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April 2014 Archives

Many injuries and death linked to workplace ladder accidents

Summer weather is quickly approaching in North Carolina, and with it comes a higher number of construction, roofing, and maintenance employees working outside on ladders. The Centers for Disease Control found in a recent research project that falls from ladders make up nearly half of all fatal falls in the last 10 years. Work accidents like falls from ladders may at best leave an employee with serious injuries, which can lead to lost time at work, lost wages, and months or even years of treatments.

The Importance of Hospital Records in Social Security Disability Claims

There are many types of records created when you are admitted to the hospital. These include the following: admission summary, discharge summary, physician's progress note, consultant physician reports, surgeon reports, pathology reports, x-ray/radiological evaluations, lab reports, and other special reports such as EKG, EEG, and pulmonary function studies. It is very important to obtain all relevant records since these can provide the objective basis for opinions from physicians supporting your claim for disability benefits. However, hospital records often contain hundreds of pages of nurse's notes that are not helpful in a disability case and simply run up the costs of pursuing your claim.

North Carolina employers recognized for safe workplace conditions

While we often hear about the negative sides to workplace safety, North Carolina Department of Labor recently celebrated one county’s companies, which have made workplace safety a top priority. The Labor Commissioner recognized the companies for putting their employees’ health first by doing whatever they can to make sure employees are safe when they return home to their families. 

The Importance of Primary Physician Records in Social Security Disability Claims

Your primary care provider or personal physician is often a good source of obtaining the type of medical information needed to prove a disability case. Because the primary care provider is familiar with all treatment you received, he or she can furnish a comprehensive assessment of your conditions and the practical impact they have on your ability to perform the type of activity needed to work. It is often a good practice to discuss with your primary care physician that you are applying for Social Security disability benefits so that he or she is not surprised when receiving a request for assistance from your attorney.

The Importance of Medical Records in Social Security Disability Claims

It is very important to obtain all existing medical records and submit them to the Social Security Administration. This applies to records for treatment prior to the onset date of disability since this often shows the chronic, long term nature of the problems. An individual who has had four back surgeries over a 15 to 20 year period usually presents a stronger case than one who has had one or two surgeries. You cannot rely on the Social Security Administration to obtain all records, and it is often necessary to supplement the information once you hire an attorney.

Worker misclassification is bad news for those injured on the job

In the past, when a person was injured on the job it was usually clear that there would be workers’ compensation benefits available to compensate the injured employee. This is because statutes requiring employers to pay workers’ compensation insurance have long been in place. However, changing employment trends have made it so that more and more often, injured workers are finding themselves without workers’ compensation coverage for the care they may desperately need.

North Carolina man dies from injuries from an on the job in fire

Workplace accidents can happen when you might least expect them. This is what recently happened to one worker at a plant in North Carolina. One minute, he was doing his job and, a short time later, a flash fire broke out in the plant involving flammable chemicals. The worker died in the hospital while being treated for the serious injuries he suffered from this fire.

Can the Social Security Administration Stop My Social Security Disability Benefits?

In order to terminate Social Security disability benefits, the burden of proof is on the Social Security Administration to show there has been medical improvement in an individual's condition. It is often advisable to maintain ongoing relationship with the physician's who helped you obtain Social Security disability benefits in the first place. That way they can confirm ongoing disabled status in a way that will hopefully satisfy the Social Security Administration. Also, if a claimant is participating in a vocational rehabilitation program, benefits cannot be terminated by SSA.

Injured construction worker may seek compensation

Still recovering from his workplace injuries, a 49-year-old construction worker has hired an attorney to file a notice of claim for him. The construction accident happened when a retaining wall gave way, pinning the man against a truck and concrete.

What If I Die While My Claim is Pending?

The death of a claimant for Social Security disability benefits does not necessarily mean the end of the claim. When a claimant for Title II Social Security disability benefits passes away, the surviving spouse who is living with the decedent, a child entitled to monthly benefits on decedent's Social Security number, and in some cases parents can pursue back Social Security disability benefits. No ongoing benefits will be paid subsequent to the claimant's death; however, the back benefits can often be substantial and should not be ignored. In an SSI claim, benefits are only paid to the surviving spouse.

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