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Staten Island Workers' Comp and SSDI Law Blog

Common reasons for SSD claim denials

Many first-time Social Security disability claimants are surprised by the number of claims that are initially denied. This can leave them concerned about their own claim, as well as their financial future, as they may be unable to work on account of their condition. However, by understanding disability law and how to use it to one's advantage, an individual stands a better chance at succeeding on his or her claim and recovering the benefits he or she needs.

The first step is to consider why so many initial claims are denied. There are a number of reasons. First, and perhaps most obvious, the Social Security Administration will not grant SSD benefits to those who are disabled on account of their abuse of drugs or alcohol. Second, many individuals are deemed disqualified from recovering SSD benefits because their income exceeds the limits imposed by the federal government. Therefore, individuals need to carefully consider the work in which they are engaging and consider how that interacts with this aspect of the law.

How medical treatment can affect your SSD claim

Generally speaking, before the Social Security Administration will grant disability benefits, a claimant must show that he or she sought treatment for the condition and that treatment was ineffective. Of course, each medical condition is different, meaning that the requisite course of treatment prior to SSD benefits being awarded can vary significantly. However, knowing about this aspect of the SSD claims process is crucial, as far too many disabled individuals find their initial claim denied because they failed to satisfactorily show that they sought out appropriate treatment.

As an example of this element, this week we will look at its interplay with conditions affecting the digestive system. According to the SSA, they will assess every course of treatment an individual has received, as well as its side effects, in its determination of whether a condition is considered disabling. When looking at a course of treatment, whether it be through medication or surgery, the SAA will look at a number of factors. Amongst these factors are the frequency the ongoing treatment is required, any adverse effects suffered as a result of the treatment, how the medical condition responds to the treatment and the expected timeframe during which the treatment will provide benefits.

Construction worker dies in workplace accident

Many New Yorkers take their safety for granted. However, many of us find ourselves in danger as an everyday part of our lives. This is especially true for construction workers. These men and women may perform their job duties in close proximity to machinery that can pinch and crush them, or they may be struck by passing traffic that fails to slow down or move over to provide the room to work. The hazardous situations these workers can face are almost limitless, which is why strict safety regulations are in place.

Despite these regulations, every year a significant number of New York construction workers are injured or killed on the job. One such workplace accident occurred recently in Manhattan, leaving one individual dead. According to reports, the worker fell almost 100 feet to his death after he stumbled and fell nine stories down an elevator shaft. Reports also indicate that the victim was not attached to any type of safety harness or line. An investigation into the accident is underway.

Preparation needed for disability hearings

Filing for Social Security disability benefits can seem daunting. Gathering evidence and crafting legal arguments can be challenging and tiring, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the system. Yet, despite all their hard work, many individuals who seek SSD benefits find their initial claim denied. As disheartening as that may be, these individuals should not be deterred from pursuing the matter further, as these denials can be appealed. The first step of the process is known as reconsideration, which is where the evidence presented at the initial hearing is reevaluated.

If a claim continues to be denied after reevaluation, then a claimant can seek a disability hearing. This hearing is held before an administrative law judge who will hear evidence and make yet another determination on the claim. It is important to be prepared when going into this hearing, as an official record is made that can be used on the next level of appeal should the claim be denied again.

The dangers of working in a nursing home

Many people associate nursing homes as a quiet place where the elderly live out the rest of their lives. However, as a nursing home worker, you know that this picture is only an ideal.

In reality, those who care for elderly patients not only face many hazards in the workplace, but also have one of the highest rates of injury and illness across all industries, including construction, reveals OSHA. The most common dangers you may experience include the following:

Parkinsonian syndrome sufferers may qualify for SSD benefits

Mental health has been gaining attention in the public forum, but it still isn't receiving the attention it deserves. Many Americans suffer from a variety of mental health conditions that affect their daily lives. Sometimes these illnesses can be effectively treated with therapy and medication, but in other instances, the condition is simply too sever to allow a sufferer to live a normal life. Those who fall in the latter group can see every aspect of their life altered, including being rendered unable to work. While that may sound like the least of their concerns, the truth of the matter is that those who are unable to work and thereby earn a wage may struggle to make ends meet. This can include maintaining housing, putting food on the table and even obtaining medical treatment.

This is why those who suffer from debilitating mental health conditions need to consider whether they qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If they do, then they may file a claim in hopes of obtaining monthly benefits to help them find financial stability. In order to qualify for SSD benefits, though, they must meet the federal requirements that are laid out for their specific medical condition.

Workplace deaths continue to increase

As previously discussed on this blog, accidents in the workplace can and do occur in every profession. Oftentimes, these incidences occur more frequently than we are aware. One would think that this fact would give way to increased safety measures and, in turn, more safe workplaces. However, a study recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics paints a grim portrait of America's workplace safety.

According to that study, workplace deaths increased seven percent between 2015 and 2016. In 2016 alone, more than 5,000 workers were killed in their place of work. Approximately 25 percent of these deaths are caused by transportation accidents, making it the number one cause of worker deaths. Workplace violence also increased, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatalities.

Our firm is passionate about securing SSD benefits

Those who suffer from an illness that leaves them unable to work can face all kinds of hardships. Not only are they unable to earn a wage to support themselves, but these individuals can also face extensive medical expenses that can be quite expensive. Together, these financial damages and the physical and emotional pain caused by a debilitating illness can leave an individual overwhelmed, stressed and fearful for his or her future. To ensure that these pressures do not consume an individual, he or she needs to take the steps necessary to ensure that they find the financial security they need.

In these instances, the best way to do that is to seek Social Security disability benefits. As we discussed previously on the blog, even those who receive other benefits, such as workers' compensation, can still recover SSD benefits. Yet, to be successful in this process, these individuals need to be knowledgeable about the law and how to use it to their advantage. For this, many New Yorkers turn to skilled legal professionals, like those at Jonathan H. Poznansky Attorney at Law.

How is "employee" defined for workers' compensation purposes?

Accidents happen, but they can also be the cause of financial hardships. Workers' compensation benefits can be a real boon to injured workers who are struggling to make ends meet. It can provide periodic and consistent payouts that help an injured individual recoup lost wages and pay for unexpected medical expenses. Although it may seem like recovering these benefits is automatic upon injury, this is far from the truth. In fact, many New Yorker's see their workers' compensation claims denied, thereby necessitating an appeal.

There are a number of reasons why a workers' compensation claim can be denied. In many instances, a worker fails to prove that the injury was suffered while performing work duties, either because the injury pre-existed the accident in question or because he or she was engaging in horseplay at the time of the injury. Even more basic than that, though, is the fact that an injured worker, prior to recovering workers' compensation benefits, must show that he or she was an employee of the company from which he or she is trying to recover benefits.

3 reasons to notify your employer of an injury ASAP

Suffering an injury on the job is never an issue to downplay or ignore. Too many people, however, make the mistake of trying to continue work and ignore the pain. This can be costly not just to your potential workers’ comp claim but also to your health, well-being and recovery. There are several reasons it is imperative that you notify your employer of any injury immediately after it happens.

There are many ways to deal with an injury. You may choose to pursue a workers’ comp claim, SSI or SSDI or another form of legal recourse. No matter which option is best suited to your case, though, time is of the essence, and the following are just three reasons to notify your employer of your injury sooner rather than later.