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Kitty Hawk Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Can you work part-time and still get SSD benefits?

If you have a disability that has prevented you from making a living, you may be receiving Social Security Disability benefits to get by. As time passes, however, your condition may change, or you may have a desire to re-enter the workforce, at least to some degree. You may also have questions about whether returning to work will hinder your ability to continue to receive SSD benefits, and this tends to vary based on several factors.

Per the U.S. Social Security Administration, you may, depending on certain circumstances, be able to resume working part-time without having to sacrifice your SSD benefits. Certain work-incentive programs currently in place, among them Ticket to Work, encourage those receiving SSD benefits to return to work by having special guidelines that can allow you to do so without losing your public benefits.

Workers' comp does not cover pain and suffering

There are numerous myths that persist regarding filing a workers' comp claim. You should be able to differentiate between what is real and what is false, so you can acquire the funds necessary to pay for medical expenses and to take time off work to recover. 

With many personal injury lawsuits, a person can recover damages for pain and suffering. However, workers' comp functions differently from a standard lawsuit, so while you can receive compensation to pay for medical bills, you may not get anything for pain and suffering. Although workers' comp can certainly cover a large portion of new expenses, you may feel entitled to more. 

Workers' compensation fraud is largely a myth

When people defraud the workers' compensation system, it tends to make headlines. Take a recent example of a man from Raleigh who defrauded insurance companies out of nearly $150,000 for false workers' comp claims. There are numerous stories similar to this one to the point where one would expect fraud to run rampant. This myth allows employers to be skeptical of any employee who files a claim, believing the worker is exaggerating the injuries. However, fraud occurs extremely seldom. 

According to ABC News, between one and two percent of all workers' comp claims are fraudulent. However, if you asked employers what they believed the percentage was, they would likely tell you something much higher. It is vital for employees and employers alike to separate fact from fiction so that anyone injured on the job can get the health care he or she needs. 

What types of expenses can workers’ compensation benefits cover?

If you suffer an injury on the job that prevents you from earning your typical income, you may be wondering whether you can pursue workers’ compensation benefits through your employer. If you, for example, fall off a ladder, ingest a toxic substance or throw your back out moving heavy machinery, you may have valid concerns about how you will pay for medical care or provide for your family in the aftermath.

Workers’ compensation exists to alleviate such issues and allow you the time you need to recover and, hopefully, return to work.

3 tips for maximizing your workers' compensation claim

A workplace injury may result in costly medical bills and time away from work. Without compensation, it may be difficult for you to make ends meet. Unfortunately, insurance companies generally try to minimize the amount you get for your work injury as much as possible. Additionally, you could make some simple mistakes that may cause you to get fewer benefits than you deserve.

The good news is that North Carolina law requires most employers to provide coverage for medical expenses for workplace injuries. However, you must ensure your claim goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some guidelines to follow to get the most out of your claim. 

Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ comp claim?

If you currently have a workplace injury or are simply looking for information, you might have some concerns about worker’ compensation benefits in the Southern Shores area. You might be wondering if your employer can fire you for filing a claim. Your employer can let you go for any reason when you work in an at-will state. However, when it to comes to workers’ compensation, it is unlawful for any employer to terminate workers for filing for workers' compensation benefits

Not knowing your rights as they pertain to workers’ compensation benefits increases the likelihood of you experiencing unfair and illegal treatment from your employer. Though your employer probably works hard to protect its workers’ rights, things can happen and mistakes are possible. Here are some things for you to consider about employment termination and workers’ compensation.

Choosing the best option after a SSDI denial

For those who are disabled and need assistance, a social security disability claim may be beneficial. However, sometimes they may face a claim denial.

Thankfully, there are processes that may help in changing this outcome. In order to select the best option, it is important that people understand what each entails.

Do you feel like your doctor is not listening to you?

When people are pursuing workers' compensation cases in North Carolina, they must see a doctor, often at least a few times. It would be nice to be able to go with the doctor of your choosing for continuing treatment, but in North Carolina, you must see providers approved by your insurance company.

This can be frustrating because you may get the feeling that the doctor is not listening to your concerns. In fact, you might be under the impression that the doctor's loyalty is to the insurance company or your employer and not to helping you heal as fully as possible. If you think your doctor is not listening to you, here are a few tips.

What is the special errand exception?

Many employees in North Carolina are not hurt directly at their place of work. Transportation injuries make up a big part of workers' compensation claims, and in 2015, they made up 34 percent of all workplace injuries in the state. 

Many employers naturally wonder when an injury technically takes place at work when an employee drives to or from the job. For the most part, when a worker drives to work in the morning, he or she is not on the clock. That means if this worker ended up in an accident, the employer would not be liable to provide workers' comp. However, there is a special errand exception. 

Heart attacks may be compensable under workers’ compensation law

Not all injuries that occur on the job fall under the umbrella of North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance program. Among other mandates, there is a requirement that the injury meets certain criteria.

First, the injury must arise out of the employment. Second, it must also arise in the course of that employment. This generally means that the injury is a foreseeable result of the employment. The nature of the employment provides for the risk of such injury. However, the concept is not always so clear or simply to apply to a given situation. A difficult injury to evaluate may be the situation where a worker suffers a heart attack.

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