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New York Worker Injury Law Blog

HELP! SOCIAL SECURITY WANTS TO CUT MY DISABILITY BENEFITS!

Sometimes, the Social Security Disability Administration will try to cut your benefits under a "Continuing Disability Review," or "CDR." If this happens, all is far from lost. You can elect to fight a decision to cut your benefits. You can also elect to keep getting benefits while the administration conducts its review-but act fast, because you only have a few days to file for continuing benefits after your notice of termination. You will have to decide whether to collect benefits during the review, because if you lose your appeal, you will owe back all benefits you received during the process of review.

Common examples of medical malpractice

Going to the doctor is never much fun but New York residents keep their appointments with their physicians because maintaining their health is a key component to feeling good and protecting their longevity. It is often the case that a consultation with a doctor will provide a person with valuable information on how to improve their health and continue to lead the strongest lifestyle possible. However, when doctors fail to act in accordance with their duties of care and commit negligence, patients can suffer damaging medical malpractice events.

Medical malpractice can take on many forms but often arises in the context of making diagnoses. A diagnosis is the identification of a patient's ailment and depending on what a doctor diagnoses, that patient's treatment may take on very different characteristics. If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient with the wrong condition that person may suffer detriments to their health and well-being.

Recent Wage Theft Successes!

I am pleased to report some of our recent successes in protecting New York's working men and women from unscrupulous employers who try to rob them, or intimidate them, of their legal wages and workplace rights:

New York has launched virtual hearings for workers’ comp claims

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has officially launched virtual hearings for New York workers who were injured on the job. The new hearing process utilizes video conferencing technologies, so injured workers can attend hearings through a computer or another mobile device with a camera. Injured workers no longer have to travel to a hearing site.

If workers prefer to attend an in-person hearing, they can continue to do so. However, everyone who is attending a workers’ compensation hearing, whether online or in-person, must check in through the online Virtual Hearing Center. There will no longer be customer service people to check people in at the hearing sites. This is intended to streamline the process.

9/11 Victims Compensation Fund may run out soon

Last month, we discussed how the first responders to the tragic events unfolded on September 11, 2001, are experiencing multiple health problems over a decade after the chaos. With all the toxic fume exposure, many local firefighters and law enforcement workers are discovering they have some sort of cancer that is both physically and financially devastating them.

At the end of the blog, we suggested emergency responders to seek benefits from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund if they require coverage for their condition. While it is still open currently, the fund is expected to end in December 2020. However, recent reports suggest that it may close sooner.

Partner Darren Rumack On NY's Proposed Minimum Wage Change

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Everyone knows that tipping is customary at a bar or restaurant - but did you know that workers at nail salons and car washes also rely on customers' tips to earn a living wage? Many employees in the service industry earn less than New York's $13/hour minimum from employers who expect tips to make up the difference.

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo raised the possibility of eliminating New York's subminimum wage for tipped workers. Many workers showed up for public hearings on the matter this summer, including service workers who are struggling to make ends meet while earning less than minimum wage. Restaurant workers joined the crowd as well, but many of them oppose the change because they make well above minimum wage with tips.

What does 'disability' mean for the purpose of getting benefits?

It can be daunting to try to understand the myriad of benefits' programs that exist to provide support when New York workers become too sick or too hurt to work. A person may not know if they should seek short-term help for getting past their ailment or if they should pursue long-term support from a disability benefits program. This post will focus on one small aspect of benefits law - the definition of a disability for the purposes of pursuing benefits from the Social Security Administration - and readers are advised that it is not offered as legal advice.

There are three parts to the disability definition individuals must meet to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The first part is rather straightforward: a person cannot be able to do the work they did prior to suffering their disability illness or injury. That is to say, going back to one's regular job cannot be possible based on the condition the individual has acquired.

Injuries are common when slip-and-fall accidents happen

A New Yorker does not have to be accident-prone to slip, trip, or fall. In fact, many of these personal injury-causing incidents happen because victims are subject to unsafe conditions on the premises of others. Slip-and-fall accidents can happen in private homes, in businesses and restaurants, and in open spaces like parks and on sidewalks.

When a person slips or trips, their body may be subject to extreme forces and harm. If they hit the ground with their appendages they may suffer broken bones, strains and sprains, bruises and other forms of serious injury. If a fall results in the victim striking their head, they may end up with a more serious injury like traumatic brain injury.

At least 15 male breast cancer cases attributed to Ground Zero

On September 11, 2001, New York's skyline and identity changed forever. More than 15 years later, many New Yorkers are still experiencing aftershocks of 9/11, often in unexpected ways. Unusual and devastating health conditions continue to affect people who were near the nightmare on 9/11.

Recently, more than a dozen men have been diagnosed with breast cancer after living or working near Ground Zero. Male breast cancer cases are extremely rare, typically making up only one percent of breast cancer diagnoses. According to the World Trade Center Health program, more than 10,000 people have experienced cancer linked to 9/11 and its aftermath. 

As NYC construction booms, workplace safety continues to bust

AdobeStock_107123549.jpegSo far, New York has seen twice as many construction-related fatalities in 2018 than the same time frame in 2017. While four people died on construction sites in the Big Apple in 2017, this year has seen eight fatalities so far, according to the NYC Department of Buildings.

Injuries have also surged this year, increasing by 17 percent to a total of 457 construction accidents that injured 469 people. This comes at a time when construction is booming in New York - last year, there were a record 45,242 workers on NYC construction sites. But does an increase in workers justify an increase in fatalities?

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