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Staten Island Workers' Comp and SSDI Law Blog

Construction worker injured when steel beam falls

Construction work can be a nice paying and steady occupation in the New York area. Yet, as these workers know, it doesn't come without its disadvantages. In addition to the long hours, the grueling work conditions and the strenuous labor involved, this profession can be downright dangerous. Even the safest workers can be at risk of being injured on the job when an accident takes them by surprise. In these instances, individuals can be left with injuries that are so serious that they are hospitalized, forced to take time off of work and even suffer disability.

One of these workplace accidents occurred recently in Sunset Park. There, a construction worker was seriously injured when a steel beam from an expressway fell and struck the cherry picker the man was working from. One eyewitness said the beam caused the crane holding the cherry picker to rock back and then forward, causing the man to fall out and slam into the road below. Another witness said the victim, although conscious after the accident, was holding his head in pain and screaming.

Do you get SSDI if you get workers' comp?

If you have qualified for workers' compensation or are thinking about applying for benefits, one of your questions may be whether you automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits as well.

The short answer is no. Both programs have different requirements, and SSDI is federal, while workers' comp is a state program. That said, many people do qualify for both. Of course, they must go through the application processes separately, and it is possible that you might qualify for one or the other, not both.

A broader look at the SSD claims adjudication process

We spend a lot of time on this blog discussing how you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits under specific illnesses and injuries. However, we want to take a step back to give you a better glimpse at the big picture of SSD claim adjudication. Hopefully, this information will allow you to better see what the Social Security Administration is looking for when assessing your claim which, in turn, can help guide you in the preparation of your initial claim or your appeal.

There are essentially five things the SSA will consider when analyzing your SSD claim. First, the SSA will consider whether you are working. If you are working and you make over a certain amount, then you may be disqualified from receiving benefits. Second, the SSA will assess your condition to determine whether it is severe enough to qualify. Generally speaking, your condition will be deemed severe if it significantly affects your ability to perform and it is expected to last for at least a year.

Social Security Disability benefits for autism

Millions of Americans suffer from mental health conditions that drastically affect their lives. For these individuals, merely carrying out everyday tasks can be a challenge. Work, therefore, is often out of the question. This is not because they don't want to work, but because they are physically, emotionally or intellectually unable to do so. This can create significant financial strain on them, and many are unable to get by without some sort of assistance. Fortunately, the Social Security Disability system may be able to provide these individuals with the relief they need and deserve.

One commonly diagnosed condition that may qualify for SSD benefits is autism. According to the Social Security Administration, an individual may qualify for SSD benefits if he or she can demonstrate that he or she meets certain federal requirements. The first step in qualifying for benefits is showing that one has significant deficits in communication, both verbal and non-verbal, as well as social interaction. Second, a claimant will have to prove that he or she possesses patterns of behavior that are restrictive in nature and that affect his or her behavior, activities or interests.

New York construction accident leaves many injured

New York City has been seeing a building boom lately. While this is good for the economy and local workers, it also means that there is more potential for workplace accidents to occur. This is especially true for the construction industry. These workers are often put in harm's way by performing their job duties at great heights, near heavy machinery and in close proximity to swiftly moving traffic. It only takes the blink of an eye for a mistake to be made and for workers to be injured. Even those who are properly trained, aware and precautious on the job are not immune to the risks posed by workplace injuries.

To see just how dangerous these incidents can be, one need only look at one recent accident that left multiple New York construction workers injured. The victims, who were working to construct a building in Brooklyn, were hurt when a load of cinderblocks fell from the roof, resulting in a chain reaction that caused the building to partially collapse. According to reports, the cinderblocks were placed in a concentrated area, which was more weight than the roof could hold at the time. When the cinderblocks fell, they hit joists that had been in place to support the lower levels, thereby causing the collapse.

Competent legal arguments needed when submitting SSD claim

A significant number of Americans suffer from various disabilities. For these individuals, merely living a normal day-to-day life can be challenging, let alone trying to hold a job. When a disability leaves an individual unable to work, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to make ends meet. This financial uncertainty can further cause stress and emotional harm. Therefore, in an effort to ease their financial strain, disabled individuals need to carefully consider the legal options available to them.

One of these options is to pursue a Social Security disability claim. These benefits, which are paid out on a monthly basis, can be awarded to individuals suffering from one of a number of injuries, illnesses or mental conditions, provided that they can prove that they meet certain federal requirements. The requirements for each qualifying condition is different, so it is critical that those considering seeking SSD benefits familiarize themselves with what must be shown to the Social Security Administration before they will be deemed disabled.

SSD benefits may be available to anxiety sufferers

Most of us experience stress in our daily lives. Fortunately, a little rest and relaxation, as well as detachment from work, is usually enough to ease the tension. Yet, other individuals suffer from mental conditions that can completely alter the way they live their lives. One of these conditions is anxiety. While many people struggle with anxiety, a smaller group of individuals experience it to such an extent that it leaves them unable to live a normal life, let alone work. For these individuals, Social Security disability benefits may be available.

However, before SSD benefits can be obtained, an anxiety sufferer must prove that he or she meets certain federal requirements. Under the Social Security Administration's requirements for this condition, an individual may qualify for benefits in, essentially, one of three ways. The first way to demonstrate that one suffers from an anxiety disorder that results in at least three characteristics, which may include trouble concentrating, irritability, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and restlessness.

Spine disorders and SSD benefits

When one considers all the body parts and organs that are critical to our day-to-day functioning, as well as the number of diseases and injuries that can suddenly strike them, it can be easy to become paranoid. Tragically, many New Yorkers find themselves battling serious illnesses that leave them unable to perform what were once easy daily tasks. These individuals may even be rendered unable to work, which means that they may suffer from lost wages at a time when their medical expenses are multiplying exponentially. Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits may be available to help them in their financial time of need.

In order to recover SSD benefits, though, these individuals have to prove that they meet the federal requirements laid out by the Social Security Administration. Disorders of the spine may qualify for SSD benefits, for example, but only if the person suffering from the disability fits into one of three categories. The first category includes those who possess a disorder that compromises the spinal cord itself or a nerve root and can provide evidence of nerve root compression and its effect on the sufferer.

Two New Yorkers killed in workplace accidents

Going to work should never be a dangerous activity. Yet, for many New Yorkers it is. These hardworking men and women rely on the government and their employers to provide them with the safest working conditions possible. When they fail to do so, these workers can be left subjected to hazardous conditions that can prove deadly, as evidenced by two recent fatalities in Manhattan.

According to recent reports, two workers fell to their deaths at two separate worksites. One of the victims became entangled in a cable while trying to free a crane from a building, while the other victim died after falling almost 40 feet from a bucket lift. Sadly, these worksite have seen similar incidents in the past, causing many to call for tighter controls on safety. The tragic reality, though, is that far too many construction employers bypass important safety regulations in order to cut costs and boost profits. This puts innocent workers at risk of being harmed or killed, as was the case in these workplace accidents.

Look out for these less obvious workplace injuries

Some workers' compensation claims are very clear and severe. According to The Insurance Journal, overexertion (pulling a muscle) and falls are the top sources of injuries on the job. These happen in a single incident, and the bodily harm is usually immediate and undoubtedly attributable to the accident.

Other injuries, however, only show up after a longer period of time. You need to be aware of these less obvious injuries so you can know if you have a workers' compensation claim.