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Charlotte North Carolina Legal Blog

Financial advisor: get help early in SSDI process

It was nearly a century ago that Kiplinger began publishing its business forecasts and personal financial advice. Today the company helps Americans make decisions on investments, taxes, retirement and more.

A recent Kiplinger article gave advice on what to do when you are prevented from continuing your career because of injury or illness. The publication urges disabled workers to file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits – “a saving grace for former workers with serious disabilities.”

Helping construction workers avoid on-the-job injuries

No one understands the dangers of Charlotte construction work than the men and women who are out there wearing hardhats every day. They understand that one false move can result in serious injuries to themselves, co-workers or members of the public.

They know, too, that they are at high risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders because of the manual lifting they must often do and as a result of their handling of heavy materials. Construction workers are also at risk of repetitive motion injuries, exposures to vibrations and variable working conditions.

Could printed buildings eliminate construction worker injuries?

The good news for Charlotte's construction industry is that business is booming. The bad news is that some construction firms are struggling to find enough skilled workers to keep job sites humming along.

The more inexperienced the workers on a construction site, the more likely it is that a construction accident and injuries will take place. However, high-tech firms are racing to provide a solution with 3-D printed architecture in which entire buildings are "printed" with little to no risk of injury.

Researchers link depression to genetic causes

It has long been a mystery why some families are more likely to have some of their members struggle with mental illness than other families. Science might be one step closer to a fuller understanding of mental health issues after discovering that nearly 80 genes are linked to depression.

The findings could help explain why some people are higher risk of depression, as well as help researchers develop drugs to combat the condition. According to the Social Security Administration, depression is the second most common condition listed on SSDI claims.

Teen driver charged in head-on Gaston County collision

A short drive west of Charlotte will land you in Gaston County, site of a recent deadly car crash. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, a 16-year-old has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and careless and reckless driving and booked into jail.

On a recent evening, the teen was allegedly speeding Patrick Road near Union Road. His vehicle was estimated to be going up to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone. The excess speed apparently contributed to his loss of control of his Ford Focus, which crossed the center line and slammed head-on into an oncoming vehicle.

Top three most common workplace injuries

When you walk or drive around Charlotte, you see a wide and varied business community ranging from convenience stores to high-end restaurants, from manufacturing facilities to grocers, shoe stores, offices and many more. Each business is staffed, and each of those employees is, to one degree or another, at risk of being injured on the job.

A recent news article takes a look at the most common workplace injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that more than a million American workers suffer injuries and work-related illnesses annually that result in time off. When you crunch the numbers, there is a workplace injury or illness for one out of every 100 full-time employees every year.

More bad news for self-driving vehicle tech

According to a recent article in the Charlotte Observer, Tesla says that one of its vehicles in a fatal crash last week in California was on autopilot. The news is the latest setback for companies developing driverless car technologies.

The company said that the driver did not have his hands on the steering wheel for six seconds before the crash in which he was killed. The vehicle had issued several warnings to the driver, Tesla said. Proponents of autonomous vehicle technologies say that driverless cars have the potential to eliminate motor vehicle crashes caused by driver error such as distracted driving, drunken driving and more.

Author: Your job is killing you

It isn't just that your boss is demanding and that the hours at your Charlotte job are long and hard. It isn't just that you are expected to do a lot for the company while getting little in return. It isn't just that you have little control over what you do at work or how you do it. It's all of that and more.

Your job is killing you, says a Stanford professor in his newly released book. He writes that workplace stress is killing workers and driving health care costs higher and higher.

Social Security Administration finally gets modest budget boost

In recent years, one of the safest, easiest places for Congress to make budget cuts was at the Social Security Administration. A recent Reuters column points out that the cuts have made it difficult for customers to get information, help and services. Who are Social Security's customers? Mostly the retired, and workers with serious, long-term health problems that prevent them from continuing their careers.

The first hint of relief for customers was buried deep in the recent budget passed by Congress. Lawmakers ignored the administration's request to keep spending at the federal agency flat, and instead increased its budget by $480 million.

Another form of work: determining SSDI work requirements

When most people hear the words "Social Security," they think of retirement benefits to be received after a person chooses to stop working. For more than 10 million people, the words "Social Security" have a very different meaning: they have been prevented from continuing their careers by a disabling medical condition.

It is easier said than done to get approval for those benefits, however. Regular readers of our North Carolina Law Blog know that we have repeatedly covered the backlog that plagues the system and forces claimants to wait close to two years before finding out if their SSDI appeal was successful.

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