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Disability Law Blog2019-10-10T19:16:52+00:00

MyChart Accounts – A Better Alternative to HITECH.

MyChart Accounts are a better alternative to HITECH medical records requests. I recently wrote a blog on how Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar affects HITECH medical records requests. Click here to read that blog. In this blog I want to suggest a better option to HITECH medical records requests is now widely available. This option is the patient's MyChart Account. Most health care providers now offer patients the option to access his/her medical records via an online MyChart Account. Once set up, the patient has access to all his/her medical records. These records can be downloaded at no cost. For example, I am a patient of the Duke Healthcare System. Here is how a MyChart Account works. 1. I login to [...]

February 21st, 2020|

HITECH Medical Records Requests & the CIOX Health Case

The law on HITECH medical records requests has changed due to the recent CIOX Health case. On January 23, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered a Decision in the case of Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar, Case No. 18-cv-00040 (APM). The Court ruled that the HITECH Act cap on the fee a patient can be charged for medical records does NOT apply to records sent to third parties, such as a law firm. The decision of the Court can be found here. In response to this Decision, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) published a Notice on January 28, 2020. This Notice summarizes of the key rulings in the Court, and states [...]

February 20th, 2020|

Approval Rates for Social Security Disability Judges.

The Approval Rates for Social Security Disability Judges vary widely among judges. Nationally, it varies from a low of 9% to a high of 96%. In North Carolina, the approval rates vary from a low of 23% to a high of 87%.  The national average is an approval rate of approximately 53%. Clearly, the judge randomly assigned to a disability case is an important factor that influences whether benefits will be awarded. For this reason I have obtained data on the approval rates of each disability judge in North Carolina (see below). Based on my experience of presenting hundreds of cases to more than 50 different disability judges, I believe the importance of the specific judge assigned to a case is [...]

December 17th, 2019|

Top 10 Tips for Hiring a Disability Lawyer Video

Top 10 Tips for Hiring a Disability Lawyer Disability Lawyer David R. Paletta 1. Do NOT hire an out-of-state law firm. Large out-of-state law firms spends thousands of dollars advertising on TV and the Internet. Their # 1 goal is to make a profit. They do not allow you to have a personal relationship with an attorney. In my opinion, they do not provide the level of legal services I believe you are entitled to. 2. If you look for a lawyer online, avoid the middle men. In recent years, "brokers" have arisen. They spend thousands of dollars on Google Ads and dominate the 1st page. They look like law firms but they are not. They are middle men [...]

October 29th, 2019|

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Disability

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Disability.  Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. For reasons doctors still do not understand, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, especially the synovial joint. […]

October 29th, 2019|

Degenerative Disc Disease and Disability Video

Degenerative Disc Disease and Social Security Disability.  One of the most common causes of disability is chronic back pain. We have all hurt our back at one time or another. We take it easy for a few days or few weeks and fully recover. However, for some individuals back pain is chronic, severe and debilitating. The Spine. The spine is tremendously important because it provides the physical support for our entire body. The spine has five parts – cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx. Spinal vertebrae are bones that form an opening in which the spinal cord passes. These bones are stacked one on top of another. The two parts of the back that most often cause problems are the cervical [...]

August 1st, 2019|

Multiple Sclerosis and Social Security Disability Video

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Multiple sclerosis (MS) damages myelin, a fatty substance that normally surrounds and protects the nerves. It can also damage nerves within the central nervous system. […]

October 1st, 2019|

Gastroparesis and Social Security disability

Gastroparesis – an Overview. In healthy people, when the stomach is functioning normally, contractions of the stomach help to crush ingested food and then propel the pulverized food into the small intestine where further digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs. Gastroparesis is a condition in which your stomach is unable to contract normally, and therefore cannot crush food nor propel food into the small intestine properly. […]

August 6th, 2019|

HITECH Medical Records Requests.

WARNING. NEW CASE LAW. The law on HITECH medical records requests has changed due to the recent CIOX Health case. A newer blog that discusses how the CIOX Health case affects HITECH medical records requests can be found here. The HITECH Act is an excellent tool attorneys can use to obtain medical records at a lower cost. Disability attorneys, workers compensation attorneys and personal injury attorneys spend thousands of dollars each year obtaining the medical records of their clients. Historically, attorneys have used a HIPAA authorization to obtain these records. […]

July 18th, 2019|

Social Security Survivors Benefits

Social Security Survivors Benefits When an individual who is insured under the Social Security system dies, certain survivors are entitled to receive benefits. These are called Social Security Survivors Benefits. In order for this benefits program to apply, the deceased must have earned enough Social Security credits. You can earn up to four credits each year. For example, in 2019 you earn one credit for each $1,360 of earnings. When you have earned $5,440, you have earned your four credits for the year. The number of credits needed to provide Social Security Survivors Benefits depends on your age when you die. No one needs more than 40 credits (10 years of work) to be eligible. However, the younger a person is, [...]

August 28th, 2019|

Disability Appeals – the Process is Broken.

The procedure for Social Security disability appeals is broken at all levels of the appellate process.  Be prepared for a frustrating experience. The 1st Disability Appeal. If your disability claim is denied, you can appeal to the Disability Determination Services known as DDS. 1. 20% of my clients have been obviously disabled at the time I first met with them. In 34 years I have never lost one of these very strong cases. Yet, DDS denied 100% of these cases. 2. I have had a few cases in which it is simple to determine the individual is disabled. In these cases I presented to DDS all the necessary medical documentation and legal analysis to prove disability. DDS denied 100% of these [...]

June 13th, 2019|