Marcus Vaden Law - May 2020

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How to Navigate Doctors’ Appointments To Help Your SSD Case 600 South German Lane, Suite 102, Conway, AR 72034 • 501-354-4577

Talking to your doctor is a crucial part of getting approved for Social Security disability (SSD) and can sometimes be the No. 1 factor. Unfortunately, those conversations can often be cut short or you may not know what exactly to bring up. But if you consider the following aspects, you’ll be able to make the most of your doctor’s visit as we fight for your benefits. First, make sure you qualify for disability. Consider these four situations. First, is chronic pain affecting your daily life? Second, are you having trouble holding a job because of pain affecting your work? Third, are simple tasks and functions hard to complete? Fourth, is it difficult for you to sit or stand for any length of time? If you feel your condition matches these four situations, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Right now, your life probably feels like a roller coaster. Some days, you feel like climbing a mountain, and other days, you can’t even walk to the fridge. I get it. Chronic pain is not an easy thing to live with. It’s a life- altering circumstance. Unfortunately, some doctors don’t believe in the concept of disability. It’s easy to brush the idea off when you’ve never experienced it for yourself. Let’s say you’re experiencing a rough week. Standing for any length of time causes your legs to swell and feel stiff. You call in sick for a few days, and you spend the majority of your time sleeping in the hopes that you can relax the pain away. You finally manage to pick up the phone and call your doctor to make an appointment. Often, when you go to the doctor for this kind of problem, they want to hear about your symptoms. After the week you’ve experienced, you start by saying, “I can’t stand very long. My leg gets so stiff and swollen.” After your visit, you’ll probably leave with a stronger prescription but no added value to your case. Your doctor most likely documented your symptoms and prescription adjustments in your file, but there was no step made toward bettering the problems that you do have. What’s more, you’re not getting you any closer to qualifying for the SSD that would allow you to focus more on improving yourself without worrying financially. We all know you can’t stand over

your doctor’s shoulder and proofread everything he/she has written about you during your appointment. However, you can change the way you present yourself to them. Instead of listing all of your symptoms and moving on, talk about how your pain is affecting you. Elaborate on how the illness is impacting your everyday life, no matter how small. Try saying something like: “After about 30 minutes, my leg gets so stiff and swollen that I can’t bear to stand any longer. I can only stand 3–4 hours per day, and then I can’t get up for the rest of the day. And when I lay down too long, a throbbing sensation takes over. I cannot perform simple daily tasks, nor can I go to any of my grandkids ball games. Additionally, it’s causing me to miss work since there is standing for long periods involved with my job.”Not only are you relaying your symptoms, but you are also describing how the symptoms are affecting your life and causing everyday, mundane tasks to be difficult or impossible because of the pain. With proper and consistent documentation of your disability by your doctor, you will increase your chances of approval. If you have been denied SSD and feel there has been an injustice, call me today or fill out our form! My team will be happy to review your case and let you know how we can help. Our number is 501-354-4577.

-Marcus Vaden

Marcus Vaden Law’s Communication Policy

We would love to take each call that comes through our office; however, to maintain an efficient workplace and to ensure you get undivided attention, we ask that you schedule an appointment in advance to speak with your

attorney. Please feel free to contact the paralegal on your case for questions concerning routine matters or other inquiries, as we have an experienced team standing by to help you.

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THE PROS AND CONS OF BUYING A HOME IN A 55-PLUS COMMUNITY

Depending on your wants and needs, buying a home in a 55-plus community might be a financially savvy way to set yourself up for retirement. But is it the right decision for you? Here are a few financial pros and cons associated with moving into one of these neighborhoods. PRO: THE HOMES ARE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. Oftentimes, 55-plus communities provide maintenance services, including housekeeping and landscaping. Also, it’s likely that only a handful of people have occupied the home since it was built, so buying in a 55-plus community means you’ll get a property in excellent condition with less wear and tear. CON: YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY A MONTHLY FEE. Unfortunately, all the great stuff doesn’t come free. Usually, you’ll have to pay an extra monthly bill, similar to a homeowners association fee, to live in a 55-plus community. Some communities include all maintenance and amenities in the monthly rent or mortgage (some even cover utility bills), but make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered before you sign a contract! PRO: AMENITIES ARE INCLUDED. Most 55-plus communities include amenities like exercise classes and educational programs for their residents. They also invite community

organizations and leaders to speak about local issues or upcoming elections. Some even have a clubhouse or dining hall for social gatherings. Save money by taking advantage of these programs instead of paying for a gymmembership or a course at the local community college. CON: IT’S A LIMITED BUYER’S AND RENTER’S MARKET. Most people who buy in a 55-plus community plan to retire there. If this is your original intention but your plans change down the road, you might have a harder time selling your home here than you would in a community that is open to people of all ages. Make sure to budget for those potential holding costs and plan accordingly.

Regardless of where you decide to buy, be sure to consult an experienced real estate agent and a financial planner. Here’s to living out your golden years in comfort and convenience! THE $60,000 HEISTYOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF Crimeless Theft in Cyberspace

In 2017, sometime between Sept. 11 and 12, a total of $60,000 worth of digital assets were stolen from people around the world. The conspirators didn’t hide their identities, and they faced no criminal charges. As it turns out, there are no laws against stealing spaceships in a video game — even if they’re worth thousands of real-world dollars. EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that was launched in 2003, and it was on this game that the theft occurred. This science-fiction game is all about spacefaring, but one notable feature of the game is that it allows players to purchase in-game assets with real money. This attracts players who can spend large sums on the game, with some of the game’s largest spaceships costing $9,000. But one thing to note in EVE Online is that no matter how much you pay, once you lose an asset, it’s gone forever.

Because of the risk-reward nature of the game, many players unite in huge factions for safety and to pool their resources. One of these groups, Circle of Two or CO2, was the target of the 2017 attack. Within a matter of hours, CO2’s bank accounts were drained and the space stations holding their fleets of ships were sold to their enemies. It was clear from the beginning: This was an inside job. The thief was CO2’s own head diplomat, a player called “The Judge.” For years he’d worked his way through the alliance’s ranks, only to use the access he eventually gained to rob it blind. But greed may not have been his only motivation. He’d had public disagreements with CO2’s leader called Gigx, and a rival faction was able to capitalize on this internal conflict. During an in-person EVE Online summit held in Iceland, representatives from The GoonSwarm Federation convinced The Judge to leave CO2 and commit the single largest robbery in gaming history on his way out. In the real world, The Judge’s actions were completely legal — currently, international law doesn’t treat such virtual objects as personal property. But this perception may be changing. As in-game purchases become more widespread in video games, legal lines have blurred, causing an increasing number of lawmakers to rethink what constitutes “ownership” in the digital age. But, for now at least, it seems like a good time to be a space pirate.

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TAKE A BREAK

When cats are orphaned as kittens, they don’t get the chance to develop all the skills needed to become successful cats. Just like human children, kittens need older role models too. The most famous cat role model had a rough start in life but became an inspiration for kittens and humans alike. His name was Grandpa Mason, and during the last years of his life, he stepped up and gave love, care, and guidance to the orphaned kittens that lived with him. The Canadian animal rescue group TinyKittens rescued Grandpa Mason in 2016 from a property that was scheduled to be bulldozed. The poor feral tabby was suffering from many health problems, including severe dental issues, a badly injured paw, and advanced kidney disease. Since TinyKittens is a no-kill rescue organization, euthanization was out of the question. Given his health conditions, veterinarians predicted the battle- scarred Grandpa Mason didn’t have long to live, so TinyKittens’ founder, Shelly Roche, took him in and provided him with a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of food, and time to relax in the last months of his life. Grandpa Mason had a hard time adjusting to domestic life and would often shy away from being petted. In an interview with The Dodo, Roche described him as “an elderly gentleman [who] lived his whole life a certain way, and then, all of a sudden, [was] forced to live completely differently.” After Grandpa Mason grew accustomed to his home, Roche took in several foster kittens, and those new roommates completely altered Grandpa Mason’s behavior. Roche expected him to hiss, swat, or growl at the kittens when they invaded his space, but he didn’t. Instead, he allowed them to crawl all over him and appeared to enjoy it when they licked his ear. Suddenly a playful, affectionate, and gentle personality came out of Grandpa Mason as he played with, bathed, taught, and cared for the orphaned kittens that Roche welcomed into her home. Potentially due to the kittens’ influence, Grandpa Mason surpassed his prognosis by more than two years. During the last few years of his life, Grandpa Mason passed on important lessons and good manners to the kittens he looked after and adored, as a true grandfather should. He passed last September, but he spent his last night in his ultimate happy place: snuggling in his bed surrounded by kittens. THE STORY OF GRANDPA MASON How a Feral Cat Came to Care for Orphaned Kittens

STICKY AND SWEET PORK ‘RIBS’

Inspired by Bon Appétit

Whether you’re celebrating your mom or those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, there’s no better recipe to grill up than these delectable country-style pork ribs.

Ingredients

2 heads garlic, cloves separated

1/2 cup chili oil

3 thumbs ginger, chopped

1/3 cup oyster sauce

1 cup hoisin sauce

1/3 cup toasted sesame oil

3/4 cup fish sauce

5 lbs boneless pork shoulder, flattened

2/3 cup honey

3/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup rice wine

1 tbsp molasses

Directions

1. In a blender, purée garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, honey, rice wine, chili oil, oyster sauce, and toasted sesame oil until smooth. 2. Reserve and chill 1 1/2 cups for later use. 3. In a bag, add the remaining mixture and pork shoulder. Marinate for at least 8 hours. 4. Using a convection plate on the grill, cook pork until the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 140–145 F. 5. In a large saucepan, simmer brown sugar, molasses, and reserved marinade for 6–8 minutes. 6. Baste the pork with the brown sugar glaze for 2 minutes before serving.

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600 S. German Ln, Suite 102 Conway, AR 72034

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1

How to Navigate Doctors’ Appointments

Is a 55-Plus Community Right for You? A $60,000 Robbery With No Jail Time

2

Sticky and Sweet Pork ‘Ribs’ The Best Grandfather a Kitten Could Have

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Technology Saves the Day

HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHILE FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES

SPRUCE UP EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are encouraging communities across the U.S. to practice social distancing. While this will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, it also means that social interactions will be minimal. In addition to impeding many industries and businesses, this has significant impacts on families and friends who can no longer visit each other in person. Luckily, the technology we have today allows us to stay in touch while still practicing social responsibility.

parents to set up virtual play dates over video chats for your kids. They can even watch a movie or TV show together.

Hopping on the phone or your laptop to video chat is a great way to reach out and catch up with loved ones. While folding laundry or doing other mundane chores, give a friend or your parents a call to idly chat; it can make your tedious tasks much more enjoyable. Video calls are also beneficial if, for example, you’re missing out on your daily workouts with a friend. Hop on a video chat to practice yoga, cardio, or other simple exercise routines together.

HOST A MOVIE NIGHT.

Speaking of movies, Netflix developed a unique way for people to watch movies and shows together: Netflix Party. If you have a desktop or laptop with a Chrome browser, visit NetflixParty. com to download the application. Once downloaded, open the movie or TV series you’d like to watch, create or join a “party,” then relax and enjoy the show while chatting with friends. These are only a few examples of how we can stay in touch during these concerning times. Talk with your family and friends and see what other creative ideas you can come up with together. Even though you may be apart from loved ones right now, virtual communication has never been easier or more plentiful.

LET YOUR KIDS CHAT WITH FRIENDS.

Kids can benefit from video chatting by staying in touch with their friends while school and other activities are canceled. Letting your kids connect to social media is a pretty big step, so consider signing them up for Yoursphere or Kidzworld, kid-friendly networks that let them keep in touch with their friends while you can monitor their activity. Get in touch with other

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