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Schizophrenic man may get a second chance for disability benefits

Many people in Georgia suffer from a disability that makes it difficult for them work. Many of these people rely on Social Security disability benefits to help cover medical payments and other necessities. When a person is denied benefits, as in this recent case, it may seem unfair. However, it is possible to appeal a denied claim. In this recent case, one man has the support of a state senator as he works to appeal a denied claim for his mental disability.

A 49-year-old Mississippi man diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder missed his Social Security disability hearing and was denied benefits because of it. The man, however, blames the Social Security Office of Disability Adjudication and Review for unfairly denying him benefits because they knew he was in jail at the time of the hearing.

The man was arrested last year for making threats to SSA employees over the handling of his claim and was jailed just before his scheduled hearing on whether he would receive disability benefits. The judge in the case denied the claim, citing the claimant's absence as one reason for the decision.

A state senator, who has been trying to help the mentally disabled man, stepped in to ask SSA if it would consider scheduling another disability benefits' hearing. The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review agreed to look over the case and decide within three months whether another hearing was warranted.

The disability claimant states that his personality disorders have prevented him from holding a job for longer than six months. He estimates he has worked in more than 150 different jobs and has tried to qualify for Social Security benefits since he was in his 20s.

As this case shows, being denied disability benefits can be extremely frustrating. However, a denied claim can be appealed. If your claim has been denied, speaking with an experienced Georgia attorney may be helpful in determining how to appeal the decision.

Source: Hattiesburg American, "Man may get disability hearing even after assault," Jesse Bass, 17 July 2011

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