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Detroit Social Security Benefits Law Blog

Are federal employees covered by Michigan workers' compensation?

When you work for a federal agency established in Michigan, you want to know that in the event of a workplace injury, you are covered by workers' compensation laws and able to seek recompense for losses, damages, and medical treatment. Yet considering that both the state and federal government have laws governing workers' compensation, which takes precedence in the event of a federal employee's injury? Are you covered by Michigan law, or federal law?

According to the Worker's Compensation Agency under Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, your workers' compensation claims would be covered under federal laws. Normally most Michigan employers are covered by Michigan's state-specific workers' compensation laws. However if you work for, example, the IRS at a local Michigan branch office, if you are injured on the job your workers' compensation claims would be filed under federal laws governing IRS employees.

Potholes, downed signs, and traffic light outages

There are a wide variety of hazards on roads across the country, from the negligent behavior of other drivers to inclement weather. However, there are other risks that drivers should be mindful of, such as downed signs, traffic light outages, potholes, and related problems. While some may not think these pose too much of a threat, they can increase the likelihood of a collision that proves fatal or results in devastating injuries. As a result, it is pivotal to watch out for these problems whenever you get behind the wheel.

When traffic lights are out, accidents may occur due to drivers being unsure of whether or not to move forward. Unfortunately, these outages can be incredibly frustrating and cause a lot of confusion, even if they do not result in a crash. Downed signs can be very problematic, as drivers might miss important information with regard to the road. For example, if a stop sign is down, a driver may not know that they are supposed to stop, and this can be extremely dangerous in the event that they collide with a vehicle that was expecting them to stop.

My love died in a car accident. Should I file a lawsuit?

It is devastating to lose a loved one, but it is especially traumatic to lose a loved one in an accident caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person. Fatal car accidents can devastate a Michigan family emotionally and financially. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one from a car accident, there could be legal options available to your family. 

There is no legal action that can bring back a loved one and reverse what happened, but a civil claim can help your family secure financial recovery. This can allow you to address your financial losses, such as medical bills and funeral expenses, as well as your emotional pain and suffering. If you think your family has grounds to file a wrongful death claim, you may find it beneficial to learn more about your legal options.

How often are Social Security Disability Benefits denied?

After hearing horror stories of denied claims and appeals for Social Security Disability Benefits often based on the smallest technicality, the idea of sitting in your Michigan home and taking on the task fo applying for benefits on your own can be terrifying. You may be afraid of making a single mistake that will cause your application to be rejected, with appeals often taking years although you need assistance now. But how factual are those fears, and how often are disability benefits applications denied?

The Social Security Administration runs annual reports on rates of approval or denial, and those reports show the majority of applications are, in fact, rejected. The average approval rate is only 23 to 25 percent, with denials at 62 percent. Only a thin sliver of applicants reverse a denial on appeal, with from two to nine percent appealing successfully. This does not mean you should give up hope, however.

Can children receive Social Security disability benefits?

Having a disabled child can be a trial; watching them struggle to adapt and thrive with their disability can bring as much pain to your heart as their presence brings joy into your life. While you love your disabled child deeply, there is no denying that the cost of caring for a disabled child can cause undue hardship and stress that can impact the child's life and the lives of the entire family. This includes impacting your ability as a parent to work full-time to meet your family's needs. Can your child receive Social Security Disability benefits to defray some of those staggering costs?

If your family meets the criteria for low income and your child is under 18 and meets the Social Security Administration's requirements for mental or physical disability, then you may be able to collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. As the SSA explains, the child's income and resources are also considered, should they have a job or access to resources such as a trust in their name. All of these factors impact whether or not they are eligible for disability benefits. The resources tallied also take into account the resources of any parents or legal guardians.

Recognize a traumatic brain injury before it's too late

Traumatic brain injury is a serious issue that can impact quality of life or even result in loss of life if it is not treated swiftly enough. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 30 percent of traumatic brain injuries result from automobile accidents. After a minor fender-bender it can be tempting to walk away thinking you only sustained a minor bump to your head, perhaps against the steering wheel or seat. However, due to the unpredictable nature of traumatic brain injuries, it is best to take advantage of Michigan's no-fault insurance laws to seek the best possible diagnosis, treatment and preventative care.

One of the most common traumatic brain injuries is a concussion, which can lead to much more severe complications. Concussion happens when an impact to the skull makes the head and brain move quickly enough for the brain to impact the side of the skull. The CDC provides a list of symptoms to watch for when you suspect a concussion; these symptoms fall into signs that affect your body, emotions, cognition, and sleep.

PTSD after a work-related traffic accident

People are hurt while working in many ways, some of which may occur on the road. It is important to bear in mind that the consequences of work-related traffic collisions may extend beyond immediate financial challenges (hospital bills and lost wages) as well as injuries and physical pain. In some instances, a worker who is involved in a crash while carrying out his or her job responsibilities may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can be particularly hard for injured workers and those they love, which is why this part of workplace accidents should not be overlooked.

Sometimes, the consequences of post-traumatic stress brought on by a job-related traffic collision can be especially damaging. For example, someone whose job regularly involves driving, (such as a trucker, a delivery driver, a taxi driver, etc.) may find that they are unable to continue working in their field. Sometimes, people think that PTSD only affects those who have served in combat, and while many people with PTSD have suffered in this manner, it can affect people who have experienced other types of traumatic incidents as well.

Respiratory illnesses can negatively impact your ability to work

There are various respiratory conditions that can affect a Michigan employee's ability to work. These types of illnesses can make it difficult to participate in everyday activities, enjoy a certain quality of life and meet the requirements of a person's job. If you are suffering from a serious respiratory condition, you may be concerned about your career and your ability to support your family.

One of the most common respiratory conditions that can affect a person's ability to work is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. While many people are able to live and work with this illness, there are people who suffer from this illness who find that they are unable to hold any type of gainful employment. A serious case of COPD could be grounds for you to seek disability benefits.

Can you be fired for reporting a safety hazard?

You may face unsafe conditions in your Michigan workplace on a daily basis, but with the reasonable expectation that your employer will make every attempt to eliminate or protect against safety hazards. What if you uncover a safety hazard that your employer will not mitigate, however? If you choose to report the safety hazard to OSHA to prevent a workplace accident, can your employer fire you if they discover you reported?

No. Technically if you file a report to OSHA, your employer should not even know that you reported the hazard because the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 mandates that your identity remain confidential if you so choose. However, even if your employer discerns based on prior information or suspicions that you are the one who filed the report, any termination based on that report would be considered an unfair dismissal by the U.S. Department of Labor.

What is SSI?

You may be familiar with Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), or the federal social security disability benefits program that offers disability income for disabled and injured workers. But what is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and who is it for?

SSI is a part of the Social Security benefits program specifically for low-income disabled adults and children. This program has different criteria from the SSDI program, but primarily is assessed based on need. In order to qualify you must be at least 65 years of age, and fit the legal requirements for blindness or disability. You must be able to prove limited income and resources, and must be able to prove that you cannot, with your disability, gain further access to income and resources.

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