Five years ago, a 22-year old Knoxville woman was granted benefits by a Social Security administrative judge, who determined that the woman was disabled and was unable to work anymore. Nina Rouse was granted Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, and was allowed to collect Medicaid. While those benefits were granted to her and she was allowed to collect them for several years, a review conducted by Social Security eventually determined that she was no longer disabled and her benefits were revoked. How can the Social Security Adminstration do that? How can they simply tell someone that they are no longer disabled? Per federal law, benefits are reviewed periodically after they have been granted, and in Nina Rouse’s case, the SSA determined that she was no longer disabled and she received a notice saying that her benefits were ending. Nina would like to work, but finds herself unable to do so due to a digestive system defect that she has had from birth. She was forced to have her colon removed along with part of her esophagus, which causes breathing problems, problems with digestion, and immediate access to the bathroom at all times. She cannot stand for long periods of time, and cannot walk long distances. She used to be able to work, holding down jobs at a fast food restaurant and movie theater, but she says she can no longer work. She had all of the documentation to be granted total disability benefits by the SSA in 2012, but unfortunately found the benefits revoked during the routine general review this year. Fortunately for Nina, the SSA does allow individuals to appeal this decision, and if you respond immediately, you may be able to retain your benefits during the appeals process. If your benefits have been revoked like Nina’s, you do have legal options. The best thing to do is immediately hire a Social Security Disability lawyer to help fight for the benefits you deserve. You can hire an attorney to help explain your legal options, discuss the best course of action, and assist you with the appeals process. Being denied benefits is not the end of the world, although, for many disabled people, it may feel like it. You have the right to take action to prove that you deserve the benefits that you were initially granted, and a knowledgeable attorney can help make sure that you get the benefits that matter so much to you and your family. Don’t despair if you receive a notice from Social Security canceling your benefits. It is not the final straw, and you may be able to fight to get them back. We researched attorneys, and there are lawyers who have extensive experience handling them.Read More
Middle schoolers are not that young anymore, so they may not find simple trips away from the classroom exciting and engaging. Since they are somehow big and mature enough already to pseudo-handle themselves, the school fieldtrip planner in you can be a little more creative.
This age group can still be highly energetic, but the good thing is that it doesn’t require super closer supervision anymore. These kids can now handle amusement parks. But don’t just focus on the rides. It will also be interesting to know how the amusement parks operate, so make sure to contact their management to get an arranged tour.
However, it is important to point out that these kids may still be reckless, so supervision may still be required to avoid accidents.
Botanicals and Wildlife
Botanical gardens, greenhouses, aquariums, sanctuaries, and zoos are always good choices when you are considering nature trips. The good thing is that the kids can learn about different kinds of plants and animals while avoiding the dangers of being out in the wild.
It is a win-win situation. Students get to learn something new, explore things that may be foreign to them, and stay safe – all at the same time.
It cannot be stressed enough that learning and adventuring are the two main aspects of school fieldtrips. If you don’t really feel the vibe of nature, you can opt for arts and history. There are many museums across the country that focus on different subjects, not just arts and history, but also science and technology.
Since the kids are already quite grown, they can be safely divided into groups. After all, it is not like there are many dangers that can be found in museums.
Learning should not be strictly tied to sciences and arts, because they can also come in the form of new experiences. According to the website of the Anita Dee Yacht Charters, a yacht can be customized for social events, like school outings.
But experiencing a unique transportation option is not just the way to learn. The students can also learn about the operations of different transportation methods. You can opt for airports, train stations, and even the post office just to know how they get stuff done in there.Read More
In many instances, injuries or illnesses are diagnosed to have long-lasting effects, thus, causing long-term disability. This type of disability can cause a person to miss work for about six months or more. For employees, before they can avail of their long-term disability benefit, they are first expected to avail of their sick-leave (with pay) privileges and then the short-term benefit (if this has been made available for them by their employer), which usually lasts for six months.
Long-term disability benefits cover a part of the injured employee’s salary, about 50% – 70%; duration of benefits usually lasts 5 or 10 years, while others last until the insured employee reaches the age of 65 (duration actually depends on the plan purchased).
Full payment of the long-term disability coverage may either come from the employer (the traditional practice) or the employee. Newer trends, however, sees employer and employee sharing the cost of the plan.
To become qualified for the long-term disability benefit, an employer ordinarily requires that an employee has rendered service for a certain duration of time, is a full-time employee and renders at least 30 hours of service per week. Although sustaining this type of disability will definitely affect an injured employee and his/her family’s financial situation, many claims get turned down, not because of failure in qualification, but due to technical issues, such as failure to fill-out a claims form correctly.
The long-term disability attorneys of Fields Disability understand how long-term disability insurance helps to take care of you and your family if you are ever injured or become disabled and can’t go back to work for weeks, months, or even years.
When an insurance company offers you a long-term disability policy, they make you the promise of covering you in the event of illness, injury or mental condition – for the years you can’t work. When the time comes that you need to avail of the benefits, however, they find ways to deny your long-term disability claim.
Sad, but true, insurance companies are out to protect their profits, not your best interests. Long-term disability benefits applications are often denied and many people give up because of the strict guidelines applicants must follow. Having a disability claims attorney, who knows how the system works, may be able to help make sure that your application is accurate, complete, and submitted on time.Read More
Dangerous Toxics and Materials in the Workplace
There are jobs out there that have dangerous conditions and equipment, making employees at risk of injury or disease. In the injury aspect, workers may sustain head and brain injuries, shoulder and back injuries, hip and pelvic injuries, because of a variety of reasons, such as slip and fall accidents, equipment malfunctions, and overexertion. Some of these complications even require surgery or legal help, such as the shoulder replacement lawsuit attorneys of Williams Kherkher.
But aside from the physical strain, there is a much more dangerous aspect at work – exposure to chemicals, toxics, and other substances that may have negative effects on the body. Below are some of the common dangerous materials that can be found in the workplace.
Asbestos has once been used as a fire retardant in buildings and residences, but it has been discontinued because of public pressure. But because of exposure to asbestos can potentially lead to the generation of cancer known as mesothelioma, the construction workers before are at risk. Other workers that may be at risk of mesothelioma include automobile mechanics, demolition workers, firefighters, and shipyard workers. The issue is serious enough to warrant the need for a mesothelioma cancer lawyer.
Benzene is a chemical compound that is naturally found in volcanoes and forest fires. It is a known carcinogen, meaning that it can cause cancer, especially on long exposures. This compound is not just found in nature, but also in the industrial world. It is found on motor vehicle exhausts, gasoline stations, and burning coal and oil, so those who are frequently exposed to these things, like employees, are the most vulnerable to benzene exposure. Exposure can have varying results, from simple drowsiness to even death.
Perchlorates are salts that easily dissolve into water. They most common perchlorates include magnesium, potassium, ammonium, sodium, and lithium, and they are most commonly found in explosives, fireworks, and rocket motors. Those who are most at risk of perchlorates are those involved in the said industries. But even if you are not involved in these industries, you may still be at risk, especially if you live near rocket test sites. Exposure to perchlorate does not cause cancer, but it can cause issues to thyroid activity, resulting in problems involving the skin, skeleton, and bodily systems such as the reproductive system and nervous system.
To avoid injuries and illnesses in the workplace, it is best to always follow safety regulations, wear protective gear, and be cautious of your surroundings. Knowing the dangers of these materials gives you a step forward in entirely avoiding workplace accidents.Read More
Minimum Wage and Overtime Threshold in New York
In the recent past, New York has recently made headlines after increasing minimum wage and the overtime threshold. Starting December 31, 2016, the minimum wage in New York City will be $11 for large companies and $10.50 for companies that have less than 11 employees. For Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, it is $10. For the other counties in New York, it will be $9.70. Fast food employees even have it better. In New York City, the basic minimum hourly rate is $12, and $10.75 outside the city.
Despite the different increases, the goal is to make minimum wage to $15, and these different kinds of workers on different places in New York will reach that goal in different time periods.
In New York City, the minimum wage for large companies will increase $2 annually, meaning that it will reach the $15 mark on 2018. The minimum wage for companies that have less than 11 employees will have a $1.50 annual increase, resulting into a $15 minimum wage on 2019. For Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, minimum wage earners will have a $1 increase until the minimum wage turns into $15 in 2021.
Though fast food employees have a better start in the race, they will not go over $15. In New York City, fast food employees will get a yearly increase of $1.50 until the minimum wage clocks in at $15 on 2018. For the fast food workers outside New York City, there will be monumental increases up to 2021, where the minimum wage also stops at $15.
The overtime threshold, or the threshold in which an employee is no longer eligible for overtime pay, has also increased, making more and more people eligible for overtime. The increase will also be implemented on December 31, 2016.
In New York City, the new threshold for large companies will be $825 and $787.50 for companies that have less than 11 employees. For Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, this threshold will be set to $750, and $727.50 for the rest of New York.
For New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester, this threshold will increase annually until it reaches $1,125. The rest of New York will also experience the same increase, but it will only culminate into $937.50.
These increases ensure that New Yorkers are properly compensated, both in wage and overtime. It is also a good thing that New York has lawyers who specialize on unpaid wage and overtime, such as those in Cary Kane, LLP. The law is on the side of employees, so don’t be afraid to step up if you are not meeting these new increases.Read More
Negative Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances that may have negative effects on the body is a crime, because being impaired while on the road puts you at greater risk of committing mistakes, and we all know that a single act of negligence can already trigger an accident, injure somebody, and destroy a property. Negligence is defined as failure to exercise care. Carelessness and negligence are enough grounds to bring a driver to court.
But what exactly are the negative effects of alcohol and drugs on drivers, and how do these effects trigger drivers to commit mistakes?
Limited body coordination
Driving requires the efficient coordination between hands, feet, and eyes, and if one of these factors are compromised, you may be in for a traffic accident. Failure to coordinate bodily functions may also be a sign of limited comprehension and concentration skills, resulting in more problems. The intoxicated driver may fail to comprehend traffic signs or concentrate on the road and his lane.
Limited sensory information
Being under the influence limits a driver’s sense of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touching. These senses can be particularly important in driving, particularly sight. If a driver has impaired vision, he is putting himself in greater risk of collisions with obstructions like road signs and trees, other vehicles, and pedestrians. He will also have a hard time perceiving traffic signs and lights, and road curves and turns.
An often overlooked effect of alcohol and drugs is the fact that they can potentially make drivers more open to stunts and other reckless behaviors like speeding, weaving between lanes, turning sharply, and overtaking without regard to the others around them, and generally disobeying traffic rules. This puts not just the intoxicated driver in danger, but also the others around him who may fail to react on time to his reckless tendencies.
Getting injured in a car accident, particularly because of a drunk driver, is always a terrible experience. But it is a good thing to know that driving under the influence is against the law. The only thing we should worry about now is the proper implementation of the law to deter people from driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.Read More
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on the road. Unlike car and truck drivers, motorcyclists, and other motorists, they are not enclosed in metal and they do not have protective gear. When they are involved in a collision, they absorb most of the force. This may result into injuries, and on some instances, even death.
According to the website of the Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, pedestrians who have been injured because of negligent drivers have legal options to pursue. It is good to know that the law is on the side of the victims. But pedestrians should also make the effort to avoid accidents.
Make sure that you are visible
Many pedestrian accidents happen because of low visibility that results from inadequate lighting or dark clothing. To avoid such accidents, avoid dark areas and dark-colored clothing. If possible, wear light-colored clothing and reflective materials and bring flashlights with you if crossing in dark areas is inevitable.
Look before you step
The obvious safety tip for pedestrians is following traffic rules. Cross only on marked crosswalks and intersections. Look left and right before crossing, even if you have the right of way, because you will never know when a reckless driver is going to show up.
Don’t expect vehicles to stop
Even if you have the right of way, always be wary of moving vehicles, because they might not stop for you. This is especially true for drivers who are distracted, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and want to run through a red light or stop sign.
Be mindful of your surroundings
Different environments pose different levels of risk of pedestrian accidents. If you are near parking lots or parking spaces, be cautious of vehicles. If you are crossing in an intersection, watch out for turning cars. You should also avoid distractions that may compromise your focus on the environment, such as mobile devices and headphones.
Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired (DWI) are serious traffic crimes that refer to driving while impaired by the effects of either alcohol or drugs (illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs). Some states use DWI and DUI interchangeably to refer to the same crime, others, on the other hand, differentiate between the two, using DUI to signify lesser intoxication.
In all U.S. states the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit is 0.08% (this is usually reached after consuming about four regular bottles of beer within an hour). A driver who registers a 0.08% BAC level will be considered alcohol-impaired and charged with DUI or DWI (if his/her BAC level is higher than 0.08%).
Impairment, which is the effect of alcohol and the real root of danger for both the (impaired) driver and all others on the road, is the primary reason why drinking and driving are strictly prohibited under federal and state laws. While this may be a legally acceptable reason to apprehend and charge violators, the overzealousness of some enforcers has, in a number of instances, resulted to the unreasonable arrest of many individuals.
An enforcer or any police officer has the authority to stop a driver suspected of being impaired; he also has the authority to require a driver to perform sobriety tests, like standing on one leg or walking in a straight line, and even submit to a breathalyzer test.
Though professional-grade breathalyzer devices, like those used by law enforcers for roadside alcohol testing, are believed to be highly accurate and sensitive, there are important factors that enforcers need to consider when using these on suspected drunk drivers:
1. These breathalyzers require periodic calibration in order to maintain accurate readings; failure to calibrate these on regular basis can affect BAC analysis.
2. Breathalyzers can definitely measure alcohol which is present in alcoholic drinks; however, it will also give measurable BAC readings if one consumes food cooked in alcohol, or uses substances that contain (even small amounts of) alcohol, like toothache medicines and mouthwash.
3. Acetone, which is detectable in the breath of those on high protein diets and diabetics, and other compounds that have a molecular structure similar to alcohol, may result to BAC readings. Besides these, adhesives, plastics, varnish, paint fumes, and cleaning chemicals with rubbing alcohol, can also produce false BAC results.
According to Columbia DUI defense lawyers of Truslow & Truslow, no matter the offense, criminal charges at any level should be taken seriously. This is because a person, who has been charged with, or is under investigation for, a crime can suffer serious prejudices in life even after he/she has already served his/her sentence. Thus, whether a case would be heard in a Municipal, Magistrate, State, or Federal court, having a dedicated and qualified criminal defense attorney to defend his/her case may save him/her from getting convicted and his future from getting ruined.Read More
Traffic accidents have contributed to the increasing number of deaths in the United States over the years. According to the website of Abel Law Firm, road crashes and collisions can result to fatal injuries or tragic deaths. According to the website of Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department for crash injuries in 2012. No matter how safety conscious we are, accidents can still happen so the best way to avoid these injuries is to prevent them from happening in the first place.
There are three basic prevention strategies that can be considered by governments and/or agencies in order to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes. Primary prevention involves removing various circumstances that lead to injury such as reduction of traffic speed, reducing consumption of alcohol, and fitting stair gates to young children.
In secondary prevention, each individual needs to undertake steps on how to reduce the severity of an injury should an accident occur. This includes installation of child safety car seats, bicycle helmets, smoke alarms, and others. Finally, tertiary prevention involves optimal treatment and rehabilitation after an injury. This includes effective first aid and appropriate hospital care.
Both clinicians and non-clinicians have a huge role in the prevention of motor vehicle injuries and deaths. Health professionals can have an important role in providing advice to patients through the identification of accident risks or medical conditions. Likewise, they can help identify and treat accident causing conditions in patients with medical conditions.
Non clinicians, on the other hand, can implement non-clinical interventions such as advocacy and policy making, collaboration with other agencies, promotion of accident prevention education and training, and research. The provision of safety equipment also plays an effective role in increasing safety practices. Among the advocacies that can be implemented include using primary enforcement seat belt laws, using sobriety checkpoints or comprehensive graduated licensing system.Read More
One of the most painful experiences that an employee can have is getting wrongfully terminated. For most workers, their job is their source of livelihood and becoming unemployed without sufficient cause. Although employers have the option to retain the employees they want to stay in the company, Melton Law Firm says that it should be within the limits of the law. If not, they can be held liable for wrongful termination.
It is worth noting that most employees are “at-will” which means that they or their employer can terminate at any time with or without reason their relationship. However, this does not give employers the right to unjustly terminate their employees. Federal anti-discrimination laws protect employees from being illegally dismissed from their work. Thus, their company cannot just terminate them on the basis of color, race, age, nationality, gender, and others.
Wrongful termination also happens when an employer retaliates against the action of an employee. For example, the employee reports them to a government agency for violating workplace safety laws. If the employer terminates the employee for doing so, they can be liable for wrongful termination. The refusal of an employee to perform an illegal act should also not be made a ground for termination. The employee just exercised their right and their safety is at stake.
If you have been wrongfully terminated, you have to prove the manner as well as the reasons your employer did. This requires gathering evidence. In most cases, you cannot go to court right away. You will first have to lodge the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The agency will study the case and render a decision. A successful claim may entitle you to get damages such as back pay, promotion, reinstatement, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and others.
As with any case, a wrongful termination claim is also covered by a statute of limitation. Upon receipt of the right to sue letter from the EEOC, you only have 90 days to file your lawsuit.Read More