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Detroit Social Security Benefits Law Blog

What to do if fired for an OSHA report

If you lost your job, or are being discriminated against, in Michigan because you made a safety violation report to OSHA, you have rights. There are numerous laws and regulations in place that protect workers from unsafe working conditions and from consequences that may arise from reporting unsafe environments. If you are a victim you should take immediate action.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there are laws protecting whistleblowers who work in almost all private companies and in some federal organizations. OSHA can help those who were not only fired for their reporting, but also those who still have a job but are facing some type of discrimination. This includes:

  • An undesirable shift or job assignment
  • Reduction in hours or pay
  • Demotion
  • Harassment
  • Benefits denial
  • Loss of seniority

Common car accident injuries and victim rights

A car accident can change your life in an instant, leaving you with injuries and repercussions that can affect the rest of your life. The impact can be significant, even if you suffered relatively minor injuries. As an accident victim, it can be prudent to take action to protect your rights as soon as possible after a collision.

There are millions of car accidents in the United States every year, and Michigan readers know that a crash can be expensive and lead to costs that can be a significant burden on your family. The extent of the damage and the impact of your injuries can range from person to person, but you have the right to learn about the specific legal options available to you.

How can social security disability help me?

If you are a worker in Michigan who has a disability that prevents you from working, you may be feeling a lot of stress. How do you pay your bills? Will you even be able to work again? Fortunately the government offers social security disability benefits to help those with disabilities.

According to the Social Security Administration, a worker must meet a number of requirements in order to qualify for these benefits. The first is to meet the definition of disability, and there are three factors involved. To qualify, the worker is not able to perform the tasks associated with his or her job and the SSA determines the worker is unable to work in another capacity. The disability must also be long-term, in that it lasts at least one year or until death.

Common workplace injuries and their prevention

Workers in Michigan, no matter what industry they are in, need to practice safety while performing their job. Knowing the top injuries and what causes them can help employers and employees devise solutions and preventive measures to decrease the incidents of workers' compensation claims.

According to Safety and Health Magazine, injuries that are most widespread include sprains and strains, punctures, bruises, fractures and inflammation. These damages are caused by five main things. These include:

  • Handling objects or materials (responsible for around 33% of injuries)
  • Falls and slips
  • Being hit by or running into an object
  • Accidents concerning hand-held and electric tools
  • Overuse trauma

Teenagers and distracted driving

Drivers in Michigan are at high risk for driving distracted, and this can lead to serious accidents. Teenagers, especially, are at fault for many types of distractions, mostly due to phone use. To cut down on accidents, there are a number of laws and programs that have been developed to help.

According to the CDC, drivers who are 19 years old and younger are responsible for the highest number of fatal crashes due to distraction. These distractions can be in the form of eating, talking with passengers, changing the radio, using the navigation system, talking on the phone or texting. For teen drivers, the highest risk behaviors are emailing and texting, which have been shown to lead to more serious issues. Studies have shown that drivers who text frequently are also at higher risk of not wearing a seatbelt, drink while driving and ride with another driver who is under the influence.

The importance of workers' compensation and mental health issues

Employees in Michigan who are suffering from depression, stress or other mental health issue may feel there is nothing that can be done. For those in which the issue is related to the job itself, a workers' compensation claim may be filed. Although proving a psychological-based claim is more challenging than a physical one, treatment and care is extremely important for multiple reasons.

According to Safety National, mental health issues are often related to work-related physical injuries and that not addressing the problem can lead to longer claim duration and early retirement. Over half of injured workers experience depressive symptoms within the first year after the original injury, and mental health issues are the leading reason for disability. Employers can help by providing early screenings to identify the employees who are suffering from a mental health condition so they can get help and set them up on a return-to-work program. 

How does SSDI affect my retired Social Security?

While you know you may not need to reach retirement age to receive Social Security Disability benefits, there is also the matter of your retirement benefits from regular Social Security payments. If you are already receiving disability benefits due to a workplace injury at your Michigan job, chronic illness, or some other disability issue, how does this impact your eligibility to receive Social Security retirement benefits?

According to the Social Security Administration website, you cannot receive both types of Social Security Benefits at the same time; you can only receive either Social Security Disability benefits, or Social Security retirement benefits. This means that if you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits before you reach retirement age, you will continue to receive Social Security Disability up until the point when you reach retirement age. At that point, your Social Security Disability benefits will transition into regular Social Security retirement beneifts and your payments should continue uninterrupted.

How do survivors' benefits work for Social Security Disability?

Social Security offers a program called survivors' benefits in which the surviving spouse of someone receiving Social Security benefits may be eligible to receive their benefits on death. If your spouse has passed and you are left figuring out how to cope with life alone in your Michigan home, you may need the help benefits can provide. If your spouse was receiving Social Security Disability benefits, however, how does that change your eligiblity for survivors' benefits? Are you able to apply to receieve your spouse's disability benefits as a widow or widower?

For general application of rules regarding Social Security Disability and survivors' benefits, clarifies that if you, as the surviving spouse, are over the age of 60, you are eligible to apply to receive your deceased spouse's benefit payments. However, what if you yourself are disabled?

Police working to reduce accidents in Michigan over the summer

The school year is wrapping up, and as the summer approaches, more and more drivers will be on Michigan roads as they vacation and travel. With more drivers on the road naturally comes the chance of more car accidents, which is why law enforcement is working to keep everyone on the road safe this summer.

You may know that state authorities announced a campaign to reduce dangerous driving on I-94 throughout the summer. The intention of this campaign is to bring awareness of the risks of dangerous driving, as well as hold people accountable for negligent and reckless actions.

Can someone else complete my SSD application?

If you are seeking eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits, you may have trouble with completing the application for the precise reason you need it. However, you may have a Michigan-based caretaker, friend or loved one willing to help you. If your disability, whether physical or mental, prevents you from completing the application independently, can someone you trust complete the application on your behalf?

Yes. In fact, the Social Security Administration provides excellent instructions on how to allow someone else to complete your benefits application on your behalf. You do not even have to authorize them as an official legal representative so long as you are present to grant permission and sign the application for yourself. This particularly refers to the online application versus a physical application. Your representative can complete either the online or physical application for you, but the final signature must be yours.

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