Do celebrities help raise disability awareness when they become disabled?

Disability attorneys in Arizona and across the nation know that when a Hollywood or sports celebrity is diagnosed with a disability, it provides an opportunity to educate the public about the medical condition itself, whether it is life-threatening or incurable, and what it is like to live with that disability. For many, popular actor, Michael J. Fox has become the face of Parkinson’s disease due to his decades-long battle with the debilitating neurological disease. Fundraising to research for a cure for these diseases is often spearheaded by afflicted celebrities.

Approximately four months after announcing her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, actress Selma Blair attended a post-Oscar’s party in an elegant gown and fashionable cane. Admitting she didn’t think she’d get “this bad”, she said she struggles with “movement, memory dressing and… her vision” and worries if she is “hireable” now.

Multiple Sclerosis, or “MS” for short, is one of the many disabling conditions under the Social Security Administration’s fairly extensive list of conditions that satisfy the government’s definition of “disabled”. Qualifying for disability benefits requires suffering from “a physical or mental impairment that prevents engaging in substantial gainful activities and that has lasted or is expected to last for 12 months or more or result in death”.

Many people seek the assistance of a skilled Social Security disability attorney when applying for disability benefits because the process is complex and 2/3 of all initial applications are denied. Appealing the denial of disability benefits is possible but the wait time for a hearing is substantial and can be nearly 2 years. So, it is advisable to engage competent legal counsel as early in the process as possible to maximize the chance of your application being properly completed, and hence more likely to be granted.

If you need assistance with an initial application for Social Security disability benefits, or with an appeal of a denial of benefits, the disability attorneys of Arizona at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson, we represent disabled individuals throughout Arizona and our practice is limited to disability law.