Recently, in the wake of record numbers of individuals applying for and receiving Social Security Disability benefits, there has been a great backlash against the whole program. Those individuals who receive SSDI benefits have been unjustly labeled as freeloaders by some who contend they are merely looking for a handout. In reality, there are two main factors contributing to the increase in the number of SSDI applicants and claimants.
As we have discussed in previous posts, employers are expected to provide safe working environments for their employees. Nevertheless, at times employers fail in that regard, often resulting in serious injuries, and in the worst cases, fatalities. According to statistics recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of American workers who died as a result of work-related injuries decreased in 2011 from the year prior.
As any parent can attest, raising children can be challenging and expensive. Parents of children with disabilities and special needs, however, face many extra challenges and expenses. Luckily, in most cases, children with disabilities qualify to receive some sort of disability benefits.
In Pennsylvania, specific types of injuries often dictate the amount of benefits the injured party will receive and the length of time he or she will be eligible for benefits. For example, if an injured worker loses a finger, toe, hand, leg or other appendage in a work-related injury, he or she may be entitled to a certain number of weeks of compensation.
Individuals diagnosed as being autistic often lack the ability to read social cues and interact appropriately in social situations. Categorized as a neuro-developmental disorder that affects how the brain processes information, today an estimated 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed as having autism. While those with autism typically qualify for disability benefits, they face many unique challenges.
Trips, slips and falls cause 15 percent of accidental deaths in North America. Only motor vehicle accidents cause a larger number of accidental deaths in the U.S. Those working in residential care facilities or nursing homes are particularly susceptible to tripping, slipping and falling. Employees at nursing homes are absent from work 2.3 times more frequently than "all other private industry businesses combined," according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
For an estimated four million Americans, until recently there was little hope of treating their debilitating depression. Categorized by pervasive and prolonged periods of extreme sadness that impact an individual's ability to concentrate and enjoy daily life, some individuals who suffer from depression are also eligible for disability benefits. Today there is new hope for individuals for whom the traditional treatments of medication and therapy were ineffective.
As we have discussed in previous posts, employers have a responsibility to provide "safe and healthful workplaces," to ensure their employees can perform their duties without fear of harm. Despite these expectations, employers do not always abide by the safety standards and regulations put in place to create safe work environments. In such situations, the employer may be fined by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to enforce compliance with safety rules to prevent workplace injuries.