Saturday, December 27, 2008

Disability Compensation Benefits for Injured Workers*

Workers’ compensation benefits are paid to a worker who has a job-related injury or illness. These benefits may be paid by federal or state workers’ compensation agencies, employers or by insurance companies on behalf of employers.

Disability payments from private sources, such as private pension or insurance benefits, do not affect one’s social security disability benefits.

But workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits may reduce your social security benefits. Other public disability payments that may affect your Social Security benefit are those paid by a federal, state or local government and are for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related.

Some of these are civil service disability benefits, military disability benefits, state temporary disability benefits and state or local government retirement benefits that are all based on disability.

Some public benefits do not affect or reduce your social security disability benefits.

They are:

• Veterans Administration benefits

• State and local government benefits, if Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings

• Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

On the other hand, injured workers are also entitled to certain benefits under the workers’ compensation law. Here are the types of workers disability compensation:

• Temporary Total Disability - This benefit is payable when the injured worker is unable to work during a period when he/she is under active medical care and has not yet reached what is called “maximum medical improvement”.

In most states, compensation is paid at two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed statutory weekly maximums above which no worker is entitled to compensation. It is common worker’s temporary total disability weekly benefit to be capped by these statutory compensation limits.

• Temporary Partial Disability - A worker may be eligible for temporary partial disability compensation when he or she is able to do some work but is still recuperating from the effects of the injury, and is, thus, temporarily limited in the amount or type of work which can be performed compared to the pre-injury work.

• Permanent Partial Disability - Compensation is awarded for certain types of permanent conditions which do not cause the worker to be totally unable to work.

• Permanent Total Disability - In order to receive this type of compensation, the employee must prove that he is unable to return to work in any capacity, and that this is a permanent problem.

On the other hand, there are rulings in many states to the effect that a worker, who can perform only occasional, sporadic or undependable work, may still be deemed to be permanently totally disabled. Frequently, states’ workers compensation law permits lawyers to offer evidence of a workers age, education, training and experience in seeking to prove that the worker is incapable of substantial gainful employment.

• Disfigurement/Mutilation - A states’ workers compensation law may permit the employee to be compensated for disfigurement or scarring, frequently in the absence of any actual impairment, and sometimes in addition to actual impairment.

Disabled workers and employees are entitled to a number of benefits under the law. To know more information about how these benefits may be applicable to you as a disabled employee, you need to consult a disability compensation lawyer who is knowledgeable with these issues.

*Written By:
Manuel Salvacion, website located at .Our professional lawyers and legal staffs are is capable of providing expert assistance in your Social Security Disability problems.

*This post is listed for informational purposes only. The Metts Law Firm, LLC did not contribute to the contents or warrant the information provided. This is not intended as legal advice or the offer of legal representation. Please contact
Metts Law Firm, LLC at 803-929-0577.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Does it help to hire a Disability Attorney?

There are many advantages of having an attorney to assist in applying for disability. Most attorneys will not charge a fee to evaluate the case. Additionally, most attorneys work on contingency, which means the ATTORNEY DOES NOT GET PAID UNLESS YOU WIN. So an applicant has nothing to lose and everything to gain by consulting a disability lawyer. Further the attorney can assist with getting the necessary medical documentation, work history, etc. to prove disability.

The Disability Mystery

Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program designed to provide financial assistance in the form of monthly compensation to workers who can no longer work due to an injury, medical condition, etc.

When applying for disability benefits, the following information is necessary when you initially contact the Social Security Administration. You may apply in person, on line or by phone.

1. Original copy of birth certificate or any valid document of applicant’s age

2. Social Security Number

3. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all medical care providers, hospitals, etc. that provided services relevant to your injury or medical condition

4. List of jobs and companies done in the past

5. Proof of income (W-2 from employer or federal tax returns if self employed)

These documents are used by the SSA to determine whether you have earned enough work credits to qualify for benefits. If you have, then they can determine if you meet the legal definition of disabled to actually get the disability benefits.

A group of individuals from the State’s Disability Determination Services made up of a health care specialist and expert disability will evaluate the information provided. To determine if an applicant is disabled, they will consider the following:

1. Whether the applicant’s injury or medical condition prevents “substantial gainful activities” or employment

2. Whether the applicant’s injury or medical condition is included on a list of impairments developed by the SSA and listed on their website ( If not, they will consider the severity of the existing injury(s) or medical condition(s)

3. Whether the applicant is currently working

4. Whether the applicant can perform similar jobs that he/she previously had for the last 15 years or has transferable skills to do other types of employment

Most applicants will be denied benefits when they first apply. It could be for a number of reasons.

To resolve these issues, applicants should consult an attorney. Most attorneys offer a free consultation regarding Social Security Disability.