You May be Qualified to Receive Cash Benefits from the the Social Security Administration Without Knowing It

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or State Supplementary Payment (SSP) is one of the two largest programs of the U.S. Federal government (the other is that is the Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. SSI was introduced by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 1974; it was designed to provide cash benefits to the aged, the blind, and disabled people, who are with little or without income; this cash benefit should help provide for its recipients’ basic needs, which include food, clothing, and shelter. Specifically, SSI is designed for:

  • Disabled adults who have limited income and resources;
  • Disabled children who are younger than age 18 and who have limited income and resources; and,
  • People 65 years old or older who are without disabilities, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR). (The FBR represents both the SSI income limit and the maximum monthly dollar amount paid by the SSI program.)

For 2016, the monthly income limit under the FBR is $733 for individuals and $1,100 for couples. Determining eligibility for SSI benefits, however, is not as simple as it seems as the SSA has its own method of income limit computation. Add to this the “state supplement,” that is the cash that majority of states in the U.S. (except in eight states which include Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia) add on top of the federal SSI payment – this addition increases not only the total amount of SSI payment a beneficiary will receive, but the limit of income too.

In an SSA website with address, https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-eligibility-ussi.htm, the terms “disabled” and “blindness” based on SSA definitions are explained. The site also lists what the SSA considers as income and resources, as well as gives the conditions that will render a non U.S. citizen/alien eligible to receive SSI benefits.

With regard to disability, the SSA considers a child (anyone below 18) or an adult (those aged 18 and above) if he or she has a “medically determinable physical or mental impairment, (including an emotional or learning problem) that:

  • Has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months;
  • Results in severe functional limitations (in the case of children) or results in the inability to do
    any substantial gainful activity (in the case of adults); and,
  • Can be expected to result in death.” ( https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-eligibility-ussi.htm)

With regard to “income” and “resources,” for SSI purposes, income includes: money earned from work; money received from other sources, such as Social Security benefits, workers compensation, unemployment benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs, friends or relatives; and free food or shelter. Resources, on the other hand, refers to things personally owned, including: cash; bank accounts, stocks, U.S. savings bonds; land; vehicles; personal property; life insurance; and anything that could be converted to cash and used for food or shelter.

As mentioned in the website of the Hankey Law Office, cash benefits payed by the SSI program definitely offers many Americans the much-needed relief from difficult situations. It has and still continues to help improve the quality of life, especially of those struggling to make ends meet. Many times, however, applicants for the benefit, despite eligibility, get denied due to technical and/or other forms of problems. While a person and his/her family can freely file an application on their own, having an experienced SSI attorney, who can help them through the lengthy and complex process, can present many advantages which may even result to the immediate release of benefits, especially if the medical condition of the patient is determined by the SSA as necessitating expedited payment.

Read More

Types of Head Injuries

Head injuries range in intensity. They could influence a person for as long as 2-3 weeks or as long as their life’s remainder. Potential causes of brain injuries are falls, athletic games, or car accidents. Types of brain injuries include concussion, contusions, diffuse axonal, and penetration.

Concussions occur when there has been a direct blow to the head. They are the most usual type of brain injuries, and can be a consequence of various kinds of injuries. According to the website of Hankey Law Office, potential examples in which concussions can happen contain slamming into the steering wheel, hitting the ground hard, or wrecks. Internally, a person’s bloodstream vessels are elongated and nerves might be broken.

Like concussions, contusions will also be caused are an immediate impact to the head. However, contusions involve a bruise on the brain. In the event the contusion is significant enough, it may have to be surgically removed.

Diffuse axonal results when a person’s mind spun or h as been strongly shaken, and the brain does not move with all the cranium in compliance. Diffuse axonal may cause nerve cells to split, hence resulting in comas or brain damage that is permanent. Typically connected with automobile accidents, this type of harm is quite severe.

Finally, penetration is when a foreign object enters the brain during an accident. This type of injury can cause tearing, extending, or break of brain tissue. Infiltrating things may ricochet through the head, or can undergo the skull, mind, and right back out of the skull. The victim ought to be taken to the emergency room immediately when a penetration injury happens.

Brain injuries may be devastating to a person’s lifestyle. The process is often unpleasant and extended while rehabilitation is an option for recovering from a brain damage. They ought to get medical attention as soon as possible when there is associated with an accident a man inflicted using a brain injury.

Read More

Personal Injury with Dangerous Drugs

Modern Western medicine relies heavily on pharmaceutical preparations in treatment or health management protocols. Many drugs have been developed over the years that have undoubted benefits, although they are unfortunately too often offset by side effects. Historically, these side effects are revealed on a trial-and-error basis, and dangerous drugs such as cocaine have been withdrawn from the market when the health risks outweighed the benefits.

Regulations are currently in place to minimize the risks posed on the general public by these drugs. Before a new drug or formulation is approved for use, agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration require that drug companies comply with procedures designed to determine the safety and efficacy of the products. This includes clinical trials that should reveal what side effects it may have. In general, drug companies observe their duty of care and follow these procedures. Sometimes, though, they breach this duty out of greed or inadvertence.

Take the case of Granuflo. First introduced in 2003, it is a dry acid formulation designed to improve the acid neutralizing capacity of bicarbonates during dialysis. It was marketed to facilities that cater to patients with reduced kidney function, and a dialysis machine is used to clean the blood of toxins in lieu of the kidney. An overdosage of Granuflo could lead to potentially fatal cardiac problems, including but not limited to metabolic alkalosis. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the real problem that led to lawsuits filed against manufacturer Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) is that the company failed to inform non-FMC dialysis centers about these dangers even as they circulated a memo to FMC centers about it.

When personal injury results from the failure of drug companies to warn about dangerous side effects or to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their patients, this can be construed as negligence. Consult with a product liability lawyer experienced in civil litigation cases involving dangerous drugs to see if you have an actionable case.

If you have been hurt because of a dangerous drug, make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. An attorney will be able to help you through your case and make sure that you are justly compensated.

Read More

The Jones Act, Crew Member’s Personal Injury Claims

Working on ships can be difficult because any treatment for injuries can be stalled because of limited resources. For those crew members who have been injured while working on ships, they can file for personal injury claims through the Jones Act. The Jones Act, better known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a statute in the United States providing the promotion and preservation of a US merchant marine.

Generally, the Jones Act provides protection for sailors who are injured or have died due to negligence of the owner, a master or a fellow sailor of the same vessel, while they are on the course of their service. Through this act, the injured sailors or their survivors have the right to file a lawsuit against their employers so long as the negligent conduct of their employers or fellow sailors are the reason for the injuries (through illogical carelessness) and the injured sailor has the right for trial by jury.

The Jones Act is a very important and vital part of maritime law, particularly for sailors, because those who are injured during their employment are not allowed to file for worker’s compensation or worker’s comp claims versus their employers since they are not entitled for it according to state and federal law. Also, in order for a sailor to be covered by the Jones Act, they should be working more than 30 percent of the time employed as a crew member. Dock workers, along with shipbuilders, are not covered by the Jones Law.

An employer can be held liable for injuries or death under the Jones Act if they have not complied with providing a reasonably secure place of work as well as failing to maintain and keep the vessel (or workplace) is a safe condition. Because the Jones Act is an employee-friendly law, it is easier to prove negligence and causation. All the injured sailor has to do is prove there is negligence that created a dangerous condition that subsequently led to injury.

Just as with any personal injury claims, an injured sailor is entitled to damages that cover medical bills (both past and future expenses), lost earnings, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. Sailors should be aware that they have three years to file for an injury, otherwise it would be more beneficial to contact a lawyer who specializes in maritime law.

Read More

Oil Field Accidents and Injuries

Oil field jobs are sought after because they are very well paid. This is because working in an oil field is probably one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Oil fields are inherently dangerous sites because the nature of the work requires the presence of lots of pressure, flammable materials, and hazardous chemicals. After all, it is the energy industry.

Oil field workers are constantly exposed to these dangerous working conditions and expected to do a lot of heavy lifting under strenuous circumstances. Those aspiring to make money from oil fields as a worker therefore need to be physically fit and healthy to be able to handle the stresses of the job over an extended period. The best way to ensure this is to subject would-be new hires to pre-employment screening that includes a thorough physical exam, endurance testing, strength measures, and lifting capabilities.

However, even if a worker passes pre-employment screening, it is no guarantee that the potential for injury is eliminated. A physically qualified oil field worker typically works a minimum of 12 hours a shift, seven days straight before a break, and the work is hard and dirty. This takes a toll on the workers’ energy and concentration, and oil field accidents and injuries happen constantly. The most common injuries are caused by explosions or the uncontrolled release of pressure which is part and parcel of the fracking (hydraulic fracturing) process. Such injuries are often serious, and many are fatal. This is not to mention the possibility of an earthquake at a fracking site. Such an earthquake could be very damaging and catastrophic.

Given that oil field work is dangerous, employers have the responsibility to provide their workers with as good as chance at surviving as possible by supplying them with the appropriate safety gear, giving them proper training, and allowing them reasonable rest periods. According to the website of Tennessee lawyers Pohl and Berk, failure to take the proper precautions which lead to serious oilfield accidents and injuries may be construed as employer negligence. Contact an oilfield accident attorney to learn more about how civil litigation in such cases work. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries if they were preventable and were the result of one of these forms of employer neglect.

Read More

The Risk of Motorcycle Accidents

One potato, two potato…a motorcycle accident can involve just a single vehicle as well as multiple vehicles. Motorcycles are inherently unstable because they only have two wheels. It is a constant balancing act, and because motorcycles are typically driven at high speeds, even small defects on the road such as loose gravel can result in a concussion or even death from a motorcycle accident.

Yet because motorcycles are convenient and economical ways to get from point A to point B, more and more motorcycles are hitting the road, a gain in 2013 of about 1% from sales in 2012. This translates to more than 300,000 new two-wheel vehicles in the US alone. There are currently about 9 million motorcycles travelling US roads.

The main concern about motorcycles is safety. Regulations in some states require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, but they are still 35 times more likely to be seriously injured or hurt in a multiple vehicle accident than a passenger in a car. It is very important, therefore, that riders exercise caution every time they straddle their motorcycles.

But even when a motorcycle rider is careful, they still have to contend with adverse road conditions and other vehicles on the road. When a car plows into a motorcycle because the driver was texting, spilled a drink, or intoxicated, the most defensive motorcyclist can do very little to keep from crashing. If the rider is very lucky, the worst that happens is a little road rash and an overwhelming desire to kick someone in the rear end. Unfortunately, that is not what typically happens.

Motorcycle riders involved in single or multiple vehicle accidents often end up with moderate to severe brain injury, broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and internal damage even with safety gear. The human body is vulnerable, and without the protection afforded by a hardier structure such as a car frame, the motorcyclist is in for a world of hurt and huge medical bills.

If you or someone in your family was injured in a motorcycle accident because of the negligence of others, you will probably have to contend with a lot of expenses. You may be able to get some compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer used to dealing with motorcycle accidents.

Read More