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Staten Island Workers' Comp and SSDI Law Blog

New York construction worker injured in fall

Readers of this blog know that just about any profession can pose a risk to one's safety and well-being. However, there are some professions that tend to be more dangerous than others. Amongst these professions is construction worker. These men and women often perform their job duties at heights and near moving vehicles. They also operate heavy machinery that, when improperly kept or operated negligently, can cause serious injuries and death.

Unfortunately, one New York worker was recently injured in a fall at a construction site. Reports indicate that the worker was performing his duties on the roof of a church when he fell two stories, landing on a shed. The man was taken to the hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Witnesses to the accident indicate that they have had concerns with the construction site's safety, and one man stated he even made a report about it. The construction company has not responded to the incident, which remains under investigation.

Social Security disability and workers' compensation may overlap

Many people don't realize it, but there can be significant overlap between the workers' compensation system and the Social Security disability system. Usually, individuals who are injured on the job seek workers' compensation so that they can recoup their lost wages and medical expenses, thereby allowing them to focus on their recovery and returning to work. Many times, though, these individuals find that they are unable to return to work on account of their medical condition, which drives them to seek Social Security disability benefits.

Of course, over the life of an individual, SSD benefits can be much more significant than those paid out by workers' compensation, but the requirements to obtain and retain SSD benefits are much more stringent. Medical evidence must be presented to show that one's condition qualifies as a "disability", meeting the definition set by the federal government. This evidence can be disputed, and even once SSD benefit are obtained, an individual can be subjected to reconsideration of his or her medical condition in the future to determine whether benefits are still justified.

SSD benefits: assessing one's ability to work

The Social Security disability process can deceptively seem simple. At first glance, it appears one merely needs to show that he or she suffers from a medical condition that renders him or her unable to work. To a certain extent, this assessment is correct. But in reality, the matter is much more complicated.

For example, before the Social Security Administration will award SSD benefits, it will assess one's education and work history to determine what, if any, type of work an individual can still perform. It may seem like a claimant should still receive benefits even if they cannot obtain one of those jobs, but that simply isn't the case. Instead, the SSA will not deem an individual disabled merely because you were not hired for a job or because there is not a job opening for the type of work an individual can perform.

Inflammatory arthritis and SSD benefits

Many New Yorkers struggle with some sort of arthritis. This disease, which can cause severe pain in the joints, can have an impact on an individual's daily life. Things that were once easy to do may become difficult or even impossible to accomplish. The seemingly ever-present pain can be too much to bare. For some individuals, their arthritis is so severe that it impacts their ability to work. When this is the case, it may be wise to consider pursuing Social Security disability benefits, as that may be the only way for an individual to recover the compensation he or she needs to find financial stability.

In order to obtain SSD benefits, though, one must meet certain federal requirements under identified medical conditions. One of those conditions is inflammatory arthritis. Those who suffer from this condition may qualify for SSD benefits if they can show one of four things. First, if inflammation or deformity of a weight-bearing joint or one of the major joints in the upper body is persistent and causes significant limitation in movement, then an individual may qualify for benefits.

Are occupational diseases covered under workers' compensation?

Regardless of where you work in the New York City area, there are workplace hazards for you to know about so you can take proper measures to avoid them. Accidents involving falls, falling objects and repetitive stress are not the only ones that workers' compensation covers. There can be a risk of you developing an occupational disease if toxic and hazardous substances are present in your work environment. 

Occupational illnesses do not usually happen suddenly. Unlike acute injuries that can happen after a slip-and-fall or an object falling on you, occupational diseases can take months and years to develop. Even though they are often not immediately obvious, people who develop occupational diseases can be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Workers often develop such illnesses after prolonged exposure to chemicals or hazardous working conditions, such as asbestos and heat-related health problems. Learn about how potential hazards in the workplace might impact your health. 

Hurt in a workplace accident? We stand ready to help

Employees tend to have certain expectations in the workplace. But nobody expects to be injured on the job. Yet, every day, unsuspecting New Yorkers are put in harm's way and suffer workplace injuries as a result. Generally speaking, those who are injured in workplace accidents qualify for workers' compensation benefits. This is important because these benefits can help individuals secure money to help them cover their medical expenses and rehabilitative costs, as well as recoup a portion of their lost wages. For many New Yorkers, workers' compensation benefits are a true financial lifesaver while they focus on reclaiming their health and getting back to work.

Although many workplace injuries are covered by workers' compensation, there are a lot of cases where injured workers have their claims denied. A claim denial may be the result of a number of factors, including evidence showing that the hurt person was doing something other than his or her work duties at the time an injury was suffered. Other denials are handed out due to the injury pre-existing the incident, as well as lack of medical evidence.

New Yorker injured in heavy machinery accident

Many New Yorkers take their jobs for granted. Therefore, when they suddenly lose their job, they find themselves on uncertain financial footing. The same holds true for those who are injured in workplace accidents. In nearly every case, workplace accident victims are completely surprised by the incident, which means they are totally unprepared to deal with the damages this incident can cause. This means these victims may struggle to find a way to pay for unexpected medical expenses, and they might have difficulty paying for their everyday living expenses when their wages are cut off due to their inability to work.

One New Yorker may be in this position now after he was hospitalized after suffering on-the-job injuries. Reports indicate that the man suffered serious injuries after he became stuck inside of the housing of a conveyor belt that was being used to sift soil on the property where he was working. Apparently, the worker became unconscious while trapped and had to be pulled from the machine by a coworker. He was then rushed to the hospital where he remains in critical condition. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

The costs of dealing with cancer

Tragically, just about everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another. For some, a beloved family or friend has been inflicted with the disease. For others, they must confront the disease head on after they have been diagnosed with it. For those in the latter group, their lives can be forever changed after a cancer diagnosis. What becomes important to them can change as they shift their focus away from their day-to-day activities and toward obtaining effective treatment.

Yet, these individuals are still forced to deal with issues that may not be of the utmost importance to them, like paying bills. After all, those diagnosed with cancer will still have to pay for their medical care as well as their living expenses, such as rent or house payments, utilities, food and other necessities. The costs of medical care can quickly skyrocket, too, especially when individuals have to be subjected to surgery, radiation treatment or pharmacological therapy.

Workers' compensation system may depend on job

On its face, workers' compensation seems like a simple concept: an individual is injured on the job and, as a result, he or she receives compensation while he or she is unable to work. While this basic explanation is accurate to a point, there are many intricacies to the workers' compensation program that can make many claims much more challenging to resolve. Most New Yorkers are protected through their employer's privately held workers' compensation insurance, but those working in the public sector may have to deal with different entities.

There are various programs that seek to protect public employees. Federal employees are protected by the Federal Employee's Compensation Act. Those who qualify for benefits under this program may receive money to help them cover lost wages and medical expenses, but it is typically only available to those who either die or are disabled on account of an injury suffered while performing their job duties.

5 common causes of bus driver injuries

Driving a bus is hard work. Your job requires you to operate for long hours, perform repetitive tasks and work among some hazardous conditions. Being a bus driver means you have a unique risk of sustaining an on-the-job injury.

In fact, 5,000 bus drivers had to take time away from work in 2013 due to suffering an injury while working. But what are the specific bus driving hazards you face? There are a few accidents and injuries you may experience while driving a bus.