Health Care and Social Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Health Care and Social.
The signs of cerebral palsy usually appear in the early months of life, although specific diagnosis is usually delayed until later. Parents are often the first to suspect that their baby’s motor skills aren’t developing normally. Infants with cerebral palsy frequently have developmental delay, in which they are slow to reach developmental milestones such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk.
A misdiagnosis malpractice claim may lead to compensation if you were injured as a result of an undiagnosed underlying or associated disease. Contact a medical neglect lawyer.
If you or a loved one was the victim of an undiagnosed aneurysm, you may be entitled to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the doctor. To learn what your rights are, you should seek counsel from a malpractice attorney in Cleveland, Ohio. When there is a failure to diagnose a serious medical condition, and it results in devastating consequences, liability may be found with the doctor. This may be a case of medical negligence.
As a lawyer, who litigates birth injury cases, I've noticed that there is still quite a bit of confusion about c-section deliveries. I've noticed that many doctors fail to adequately explain the procedure to their patients and many times is is done so during a particularly stressful time--- like when the woman is in labor!!
Medical malpractice claims arise when people are injured by negligent or intentional acts of a licensed medical professional. Medical malpractice claims may involve a: doctor, nurse, psychiatrist, dentist, chiropractor, podiatrist, hospital, or other healthcare provider.
Long-term care is extremely expensive and the fact is that Medicare does not pay for it. So, if you truly want to be prepared for all the eventualities of aging you are going to have to be proactive about addressing these potential expenses.
Hawaii medical malpractice lawyers find a much higher risk of fatigue when nurses work for too many hours a shift or work overtime. Tired and sleepy nurses may be in danger of making possibly serious medical errors that could even lead to patient injury and death. A new study finds that states that have managed to set restrictions on nurse overtime create conditions that enhance patient safety.
If you or a family member has lost a loved one due to an accident you may have means for a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit. Many people may ask, “What is wrongful death?” A wrongful death is defined as a death that resulted due to the negligence or misconduct of another person.
According to the Millennium Research Group, medical errors are the fifth leading cause of deaths in the United States, with up to 98,000 deaths annually. Research has found that medical errors are the third highest cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer.
Our medical negligence attorneys in Michigan represent plaintiffs in malpractice cases against Michigan hospitals and their staff members for hospital errors. Hospital errors are not uncommon, as they attribute to 225,000 deaths per year. However, the number may even be larger than that, as 80 percent of hospital errors go unreported by hospital employees, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
1.3 million Americans are injured every year due to medication errors. These errors are preventable. The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, defines a medication error as any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while medication is in the control of the health care professional.
Our Michigan medical negligence attorneys realize that many of times patients injured due to medical malpractice don’t always file a lawsuit, not understanding their rights or knowing they are a victim of malpractice. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences found that nearly 90,000 people lose their lives annually in the hospital, resulting from a medical error; however, only 2 percent of those who suffer injuries from medical negligence make claims.
Our medical negligence attorneys in Michigan recognize the high risk of medication errors in hospitals and you should too. “Know all the drugs you r child is getting: know the dosages and the schedule of those drugs,” says Dr. Joseph Scherger of the University of California at Irvine. “The parent needs to be aware that hospitals are dangerous places.”
Most medical malpractice victims never recover a dime because they do not know they are victims of medical negligence. Our medical negligence attorneys in Michigan want to educate individuals on what is medical malpractice. In fact, it is estimated that 225,000 deaths result from medical malpractice, but nearly two percent of people who have suffered an injury from malpractice ever file a claim.
In the state of Indiana, each adult citizen has the right to make his or her own decisions about the kind of medical care provided by health care workers. Your physician's job is to properly inform you about your options and to provide you advice on what to do, but in the end, it is up to you to make the final decision. But what happens when you are no longer able to make your decisions for yourself, or you lose the ability to express your desires?
Antidepressants continue to be improved upon, designed to work more effectively, and have fewer side effects. That said, 60 minutes had a fascinating piece on Sunday (originally aired 02/19/2012) highlighting recent studies that ask: Do antidepressants work better than placebos? Zoloft has been prescribed since 1991. And by 2007 it was the most heavily prescribed antidepressant in the US with almost 30 million prescriptions.
Zoloft (Sertraline) was primarily developed to regulate and balance chemicals in the brain and was commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Zoloft’s primary method of balancing these chemicals is through what is known as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI). By inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, higher levels of serotonin remain in the brain.
Medication errors are far more common than most people imagine. Commonly cited statistics are that 1.3 million people are injured and approximately 7,000 people die from medication errors each year in the U.S. In May 2011, Dr. Pamela Brown, a Ph.D., RN nurse manager of a pediatric intensive care unit, gave a presentation on fatal medication errors at a conference for critical care nurses.
A recent joint study from Vanderbilt and Brown Universities found that hospital patients 65 and older have a fairly high risk of developing sepsis, or illness caused by severe blood infection. Sepsis (also called severe sepsis, sepsis infection, and septic shock) is a potentially deadly condition that’s often caused by late-stage bed sores.
It can be difficult to know what to do in the wake of an accident and injury. This is true for injuries of any nature; when they are ones that were incurred at the hands of a negligent or reckless medical physician then the tasks ahead of you can seem that much more daunting. However, if you know the right protocol to take after a case involving medical malpractice then you will likely feel more secure in the actions you take moving forward from your accident and injury.
Significant linkages have been made between Zoloft and birth defects. Many of these were brought to the attention of Pfizer by the FDA; however, Pfizer still did not adequately warn about the dangers Zoloft posed to unborn children. This is the primary reason why Zoloft Lawsuits are are being seen today.
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) defines physical abuse as any "use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment." According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 16,000 nursing homes in the United States in 2004. Over 1.5 million people called those facilities home that year and that population is expected to keep growing.
In Arizona, anyone interested in the affairs or welfare of an allegedly incompetent person may petition the court for appointment as a guardian. ABC15 reports that Sun Valley Group of Tempe requested appointment as guardian to Gloria Horrigan and Rosemary Brown. Upon appointment, Horrigan was taken to a nursing home against her will and not allowed visitors, not even her family. Brown followed a similar pattern, also taken and not allowed to see her family or visitors.
Many people are surprised when they hear just how expensive long-term care has become these days. If you look at the average length of stay which is between two and four years, coupled with the average costs you may be faced with an expense that exceeds $200,000 toward the end of your life.
One of the most profound cases I worked on involved a girl who was prescribed Bactrim by doctors at a medical clinic for complaints of a sore throat following an outdoor soccer match in cool weather. Soon after taking the medication, the girl began to develop bumps on her throat, followed by a skin rash. After several more visits to the clinic, the doctors advised the girl’s parents to continue with the Bactrim.
With the rising cost of long-term care in our elderly years, it makes sense to look for a good long term care insurance policy early on. However there are so many different kinds of policies available that it can be very difficult to compare apples to apples. Here are some tips to make sure that you are choosing the correct company for your insurance needs.
Creating a durable power of attorney for health care is an important part of the estate planning process. After all, you want to make sure that the right person is in charge of your medical care in the event that you become incapacitated. Not having a durable power of attorney for healthcare can cause a variety of different issues between family members who have to make important and difficult decisions on your behalf.
Planning for your care in your older years is critically important. The unfortunate fact is that so many seniors find themselves in a very bad situation in their later years because they did not create a plan that would protect their interests later in life.
Part of creating your estate plan should include executing a healthcare power of attorney document. This tool allows you to have some control over your medical care, if you’re ever incapacitated. The health care power of attorney is important if you want to make sure that you’re receiving the best care possible and that someone is making good decisions on your behalf. Take a look at some of the information below, to better understand the use of the document.
A loved one with dementia has special needs that should be taken into consideration, especially when choosing a long term care facility. It’s important to take extra care so that your loved one is able to live a comfortable and safe life. There are steps that you can take to make sure that you’re choosing the best possible facility for your loved one. We discuss those steps below.
Q. I heard about a birth control recall in the news recently. How do I know if my birth control pill was affected?
Tiny particles from artificial knee and hip joints made from titanium could flake away during normal wear and tear and cause painful inflammation for the recipient according to a new study. While previous studies have suggested that bits of bacteria that stick to the titanium particles are cause for the inflammation this new study suggests otherwise. Researchers from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey have found that titanium particles themselves trigger inflammation in mice.
When there is six medical staff present in the labor room as you prepare to give birth, a mother feels confident that everything will be taken care of, that she’s in good hands. Despite the number of doctors and nurses, the woman’s labor did not go as intended. Signs of distress were not treated as an emergency situation until it was too late and her baby was stillborn via cesarean delivery.
Elder Law is a term that has been coined to encompass the body of law regarding the aging population. It is an area of law that has seen significant growth as the baby boomer generation ages.
The practice of elder law is an area of expertise that developed from the need of a growing population of senior citizens with specific legal issues. What can an elder law attorney do for you or a loved one? Elder law is a relative new area in the practice of law, arising from the need of a growing population of senior citizens with specific legal needs.
Neglect and Medical Malpractice Alleged in Wrongful Death Case involving Decubitus Ulcers during Admissions
Philadelphia jurors have spoken in a case involving the development of decubitus ulcers during a hospitalization and deterioration during a subsequent stay at a nursing home. Not only did they speak up, but the jurors stood up in a loud way, slapping $5 million in punitive damages on top of a $1 million compensatory award against the Jeanes Hospital and Hillcrest Convalescent Home (Pennsylvania).
The FDA Is Evaluating Risk of Serious Bleeding Episodes with Prescription Drug Pradaxa. Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) is an oral blood thinner that was approved by the US FDA in October 2010. Pradaxa is in the class of anticoagulant (anti-clotting) blood thinners called “direct thrombin inhibitors”.
People tend to procrastinate when it comes to addressing the issues of aging and the inevitability of death and you are probably among them. Of course, these are not especially pleasant subjects to consider. These are realities all the same and it is useful to remember that you are assisting your family members when you take action and make the appropriate arrangements.
Federal employee attorney Eric Pines discusses whether you are disabled as a federal employee with a medical condition. As a federal employee attorney and advocate this question has often perplexed me. Why is this question so difficult? I mean either I have a disability or not, right? This is a question that comes up all too often for a federal employee and his or her advocate.
Medical malpractice is a term used to embody the negligent behaviors of medical professionals whose omissions or deliberate actions/ inactions have resulted in a failure to practice safe medicine. In many instances, medical malpractice becomes a case worthy of legal address, and claims and lawsuits often follow the injuries and/or fatalities of malpractice within the health care field.
If you expect to retire when you are in your mid-60s, you are going to have to save enough money to provide for your needs for perhaps 20 years or more. Most people will require a thoughtful and practical plan to be able to accumulate the resources that they need to comfortably enjoy their retirement years.
If it’s time for a loved one to move to a nursing home, it is likely that your entire family is upset about the situation. This is because living in a nursing home is a big change. Luckily, there are steps that you can take that will make the move easier. Take a look at the following information to learn more. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss nursing home options, contact an estate planning attorney.
When you become aware of an injury to your child, you should obviously get medical attention as soon as feasible. After your child's condition has stabilized, it is important to get into ‘fact collection mode’. In fact collection mode, you are beginning to collect information about the incident, and they type of injuries your child sustained.
Great debate has ensued in the medical community concerning what can be done to reduce the incidence of shoulder injuries sustained by babies during the delivery process. Collectively referred to as: shoulder dystocia, Erb’s Palsy or brachial plexus injuries, this type of birth injury is sustained when the child’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during vaginal delivery and the delicate nerves in the child’s neck—or more acutely—brachial plexus— is damaged.
Two years of litigation has achieved a $7.5 million settlement in a birth injury lawsuit initiated by the grandparents of a child born with cerebral palsy. As reported in the Chicago Sun Times, the medical malpractice lawsuit was brought against Christ Medical Center and treating obstetricians for their respective roles in the way they responded to a situation involving signs of fetal distress of a baby born at the hospital in 2002.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed the risk classification for external pacemaker pulse generators be lowered from high-risk Class III to moderate risk Class II. Doctors use external pacemaker pulse generators to temporarily regulate a patient’s heartbeat until a permanent pacemaker can be implanted. The external pacemakers are also used after heart surgery or after a patient’s heart attack to control their irregular heartbeats.
The Food and Drug Administration voted that the birth control Yaz needed new warnings related to the drugs risk of causing blood clots. On December 8, 2011, Food and Drug Administration panelists voted 21-5 that Bayer’s current labeling on Yaz and Yasmin, (drospirenoen containing drugs,) is “inadequate” and “needs more information” regarding the potential risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs.
At some point in your life you may have a loved one who requires the care and attention that only a nursing home can provide. The decision to place your loved one in a nursing home is never reached easily. Once you have reached the decision, it is important to choose the best nursing home possible for your loved one’s care.
Although we may dread the aging process, most of us hope to live long enough to enjoy our “golden years». If you still have many years to go before your own “golden years», there is a good chance that you have a loved one who is currently enjoying his or hers.
As with cerebral palsy, it can be difficult to determine if your newborn suffered a brain injury. This is because oftentimes symptoms will not be apparent until the child is around four to five years of age. This is because doctors often need to see your child move to check coordination and motor skills as well as evaluate how well your child is learning.
Found in the majority of cerebral palsy cases (>70%), spastic cerebral palsy is believed to be due to damage in the outer layer of the brain referred to as the cerebral cortex which disrupts the path of communication from the brain to the muscles.
Also referred to as, dyskenetic cerebral palsy / choreoathetoid / dystonic cerebral palsy, Children with athetoid cerebral palsy suffer from damage to the basal ganglia. The damaged basal ganglia commonly manifests symptoms that including involuntary movements that make the child seem restless.
A less common type of CP, ataxic cerebral palsy (sometimes also referred to as hypotonic cerebral palsy) involves damage to the cerebellum. Ataxic cerebral palsy is usually characterized by significantly diminished muscle tone, coordination and depth perception.
CP can affect cognitive, motor, visual, sensory, speech, coordination, and autonomic functions. Below are the some of the most commonly associated deficits associated with cerebral palsy.
Living life with cerebral palsy means living life with constant medical and therapy appointments. In order to gain the most mobility and the best quality of life it’s important for children diagnosed with the muscular disorder to start therapy early and go often. One family living in Britain is speaking out against Great Britain’s plan to cut legal aid. They claim their son’s life would have been unbearable without the therapies afforded them through their legal case.
Cerebral palsy can’t be cured, but treatment will often improve a child’s capabilities. Many children go on to enjoy near-normal adult lives if their disabilities are properly managed. In general, the earlier treatment begins, the better chance children have of overcoming developmental disabilities or learning new ways to accomplish the tasks that challenge them.
Cerebral palsy symptoms are varied depending on the severity of the case and what parts of the brain have been affected. Some cases are very mild, while others are extremely severe. Symptoms will most likely present themselves before a child is 2 years old, and can become apparent as early as 3 months. As each developmental stage passes which include sitting, rolling, crawling, and walking, symptoms will become more pronounced.
Of course, no parent ever wants to consider the concept of losing a child. However, when it comes to planning for the future of a child with special needs — with a birth injury or cerebral palsy– the life expectancy of the child is an important consideration to keep in mind when securing your families’ future.
Just as there are particular types of brain damage that cause cerebral palsy, there are also certain medical conditions or events that can happen during pregnancy and delivery that will increase a baby’s risk of being born with cerebral palsy. Research scientists have examined thousands of expectant mothers, followed them through childbirth, and monitored their children’s early neurological development to establish these risk factors.
In 0.5% of all labors, mothers experience antepartum hemorrhage, otherwise known as excessive vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. There are two main causes of the complication: placental previa which accounts for 31% of obstetric hemorrhages and placenta abruption which accounts for 22%.
Early signs of cerebral palsy may be present from birth. Most children with cerebral palsy are diagnosed during the first 2 years of life. But if a child’s symptoms are mild, it can be difficult for a doctor to make a reliable diagnosis before the age of 4 or 5. Nevertheless, if a doctor suspects cerebral palsy, he or she will most likely schedule an appointment to observe the child and talk to the parents about their child’s physical and behavioral development.
Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) is a condition where a newborn breathes meconium (newborn’s first stools – thick, sticky, greenish-black color) and amniotic fluid into the lungs before, during, or after delivery. When a baby is under stress or not receiving enough oxygen or blood, the baby can pass feces while still in the uterus. Once this happens, the baby can breathe the meconium and amniotic fluid into its lungs.
Erb’s palsy (also known as brachial palsy, brachial plexus birth injury, Erb-Duchenne Palsy, Dejerine-Kumpke Palsy) is the paralysis of the upper brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a large network of nerves that send signals from the spine to the shoulder/arm/hand (diagram). If these nerves are damaged, it can cause the arm to be paralyzed, lack of sensation, lack of muscle control in the arm/hand/wrist.
Contact a Worker’s Compensation Attorney in Las Vegas — File Your Lawsuit Immediately Following an Injury
Getting in touch with a Las Vegas worker’s compensation attorney is a decision you must make immediately after being injured on the job. Many employees often wonder how soon after an injury should they pursue a Las Vegas worker’s comp claim. Because every state law is different, it’s important that the injured party understands when to file and which channels to pursue.
Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Las Vegas Help Get Justice if You’ve Been a Victim of Malpractice?
A recent study led by Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor, Dr. Christopher P. Landrigan concluded that hospitals were no safer to patients today than they were years ago. In 1999, a landmark report uncovered 98,000 deaths due to medical mistakes. Landrigan and his team wanted to determine if hospitals were any safer today than they were more than 10 years ago.
According to reports, a lawsuit filed in Dallas, Texas against one of the nation’s biggest hospice companies highlights how Medicare’s payment methods can offer unintended financial incentives to wrongfully move patients from HMOs into hospice programs and then into hospitals.
Once in a while you hear a statistic that is so jaw-dropping you question whether or not somebody made a mistake in passing it along. In the elder law community there is one of these that has been circulating for the past several months that is really attention-getting.
Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock you are aware of the fact that the powers that be in Washington are consumed with the matter of the federal deficit. A while back a deal was struck to raise the debt ceiling so that the government could remain operable. This agreement included the appointment of a congressional committee that must come up with a plan to reduce the federal debt by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
When you're making plans for your retirement it is important to have a cogent and realistic understanding of the limitations of Social Security. You can't get into the head of every person who is unprepared for retirement, but it would be logical to assume that a high percentage of individuals have unreasonable expectations regarding how far Social Security will get them.
Atlanta elder law attorneys can help you get prepared for all the eventualities of aging, and it is truly best to have a comprehensive plan in place. When people get interested in estate planning they invariably recognize that they may well experience a period of incapacity before passing away, and this is something to recognize and address through the execution of the proper documents.
If you are like most people when you're planning for your retirement, Social Security is going to be a factor. The majority of Americans polled say that their Social Security benefit is going to be their primary source of income when their working years are behind them.
Atlanta elder law attorneys must keep their fingers on the pulse of all of the trends that are relevant to planning for aging. One of the matters that has gotten the attention of the elder law community is that of the high and rising costs associated with long-term care.
Manufacturers of dangerous drugs and supplements should be held accountable for deaths and serious injuries due to their drugs or the side effects of their product. Drug companies have a duty to the public to make safe products. They must design, test, manufacture, and package a product to the best of their ability for the safety of their customers. Proving drug manufacturer responsibility for a defective product is a passion the the Clore Law Group.
When a person shows symptoms of a medical condition, such as a terminal illness or injury, they expect a doctor to be capable of providing them with the correct answers. If a doctor fails to correctly diagnose the obvious symptoms or gives an incorrect diagnosis, the patient may be a victim of medical malpractice.
In 2004, California voters enacted Proposition 71, approving $3 billion worth of funding for stem cell research to be allocated over a 10-year period to different research facilities. Now, in 2011, the money is scheduled to run out in around five years and voters are debating whether to approve a proposition authorizing additional funding. The proposition of providing more public funding for stem cell research has proven controversial among California voters, explains a lawyer.
The massive availability of the Internet has helped a lot of Americans, even those people who are benefiting from Social Security disability benefits. However, despite the advantages of the online technology, there are also some adverse effects it can provide. One of the most daunting disadvantages of the Internet is fraud.
A team of researchers in Canada has presented a potentially path-breaking new technology for the disinfection of hospital rooms, possibly helping reduce the number of deaths that result from hospital-acquired infections every year.
A recent survey reported by the newspaper USA Today had some surprising findings for the growing group of Baby Boomers that are anticipating caring for their aging parents - only half could name any medications their parents take.
If you want to be prepared for the future you need to engage in careful and intelligent advance planning.
After almost half a year of ‘corruption lawlessness’, on 7 April 2011, the Law of Ukraine On principles of prevention and countering of corruption in Ukraine, N 3206-VI and the Law of Ukraine On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine concerning responsibility for corruption, N 3207-VI (hereinafter referred to as the “Anti-Corruption Laws”) were finally adopted. Both legislative acts entered into force on 1 July 2011.
12/20/2011 Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law “On the Amendments to Certain Healthcare Legislation” (regarding strengthening control over the turnover of medicinal products, food products for special dietary consumption, functional food products and dietary additives), more commonly known under the number 7007.
Living on a fixed income can be difficult, and this is one of the reasons why it is so very important to engage in retirement planning.
You may need to contact a Cleveland medication error lawyer if you believe that a prescription mistake led to injuries. You could be entitled to compensation through an Ohio medical malpractice claim.
If you’ve been injured and have an Ohio medical malpractice claim, contact a Cleveland medical malpractice law firm that has handled hundreds of successful claims like yours.
A diagnosis of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy could lead to a birth injury claim.
An Ohio birth injury claim may be filed if your child was the victim of medical negligence and suffered injuries. To learn what your rights are and if you have a valid claim worth pursuing, you should immediately contact a Cleveland birth injury attorney.
A summary of the 5 main reasons why one could expect to face a medical error in an emergency room.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is continually examining ways to improve the safety of our nation’s highways.
Have you been injured by a defective product? If so, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation for pain and suffering, and to replace income you may have lost as a result of your recovery. In that case, you need to hire an Arizona defective products lawyer to represent you in court, so that you get fair compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering.
Detroit personal injury attorneys discuss postoperative bedsore case. In June 2006, plaintiff Dominick Carelli, early 50s, underwent bariatric surgery. The procedure was performed at Westchester Medical Center, in Valhalla.
On behalf of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish posted in Chicago News, Medical Malpractice, Medical Malpractice Reform.
On behalf of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish posted in Chicago News, Illinois Laws, Illinois Legislation, Illinois News, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury.
If you have a pending Social Security Disability claim the most important aspect of your case involves your relationship with your treating physicians.
Orthopedic surgery doctors manage patients with musculoskeletal system disorders. When malpractice occurs, a person could end up with fractures, tumors, and deformity in the wrists, joints, extremity, and spine.
According to American Medical News, state licensing boards, medical groups, and hospitals are requiring doctors to take continuing medical education (CME) courses to prevent misconduct.
The medical treatment of infectious disease falls into infectiology and in some situations the study of epidemiology (how infections spread).
Law Firm Glimstedt presents the overview of tobacco industry in Belarus. The article covers the following matters: current business trends and opportunities, restrictions and advertisement, prices and taxations, production and import requirements.
If your SSDI claim has been denied, you’ll need an aggressive team of Las Vegas social security disability lawyers on your side. If you are disabled and unable to retain a regular paying job for at least 12 months, you have a right to seek social security disability.
One of the most common questions Social Security disability lawyers hear is, "Do I qualify for Social Security disability benefits?" Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest questions to answer. Social Security regulations are complex and confuse many applicants.