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Detroit Social Security Benefits Law Blog

Employees have the right to safe working environment

Michigan is home to some industries that have above-average rates of occupational injuries, such as construction, manufacturing and transportation. It may seem that individuals who choose to work in such industries generally accept a higher risk of sustaining an injury on the job. However, both state and federal laws require employers to provide a safe working environment for their employees.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides information about occupational injuries and illnesses in the state. According to MIOSHA, there were an estimated 109,300 occupational injuries and illnesses in Michigan in 2017. This number includes data from both the public and private sectors. The incidence rate of occupational illnesses and injuries per 100 full-time employees in 2017 was 3.3. Statistics indicate that the sector with the highest incidence rate of on-the-job injuries and illnesses was the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry.

Understanding SSDI requirements for spinal cord injuries

Being unable to work at your Michigan job due to a back injury is often extremely stressful and frustrating, especially when a doctor tells you it may take months or years to recover. Depending on the exact nature of your condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, which helps cover your living costs until you return to work. The Social Security Administration has strict requirements you must meet to be eligible for SSDI payments. At Adler Firm, PLLC, we understand the SSDI requirements and have helped many clients obtain benefits for back and spinal cord injuries.

One of the most fundamental requirements for an SSDI claim relates to the severity of the injury or illness. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, your injury or illness must be a long-term condition that a doctor expects to last for at least one year. A terminal condition may also meet SSDI requirements. The SSA has specific definitions that it uses to determine if spinal cord issues meet the eligibility standards for benefits. In many cases, the medical language in your application may fall short of the SSA's requirements even if the true nature of your condition qualifies for SSDI benefits. Part of your appeal process may include working with your doctor to include the correct language in the application.

SSDI benefits and self-employment

Some Michigan residents rely on Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in order to pay bills after becoming ill or injured and losing the ability to work. However, if an individual's health improves, he or she may return to work. The Social Security Administration provides guides and additional resources to help beneficiaries return to the workforce, but things may be more complicated for individuals who are self-employed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that approximately 10% of the United States workforce is self-employed. In 2015, there were 15 million self-employed individuals. The highest rates of self-employment occurred in older age groups. Among people over 64 years old, the unincorporated self-employment rate was 15.5%. In contrast, the rate of unincorporated self-employment among people between the ages of 25 and 34 was less than 5%. The BLS indicates that self-employment may be more common for older individuals who have enough capital and industry experience to start their own businesses.

What's your next step if your disability claim comes back denied?

Disabled individuals in Michigan may be able to claim financial benefits through a claim with the Social Security Administration. If you filed a claim, it is because you have a medical condition that prevents you from earning a gainful income and holding steady employment. Even with a valid disabling physical or mental condition, it can be quite difficult to secure benefits.

In many cases, initial disability claims come back denied. This is disheartening, but this is not the end of the road for you. At this point, you may find it helpful to speak about your case with an experienced disability attorney. It's frustrating and overwhelming to navigate this process, and you do not have to do it alone. You can have experienced guidance from the initial application to the appeal of a denied claim.

The collapse and explosion of mines are dangerous for miners

When many Americans think of mining in the U.S., the silver and gold rush of out west come to mind. It is true that much of America’s mining took place in the west, but Michigan experienced its own mining boom too. According to MLive, Michigan’s worst mining disaster took place in 1926. An explosion reportedly caused mud, quicksand and water to flood the underground tunnels that went down to 1,060 feet below.

Only one man survived by climbing 800 feet in less than 15 minutes. He warned other men before climbing the ladder, but all the others got swept away. When he climbed out, he collapsed from exhaustion and suffered leg cramps. The 51 men who died left behind 132 children and 42 wives. Only 10 of the bodies were ever recovered. The mine has since been sealed.

Workers’ compensation and pain and suffering payments

When a worker is injured on the job in Michigan, they may suffer from more than just the physical injury itself. They may also suffer from trauma related to the injury and a feeling of helplessness when it comes to caring for themselves. This may lead to depression, insomnia, PTSD and other related mental or emotional issues.

Forbes notes that when an employee has an accident, the employer and its insurance company pay the workers’ compensation bill. They may also cover medical expenses and a percentage of the income lost regardless of who was at fault. However, there may be no provisions in place for recovering non-economic damages, otherwise known as pain and suffering.

Medication use tied to increased risk of driver crashes

Senior drivers often find themselves under immense social pressures in Michigan to give up their license. Public pressure is not without some basis. As people age, their eyesight begins to fail, they may experience hearing loss and their reflexes slow. Even when they are not the cause of accidents, they may not react quickly enough to prevent them.

According to the AAA Foundation, the cocktail of medications taken by the older population makes the situation even worse. Here are some of the many medications that may lead to increased crash risk for all ages:

  •          Muscle relaxants and tricyclic antidepressants
  •          Central nervous system drugs
  •          Narcotic analgesics
  •          Antihistamines

Important updates on the Social Security 2100 Act

It has been common knowledge for some time that millennials in Michigan may be paying into a Social Security fund that they may not enjoy the benefits of when they need it. In February of this year, the New York Times reported that democrats were on the case to slow the rising costs of Social Security. They did so by introducing the Social Security 2100 Act.

The bill would become the first big change to America’s Social Security programs since 1983 and the first big move to expand it since 1972. The biggest changes involved removing the need to pay Social Security taxes from 12 million taxpayers in the middle-income bracket, while raising taxes in other income brackets. The bill would now become applicable to earnings higher than $400,000 each year and the tax rate would grow from 12.4% to 14.8% over a 24-year period.

Remember that working in a warehouse comes with hazards

You may be one of the many Michigan residents who work in a warehouse. Even if your position was not the dream job you may have imagined, you still appreciate your ability to go to work and earn an income. Of course, that ability hinges on avoiding accidents and injuries that could take place on the job.

Unfortunately, warehouse work can come with many hazards. Hopefully, your employer and your co-workers do their part to avoid creating any unnecessary hazards and work toward lowering the chances of accidents due to unavoidable hazards. In efforts to maintain a safe workplace, you may want to watch out for certain common risks.

New bill may protect veterans from losing disability money

When veterans return to Michigan from war, many have disabilities. In fact, there are soldiers who become disabled while in training due to accidents involving falls and motor vehicle crashes. Regardless of the reason for their disability, many of these men and women rely on Social Security Disability checks to cover necessary expenses, particularly if they are unable to work.

According to the Social Security Administration, starting from March 2014, veterans with 100% permanent and total had the option of receiving expediting processing of their documents for SSD. However, even with a 100% P&T, many veterans still get denied for SSD. This is because the disability must meet the specific criteria put in place by the SSD. These veterans may, however, receive compensation from the VA.

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