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DisabilityLegislation Passed To Help ALS Patients Access Disability Benefits Faster

December 16, 2020

An amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis is a difficult and devastating diagnosis for those affected by the disease and their families. There is no cure for ALS. As ALS progresses, so do the medical bills and the need for intensive care. This blog will detail how recent legislation may help those living with ALS access disability benefits faster than they could before the law was passed.

Disability for ALS Nebraska 

If you or someone you love has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the Social Security disability team at Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O. will work to secure disability benefits to provide much-needed support as quickly as possible. Call us today at 402-234-8787. You also can share your story here.

ALS Disability Insurance Access Act 

The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill titled the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019. As of the time of this post, the legislation was waiting approval by Congress. If the legislation is enacted, the mandatory five-month waiting period for disability insurance will be waived for those diagnosed with ALS.

The bill was introduced by two of the founding members of the Senate ALS Caucus: Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, and Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat. They argued that by waiving the five month waiting period, Americans will have quicker access to financial benefits for those suffering from the debilitating, often fast-progressing disease.

When an individual applies for disability benefits, they must wait through an initial five-month waiting period in case the disabling condition improves. ALS does not improve and there are no known treatments to halt progression of the disease. Often, individuals with rapid progressing ALS die before they are approved for disability benefits.

The passage of the bill is expected to help lessen the negative impact the financial hardship ALS has on claimants and their families. During the five-month waiting period, an individual with ALS will have incurred significant expenses associated with the care and treatment of their condition. Many individuals require around-the-clock care, and disability benefits can help with those costs. In addition, a disability declaration may open the door to much needed Medicaid benefits.

The Senate ALS Caucus, which was founded earlier this year, has made passing the legislation a priority. Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana both chair the bipartisan group.

Applying for Disability Benefits

Even after the legislation is passed by Congress and enacted, you will need to apply for disability benefits and complete the form, in detail, as you would with any other disability claim. You will also need to provide supporting medical documentation and evidence that confirm your diagnosis and show how you are affected by ALS.

Even if you or your loved one has ALS, the claim can still be denied if the claim form is not properly completed and you fail to provide supporting medical documentation that verifies the diagnosis and confirms that you have ALS.

Because of the complexity of disability claims, you, or your loved one, should enlist the help of a disability lawyer. Watson and Carroll’s experienced Social Security Disability attorneys have helped countless disabled workers be approved for disability benefits and gain access to the funds that they need after becoming unable to work. If you or your loved one was diagnosed with ALS, you are ready to apply for disability benefits, please contact one of our offices for a free consultation.

About Watson & Carroll 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones – not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a workers’ compensation case, a personal injury claim, a medical malpractice case, or advocating for disability benefits, we work to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld.

Our firm can help. Call 402-234-8787 or email contact@watsoncarroll.com. You also can fill out our confidential contact form.

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