New Rules for Social Security Disability Hearings

If you are a Social Security Disability claimant who has filed a Request for Hearing that is currently with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, you may have received notice of some new changes to the Social Security Administration’s rules which begin May 1, 2017.  The rules now require that the Administration provide you with 75 days notice before a hearing is scheduled in your case.  This new rule will help to ensure that you will have time to request and submit all medical evidence that is relevant to prove your claim.  You may be asked to sign a waiver of the 75 day requirement if your hearing was scheduled prior to May 1, 2017 (even though the hearing may not have been held prior to that date.)  Please also note that the rules further require that the claimant must advise the Administrative Law Judge and/or the Social Security Administration about all evidence at least 5 business days before the hearing.  There are certain exceptions to the 5 day rule, but if you fail to submit the evidence or to advise the Administration about the existence of this evidence, the Judge will not be able to consider the evidence.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding correspondence you may have received from the Social Security Administration or if you have questions about your Social Security Disability claim, please feel free to contact us at 352-402-0444 or 800-262-9410 for a free consultation.

Lopez, Lopez & Stakenborg, PA

We are pleased to announce that Lopez & Lopez, PA and Stakenborg Law, PA have merged!  We are extremely excited to say that our firm will now be known as Lopez, Lopez & Stakenborg, PA.  Our practice focuses in the areas of Social Security Disability Law, Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury.  As our firm grows and changes, we look forward to continuing to serve each one of our current and future Social Security Disability, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury clients with the best representation possible.  Please feel free to contact us if you would like a free consultation!


News for Those Experiencing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A new study reveals that those who have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome actually have similar changes in the brain.  The study revealed those with CFS have less white matter  in the brain and, using DTI, a relatively recent study, abnormalities are found in the frontal and temporal lobe as well.  This study is important to those who are filing for Social Security Disability benefits as objective medical evidence is required in order to prove that a disabling condition exists.    For additional information please visit:

If you have any questions regarding a social security disability and/or a supplemental security income matter, please contact us at Sims & Stakenborg for a free consulation at 352-629-4080.

Brain Games

Why Motion is so Important to the Human Brain

There is a new TV show on the National Geographic Channel about the Brain

Its called  BRAIN GAMES




The Human Brain may now extend to the Cloud!

Marion County Health Department/Heart of Florida Contact Information

As we have previously discussed, the Heart of Florida will begin providing primary care services in Marion County, Florida beginning on October 1, 2012.  For information on primary care services provided by the Heart of Florida please contact 352-732-6599.  For services which continue to be provided by the Marion County Health Department, please contact 352-629-0137.

If you have questions regarding a social security disability claim, please feel free to give us a call for a free consultation at 352-629-0480.

Human Muscle Regenerated with Animal Help

Imagine being able to “Grow” or “Rebuild” muscle tissue after an injury.  New research discussed in the above article indicates it might be possible!

Anxiety – It Can Not Only Harm You, It Can Kill You!!

article by Oregon Hunter, MD

Anxiety, we all have it, because we are human beings, just trying to make it in our difficult lives. Some of us have an easier time of dealing with it, but those who haven’t developed this ability can really suffer.
It is the most common psychiatric diagnosis, sometimes short lived, sometimes a lifelong problem. This disorder may be expressed as a phobia (heights, spiders), or social phobia. A chronic form is PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder.
Brain circuits are found to be hyperresponsive, such as the amygdala. Brain neurotransmitter chemicals are out of balance, and this has resulted in the development of medications that can be used to bring this chemical disorder back under control.
Untreated anxiety literally wears the body down. It has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. (

Fortunately, there are many good medications for the treatment of anxiety. Treatment of unchecked anxiety will help an individual to lead a productive life and should not be associated with any negative stigma. It would be no different than treating other diseases, such as diabetes or seizures.
Other treatments include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral modification, mediation, prayer, yoga, and exercise.
If you have questions about a Social Security Disability Claim please feel free to contact us 352-629-0480 or visit our website at