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Philadelphia Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability Law Blog

Hepatitis A and the risk of infection to food industry employees

If you work in the food service industry, you may think that your biggest risk of injury comes from a slip and fall while carrying a heavy tray or some sort of injury in the kitchen.

In fact, the biggest risk you face could be on your co-workers' hands -- especially if one or more of your co-workers isn't exactly prudent about washing those hands after using the bathroom.

What if my impairment is not on the SSDI approved list?

Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) are one of the ways that the federal government has to ensure that those who become disabled have some form of income to maintain a livelihood. However, for many individuals suffering with a disability, navigating the system and understanding how to get the most out of SSD to help make life livable gets overwhelming very quickly. This is especially true when it comes to illnesses or injuries that are not apparently included in the standard list of medically approved impairments.

In general, SSD benefits may be available if you suffer from blood disorders, immune system disorders, mental or neurological disorders, cardiovascular or respiratory issues, or problems with your musculoskeletal systems or senses. As wide-ranging as these may seem, there are still many illnesses that are not specifically noted in the approved impairments.

How to apply for Social Security Disability for mental conditions

Mental conditions are not exempt from Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. In fact, these issues are discussed in Section 12 of the Blue Book published by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here's some advice on applying for Social Security benefits for mental conditions.

The mental conditions covered by the SSA in the Blue Book include the following:

How do Social Security Disability and income benefits differ?

When it comes to Social Security benefits, it is easy to confuse which benefits you may be eligible to receive because of a disability and which you might receive when you reach retirement age. In broad strokes, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are issued to workers who suffer a long-term injury, while Social Security Income (SSI) is issued to workers who reach the age of retirement or within a few years of it.

SSD benefits are not given out to just anyone who claims an injury. The process of qualifying is very lengthy — usually at least five months from when you first apply — and there are no guarantees. Not only must you meet many standards of eligibility, you must prove that your disability is valid and long-term.

How to work while receiving Social Security benefits

Receiving Social Security benefits does not stop anyone from working a job if they so choose. These benefits simply help disabled and sick people pay their bills if they cannot work. But, if your injury or illness is not completely debilitating and you wish to work while receiving benefits, it is possible under the rules of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

When it comes to Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the SSA pays out these benefits to people who are over the age of 65, blind or disabled and who have little financial resources or income. It is possible for you to work despite your disability and still earn SSI benefits. The benefits can be earned up until the earnings, combined with any other type of income, surpasses the SSI limit. Should the SSI payments stop because of hitting the limit, Medicaid coverage should still continue.

Do you have to see the company doctor in Pennsylvania?

If you're injured on the job in Pennsylvania and you want to file a workers' compensation claim, your employer does have the right to determine which physicians you can see -- within limits.

Learning more about what limits your employer has to follow gives you the information that you need in order to keep control over your own medical care and future.

Pennsylvania ABLE allows saving without jeopardizing benefits

A new program spearheaded by Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey will allow those with disabilities to save money without endangering their Social Security benefits. Pennsylvania ABLE, which operates under the federal ABLE Act, creates an exception for those living with disabilities to have savings up to $100,000 without disqualifying themselves from government assistance.

The program is built to work in tandem with Social Security and Supplemental Security Disability Income, allowing anyone who qualifies for these programs to enjoy the savings exception. In practice, the program operates much like a special needs trust, allowing those with disabilities to exercise wisdom and save money without the fear that their benefits will evaporate.

Diseases caused by asbestos in Philadelphia

Asbestos was a popular item used in construction decades ago. As many commercial and residential buildings are renovated, the asbestos is removed by professionals to bring the buildings up to code. Asbestos was not only used in construction, but also at shipyards across the country. Here are some of the diseases caused by asbestos in Philadelphia.

Ovarian cancer can be caused by asbestos. A study performed in 2012 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirmed that exposure to asbestos can cause this type of cancer in women. A large number of the cases confirmed were actually present in women who had husbands or fathers who worked in industries that use asbestos.

New rules would allow insurers to deny opioid coverage

Several states are considering new rules for combating opioid use that place injured workers in a difficult position when it comes to recovery. The rule changes, if instituted, will give state regulatory bureaus that oversee workers' compensation claims the power to demand that injured employees be incrementally denied coverage for painkillers after an injury.

The motivation for these rule changes is complex. On the one hand, it is becoming widely accepted that opioid painkillers are abused regularly and often lead to life-altering addiction. In Pennsylvania, about one out of every 10 people prescribed some form of opioid after an injury develops a dependency on the drugs. The hard truth of the matter is that opioid addiction regularly leads to destructive life choices or dependency on other, more dangerous and available drugs, such as black tar heroin and methamphetamine.

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Attorneys Recognized For Excellence

Our Philadelphia firm and attorneys have received numerous accolades in the area of workers' compensation law. Several of our attorneys have been recognized by their peers and listed in Super Lawyers since 2006. The Super Lawyers process recognizes the top lawyers in their fields in Pennsylvania.

Since 2010, our law firm has been rated as a tier-one law firm for workers' compensation law claimants in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report — Best Law Firms Edition.

Since 2009, Jason Krasno has been selected to the Best Lawyers® "America's Best" series. The Best Lawyers® award is given only to a handful of attorneys throughout the United States each year. Jason was also selected as a top workers' compensation attorney. You can see the articles on Jason in Newsweek's Aug. 23, 2010, edition.

Krasno Krasno & OnwudinjoWhen You Need A Workers' Compensation Or Social Security Attorney
Serving Philadelphia Since 1936

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Philadelphia, PA 19102

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Phone: 215-310-0001
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