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Growing number of characters with disabilities featured on prime time

From Michael J. Fox to prosthetic legs on "Grey's Anatomy," a growing number of characters are showcasing disabilities on prime time programming. The change provides an opportunity to discuss programs available for those with disabilities.
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    December 31, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Growing number of characters with disabilities featured on prime time

Article provided by Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Goldblatt Esq.
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The number of prime time stars depicting characters with disabilities has doubled since 2012. Shows are highlighting the struggles of those with disabilities, serving as a tool to help increase public awareness of a variety of disabilities. In addition to the welcomed comeback of Michael J. Fox, both "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" will depict a character with a prosthetic leg and an NBC program called "Growing Up Fisher" includes a blind character within its plotline.

Although representation of disabled characters has increased, it still does not provide an adequate representation of the disabled population in the United States, or the fact that disability can happen to anyone. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a 20 year-old worker has a 33 percent chance of becoming disabled before reaching the age of retirement. Although this statistic is concerning, it is important to note that in many cases assistance is available to aid those who are managing disabilities. For example, these individuals can qualify for financial assistance through the Social Security system.

About Social Security Disability benefits

This system is designed to provide assistance to those who cannot work due to a medical condition. Generally, the individual must be unable to work for at least one year to qualify. There are a variety of additional qualifications that are required to receive benefits through the Social Security Disability (SSD) program and the application process can be intimidating.

About the SSD application process

The SSArecommends applying for benefits as soon as an individual is aware of a disability. The process can take a long time, with estimates ranging from three to five months. The application form requires a variety of information, including contact information for medical professionals attending to the injury, copies of all laboratory and test results and copies of most recent W-2.

This information is then sent to the SSA. The agency will review the application to ensure it meets basic requirements before forwarding it on to the applicant's nearest Disability Determination Services office. This is a state agency. The Disability Determination Services office will next follow up with doctors to verify the timeframe and severity of the condition.

Even if the applicant suffers a genuine injury that keeps him or her from working, the agency may revoke the claim. In these cases the decision can be appealed.

Whether appealing a claim or making an initial filing for benefits, it is often wise to seek the counsel of an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer. This legal professional can help guide the applicant through the process and better ensure the applicant's likelihood of successfully receiving benefits.

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