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New York Worker Injury Law Blog

What is behind long wait times for SSD hearings in NYC?

When a person is knocked out of the workforce by a disability, he or she can be dealing with a lot of financial stress. So, the last thing he or she may want to face when pursuing the monetary relief of Social Security disability benefits is a significant delay. Unfortunately, this is exactly what many Social Security disability applicants here in the New York City area face.

Specifically, there are currently very long waiting times for getting a hearing with a Social Security judge at two of the area’s hearing offices. Such a hearing is one of the steps applicants can end up going through after having their application for benefits initially denied.

Common mistakes by teen drivers

Experience is one of the biggest reasons people become good drivers. Unfortunately, there is really no way for young drivers to get that experience other than getting out on the road, making mistakes and learning from them. That's one of the reasons that teen drivers often have high accident rates.

If you're sharing the road with them, it is important to know what types of mistakes teen drivers make most often. A few examples include:

  • Taking risks. For instance, a teen driver may try to speed for the thrill of it, perhaps taking corners too fast and trying to make driving more of an extreme sport than a safe way to get from one place to another.
  • Getting distracted. A lot of young drivers do not realize just how dangerous it is to use their phones while they drive. They also get distracted by friends, music, food and much else.
  • Putting too many people in one car. As more people get in a vehicle, the risk of distraction and an accident increase. However, many teens are the only members of their peer groups with a license. They end up driving around with groups of friends, putting everyone at risk.
  • Tailgating. Even when they do not mean to, many young drivers follow too closely to the cars in front of them. They do not realize how much distance they need to react to a hazardous situation. They can learn this in time, but it may take an accident to show them how much distance is safe.

4 tips for getting Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a benefit that helps provide an income to those who suffer from disabilities. It's not always easy for people to obtain these benefits, as the Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to make sure that only those who qualify actually receive them. Sometimes, that means that people who genuinely need these benefits do not get them.

There are some tips to help you get SSDI. It's often easier to get benefits by seeking professional assistance than it is by trying to do it all on your own. The process for obtaining SSDI can be challenging and the SSA requires sufficient evidence of your inability to work in order to approve a claim. Here are a few tips to help when you're assembling your claim.

Dislocated shoulder treatment: You have options

A dislocated shoulder is extremely painful, which is why you need to receive immediate medical treatment should you have any reason to believe you're suffering from this injury.

Once your medical team runs the necessary diagnostic tests, they can explain your injury and the best way to treat it. Here are some of the most common ways to treat a dislocated shoulder:

  • Surgery: While not always necessary, if you have a history of shoulder problems, it may be the best way to fix the issue once and for all.
  • Closed reduction: Your doctor may be able to gently maneuver the shoulder back into place.
  • Immobilization: With the help of a sling or splint, you can keep your shoulder immobilized for an extended period of time. This gives the injury time to heal.
  • Medication: This alone is not typically enough to treat a dislocated shoulder, but the use of a muscle relaxant or pain reliever can provide comfort as you heal.
  • Physical therapy: Once you receive initial treatment, you can then partake in physical therapy to strengthen your shoulder in an attempt to regain full mobility and avoid future issues.

Union membership can mean safer construction sites

There is no disputing the fact that construction workers should have safe work environments. These men and women face hazards on a daily basis that most people will never encounter. And yet, they are often subjected to egregious work conditions that can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.

Many people might not realize this, but one of the obstacles that construction workers face today is the decline in union memberships. Unions have a proven history of enforcing very strict safety standards. They are prepared to take action if there are workplace hazards. Unfortunately, the decrease in union membership means that there is less oversight of the construction sites around New York City.

Applying for social security benefits after a work injury

Becoming injured at work can be a heartbreaking thing to have to go through, since not only can it affect your health and well-being, but it can affect every aspect of your life. An injury at work can, unfortunately, result in financial difficulties stemming from extensive medical bills, lost wages due to taking unpaid leave, and an inability to return to work if a permanent disability is a consequence of the initial injury.

One of the ways that an injured worker can get financial help after an injury is through workers' compensation. In order to be eligible for workers' compensation, you must notify your employer of the work-related injury within 30 days of it occurring. While workers' compensation can be a financial lifeline for many, it does not always cover workers in the long term if they are unable to return to work. This is when the injured worker will need to consider other options, such as social security disability benefits.

Your employer should help you get back to work after an injury

Getting hurt at work can mean a sudden stop to your standard daily routine. You may have been used to taking care of yourself and working full time every day. After your injury, you may not be able to return to work. Spinal injuries, broken bones, head injuries and even soft tissue injuries could keep you from safely completing the tasks involved with your job. In some cases, you may require help with daily self care as well.

Your employer also has adjustments to make after your injury. They may need to review safety practices or repair or replace machinery. There is also the consideration of who will fill your role while you heal. Ideally, your employer wants to work with you to help you get back on the job as soon as possible. Knowing what your employer should do after a workplace injury can help ensure you receive the support you deserve.

Will workers' compensation cover accessible housing?

Workers in industries such as construction and engineering have a high risk of becoming severely injured while at work in the state of New York. While there are laws in place to protect workers who become permanently disabled, unfortunately, many workers do not realize the extent of the benefits to which they are entitled when their injury occurred in the workplace.

After a worker injured on the job, it is important that he or she notifies the employer of the work-related injury and file a workers' compensation claim within 30 days. Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that helps injured employees with some of the financial implications of their injury. This usually includes the coverage of all necessary medical care, and a contribution to the coverage of the lost wages due to taking unpaid leave during the recovery period.

Who isn't covered by workers' compensation in New York?

If you're a full-time worker in the state of New York, chances are that you benefit from workers' compensation coverage. As such, if you suffer a job-related injury, you can receive money to pay for your medical care, wage-replacement benefits, job training, temporary and permanent disability benefits and more depending on the details and extent of your work-related injuries.

That said, certain employees - according to state law - are exempt from workers' compensation coverage. In some cases, these employees are exempt because they benefit from other types of injured-worker protections. If your employment falls under any of the job categories below, make sure you fully understand the extent of your work-related injury benefits.

Slipped disk treatment: Take the right steps

A slipped disk is a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention. Without the right approach to treatment, there's a greater chance of suffering additional injury.

Depending on your profession, you may put a lot of strain on your neck and/or back on a daily basis. For example, this is common if you're staffed with the responsibility of lifting heavy items.

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