an experienced North Carolina Social Security Disability firm.

More Web Resources:

Young and sick?

Peer groups impact psychology

The 2012 Presidential Election: How It Might Redound to Impact North Carolina Social Security Disability

September 8, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

We are still over a year away from the 2012 presidential election, but pundits, policymakers and bloggers who follow North Carolina Social Security Disability policy are already contemplating how the next presidential election might impact the future of government benefits programs. The speculation is obviously just that – educated (or in some case, completely uneducated) guessing.

Would President Mitt Romney really be that different from President Rick Perry or President Michele Bachmann in terms of prioritizing or executing entitlement reform? How might President Obama handle entitlement programs if he gets elected to a second term. Would a second-term President Barack Obama push for more intense reform without the specter of another election looming over him? How might the legislative branch’s changes in 2012 ultimately impact entitlement policy?

Pundits who speculate should recognize that “events on the ground” will no doubt change radically over the next year-and-a-half. Those events, both domestic and international, will redound to have effects on the perceived best solutions for entitlement reform policy.

It’s a big mess, in other words.

Even with the best crystal ball this side of the Beltway, prognosticators would have a very, very, very difficult time predicting the future of programs like Social Security Disability. And that uncertainty can be worrisome if you are someone (or the family member of someone) who depends on government entitlement programs to live, pay medical bills, and otherwise cushion against uncertainties.

So what can you do to protect yourself and your budget and maximize your chances of recovering from a medical crisis and leading a more productive life?

The answers may have less to do with planning your future perfectly than with amassing resources you can use during times of crisis. With a quality North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm on your side, you have a reliable partner to help you interpret any changes to entitlement rules (if they do get passed) and to advocate for your best interests, no matter what happens in the political sphere.

More Web Resources:

President Perry?

President Romney?

President Obama (Part 2)?

The Miserable Medical Prognosis Problem: How a Dire Word from Your Doctor Can Set Back Your Quest for North Carolina Social Security Disability

September 6, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

To qualify for North Carolina social security disability (SSD), you have to be pretty sick and/or injured. And many would-be beneficiaries spend a tremendous amounts of time and energy proving that they really are hurt or sick enough to qualify for money for key living expenses, medical bills, and the like.

But what if your situation is far more desperate?

What if you are seriously ill – possibly even dying – and your concern is less about qualifying for SSD or supplemental security income (SSI) than it is fighting for your life?

Obviously, your health needs trump everything else. But a somber word from a doctor, an ambiguous or disappointing test result, or some other piece of bad medical news can totally throw you off your game. Among other things, your quest to line up and secure your North Carolina social security disability payments may lose its urgency.

This sounds paradoxical at first. But the reason a bad diagnosis will make your journey more difficult has nothing to do with your qualifications – rather, it has to do with your motivation. If you are seriously injured or sick, you may not have the will, wherewithal, or energy to fight through the bureaucracy that stands in your way. You might be tempted to just give up, accept your fate, and abandon hope.

• Instead of filling out requisite paperwork, you may leave the papers on your desk for weeks or even months because you are so tired or filled with despair that you can’t be bothered.
• Or you may delay or defer connecting with a qualified North Carolina social security disability law firm because, from your depressed perspective, it no longer matters whether you get SSD or not.

Not only is this captulation sad and almost certainly premature, but it can have real and negative effects on your health. The more support you have – emotional, financial, logistical, and otherwise — the greater your potential is to overcome your illness/injury and get your life back.

At this point, you need MORE resources and help – not less. If you’ve been beaten down by a bad diagnosis or frustrated by some other piece of bad news, as difficult as it sounds, strive to redouble your efforts and get the critical help you need. You owe it to yourself and your family, and you might be surprised by your own resourcefulness and by the resources available to help you through this admittedly challenging and scary time.

More Web Resources:

Dealing with bad medical news