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6 States With Most Mental Illness

West Virginians especially struggle with it

(Newser) - Nearly 10 million Americans experience a serious mental illness within any one year, and 24/7 Wall St. outlines the 12 states that have the largest adult populations struggling with various forms of mental illness, including depression and bipolar disorder. To come up with this ranking, the site examined surveys administered... More »

Kids in Wheelchairs Get a Lego Figure of Their Very Own

'We've got genuine tears of joy right now'

(Newser) - People in wheelchairs now have something in common with astronauts, knights, and pirates: a Lego figure to call their own. NPR reports Lego will release its first figure with disabilities in a set called "Fun at the Park" this June. (The set and figure can be seen in a... More »

Bad Idea: Trump Mocks Reporter With Disability

He threw his arms around during impression of Serge Kovaleski

(Newser) - The New York Times is speaking out against Donald Trump for the second time this week after he appeared to mock a Times reporter's disability. At a rally in South Carolina on Tuesday, Trump continued to defend his claim that "thousands" of people in New Jersey cheered the... More »

Parents Stunt Growth of Disabled Daughter

They say it will help them take better care of her

(Newser) - Whether Charley Hooper has any concept of the space she occupies in the world is an enigma. She is so disabled that her mother considers her "unabled." At 10, her brain is believed to function at the level of a newborn's. She cannot speak, cannot walk, cannot... More »

Nepal Wants to Keep Old, Young, Disabled Off Everest

And ensure qualified mountaineers are able to climb such tall peaks

(Newser) - Mount Everest finally reopened last month after the deadly April earthquake , but Nepal wants to limit who is allowed to climb the peak. Officials there say they want a ban that would keep the very young, elderly, disabled, and inexperienced off the world's tallest mountain for safety and to... More »

Woman Wins Disability Payout for WiFi 'Sensitivity'

She claims that electromagnetic radiation is causing health problems

(Newser) - Electromagnetic radiation has been around since the universe first formed; it is, in its "most familiar form," light, reports the World Health Organization . But as cellphone towers and gadgets proliferate, electromagnetic radiation has increased, and some claim a sensitivity to it. One woman in France is now getting... More »

11M People Could Have a Social Security Problem Next Year

Unless Congress acts, disability benefits will be cut 19%

(Newser) - Our annual report on the state of Social Security and Medicare was issued yesterday, and from a 30,000-foot view, the AP sees Social Security's financial health as having grown no worse in the past year. In fact, the program's retirement trust fund is projected to be able... More »

Ex-Student Seeks $75K for 'Musical Chairs Injury'

Robin Earnest says game left her with broken fingers

(Newser) - Musical chairs, anyone? An Arkansas woman accepted just such an offer at her old college and broke two fingers during the classroom game. Now she's seeking $75,000 from the state in damages, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. Robin Earnest, 46, sustained the injury in 2011 at College of the... More »

Europe Court: Obesity Can Be a Disability

350-pound man sued after getting fired

(Newser) - Obese people who feel discriminated against in the workplace scored a potentially big legal victory in Europe today. The European Court of Justice ruled that obesity can be a disability that requires special protections, reports the BBC . The ruling is "nuanced," however, observes Al Jazeera America . The court... More »

Social Security Overpaid $1.3B in Disability Benefits

Government Accounting Office faults agency

(Newser) - A new Government Accountability Office report found the Social Security Administration doled out more money in disability benefits than it should have—and the cost might surprise you. The GAO says between December 2010 and January 2013, Social Security paid roughly $1.3 billion in disability benefits to more than... More »

Disabled Couple Sue for Right to Live Together

Federal civil rights lawsuit is first of its kind in US

(Newser) - She fell for his knock-knock jokes. He fell for her beauty. Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels, who finish each other's sentences, met in a performing arts program and talked about marriage for three years before getting hitched last month. But they also both have developmental disabilities, so they are... More »

A $240M Win for Disabled Workers 'Treated Like Cattle'

Defunct turkey plant in Iowa ordered to pay damages to 32 workers

(Newser) - A now-defunct turkey plant accused of abusing its workers for decades has been ordered to pay $240 million in damages to 32 of its former employees. The men, who were granted $7.5 million each, were among hundreds of mentally disabled Henry's Turkey Service workers sent from Texas to... More »

Deaf, Blind Sue to Make Online Shopping Accessible

Advocates for the deaf, blind have won several recent victories

(Newser) - A Target store needs to be accessible by people with disabilities, so why not the Target website? That's the aim of advocates who are increasingly arguing in lawsuits that websites must also comply with the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act. That theory has been dismissed by a few courts... More »

Santorum: GOP Right to Block Disability Treaty

Other pundits: GOP embracing weird conspiracy theories

(Newser) - When the GOP blocked the UN's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last night, Rick Santorum sent out a tweet proclaiming, "We did it." Santorum was one of the foremost voices calling for Republicans to reject the treaty, and in the Daily Beast today he... More »

Long Island Rail Workers Charged With Faking Injuries

Scheme could cost federal pension agency more than $1B

(Newser) - The FBI charged 11 people yesterday in connection with a massive fraud scheme that saw hundreds of Long Island Rail Road workers allegedly fake disabling injuries so that they could retire early and collect their pensions. Among those arrested are two doctors who together approved cases handing $121 million to... More »

Social Security Disability Fund: Out of Cash by 2017

Meanwhile, backlogged applicants wait years for benefits

(Newser) - As Washington focuses on how to fix the Social Security retirement program, it’s the disability program that’s truly in danger—and facing insolvency, soon. Flooded with applications from an aging population and laid-off workers with disabilities who can’t find new jobs, the disability fund is now estimated... More »

Book Scuttles Obama's Health Care Story

His mother had health insurance when she died, and it paid up

(Newser) - A recent book on President Obama’s mother undermines his oft-told story that his mother spent the final years of her life battling insurance companies over her medical bills. The book, by New York Times reporter Janny Scott, reveals that Ann Dunham actually had health insurance that readily paid her... More »

Disability Fund Is Running Out of Money—Fast

Without changes, could be insolvent within 4 to 7 years

(Newser) - In more we're-out-of-money news : If no changes are made, the Social Security Disability Insurance fund will run dry in four to seven years, according to government auditors. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at some of the reasons why, focusing at length on Puerto Rico, one of the easiest... More »

NH Lawmaker: Send Mentally Ill to Siberia

91-year-old Martin Harty supports eugenics, fears overpopulation

(Newser) - A 91-year-old New Hampshire lawmaker said he wished America had its own Siberia to send "defective people" to. Then "the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions" could "freeze to death and die and clean up the population,” state representative Martin Harty... More »

New Comic Hero: Muslim Boy in Wheelchair

Silver Scorpion the brainchild of disabled US, Syrian kids

(Newser) - It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... well, this time it's something a bit different: The latest comic-book hero will be a wheelchair-bound Muslim boy who lost his legs in a landmine accident, reports the AP. The Silver Scorpion began to take shape when a US philanthropist, inspired by President... More »

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