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There are many types of conditions, illnesses or injuries that individuals suffer from that quality them for disability benefits. Some are physical or neurological, others are psychological.

One condition, often criticized and controversial, is fibromyalgia. Throughout past years, the condition has been suspect because experts in the medical field disagree on its true cause-some even believe that fibromyalgia is simply psychosomatic.

However, the results of a new study may shed light on the real cause of the condition and debunk the critics who believe it's all in the patient's head.

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According to Social Security actuaries, the Social Security Retirement Fund will run dry in 2034 – meaning retirees will likely only receive roughly 75 percent of promised benefits at that time. But, while the slow depletion of retirement funds is certainly a significant problem, there is actually another Social Security fund relied upon by millions that will be exhausted far sooner, and that is the fund for Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI).

Sadly, Reuters reports that the SSDI trust fund will be emptied by 2016. This means that nine million disabled individuals – and two million dependents – will have to endure a 20 percent reduction in disability benefits if nothing is done to rectify the situation before that time.

Some experts believe that this crisis can be averted if Congress simply reallocates a small percentage of payroll tax revenues to SSDI from the retirement program. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration's chief actuary, Stephen Goss, reallocation of a mere 1/10th of 1 percent would equalize the long-term outlook of both programs.

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This week, NPR has been broadcasting a series of stories about veterans, including a story about veterans coping with returning to civilian life after a less-than-honorable discharge. According to NPR, Navy veteran Eric Highfill has received an Iraq campaign medal, an Afghanistan campaign medal, a good-conduct medal, and credentials in marksmanship and rifle sharpshooter. However, the 27-year-old veteran has a less-than-honorable discharge after a DUI while in service. As a result, he will receive no VA assistance, no disability compensation, and no GI Bill. According to NPR, this will also be a red flag on his job application, since most veterans service organizations won't accept this either, and even some private-sector jobs for vets accept honorable discharge only.

Another example is that of Army veteran Reed Holway, who in 2005 served a 13-month tour in Iraq, where he was subjected to multiple mortar explosions that ultimately led to his diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Holway began having difficulty sleeping, and his mental health screenings indicated depression and violent thoughts. Holway began drinking and eventually suffered a breakdown, which led to an assault. As a result, Holway was discharged under less-than-honorable conditions.

Holway is now forced to pay for his PTSD treatment out of pocket, which can be expensive, particularly without health insurance. Considering the stigma Holway and others face as a result of their discharge, obtaining a job that provides health insurance has been difficult. Fortunately, Holway was able to work for his father, Bill Holway, a building contractor. Nevertheless, Holway is denied free VA benefits that are generously provided to others.

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Back to Top 2022-09-25 04:43:51 PM