New Year’s Resolutions for the Disabled
Looking Ahead To A Better 2022.
Author: Attorney Greg Reed
Once again it’s the time when many people look forward to a fresh start in the new year. New Year’s resolutions are a lot easier to make than to keep, but each new year we can make promises to ourselves to improve our lives – and the lives of others – in some way.
It would be nice if we could all say goodbye to COVID-19 as we welcome 2022, but it’s still not wise to let go of all the restrictions the pandemic has forced on everyday life. Following is a list of suggestions to inspire you to live with more confidence and feel like you are contributing to your surrounding community.
- Take stock of your health and make changes if necessary.
- Organize your financial life.
- You should also review personal legal documents such as a will and powers of attorney for healthcare and financial matters.
- Stay safe and follow CDC guidelines.
- Upgrade your skills.
- Learn how to maintain your mobility device.
- Try a new activity in an environment that is accessible to everyone.
- Become active in issues important to people with disabilities.
- Take some time just for yourself each day.
- Finally, don’t overwhelm yourself with a long list of resolutions or goals to meet in the next year; instead, choose a few changes that you can incorporate into your life and by the end of 2022 you can look back on your accomplishments.Bemis, Roach and Reed is here to support you in your efforts and wishes you a happy, healthy 2022.
COVID-19 has placed a huge burden on our entire healthcare system. If you are a person with a disability, make sure you are following your medical provider’s treatment plan. This means keeping regular doctor appointments, either in-person or through telehealth, taking prescribed medications as directed, and following advice for diet, exercise and rest. Keep good records! Copies of medical receipts and your own notes are especially important if you are receiving disability benefits.
Review your income, assets and budget and make adjustments where needed. If you are still working and receiving disability income, make sure you are not earning over SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity). SGA in 2021 is $2,190 per month for a blind person and $1,310 for a non-blind person; in 2022 these amounts increase to $2,260 for a blind person and $1,350 for a nonblind person. Be sure to contact Social Security if your income changes; you do not want to risk losing your disability benefits.
If you don’t have these documents currently, examples can be found online, or contact an attorney or friend to help you. Taking charge of your finances provides security and prevents anxiety about the future. If you need help with budgeting or any part of managing your finances, consider consulting a financial advisor or an accountant.
Get vaccinated if you aren’t already. Wear a mask when you are indoors in a public place where there is a high possibility of transmission. Keep a supply of masks handy in your home, office and vehicle. (See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html).
If you have been denied disability don’t give up! Contact a Disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and get the benefits you deserve.
Taking a class, trying a new hobby and volunteering are not just enjoyable experiences; they can help a person develop new skills and lead to more fulling jobs and careers. If you want to return to the workforce, research jobs that interest you and find out what skills you need; then sign up for a class or volunteer at an organization where you can learn and practice.
If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, it’s absolutely essential to ensure that it’s operating correctly at all time. A small problem can quickly turn into a much larger issue if you put off minor maintenance and may leave you stranded. Learn how to keep up with maintenance issues and check your device daily, weekly and monthly. Find a local wheelchair and scooter repair service and develop a good relationship.
Adaptive organizations specialize in providing opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sports, music, outdoor recreation, and other activities. Seek out an adaptive organization such as Outdoors for all Foundation where you can try biking, hiking, snowshoeing or yoga. (See https://outdoorsforall.org/about-us/who-we-are ) Remember not to compare yourself with someone else and their abilities – or disabilities. Go ahead and try a new sport, but remember you are a beginner and set goals you can achieve at your own pace.
Reach out to organizations, writers and artists that advocate for people with disabilities and learn how you might contribute. Speak up about issues that concern you and others in the disability community like housing, employment, education, and accessibility, advocating for changes that benefit all people with disabilities.
The past two years have been filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Meditate, practice yoga, take a walk, or simply do something you enjoy such as listening to music or reading. Turn off the TV and avoid social media for a while. Stay positive and focus on what you can do.
Have a great year!
– The attorneys and staff of Bemis, Roach & Reed
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you are not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
Author: Attorney Greg Reed has been practicing law for 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion Gold rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Reed obtained board certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Greg is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the United States Court of Appeals-Fifth Circuit. Mr. Reed is a member of the Travis County Bar Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, past Director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and an Associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Reed and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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