Category Archives: SSDI Health and Wellness

Famous last words: “I thought I just had the flu!” A woman’s first heart attack could be deadly.

Women are just as likely as men to be victims of heart attack, but they can go under the radar, because their symptoms aren’t always what we expect.

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Social Security Disability: Common Non-Surgical Treatments for Back Pain

If you are disabled and have chronic back pain, these seven types of non-surgical treatment may help.

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Social Security Disability: What are the Risk Factors for Back Pain?

Anyone can have back pain, but did you know that there are specific factors that increase your risk?  See if you fit the profile of someone at high risk for back pain that could lead to disability.

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Social Security Disability: Five Interesting Facts About Low Back Pain

Researchers supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) recently reviewed scientific literature concerning low back pain and examined both the direct and indirect costs of the problem, as well as the socioeconomic factors that influence it. Here are five key findings from that research that shed light on the subject of lower back pain leading to a disability diagnosis.

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Get the Right Disability Diagnosis From Your Doctor – Use This Checklist

We’ve all been there – sitting in the doctor’s office completely unable to remember key facts that he or she needs to know to make a correct diagnosis.  Don’t let it happen when your Social Security Disability benefits are on the line – use this checklist to ensure that you receive the right diagnosis for your illness or injury.

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Be an Active Member of Your Healthcare and Legal Teams

At The Bailey Law Office in Murphysboro, Illinois, I have a few words of wisdom that I find myself sharing with my Social Security Disability Insurance clients on a regular basis.  Here is one of the top ten most frequent nuggets:

“Be an active member of your own healthcare team!”

So what exactly does that mean?

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Local Support Group Opportunity for Those With Chronic Illness and Their Caregivers

It was recently announced that the Jackson County Health Department and SIH are collaborating to offer a 6-week program for those suffering from chronic illness and their caregivers.  See more details below, as well as 5 reasons chronically ill people and their caregivers in the Southern Illinois area should take full advantage of the opportunity!

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Can You Pass This Quiz About Social Security and Medicare?


  1. Who was the president and what was the year that the Social Security Act was enacted?
  2. What party resisted the Social Security Act, and what was the argument against it?
  3. When were monthly Social Security benefits first released to workers who qualified?
  4. Who was the president and what was the year that the Medicare health insurance program was established?
  5. Did Democrats or Republicans pass the law that established Medicare?
  6. What recent president promoted the idea of privatizing Social Security and Medicare through a personal savings and investment approach?
  7. How much did a typical couple who retired in 2012 contribute to the Social Security and Medicare fund compared to how much they will receive in benefits?
  8. Does a high wage earner receive as much for each dollar of taxed earnings as a lower wage earner?
  9. How much do you have to earn in your lifetime to receive retirement benefits?
  10. Are all earnings treated the same for calculation of retirement benefits?


  1. The Social Security Act became law on August 14, 1935, when President Roosevelt signed H.R. 7260. P.L. 271-74th Congress.
  2. “When the Act was debated in Congress, prominent Republicans in the House and Senate made attempts to delete the provisions creating the old-age pension system. They said they preferred to rely solely on the assistance (charity/welfare) approach to help the aged. They argued that the payroll tax/insurance mechanism of the old-age benefits provisions might be unconstitutional and that it would impose a heavy tax burden on businesses that would retard economic development.”  See Major Decisions in the House and Senate on Social Security: 1935-2000.
  3. January 1, 1940. (Moved back from the original proposed start date of January 1, 1942.)
  4. H.R. 6675, the Social Security Amendments of 1965, was signed into law on July 30, 1965, by President Johnson.
  5. On April 8, 1965, the House passed H.R. 6675 by a vote of 313 (65-R, 248-D) to 115 (73-R, 42-D). H.R. 6675 was passed by the Senate on July 9, 1965, by a vote of 68 (13-R, 55-D) to 21 (14-R, 7-D).
  6. President George W. Bush. For more information, see CRS Report RL33544, Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation. Social Security Reform:  Current Issues and Legislation, by Dawn
  7. “a two-earner couple receiving an average wage — $44,600 per spouse in 2012 dollars — and turning 65 in 2010 would have paid $722,000 into Social Security and Medicare and can be expected to take out $966,000 in benefits. So, this couple will be paid about one-third more in benefits than they paid in taxes.”
  8. No.  Wage earners in the lower brackets receive nearly 3 times as much in monthly benefits for each dollar of average indexed monthly earnings as those in the higher brackets and 6 times as much as those in the highest brackets. See Page 9, CRS Report R42035, Social Security Primer, by Dawn Nuschler.
  9. You need 40 earnings credits (10 years of Social Security-covered employment) to be eligible for a Social Security retirement benefits. You may earn up to four earnings credits per calendar year. In 2016, you earn one credit for each $1,260 of covered earnings, up to a maximum of four credits for covered earnings of $5,040 or more. Earnings credits are also called quarters of coverage.
  10. No.  Only your highest 35 years of earnings are counted; earnings after age 60 are not indexed (increased) to historical wage growth; and earnings before age 60 are indexed. As explained in The Social Security Primer published by Congressional Research Service, “A worker’s initial monthly benefit is based on his or her highest 35 years of earnings in covered employment, which are indexed to historical wage growth (earnings through age 60 are indexed; earnings thereafter are counted at nominal value). The highest 35 years of indexed earnings are summed, and the total is divided by 420 months (35 years x 12 months = 420 months). The resulting amount is the worker’s average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). If a worker has fewer than 35 years of earnings in covered employment, years with no earnings are entered as zeroes in the computation, resulting in a lower AIME and therefore a lower monthly benefit.” The AIME is then multiplied by three progressive replacement factors. Using the factors and earnings brackets for 2016 as an illustration, the PIA would be 90% of the AIME up to $856.00, 32% of the AIME between $856.00 and $5,157.00, and 15% of the AIME over $5,157.00. See  and pages 8, 9 in CRS Report R42035, Social Security Primer, by Dawn Nuschler.


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5 Tips About the Health Insurance Marketplace


If you haven’t applied for insurance on before, here’s what you need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange” or “Obamacare exchange”).

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Your Burning Questions for Medicare Answered

As enrollment grows, so does our understanding of Medicare. At Bailey Law Firm, we know there are questions that just need answering so we’ve compiled a list for you to better understand your coverage. Much thanks to for these answers.

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