Disability Help Center - Las Vegas - February 2020



February 2020

February is the month of love, and although you should be paying special attention to the care and health of your heart every day, Valentine’s Day serves as a great reminder to pay it the attention it needs in every sense. Eating right and exercising can help you maintain a healthy heart, but, in some cases, chronic conditions make this difficult. It’s important to understand any conditions you may have and know how they affect your qualifications for Social Security benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, these are the most often recognized types of heart disease that allow you to qualify for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood sufficiently to other organs. When this happens, the blood returning to the heart accumulates and results in congestion of the heart tissue. Symptoms include shortness of breath, weakness, and fatigue. The SSA lists this disease as “chronic heart failure,” and to meet this listing, you must have experienced this heart failure and be consistently unable to perform activities of daily living, have had three or more episodes of heart failure over the last year, or fail an exercise tolerance test. Coronary Artery Disease occurs when fat and calcium build up in the arteries and decrease blood flow to the heart. Arteriosclerosis is a related condition in which plaque buildup also causes the arterial walls to harden. Heart attacks generally occur under a combination of both these conditions. Symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath, especially when exerting energy. To qualify for benefits under this disease, you must have had three separate infarction episodes requiring angioplasty or bypass surgery over the past year, show a 50%–70% narrowing of nonbypassed coronary artery, or have an abnormal exercise tolerance test. Recurrent Heart Arrhythmias, or abnormal heartbeats, are a disruption of the heart’s internal electrical system. They can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, erratically, or unpredictably. The symptoms include fluttering in the chest, dizziness, shortness of breath, and fainting. Some types are harmless, but others can cause insufficient blood flow. You may qualify for benefits if you’ve had a loss of consciousness on three occasions over the past year, your arrhythmia isn’t related to reversible causes, and has been documented by appropriate medical testing. HOW THEY IMPACT YOUR DISABILITY ENROLLMENT AFFAIRS OF THE HEART

Heart Transplants are less common than the above diseases but have more immediate qualifiers for disability benefits attached to them. If an individual has undergone a heart transplant for any reason, they are automatically considered disabled for one year following the surgery, due to the standards of necessary recovery time and inability to work efficiently during that period. After one year, it is still possible for the individual to qualify as disabled under another listing. While there are other conditionally qualifying types of heart disease, like aortic aneurysms or conditions that require pacemakers, the diseases listed above are most commonly awarded disability benefits, especially if their severity keeps you from living everyday life. If you believe you might qualify, it’s important to speak with your doctor about supplying sufficient documentation and evidence of your disability so that you can be sure you get the fiscal support you need. The Social Security Administration also keeps a “blue book” list of qualifying disabling impairments that you can find on their website for further information.

–Elizabeth Packard

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For some, a perfect Valentine’s Day means a romantic night out for two. But for others, an exciting day-date with the whole family makes the holiday about celebrating all your loved ones. Here are some great ideas for Valentine’s Day events to attend that you and your kids will love.


hotel’s lush 15-acre grounds and is free and open to the public daily. You can snap some fun family photos and see other exotic birds and additional wildlife. You can even watch them feed their resident Pelicans every day at 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a whole lot of chocolate? How about exploring where some of that delicious chocolate is made? Ethel M Chocolate Factory is free and open to the public. It includes a self- guided viewing aisle and kitchen, where you can watch the chocolatiers make hand-crafted chocolates and other treats. Their beautiful cactus garden is also a great place to explore and sit down to enjoy the fresh chocolates you snagged during your tour.


This activity may be considered one of the most touristy things you can possibly do in Las Vegas, but when it comes to Valentine’s Day, it’s an excellent choice for both family fun and a little romance mixed in. Pile the entire family onto an authentic Venetian gondola boat and glide down the Grand Canal inside the hotel. You’ll float beneath bridges, along cafes, and under balconies, and the simulated vibrant streetscape will make it feel as though you really are taking a ride through Italy. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.


Everyone needs a little extra pink in their life when it comes to Valentine’s Day! The beautiful resident flock of Chilean flamingos at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas will give you just the dose you need. Their habitat is located on the


In a 2008 survey conducted by the National Trust in Britain, children were more likely to correctly identify a Dalek from “Doctor Who” than a barn owl. Likewise, a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study of 8–18-year-olds in the U.S. found that the average youth spends more than 53 hours a week engaged with entertainment media. These statistics, coupled with growing concerns that children are spending less time outdoors, are leading to terms like “nature deficit disorder” and global initiatives to get kids outside. Why is contact with the outdoors so important? Researchers are answering this question by studying the benefits of time spent in nature. One benefit is that outdoor time helps kids understand boundaries and learn how to assess risk. As naturalist, author, and broadcaster Stephen Moss puts it, “Falling out of a tree is a very good lesson in risk-reward.” Not to mention, time in nature may help improve focus for hyperactive kids. In one national study of youths by the University of Illinois, participants’ attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms were reduced after spending time in a green setting versus a more urban one. This may be due to the fact that natural environments call upon our “soft fascination,” a less exhausting type of focus than what is required by urban environments.

Emotional benefits were discovered too, including reduced aggression, increased happiness, and improved self-esteem.

Beyond just getting outside, the type of contact we have with nature also matters. Visits to nature centers and watching “Planet Earth” are two ways to experience the outdoors. But research points specifically to the importance of

free play in the natural world: unstructured outdoor time when children can explore and engage with their natural surroundings with no curriculum, lesson, or activity to complete. Ever notice how kids are fascinated by the simplest things? A child visits a rose garden, but before they even get to the flowers, they become captivated by a leaf on the ground or an ant crawling on their shoe. Children are born naturalists.

These are the moments we need to recapture. Take a page out of that kid’s book, and as the saying goes, stop and smell the roses — or leaves or ants — with no checklist and no plan, just time spent playing outside.


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The tips for keeping a healthy heart are easy to remember: eat right, exercise, and don’t stress. But it can be hard to figure out how to best implement these steps and keep up with them. If you simplify your tactics and approach them a little differently, they can become easier to do consistently.


Adults should get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week for adequate heart health. Instead of forcing yourself to go to the gym and do a workout you’re not enthusiastic about, find different ways to exercise. Play outside with your kids, walk the dog, or take a stroll around the office with coworkers. It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes all at once — break it down into 10 minutes at a time to make it more manageable.



If you can memorize the basic rules to abide by when it comes to food, grocery shopping and cooking become easy: 1) Limit Bad Fat — Avoid saturated fat by switching to low-fat meat and dairy. 2) Cut The Salt — Eat less processed foods and don’t consume more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily. 3) Produce Please — Eat at least 2 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. 4) Go For Grains — Whole grains are especially healthy, and corn tortillas, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice are great options.

Sometimes just walking away from whatever you’re doing to instead do nothing at all is the best way to de-stress. This can even help you recognize things you didn’t know you were stressing about. Get away from your computer or TV screen for a few minutes and just sit outside in silence. Take a break from a frustrating project by laying on your bed with the lights off. Completely unplugging from everything, just for a few minutes, can bring your stress level way down.



INGREDIENTS • 1 1/2 cups flour • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder

• 1/2 tsp salt • 2 extra ripe

bananas, mashed

• 1 cup soy milk • 2 tbsp maple syrup • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted • 1 tsp vanilla extract

• Cooking spray DIRECTIONS 1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk bananas, soy milk, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla together. 3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir. Don’t overmix. Lumps are okay. 4. Spray a heated pancake griddle with cooking spray, and scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the griddle. Repeat until the griddle is filled. 5. After 3 minutes or when bubbles appear, flip each pancake. 6. After each pancake has risen to double its initial height, remove from griddle. Repeat as necessary until batter is gone. 7. Serve with your favorite toppings!





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Disability Help Center 927 South Decatur Boulevard Las Vegas, Nevada 89107 855-704-4222 DisabilityHelpCenterNV.org



Disability Benefits and Your Heart


Family-Friendly Valentine’s Day Activities Stop and Smell the Roses


Simplify Your Heart Health Routine Vegan Banana Pancakes


Learn All About Leap Year



Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.” The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. WHERE Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling

neighbors from Anthony began the tradition

in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a

carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four

years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big.

Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.


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