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From West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA:

My friend has had diabetes for 26 years. She had a stomach by-pass 5 years ago and now suffers from short bowel syndrome with only 5' remaining of her small intestine. This has resulted in a difficult management in her sugar levels. She was on total parenteral nutrition (TPN), and went to a nutritional management center in Nebraska to learn how to get off TPN. The diet regiment is rigorous and time consuming, especially when you are single and trying to work. She has not been able to get work to support herself due to problems with controlling her sugar level. Many low incidents has left her with some brain damage. She has requested Social Security assistance, but was rejected. Where can she find free legal help to get some assistance? She is not able to support herself and maintain a healthy diet.


Unfortunately, there are few legal resources for low income people seeking assistance in disability cases. A couple of suggestions would be to check with the local Social Security office to see if they know of a legal services office in your area that represents low income petitioners. Contact your local or state bar association to see if there are any attorneys in your area providing pro-bono assistance in disability cases. You could also contact any area schools of law to learn if they have a disability law clinic.


Additional comments from Dr. Donough O'Brien:

It is an unhappy fact that even the most deserving cases often have to appeal an initial Social Security decision one or more times, not only that but assessments may vary between States. The first step for your friend would therefore be to appeal the initial decision in the State in which she is resident and with the help of the Medical Social Worker in the unit from which she gets routine care for her Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS). The American Diabetes Association has an advocacy program which your friend could also access through their Community & Resources pages and it should also be possible to get advice through the Intestinal Disease Foundation. Once eligible for social security she would also be eligible for Medicare. I think that it would be wise to explore these resources.


Original posting 19 Jan 2004
Posted to Community Resources


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:54
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