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Schenectady Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?

Many people become disabled before reaching retirement age and are unable to work. If this has happened to you, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Before you can apply for benefits, you must make sure you meet the earnings requirement. Generally, this means you must have worked a certain number of years based on the age when you become disabled. For example, if you are 46-years-old, you must have worked for approximately six years to qualify.

Once you have determined that you do qualify for disability benefits, you can apply for benefits online or set up an appointment for a disability claim interview. You will need to provide information regarding your medical condition, hospital records, test results, a W-2 form from your employer and a detailed description of your job. It may be very beneficial for you to have an attorney represent you throughout the process to give you the best chance at recovering benefits.

New York Workers' Compensation standards may get a makeover

Workers' compensation requires employers to provide workers with benefits if they get injured on-the-job, in exchange for immunity from lawsuits. These benefits are provided to give the worker and their family financial stability as they recover from their injuries.

Workers' compensation laws in New York may change soon, affecting thousands of disabled people. In the 2017 budget agreement, Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers required the Workers Compensation Board to come up with new guidelines to evaluate injured workers' levels of impairment.

Working to obtain the workers' compensation benefits you deserve

It can happen in an instant, but the fallout can last far longer. An unexpected event causes a workplace injury, and you are left wondering how to deal with it. Who do I talk to? How will I cover expenses if I miss work? These questions and more deserve answers, and those suffering should know that there is help out there.

When injured on the job, the first step is always to address the injury by seeking out medical care. While those with severe injuries may receive care almost immediately, those who fear long term affects from what can initially seem like a minor injury should still visit a medical professional for both personal and legal reasons. Within the workers' compensation process, it is important that there be medical records detailing an injury to support the claim for benefits. It is also vital that you report the injury to your employer.

How does a spinal cord injury affect a victim?

One of the most important parts of the human body is the spine. The spine is protected by the spinal cord, which contains nerves that run from the brain down one's back to control movements throughout the body. When the spinal cord is damaged, it could lead to a wide range of disabilities, ranging from numbness to total paralysis.

A vast majority of spinal cord injuries occur when the spine is struck by an object, damaging the vertebrae in the spine. The most common cause of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents, although slip and falls, sports and violence are also common causes as well. When a blow to the spine fractures or dislocates the vertebra, fragments of discs or bones, as well as damaged ligaments, could crush the nerves. Additional bleeding or swelling following the injury could lead to more damage to the nerves in the spine.

Efforts to treat muscular dystrophy continue

The recent passing of legendary comedian, actor, singer, producer and director Jerry Lewis left many throughout the United States in mourning. But, it also created a renewed interest in one of Lewis's passions, working to fundraise for muscular dystrophy research. Many consider Lewis as much a humanitarian as an entertainer, based on his continued efforts to address the disease.

Muscular dystrophy typically affects boys starting when they are around three to five years of age. Symptoms are first noticed in their hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders, but may also extend to the arms, legs and trunk of the body after, ultimately affecting the heart and respiratory muscles as well.

A look at multiple sclerosis

Researchers believe that as many as 2.3 million people throughout the world are affected by multiple sclerosis. The disease targets the human nervous system and can cause a myriad of different symptoms that make it difficult for a victim to lead a normal lifestyle.

Multiple sclerosis begins when the body's immune system begins attacking the protective coat surrounding nerves fibers, called "myelin," of the central nervous system. This leaves scar tissue, called sclerosis, on various areas, which then causes issues with communication between nerve signals and the spinal cord and brain. Inflammation of the nerve cells and death of the nerve cells, called "neurodegenerative," are both considered to be components among multiple sclerosis victims, according to scientists.

NFL football players speak about workplace brain injuries

Recently the National Football League celebrated their annual Pro Football Hall of Fame awards ceremony, but a dark cloud hung over the ceremony for many former players who must now face the reality that their futures may be impacted by brain injuries caused during their careers. For instance, Terrell Davis, former star running back for the Denver Broncos, spoke at length about his struggles both on the field and off the field following his retirement. He discussed his current memory loss and migraine headaches and the inability to even see while he was on the field, likely due to concussions. He went on to say that he is still scared and concerned about the long-term effects of the brain injuries he encountered during his days on the field.

A recent study revealed that among 111 former football players who had their brains studied following their death, 110 of them suffered from a form of degenerative brain disease called "chronic traumatic encephalopathy," or CTE. This is caused from repeated blows to the head, not uncommon for football players and many other careers throughout the United States, including construction workers.

Helping you assert your rights following a workplace injury

Individuals in New York work in a wide variety of industries. Whether a job is physically demanding or not, employees could be working in an environment that presents many risks and dangers. Even when these dangers are not clear or apparent, employees could be subject to serious and life-threatening issues. While employers are required to take steps to ensure workplace safety, whether it is through training, safety equipment or maintenance, if an employer fails to uphold this duty or is negligent, this could result in a serious workplace injury.

Suffering an injury on-the-job is not only unexpected but could also be life-changing. A worker's life could be completely turned upside-down due to a temporary or permanent disability caused by a workplace accident. At our law firm, we understand the challenges injured workers face. We are dedicated to helping injured workers in the Schenectady area assert their rights following a workplace accident.

Construction worker in critical condition after shock

Since the creation of OSHA with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, companies throughout the United States, including in New York, have been trying to protect their workers. OSHA has a strict set of guidelines in place to protect employees who are working in potentially hazardous environments.

The administration attempts to make certain that all employers adhere to the industry standards with regards to workplace safety. This includes making certain that hazards on jobsites are addressed or, if they cannot be avoided, that workers are trained and given all the necessary equipment and supplies to assure their safety. Unfortunately, not all companies fully adhere to the guidelines and even when they do, sometimes accidents still occur.

How does the Social Security Disability appeals process work?

Statistics show that as many as two-thirds of all people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are initially denied. While in many cases this is due to oversights or errors by the person who submits an application, in other instances the applicant is not aware of the qualifications or simply did not prove that their disability qualifies.

If you are certain that you have an injury, illness or mental condition that is expected to last at least a year, or will end in death, you may qualify for either Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, or Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.