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St. Paul Minnesota Workers' Compensation And Social Security Disability Law Blog

Nurses urged to promptly care for their own health

It’s often hard to admit you need help. Because of the difference you make in people’s lives, many Minnesotans like to think of medical professionals as superheroes. A downside of this attitude is that we all, medical professionals included, ignore the dangers of a career in caring for patients.

As someone in the nursing field, it’s especially important for to pay attention to your health. Noticing and reporting injuries or illnesses can have legal, financial and of course health benefits.

Congressman calls for investigation in Social Security Disability

In an earlier blog, we discussed the dismal prospects that many disabled people face with they file for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) -- particularly in Tennessee.

An explosive article by the USA TODAY NETWORK uncovered shocking problems in the system used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to decide each claim. Essentially, each state has its own central processing spot, known as its Disability Determination Services (DDS). There, a team of professionals is supposed to assemble all of the paperwork for each application, and a doctor is supposed to carefully review the evidence before making a decision.

Light-duty work in Minnesota workers' compensation: What to know

When you've been injured on the job, one of your duties is to make certain that your employer is aware of any changes in your condition that might allow you to return to work.

While Minnesota employers are not required to offer light-duty positions to their injured employee, many will do so once that employee becomes capable of handling some form of employment. If you're being offered light-duty work, here are some important things you need to keep in mind:

What's causing the Social Security Disability denial epidemic?

The allowance rate for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is dismally low during the initial claims process -- but, why?

In 2016, the last year for which statistics are publicly available, medical allowances on initial applications are only granted on 44.4% of claims. At reconsideration, only another 11.2% of claims are medically approved. Yet, close to half -- 52.3% -- of all the claims that go before an administrative law judge (ALJ) are granted a medical allowance.

What's being done to make hospitals safer for employees?

Living in daily fear of physical violence shouldn't be part of anybody's job -- and hospital workers are tired of acting like it is normal.

Unfortunately, many hospital workers say that when they're victimized, they're often discouraged from filing a report and expected to shrug off whatever happened and accept that it's "just part of the job."

Social media could ruin your Social Security Disability claim

You know that it isn't easy to get Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. There's a rigorous claims process, long waits for decisions and frequent denials. You also know that disability payments don't exactly allow you to live "the high life."

However, if you listen to the SSD program's detractors, there are all kinds of fraudsters who have somehow tricked their doctors and the claims examiners alike -- and are now out there collecting checks for nothing. Unfortunately, the current government administration agrees with that theory. What they're proposing next could end up seriously damaging the lives of many disabled people -- essentially punishing sick people for having a good day and talking about it.

Minnesota Supreme Court gives injured workers new options

For the last 30 years, injured workers in Minnesota who were discriminated against after their injury were pretty much out of options once they settled their workers' compensation claim. A state Supreme Court ruling known as the "Karst" decision barred injured workers from filing claims for discrimination through the Minnesota Human Right Act under the idea that they would be "double-dipping," or collecting payment twice for the same injury.

That has now changed. A new ruling from the state's Supreme Court has effectively ended the old rule by a 5-2 decision.

Health care workers face constant danger on the job

Can you imagine what it would be like to go to work every day knowing the odds are high that you'll be threatened, sworn at or even physically assaulted during your shift?

That's exactly what it's like for America's health care workers. According to information gathered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) between 2002 and 2013, health care workers see four times as many serious incidents of violence than workers in any other industry.

The wait for a Social Security Disability hearing stretches on

For the majority of disability claimants waiting on that all-important hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ), the wait keeps going.

For many Social Security Disability (SSD) applicants, the Administrative Hearing is their last hope. Already having endured two previous denials in order to get there, claimants are waiting on a chance to present their case in person to an ALJ who has the authority to directly grant or deny their benefits. A significant number of claimants are eventually approved that way -- but only after enduring a very long and arduous wait without any type of benefits at all.

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