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

What's a notice of intent to discontinue benefits?

When you're trying to recover from a serious work injury, the last thing you want to receive in the mail is a "Notice of Intention to Discontinue Workers' Compensation Benefits," or NOID.

Essentially, this is a letter telling you that your benefits are about to either be reduced or -- more likely -- outright stopped. Not only are your actual checks likely slated to halt so are your medical benefits for your injury.

Workers Comp agencies eye curbing loneliness to aid health

One of the goals of worker’s compensation is to give injured workers the chance to heal and return to the job. Worker’s comp agencies are eyeing new research that examines how social interaction and loneliness affect healing.

By offering such services as meal delivery, companionship and help with food preparation, worker’s compensation organizations intend to improve injury recovery times.

Who makes the decision on your Social Security Disability claim?

Do you know who actually makes the decision on your Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim?

Most people don't. Knowing that information, however, can make it easier to understand the entire claims process -- and help you understand where to focus your energies.

Can you qualify for disability benefits with psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a complicated, painful condition that affects a victim's skin, joints, fingers and other body parts.

But, does having psoriatic arthritis qualify as a disability under the rules used by the Social Security Administration (SSA)? Like most questions involving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the best possible answer is, "It depends." A number of different factors have to be evaluated once you file a claim, including your age, your educational level, your prior work history, the severity of your condition, the length of time you have been ill, any co-morbid conditions you have and what treatments you have already tried.

Injured at work? Complain your head off!

Do you have a tendency to minimize your complaints when you're sick or injured?

If so, you're hardly alone. A lot of people shrug off their pain because they don't want to appear weak or sound like they can't do anything but complain. Everybody has problems, right? Plus, if you're injured on the job, you don't want to seem like you're trying to get out of work for no good reason.

Do this to help your Social Security Disability case succeed

It isn't unusual for people to feel intimidated when filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The process is complicated, the rules about what it takes to be disabled can be hard to understand, the agency is understaffed and there's a ton of misinformation out there.

However, there are some simple things that you can do to help your SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim succeed. These are the sort of things that often get overlooked -- but they can actually make or break your case! They include:

  • Fill out all your forms as completely as possible. If you aren't sure how to complete them, an attorney can often assist you with this process.
  • Respond to letters promptly. Each letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Disability Determination Services (DDS) has a deadline for a response. If you don't observe that deadline, your claim could be over. At the very minimum, you may have to start the process all over again.
  • Keep your phone number current. Disability examiners who work for the state agency that makes the disability determinations and claims representatives working for the SSA may try to contact you for more information. If they cannot, your claim may be denied.
  • Don't overlook your pain. Many disabling conditions cause people physical pain -- and pain is very limiting. However, the SSA is only required to consider how your pain affects you if you list it as one of your disabling conditions.
  • Give your attorney a secondary contact. Just in case you can't be reached directly, give your attorney permission to contact a friend or relative, if possible. That way, you never risk missing an important communication.

Federal legislation aims to protect health care employees

Nurses, doctors and social service workers shouldn't have to be afraid to report to work.

That's the basic idea behind the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. The bill, which is not yet approved, was recently introduced to the House with the support of at least 20 members of the legislature. If approved, it could change the way that hospitals and other health care facilities operate -- for the better.

The 'going and coming' rule and workers' compensation benefits

Are you aware of the "going and coming" rule that applies to workers' compensation benefits?

In general, work injuries don't actually have to happen at the workplace to be qualified for benefits under workers' comp. You can be covered, for example, if you're out giving a potential customer an estimate and you happen to slip down a step. The going and coming rule simply clarifies the fact that employees aren't usually covered under workers' comp, however, when they're merely on their daily commute.

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