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May 2015 Archives

How to handle a head injury on the jobsite

A head injury on a worksite can cause everything in the vicinity to come to a standstill. These are very dangerous — potentially fatal — injuries that should be addressed immediately. It is important for both the injured person and anyone around to stay calm; inducing panic will not be helpful to anyone. Following proper first aid procedures could potentially save someone’s life.

Long Term Disability Offset Part 4

Even though the LTD carrier receives significant benefit from an award of social security disability benefits to a disabled person, there are still reasons why an award of SSD benefits is beneficial to an individual. First, unlike LTD benefits, SSD benefits are subject to cost of living adjustment increases, which can bring a substantial change over a long period of time. Also, SSD benefits are less likely going to be subject to taxation than LTD benefits received through an employer sponsored plan. Finally, two years after an individual receives social security disability benefits, he or she can become eligible for Medicare, which provides a significant safety net for vitally needed treatment.

What to do after a workplace injury

Workplace accidents can be some of the scariest experiences in a North Carolina resident's life. But it is vital to remain calm and make sure you take the proper steps in order to receive proper care and workers' compensation. Here are just a few quick points to remember if you are injured at work.

What is the role of the North Carolina Industrial Commission?

Workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses in North Carolina and who seek to file workers compensation benefit claims have two options available to them in seeking assistance. One is to use the North Carolina Industrial Commission, specifically its Workers Compensation Information Specialists Section. Beyond the information generally available on the Industrial Commission website, claimants can also communicate with the Information Specialists Section directly by telephone email or regular mail with questions that they may have.

Long Term Disability Offset Part 3

Often, an individual will be receiving long term disability benefits during the time that his social security disability claim is pending. In an employer funded plan, the eventual receipt of social security disability benefits will result in an obligation to repay the LTD insurance company from back benefits, less the amount allocated for an attorney fee. The LTD insurance companies are eager for a disabled individual to receive social security disability benefits and recognize the importance of an attorney to provide assistance. In this scenario, it usually costs the claimant nothing to have the benefit of legal representation. Statistically, people with the help of an attorney are more likely to be awarded social security disability benefits than an unrepresented individual. Of course, each case must be determined on its own merits.

Long Term Disability Offset Part 2

If an individual is receiving long term disability insurance benefits from a plan provided through employment, an award of social security disability benefits often results in a dollar for dollar reduction of LTD benefits. This does not occur as frequently with long term disability plans directly purchased by an individual who has control over the type of insurance purchased. Generally, it is much easier to obtain long term disability benefits than social security disability benefits because of different definitions of disability applied to the two programs. It is common that during the first two years of disability the administrator of an LTD plan only requires proof that a disabled person cannot perform the usual and customary duties of their "own occupation," the job being performed at the time disability began. After two years the standard of changes to an "any occupation" standard, that is very similar to what must be shown for disability in an SSD claim. 

OSHA protects workers from ergonomic hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration protects people from a variety of workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths. One type of injury that is covered by OSHA and that you may not be familiar with is an ergonomic injury. The term ergonomic injury is used to describe any injuries or illnesses that affect a person's musculoskeletal system. This system includes your muscles, nerves, and tendons. OSHA requires employers to take steps to prevent ergonomic injuries.

Not all work accidents take place on the job site

Workers' compensation claims frequently, but not always take place in the context of employees being injured at their place of employment, such as a construction site, factory floor or office. But we at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler know that what is most important in establishing a claim for workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina is not so much where the injury took place, but the context in which it occurred.

Long Term Disability Offset

The receipt of long term disability insurance benefits does not reduce disability payments from the Social Security Administration. However, the reverse is not true. Receipt of SSA disability often reduces the amount of long term disability benefits paid based on the terms of the contract of insurance. It is very important that you notify your attorney if you are receiving or have received long term disability benefits so that this can be properly calculated to avoid potential problems.

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