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Kitty Hawk Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

Can non-US citizens receive SSD benefits?

Social Security Disability Insurance exists so that individuals who have sustained a significant injury can receive some relief from economic hardship. Some reports estimate that nearly 8.8 million people rely on these benefits. 

Every year, millions of people from all over to the world travel to the United States for various reasons. Some come here for work opportunities, while others are merely here to relax on vacation. However, during such a stay, these people can sustain injuries. There are many gray areas to SSD law, and one of these areas is whether non-US citizens can receive benefits. 

Prior arduous job experience can disqualify claimant for SS

Sometimes it surprises people with severe medical impairments in North Carolina to learn that their inability to do their occupation does not mean they will be able to secure their Social Security disability benefits. They may erroneously believe that because they have a workers’ compensation claim and are unable to perform their current job, the SSA will find awardable disability.

They may be unaware that to have a disability under the SS definition, claimants must also be unable to perform any other occupation present in the national economy. This requirement holds regardless of whether that claimant has ever performed such other occupations in the past. The SSA considers the claimant’s age, job experience and schooling in this step of the decision-making as well as his or her functional capacities and vocational factors.

A unique court case illustrates the special errand exception

Workers’ compensation protects employees injured on the job. However, according to the “coming and going rule,” an employee is usually not covered while traveling from home to the workplace and back.

On the other hand, circumstances may exist in which an employee can be deemed eligible for workers’ compensation if travel time relates in some way to work. One such circumstance is the “special errand exception.”

Does your employer think you are faking an injury?

Injuries such as a broken arm, a sprained ankle or a dislocated finger are easy to identify. Many injuries show up on x-rays, after all, but many others do not.

While at work, you may have sustained a type of injury that is not visible to the naked eye. You are requesting workers’ compensation benefits, but does your employer think you are faking the problem?

Workers' comp claim: Is retaliation possible?

While worksite accidents are still common throughout the United States, the numbers are going down. According to data collected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were three illnesses or injuries for every 100 workers in the year 2015. That is down substantially from data collected in 1972. 

Anyone who has been hurt at her or his place of work needs to file a workers' compensation claim. Many employees forego this step because they fear losing their jobs. It is important for employees to follow the legal steps to try to receive compensation. Although employers should promote following through on the claim, some bosses out there will attempt to skirt around the law. 

Social Security disability claim while collecting on LTD policy

Many times, people misunderstand the relationship that may exist between Social Security disability and private long-term disability benefits. The misunderstanding has resulted in many disabled people failing to make a knowledgeable decision.

Some medically impaired people who have the benefit of an LTD policy and have succeeded in obtaining coverage under that policy decide not to file for SSD. This can be a serious mistake for multiple reasons.

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