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Mental disorders that qualify for SSD benefits

In 2017, the Social Security Administration added 11 separate categories of mental disorders to what is known as the "blue book." The blue book is the guide by which an Administrative Law Judge determines whether a claimant has a qualifying medical disability that meets or equals a listing and is not expected to improve within the next 12 months, or that will result in death.

Mental disorder listings can be found under section 12.00. The 11 categories listed are personality and impulse-control, autism spectrum, trauma and stressor related, neurocognitive, eating disorders, schizophrenia spectrum, depressive/bipolar, intellectual, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive or somatic and related. These encompass a wide array of disorders that must be diagnosed, monitored and treated by a licensed medical professional. If a claimant is unwilling to participate in any type of treatment for a disorder, it is likely that a disability claim filed on the basis of a mental disorder alone will be denied.

What is a "repetitive stress injury"?

Conversations regarding workers' compensation injuries often involve discussions of what are commonly known as "repetitive stress injuries." There are multiple different types of jobs that could cause these issues, and the symptoms may manifest in a few different areas. So, what exactly is a repetitive stress injury, and how do you know if you have one?

A repetitive stress injury is also sometimes referred to as a "repetitive strain injury." They occur when a person performs some sort of repetitive motion over a period of time. Some examples of jobs where this might take place are assembly line workers, supermarket cashiers or administrative assistants who type a lot. Also, any job that requires regular grasping, such as a mechanic who has to grasp tools, could cause problems. The damage from these movements happens as the muscles, tendons and nerves are broken down over a long period of time. It is not likely that someone who only works on an assembly line for two weeks would suffer a repetitive stress injury - it is caused by long durations of repetitive motions.

One dead after incident in Charlotte stone merchandise store

A Stone Basyx store in a southwest Charlotte business park was closed on a recent afternoon after a tragic accident happened inside. According to reports, the store sells large slabs of stones, such a granite, marble and quartz, each weighing hundreds of pounds. Employing 14 people and located on Westinghouse Boulevard in Charlotte, it is one of four locations.

On Friday, September 20, around 3:30 p.m. a customer was in the store shopping when a slab allegedly fell on top of him. Although Charlotte medics and firefighters rushed to the scene and attempted life saving measures, the man succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. Homicide detectives as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are conducting separate investigations into the incident.

Is your doctor too busy?

You go in for an appointment with the doctor, hoping they can shed some light on your condition. You know something is wrong, and it's changed your life dramatically, but you don't know what you're dealing with. You want to find out and it's incredibly important to you to get a quick, accurate treatment plan.

Unfortunately, when you get to the office with this issue you haven't stopped thinking about for months, the doctor gives you about five minutes. Half of the time, they're looking at the clock or checking their phone. They rush out of the room as soon as they can, before you even have a chance to ask all of your questions.

What is "substantial gainful activity"?

When a person is considering filing for Social Security Disability benefits, that person should understand the definition of what the Social Security Administration calls "substantial gainful activity," (SGA). This will play a large factor in determining whether an individual meets disability program requirements.

Substantial gainful activity is a monthly amount that a person may earn and still be considered medically disabled. The amount differs for individuals who are considered legally blind versus non-blind. It also increases each year based on cost of living and the national average wage index. For 2019, a non-blind individual may earn $1,220 per month and a blind person may earn $2,040 per month while still being eligible for Social Security Disability program benefits.

U.S. meatpacking workers suffering high rates of injury

Almost 15 years ago, the Human Rights Watch organization began documenting and investigating the abuse of the rights of workers in the United States meat and poultry industries. What they found was disturbing, to say the least. These workers present some of the highest rates in the country of workplace injury and illness.

Between 2013 and 2017, an average of eight workers in these industries died per year due to an on-the-job injury. On average, a worker was hospitalized or lost a body part every other day between 2015 and 2018. Many others suffered debilitating injuries in the form of crushing, slicing, amputation or burning from working with dangerous machinery and moving parts. More have been forced to deal with severe respiratory illnesses, infections or arthritic conditions due to repetitious movement, as well as mental health issues from being pushed to perform past normal human limits.

Office or retail jobs can result in injuries from repetition

Quite a few people fall into the mental trap of thinking of certain jobs as dangerous and other jobs as inherently safe. While it is true that there are some kinds of work that leave you at greater risk for injury or fatal workplace accidents, any job you work could theoretically put you at risk for injury or occupational illness.

Jobs that people often think of as inherently safe, such as office work or customer service jobs, could be a major source of risk, particularly for those who stay in the same position for many years. Repetitive motion injuries, in particular, are a risk for anyone who performs the same job day after day, month after month.

Multiple fatalities and injuries in motorcycle accident

On the night of August 30th around 9:30 p.m., a car and motorcycle accident occurred near Alleghany Street, on Wilkinson Boulevard in west Charlotte. Four of the crash victims died, and two others suffered minor injuries. Medics pronounced all four victims dead on the scene. They included a 22-year-old motorcycle driver, and three vehicle occupants age 22, 27, and 24 years old.

Officials stated that upon initial investigation, it appears that the car was making a u-turn at Fairhaven Street. The motorcycle was travelling on Wilkinson Boulevard at what is believed to be a high rate of speed and struck the vehicle. The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, but several of the vehicle occupants were not wearing seatbelts.

Can you get Veterans' Disability and Social Security Disability?

A U.S. military veteran is eligible to receive simultaneous disability pay from both the Veterans' Administration and the Social Security Administration. However, it must be understood that the eligibility criteria for each program are vastly different, and approval for one does not ensure approval from the other.

To qualify for Social Security Disability, a person must have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least one year or to result in death. Medical evidence must substantiate all claimed impairments. If there are no medical records or proof of impairments, a claim may be denied. The Social Security Administration will occasionally send a claimant out for a consultative exam, at the Administration's expense, in order to gain a medical opinion and residual function capacity. In addition, the impairment must also prevent the person from working full-time performing substantial gainful activity, otherwise known as "SGA." Each year, the SSA sets monthly income limits for those drawing SSDI benefits. These are amounts that a person may work and earn in addition to a monthly disability check. The amounts increase every year with cost of living increases. For 2019, the monthly income limit is $1,180.

A brain injury can harm victims’ work life and relationships

A brain injury can occur in many ways, from traffic collisions to slip-and-falls to work accidents and in many other settings. Often, victims do not realize they suffered a brain injury when it happens, because they may not feel pain or see any signs of injury, like bleeding or bruising. Unfortunately, a mild brain injury can cause major problems in a victim's life, impacting their work and even their personal relationships.

If you recently received a blow the head, it is wise to receive a full medical examination from a doctor. The sooner that you identify a mild brain injury, the sooner you can begin treatment to move toward recovery and begin building an injury claim if some other party is liable for your injury. A strong legal strategy can help protect your rights and communicate your needs to your employer and others around you who may struggle to understand how the injury affects you.

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