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Canton, Ohio, Workers' Compensation Blog

Will new administration impact Social Security Disability?

While the transition from President Obama to President Trump has seemingly led to news headlines on a daily basis, much of the focus is on personnel issues within the new administration and not on policy reform, which was a priority of the Trump campaign. While the Trump presidency is still in its infancy, we do know that there have been many promises to make cuts in many federal departments, although the Social Security Administration was not expected to be part of the cuts.

This is likely to change, however, as the new budget released this week includes a $1.7 trillion dollar cut to assistance programs and social insurance, including the Children's Health Insurance Program, food stamps and Social Security Disability. It seems as though despite previous promises that he would not cut spending on Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, the White House is starting to try to form a distinction between "core" Social Security, as White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney put it in an interview in March, which was later confirmed in a follow-up talking points memo.

How OSHA protects workers

Although a focus on labor rights and employee safety has been on the minds of many Americans since the start of the labor rights movement in the early 20th century, it was not until the 1970's when a serious effort was made to protect workers with the founding of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as "OSHA." This helped set industry standards for employee protections, working with both employers and their employees to ensure that every effort is made for a safe working environment.

Employers must adhere to strict rules with regards to safety and hazards in the workplace. They must make sure that employees are fully trained and equipped with safety equipment and accessories at no charge to assure their safety. They must also take proactive measures to assure that working conditions for their employees are free of all known hazards. They must also post OSHA posters at the jobsite and keep a record of any injury or citations that occur on the job.

How does cancer affect the body?

Cancer is among the leading causes of death and disabilities. The Social Security Administration lists cancer among the illnesses that qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits. While almost all of us know someone who has been affected by cancer, you may not know what exactly cancer is, or how it affects the body.

The human body consists of trillions and trillions of cells, which make up every part of the human body. Each cell has its own role in the body, and each cell has a specific "shelf life," or programmed cell death, also called apoptosis. When the body is affected by cancer, mutated cells can disrupt the body's natural functioning, creating cells that act differently. The cells may not only multiply, but travel to different parts of the body, spreading and wreaking havoc and causing serious disabilities and often death.

I have diabetes. Do I have a disability?

Diabetes is a relatively common disease, and for this reason, many people do not consider this illness to be a disabling condition. While the severity of a case of diabetes varies on a case-by-case basis, many people find that the effects of this disease leave them unable to work and participate in everyday activities.

For many in Ohio who suffer from this disease, diabetes is a disability. It may keep you from holding a regular job and supporting your family, and you may have a valid claim to Social Security Disability benefits because of it. Securing the support you need is not an easy process, and there are many benefits to walking through this process with the help of an attorney.

How does the Social Security Disability appeals process work?

If you are already suffering from a serious injury, illness or mental condition that prevents you from working, the last thing you want to worry about is having your Social Security Disability claim denied. But, the reality is that a majority of claims are in fact denied. Many are denied simply because the conditions of the disability do not meet with the criteria outlined by the Social Security Administration. But, other times, your disability may in fact follow the necessary guidelines, but the application itself was not enough to prove your case.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must prove that your condition prevents you from maintaining gainful employment and that the condition is expected to end in death or last at least a year. When you fill out your form, it is wise to include as much information as possible, including a note from your doctors and medical professionals who have worked with you, as well as documentation on your medical history, the condition's prognosis and even a list of all the medical treatments and prescriptions related to the condition.

Asbestos illnesses still haunt many Americans

Tens of thousands of victims throughout the world, over 107,000 each year, according to the World Health Organization, suffer from asbestos-related illnesses each year. The product became popular due to its durability and versatility. It was used for a variety of products, from commercial and home construction mixed with cement, woven into fabrics and used as insulation and even for fireproof vests. But, while its heat resistance properties were helpful, little did everyone know that the fibers from the product were highly toxic, known to cause mesothelioma cancer.

It is known to affect a wide variety of workers, especially those in the construction industry, such as plumbers, electricians and pipefitters, as well as shipbuilders and those in the electrical power industry. The product can not only affect workers, but residue and remnants of the product can be taken home while clinging to a worker's clothing and become inhaled by a worker's family as well, becoming a deadly second-hand hazard.

Dealing with severe head injuries is not easy

One of the most complex systems known to mankind is the human brain. With millions of cells working together to form complex thoughts, memories and creativity, not to mention guiding all movements, voluntary and involuntary, in the human body, it comes as no surprise that this vital organ is well-protected with a thick skull. Unfortunately, the brain is also very fragile and is vulnerable to injury when an impact strikes a person's head.

Although many head injuries are minor, harder impacts on the brain could lead to very serious and severe head injuries, often called "traumatic brain injuries." Common causes of brain injuries include slip and falls, sports-related impacts and accidents in vehicles and in the workplace.

Immigrant workers at risk of injuries

Accidents can happen at any kind of workplace, to any kind of worker. However, some types of workplaces are more prone than others to the types of accidents that cause serious injury. Most workers in Ohio have legal protections in place to help them if they are injured on the job, but some types of workers lack protections, and some are vulnerable to being pressured out of asserting their rights.

Immigrants, many of whom work in Ohio's agricultural industry, are particularly vulnerable. According to the Immigration Worker Project, an Ohio nonprofit organization, there are between 63,500 and 70,300 rural immigrants and farm workers in the state.

The high cost of hospital worker injuries

When you think of the most dangerous jobs, working in a hospital is probably not at the top of your list. In reality, Ohio hospital workers face a higher risk of an injury and missing a day of work than individuals who work in construction or manufacturing. Despite the fact that doctors, nurses and techs put their own health and safety at risk every time they walk through the door, it can be remarkably hard for them to secure workers' compensation benefits when needed.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the average hospital injury can cost far more than $10,000. Estimates also suggest that the total cost of hospital injuries is around $2 billion annually. The steep cost of injuries may be one reason why employers and insurance providers may make it difficult to secure money needed for recovery. 

What types of Social Security disability are available?

For decades, the Social Security Administration has been helping millions of Americans who suffer from debilitating conditions that prevent them from working by providing financial relief. There are two types of Social Security disability available, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, and Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI.

Social Security Disability Insurance is for Americans who have been paying into the program through payroll tax contributions. Supplemental Security Income is available for Americans who have not paid into the SSDI program, but who meet certain minimum financial thresholds. If it can be proven that your financial situation meets these criteria, you may be eligible. Supplemental Security Income is also available to the blind and disabled children.