Social Security Disability – Don’t Mess Around, Get Help

I don’t know if this will reach anyone who could use the advice, but I want to give everyone a heads up: don’t fill out your Social Security disability paperwork on your own.

I consider myself a pretty hip grandma. Since I have time on my hands since I got injured, I’ve gotten into all sorts of cool things. I started blogging for instance. I keep up with all the Hollywood gossip. I watch a lot of CW. I try to stay up to date on what my grandkids care about.

I never saw myself as the scarf knitting sort of old lady. I wanted to be out in the world until the day I died. Since that’s no longer possible, I want to still be part of the world, not locked away, listening to old records and dreaming about the old days. If my body can’t keep up, my mind still can.

So, being so with it, and so good at Google, I figured I could fill out my paperwork for my Social Security disability. After all, I’ve done the taxes for my family for thirty years. I was always the one to fill out the paperwork for everything. Why wouldn’t I be able to handle this?

Well, it’s complicated, that’s why. It took me by surprise, but being a proud and stubborn old granny, I decided I’d do it anyway. I wasn’t going to ask for help.

That attitude got me rejected and left me a little short on finances for a few months until I finally broke down and talked to a family friend who happens to be a lawyer. He put me in touch with some people who helped me out for very cheap. They were very nice, and I even went all traditional grandma and baked them some cookies for it.

I want to send this warning out there for any of the other hip grandmas and grandpas out there who might happen to come across this because, apparently, this is a really common problem. I read that something like two-thirds of people are rejected when applying for Social Security disability. I bet a lot of those people need it more than I do.

I’m actually pretty comfortable, even when I’m short. I have a lovely family that pitches in and helps me out all the time. I have a one-floor house with an open floor plan, so while I’m confined, I can still get around relatively easily at home. I don’t have that much to worry about if the checks don’t come for a month or two.

But others, hip or not, don’t have that luxury. So, if you’re one of those people without the luxury of trying and failing on this process, don’t get all stubborn like I did. Just get a lawyer (or a really clever relative with a good, reliable, young brain) to help you out. Don’t mess around with this stuff.

Self Driving Cars & Accidents: Who is Liable?

As more and more cars become autonomous in the future, there are serious questions about who will hold liability in the event of an automobile accident. Since humans will not be operating the vehicles, it seems unfair to hold them responsible for any damages that might result from a computer defect in a self-driving car. However, if the driver isn’t responsible, who should be? The car manufacturer? The company that built the virtual driverless car system? It is hard to imagine the world without drivers but as we move into the future, this world could very well become our reality. In this article, we will explore some possibilities that we might encounter in the future and how car insurance will fit in each universe.

There are a few levels of automation that we will encounter before actually reaching a state of complete automation if we can ever reach it at all. In a world of absolutely no automation, it would seem reasonable to hold humans accountable for accidents since, presumably, they are in complete control of the vehicle. This is the world of yesterday. Today, however, although there aren’t many self-driving cars, there is still plenty of automation. Many processes in vehicles today like brakes and steering are partially, if not fully, automated and there have been cases of car manufacturers being held liable for accidents caused by deficiencies or malfunctions in these systems. In a world of complete automation, with no human drivers, who should pay for accidents? Some argue that companies that produce the cars and systems in which they drive should be held responsible since in a way they are the ones “driving.” Others argue that accidents will reduce in frequency so significantly that automobile insurance will simply become obsolete and companies like Geico and StateFarm will go out of business. Some even speculate that the general public will cease to even own cars as ride-sharing companies start to amass the totality of self-driving cars. In this case, if accidents happen, the liability would probably be shifted to the ride-sharing companies. This precedent is seen today with ride-sharing companies. For example, if a contracted driver in a ride-sharing company is involved in a crash on today’s roads, that driver’s insurance typically covers the costs associated with the incident and the employing company covers any extraneous costs. A rider in the car will typically not be responsible for any costs associated with the accident even if they are personally harmed.

While a world of all driverless cars may seem farfetched and very distant, the simple fact is there are only going to be more in the future. Eventually, the legal system will have to make a decision regarding liability in driverless crashes. For now, you should definitely have insurance if you are going to be driving. Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident, you may be held responsible and you should seek the expertise of Columbia, South Carolina automobile accident attorneys.

The Texas Workforce Commission on Nurses and Hospital Personnel

Employees in all U.S. states benefit from many different legal rights and protection, such as the anti-discrimination law, law on number of working hours per week, and wage and overtime pay. Though there may be some types of workers who are not covered by these protections, all employees are generally assured of minimum wage plus overtime pay for any extra number of hours of work rendered beyond the 40-hour work per week that is mandated by the law.

The federal law, which specifically gives directives and sets the standard for recordkeeping, child labor regulations, minimum wage and overtime pay, is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), also known as the Wages and Hours Bill, which the US Congress created in 1938 and which is presently controlled by WHD or Wage and Hour Division. It is intended to benefit all employees, whether part-time or full-time, in both private and public firms.

The Fair Labor Standards Act has components leading to civil or criminal offenses in the event of violation of any of its stipulations. Besides the criminal penalty and the huge fine for violation of the Act’s stipulation, compensation for damages suffered by an employee, which includes lawyer’s fees, is also significant.

Despite the law and the harsh penalties, many employers continue to carry out unfair labor practices, denying employees the minimum and/or overtime pay they deserve. Every minute worked deserves to be compensated, thus, any employer violation can lead to an offense which will merit for the employee all unpaid compensation.

According to the Leichter Law Firm, one sector which probably suffers most from wage and hour violations is medical, which is made up of nurses and other hospital personnel. Due to the type of work they perform, these health-care providers are often obliged to render additional hours of service after their regular shift. Though hospital work naturally requires this type of duty, and OT work and pay agreements are legally and clearly reached by both employees and their employers, still many medical workers do not get the compensation that they rightfully deserve.

The Texas Workforce Commission states that under a new Texas law that went into effect on September 1, 2009, mandatory overtime for RNs and LVNs is permissible only in disaster and other emergency situations . For purposes of this law, “mandatory overtime” is defined as work time above and beyond the normal pre-scheduled shifts (Section 258.002). Thus, while such a nurse can be required to work a schedule of 50 or more hours per week (with payment of overtime pay for any nurse who is non-exempt), they cannot be required to work beyond what they were told they would have to work, unless an emergency situation demands additional hours beyond the pre-scheduled shifts.

In the event of wage or overtime pay violation, nurses and hospital personnel have the right and the duty to bring their employers to justice. This is to ensure that unfair labor practice is put to an end, besides earning the compensation that they have been denied.

 

 

Common Pollutants in the Workplace

Indoor air quality is not one of the first things that come into your mind when it comes to workplace comfort and safety, which is sad, because it can greatly affect not just comfort and safety, but also productivity.
Whether you work in an office building or a manufacturing plant, you deserve good indoor air quality to avoid health issues, particularly in the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. But how can you make the air quality in your workplace good? First, it is important to identify the materials that may make it bad – pollutants.
Chemicals
Chemical pollutants often come in the form of elements, such as carbon emissions from office equipment and machines, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from combustible materials, and even smoke from tobacco and spills from chemicals themselves.
This kind of pollutant often causes eye and skin irritation, and lung problems such as asthma, emphysema, and even pneumonia and cancer. To avoid chemical pollutants, it is best to separate equipment and work processes that produce them from the work area. If it cannot be avoided, like on certain industries, it is wise to consider wearing protective gear.
Contaminants
Contaminants are characterized by their biological nature. They come in many forms, such as bacteria, fungi, pollens, and viruses.
This kind of pollutant often causes allergic reactions, which can be particularly dangerous for those who have episodic complications such as asthma, because they may experience an episode. Avoiding contaminants is relatively easy, because most of the time it is only a matter of maintaining the workplace and preventing natural processes like condensation.
Particles
Particles are objects that are small and light enough to be suspended in the air, free to being inhaled by unsuspecting workers. Depending on the workplace, particles may come in the form of cotton dust from textiles, organic dust from agricultural and farming products, metallic dust from manufacturing, mineral dust from mining, wood dust from carpentry, and many others.
This kind of pollutant has various effects. Particles can be caught in the eyes, causing irritation. They can contact skin and cause skin irritation and even cancer, especially if the particles are chemically-induced. They can be inhaled and cause asphyxiation due to particle buildup in pathways, and even cancer and other serious respiratory problems.
Particles can be avoided by installing proper ventilation systems, such as those from RoboVent. Like chemicals and particles, it is also a good idea to wear protective gear and maintain the place to avoid direct contact to dust and dust buildup.

NFL Players are paying the Cost of being Professional Leaguers with Their Health and Long-Term Well-Being

NFL Players are paying the Cost of being Professional Leaguers with Their Health and Long-Term Well-Being

According to NFL concussion attorneys, “During the 2015 season alone, there were over 180 reported concussions in the National Football League, an average of 10.7 concussions each week over the 17-week season. While there are safety protocols and rules in place to prevent head injuries, many of these are arbitrarily enforced by referees and team trainers alike. Often responsible parties will take negligent action in order to further the entertainment value of football games. Players frequently feel forced to perform despite incurring severe head injuries in order to retain their professional careers and fans. This is incredibly dangerous for players, as repeated concussions have serious long-term effects on a person’s wellbeing, such as: reduced life span; high medical costs; brain damage; chronic headaches; impaired concentration and memory; and reduced balance.

All types of sports come with risk of injury. Risk of injury, however, is always highest in football, this being a high-impact sport, where very strong and heavy players run into each other at full speed. The sad thing is, the more dangerous and violent it is, the more fans, owners and camera crew are awestruck, but this is because these people do not fully understanding that these violent collisions can result to players sustaining chronic brain damage and/or irrecoverable body impairment.

Though musculoskeletal injuries are the types of injuries most commonly sustained by football players are, there are two other injuries that are more serious because they affect the brain: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Concussion.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. It can lead to memory loss, dementia and depression. But though it can cause great harm in a player, this brain illness can only be detected after a person’s death, through autopsy.

Concussion, on the other hand, is “a change in mental state due to a traumatic impact. Not all those who suffer a concussion will lose consciousness. Some signs that a concussion has been sustained are headache, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, blurry vision, nausea, loss of balance, drowsiness and numbness/tingling.

Many NFL players are paying the cost of being professional leaguers with their health and long-term well-being. Once their careers end, many of them find that the physical toll that playing professional football has taken on their bodies makes them unable to live a productive and healthy life. These injuries include physical pain from broken bones and joint injuries, and a degenerative brain disease due to the repeated concussions to their head.