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Showing posts from December, 2011

Chronic Illness and the Holidays

Speak Up:"Many chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc., are 'invisible,'" Fennell says. "People go to work or volunteer or shuttle kids to school. Most of the time, they don't look sick. When illness flares up, their pain is invisible. Or they have bone-numbing fatigue, so bad that they can't take a shower and go to the store in the same day. There's a cultural misperception that says you're not sick unless you look sick. They need to make their illness visible by talking about it."
Fennell, who is president and CEO of Albany Health Management, Inc., in Albany, N.Y., coaches patients on how to negotiate needs. "People don't know how to ask for what they need. They'll stay home from a holiday party because they can't stand that long. We need a new social etiquette for people with chronic illness." Party Strategies: Ask for What You Need in AdvanceFennell describes a typical holiday sc…

SSA to Expand Compassionate Allowances List in 2012

Social Security Administration (SSA) has notified the APF that it hopes to expand its Compassionate Allowances list in 2012. 

As most of you know, Compassionate Allowances are diagnoses so severely disabling that affected individuals, almost always, ultimately are approved for Social Security disability assistance, when they apply. However, the approval process may take a long time, particularly with rare diseases. For that reason, Social Security Commissioner, Michael Astrue, worked with his staff to create the Compassionate Allowances program early in his tenure as commissioner. 

Having a disease that is on the Compassionate Allowances list doesn't guarantee that a patient will be given approval for disability assistance. However, it does guarantee a timely review of his/her application for assistance.

To give SSA time to conduct a thorough review of all suggested diagnoses, the APF will be submitting its suggestions to SSA immediately. We must have information by Tuesday, Decemb…