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Bremen Georgia Personal Injury Law Blog

Denied Social Security: the basics of filing an appeal (Part 1)

Recently we spent some time on our blog discussing disabled individuals' eligibility for federal assistance. The criteria generally have to do with one's inability to work. However, when an initial application for Social Security Disability has been submitted, there is a strong chance it will be denied. Most applications are denied at least once. We'll take some time over the next few blog posts to help our Bremen readers understand why claims get denied, and what they can do about it. This is intended as general information only, and not specific legal advice.

Initial denials of claims for SSD benefits tend to fall into several categories. The Social Security Administration might argue that you can still work, or that you'll be out of work for less than a year. They might deny your claim if they think that substance abuse lead to your disability. They also could argue that you didn't follow a doctor's prescribed treatment, or that you didn't include enough medical evidence to support your claim.

Changes coming to SSD benefits next year

Many Bremen residents rely on federal assistance due to a disability that prevents them from working. Those who do meet the requirements to collect Social Security Disability, or SSD benefits, will want to understand how a number of changes to the program in 2018 may impact them.

The best news for many will be the 2 percent increase in the amounts beneficiaries receive. This is the largest annual cost-of-living increase since 2012. For those who cannot earn an income due to their inability to work, this will be welcome assistance for medical bills, transportation, and other daily expenses.

Social Security appeals are taking longer than usual

The trauma and stress that comes with disability is a difficult, life-altering and scary experience, especially considering the financial consequences of disability. This is why the government created social security disability benefits. Unfortunately, a person experiencing disability may have a claim denied. When a claim is denied, the aggrieved may file an appeal to challenge the denial. Recent news indicates that the appeal process may be more difficult than ever.

According to a recent article from marketplace, the average wait time for an appeal hearing is 602 days, and the average payment is $1,171. The article also states that one million people are experiencing this massive delay, and one attorney says that he has even seen people pass away waiting for their hearing date. While the article speculates as to why this backlog is occurring, the point is simply that the appeal process can be difficult and time consuming for many of the disabled. While this is an unfortunate reality of the system, it is useful to understand the process.

4 things employees need to know about workers’ comp

Injury and illness are always frightening, but when they could prevent you from earning an income, they can be terrifying. Fortunately, if you are injured while working at the factory, workers’ compensation can protect you with medical, treatment and income benefits.

Do you know the basics of workers’ compensation? Unfortunately, factory work can be dangerous, so it is important for all workers to understand how workers’ compensation works in case you, or a friend at work, ever need to file a claim. Below are four key aspects of workers’ compensation that all factory workers should understand.

For construction workers, what are the greatest risks?

You've worked in construction for a decade. So far, you've escaped serious injury. Sure, you deal with the minor cuts and bruises that go along with working with your hands, but you haven't been to the hospital.

Even so, you've seen the statistics. They paint a dire picture. You've heard about the "fatal four," which take the most lives. You know that even workers who survive these types of accidents often have life-long injuries.

My worker's compensation claim was denied; what can I do?

A workplace injury can be both painful and stressful. If you have been injured at work, you may be wondering what to do about medical expenses and lost wages. You may even be worried about reporting the injury to your employer. Fortunately, if a person was injured on the job, they can pursue worker's compensation. Worker's compensation was designed to address an injured worker's medical expenses, but it can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if the claim has been initially denied.

. A claim can be denied for a number of different reasons, such as if the injury is not considered compensable under state law. Additionally, if the injury wasn't reported or filed in time, the claim may be rejected. Luckily, the initial denial of your claim does not mean you are out of options.

Are you eligible for Social Security Disability benefits?

Illness, injury, sickness and trauma can occur at almost any time, and when they do, the sick or injured often lose the ability to work and provide for their families. The inability to work can be devastating and disheartening. Thankfully, we have Social Security Disability to assist the injured and the sick in some circumstances.

When we think of disability, images and ideas come to mind about what exactly that means; however, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a special definition for "disability." For the SSA, disability essentially means an inability to work. First, you are unable or cannot do the same work that you did before. Second, you simply cannot adjust to new work because of your illness or injury. Third and finally, this injury or illness must last at least a year or until your death. This is a very specific and narrow definition, and in order to be eligible, you must fulfill or meet all three parts of the definition.

Drunk driving is still a problem

Despite being as careful as possible, a cautious driver can still be injured by a negligent driver in a car accident. With smart phones and other devices, there have never been more distractions and dangers on the roads. Car accidents can occur for wide variety of reasons, but one cause continues to endanger drivers everywhere -- drunk driving.

According to the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, alcohol-related car accidents increased between 2011 and 2015. According to the study, 366 people died in an accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver in 2015, the most recent year for which statistics were available. This was the highest number since 2009.

Drunk drivers are a danger to Georgia residents

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia beats the national average for drunk driving accident fatalities. This dubious distinction is a good reminder to readers of this personal injury legal blog that drunk drivers are a threat to everyone who must share the roads with them and who must anticipate their negligent and often dangerous conduct. The many victims that are created in drunk driving accidents every year are reminded that they have legal rights and speaking with personal injury attorneys about their experience may guide them through the legal processes of recovering their accident-related damages.

According to the CDC, 3,699 people died within the state from vehicle accidents involving drunk drivers between the years 2003 and 2012. This figure averages out to around one drunk driving fatality within Georgia every single day during the period of time applicable to the statistic. While men are more likely to perish in drunk driver-involved crashes than women, both men and women in Georgia die at a higher rate that the national averages when alcohol is involved in vehicle crashes.

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