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Charlotte North Carolina Legal Blog

How to financially survive the Social Security Disability wait

It is a well-known fact that waiting on a Social Security Disability hearing can be financially taxing, to put it mildly. Some claimants, depending on the length of the backlog in their filing state, can wait in excess of two years for a hearing date. However, there are resources available for those in limbo.

First, most Social Security disability claimants are not aware that you can, in fact, work while you wait. This can be a sticky situation though, so one would be well advised to seek the advice of an attorney before doing so. This is because the type of work performed could have a major impact on a Judge's decision regarding your ability to work. The Social Security Administration allows what is known as substantial gainful activity (SGA.) These are guidelines for the amount of monthly income a claimant is allowed to earn while still remaining eligible for disability. The amount has historically increased each year, and is set at $1,080 per month for 2018. Again, please consult an attorney prior to making the decision to work while waiting to have your claim adjudicated.

Personal injury caused by foreign objects in food

When you take a bite out of that favorite food you have been craving for a week, the last thing you expect is to be injured. However, this sometimes occurs due to foreign objects that can find their way into the mix. Whether it be through the manufacturing, packaging, or preparation process, items such as glass, stones, sharp objects, and even jewelry can end up causing harm to unsuspecting eaters. In addition to those items, ingredients which are not listed on the package and that a person would not have reasonably expected to consume would also be considered foreign and could pose a danger. This is especially true if an individual has allergies.

Recently, a California woman prepared a store bought burrito for her daughter. When her daughter bit into it, the woman heard a crunching sound. Upon investigation, she discovered that the burrito contained shards of glass. Though not intentional, accidents like this one do happen at manufacturing facilities, and companies can be held liable.

What happens if my SSD benefits are denied after my hearing?

Receiving an unfavorable decision on a Social Security disability benefits claim after enduring the extremely long wait to have a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge can be devastating. However, there is one final option.

If an Administrative Law Judge chooses to side with the original determination of the state agency who issued a denial of benefits, he or she will issue an unfavorable decision after a claimant has appeared before the court and presented their case. Many claimants do not realize that, even after this second denial, there is still one more appellate step that can be utilized. During this step, the claim is considered by the Appeals Council.

Receiving compensation for pain and suffering after car accidents

If you become injured in a serious car accident, North Carolina court seeks to reimburse you for various monetary damages. The cost of medical bills, loss of work and property damage all add up to an amount to award you if another driver caused your injuries. But what about injuries inflicted that you cannot see or directly quantify?

If you experience mental or emotional pain and suffering after a car accident, a judge works to determine the right compensation for your distress. Looking at multiple factors of your circumstances, he or she can award you money for changes in your life caused by the accident. If you suffer from any type of injury after an accident, whether you have physical or emotional injuries, you want to speak with an experienced attorney to obtain necessary compensation.

Common types of occupational diseases

The most common type of workers' compensation claims arise from injuries suffered in a workplace accident or work that is repetitive in nature or . Occupational diseases are also common in the workplace, oftentimes more so than people realize, and can form the basis of a workers' compensation claim.

An occupational disease is one that develops after a worker is exposed to something in the workplace. These diseases become chronic ailments and often require lifelong treatment. One cause could be exposure to toxic chemicals. For example, a coal miner may develop cancer from breathing in asbestos. A hairdresser may develop a respiratory disease from breathing in chemicals contained in hair products and dyes.

North Carolina buses prepare for the school year

The beginning of the school year marks the dramatic increase of buses in traffic and hours on the road. As frustrating as it can be for many North Carolina drivers, they should expect it around this time of year and begin adjusting their schedules accordingly.

Unfortunately, a new school year also means a potential increase in child pedestrian deaths from accidents around the school bus. Many of these are a result of other motorists on the road failing to obey bus stop laws due to inexperience or negligence.

Compassionate allowances in Social Security Disability Insurance

It is no secret applying for Social Security Disability Insurance takes a long time. In Charlotte, it takes an average of 20 months for an applicant to get a hearing with a Social Security Administration hearing officer.

These delays are caused by several factors, but if you are living with a terminal illness or condition, you may not have nearly two years to wait for needed SSDI benefits.

Don't navigate personal injuries alone

While it's not a situation we have to face on a daily basis, serious accidents do happen to unsuspecting people. Whether an auto accident, a slip and fall incident, dog bite, or many more, these occurrences can upend a life and leave a person wondering how they're ever going to move forward.

At Ayes, Whitlow & Dressler, we understand the trauma these types of accidents can inflict. The short-term effects of an accident can be troubling or even harrowing, but the long-term effects can change a person's life forever. That's why we are on your side.

Why do I need a Social Security Disability attorney?

When a Social Security Disability claimant receives a decision denying benefits, he or she is eligible to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. It is here that a claimant will present their case and offer any additional evidence to substantiate a claim. While an attorney is not required to complete this process, it is highly advisable that a claimant not go into a disability hearing alone for several reasons.

First, the hearing will contain substantial legal jargon which is quite often difficult for a party with no judicial knowledge to understand. Though a claimant may walk into a hearing room feeling confident and ready, it does not take long to realize that he or she may be in over their head. While all administrative law hearings follow the same process, each individual judge may go about that process differently. With some judges, by the time a claimant realizes an attorney would have been beneficial, it may be too late to continue the hearing and retain representation. It would then be the claimant's sole responsibility to put on their own case and convince the judge that he or she is unable to perform substantial gainful activity.

How to report an OSHA violation anonymously

In certain situations, some employees will continue to work in an unsafe work environment because they fear backlash from management or other employees, up to and including termination, if they were to make a report. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 provides protection for employees by allowing them to report OSHA violations anonymously. Environmental Health and Safety Online offers a listing of steps to making such a report. It should also be noted that you do not have to show that a workplace was unsafe in order to collect workers' compensation benefits. It is a no-fault system.

There are several differing types of OSHA violations. A De Minimis violation in one which is technical in nature. While normally less serious, it is still a violation of OSHA regulations which could cause an issue to arise. An Other-Than-Serious violation in one which likely would not result in death or serious injury, but nonetheless could pose a hazard to workers.

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