Archive for December, 2009

Social Security Disability Claimants and the Health Care Crisis

December 30, 2009

Anyone who thinks we don’t have a health care crisis in this country has to be lucky enough to have good-quality, affordable insurance.  If you’re not that lucky, like many of our clients who are trying to get Social Security disability, you know firsthand what the health care crisis is all about.

I spend a lot of time reading medical records, and I’m amazed by the number of our clients go to the emergency room for routine problems (headaches, back problems, sinus infections) that could be handled at a primary care doctor’s office.  Why do they go to the ER for this stuff? The answer is simple–they don’t have insurance, so they have no other choice.

I’ve seen clients who go to the ER when they run out of their diabetes supplies or insulin because they know that’s the only way they can afford to get more.  I’ve had clients with chronic diseases who depend on the prescription medication samples their doctors give them because they can’t afford the prices at the pharmacy. I’ve talked to clients who need testing for serious cardiac or brain problems but can’t get it because they can’t pay for it.

Most of the time, these are people who have worked all their lives but lost their income and their health insurance along with their jobs when they got sick.  In Florida, it’s next to impossible to qualify for Medicaid unless you have minor children in your care.

The administrative law judges who hear Social Security disability cases always want to know whether the claimant has been going to the doctor on a regular basis, getting MRIs and CT scans, and taking prescription medication.   This presents a problem for those who don’t have insurance or the money to pay for medical care out of pocket.

We try to help these clients by referring them to the Health Department, Volunteers in Medicine, The Way Free Clinic in Green Cove Springs, the medical clinic at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless, Shands Jacksonville, and other places.

I hope that someday soon, everyone in this great country will have access to regular medical care without worrying about the cost.  


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Dewey the Cat

December 18, 2009

My husband and I found the cutest kitty on our run this morning!  She was sitting on a bench outside the West Regional Library, keeping dry but feeling lonely and hungry.  I walked her the rest of the way home, dried her off, fed her, and brought her to the office with me.  She’s now sitting on my desk watching me blog.  I already have 3 cats (the last one rescued from the office when she showed up out of the blue one day), so I’m trying to find a good home for this cutie pie with a loving personality!  Since we found her at the library, I’ve named her Dewey in honor of the famous Dewey the library cat in Iowa.

Welcome to our blog!

December 18, 2009

This is our first blog post!  I’m looking forward to blogging about Social Security disability issues, all kinds of things that pertain to the defense of criminal cases, and lots of other things that I hope will be of general interest to our readers.  Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!  –Ruth Ann.