Monday, December 12, 2011

Free or Reduced-Cost Medical Care Resources for Georgia and Elsewhere

In my disability law practice, the issue that most frequently presents itself regarding proving a disability is the ability to quantify the affects or severity of a condition through medical evidence. Not coincidentally, the best way to receive care for a disabling condition is also the best way to create a convincing body of evidence for use in proving a disability. Regular care from a physician, or qualified treatment source not only gives the disabled their best shot at managing or curing their conditions, but also will provide a solid and convincing record when the need to prove severity arises. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done because medical care costs money, and of course money is required to secure medical care.

The purpose of this entry is to share several resources that individuals may use to find free or low cost medical resources in their geographic area. To the best of my knowledge, I do not have relationships with any of these physicians on this list, and make no specific endorsements of any of the caregivers, but with a few phone calls, it is my hope that individuals who need care are able to receive it from the organizations listed here. Because of the nature of free clinics, it will likely be necessary to provide evidence of financial need to their offices, and it may take several phone calls to find a clinic that not only can provide care for specific conditions, but has the capacity to see a patient in a timely manner. With that in mind, Social Security Claimants should not wait until receiving a hearing date to start seeking care. Treatment is a process, not an end goal, and should be sought during every state of the disability seeking process, rather than as a means to a favorable decision.

I would also like to note that for the portion of my readers who are medical providers, I will be happy to include your practice on this free or reduced cost list if you are interested. Simply contact me through my website. Additionally, for those providers who are kind enough to treat the disabled for low or no cost, I would be happy to provide specific advice regarding your ability to receive retroactive payments through Medicaid for patients with whom you have a treating relationship. Due to the length of time involved with securing disability benefits for patients, these retroactive payments may cover a year or more of visits and treatment.

Without further ado, here are some websites where a prospective patient may locate medical providers in their area who provide free or reduced cost care. Good luck, and good health to you.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resource and Service Administration – This is a website that covers the entire country, not just Georgia, and by entering an address or zip code, a prospective patient may get contact information for providers in their area. – Another website that extends beyond Georgia, with search functionality.

Free Medical Clinics – This is the Georgia page of another list of national resources. This list is laid out city-by-city for refined searching.

Georgia Free Clinic Network – An excellent page that provides search functionality for free or reduced cost care clinics in the State of Georgia.

Atlanta Free or Low Cost Clinics – A smaller list of Atlanta, Georgia free or reduced care clinics.

Cobb County Free or Low Cost Clinics – A smaller list of Cobb County, Georgia free or reduced care clinics.

Fayette CARE Clinic – From their website, “Our Mission is to promote health and well being for Fayette County’s uninsured and working poor through compassionate medical and dental care, education, prevention, and referral, providing a gateway to other community services.”

This information does not create an attorney-client or physician-patient relationship or any kind, and is for informational purposes only. For advice regarding your specific circumstances, contact Disability Attorney Thomas O’Brien.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A New Addition: Information for Veterans

A large number of my readership and clients are Disabled Veterans who are becoming informed about the differences between Social Security Disability and Veterans Service-Connected Disability. I have started another blog especially for the Veteran population at, where I will begin to offer information about this related and very complex process. One major difference between VA Service Connected Disability and Social Security Disability is that unlike Social Security Disability which is an "all-or-none" undertaking, there are varying degrees of Veterans Disability. These levels are expressed by diagnoses as percentages, which are then combined to create a composite disability rating that is then used to determine compensation.

A common concern that I hear from my clients is about the math that is employed when creating a composite disability percentage rating. The reason for much of this confusion centers on disability percentages not being added together, but rather applied sequentially to the residual capacity that the Veteran retains. The law that governs the calculations of these numbers may be found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 38 CFR 4.25.

I have also created a tool that may of of use when calculating or simulating various disability percentages. Click the blue link to use my online Disability and Bilateral Percentage Calculators. This tool is still in development, and is not a substitute for legal advice, so I would appreciate any feedback or compatibility issues you may have.

This blog, and the information herein is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. For more information about your particular situation, please contact Disability Attorney Thomas C. O’Brien.