Posts By: Grace Linthicum

Do I Need an Attorney to Apply for Social Security Disability?

Do I Need an Attorney to Apply for Social Security Disability?

 

If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability, you may have many questions. One question most people have is, when will I need an attorney? My answer to that question is: immediately.

  1. An attorney can review your age, education, past work, and impairments to determine if you are a good candidate to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. The sooner you know if you’re a good candidate, the better able you are to prepare for your future.
  2. If you wait to apply for Social Security Disability benefits it could affect the date you begin receiving benefits. If you wait two years to apply and are denied, then you will have to wait another two years to get a hearing. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will have a hearing if you’re denied.
  3. If you’re denied, an attorney can begin the appeal process immediately or discuss other options for benefits if you’re not a good candidate for Social Security Disability benefits.

A few other common indicators for whether you need an attorney:

 

  • Your doctor says you are going to be out of work for a while
  • Your doctor says you cannot work
  • You’ve been diagnosed with a severe condition/impairment
  • Your doctor says you cannot go back to the job you were doing
  • You’ve had a major surgery that will affect the rest of your life, such as a spinal cord stimulator, stroke, heart attack, etc.

 

It is also important to tell your doctor that you’re applying for Social Security Disability benefits. It is essential to inform your doctor of all of your impairments — both mental and physical — if your doctor doesn’t know about it, it will not be in your medical records. Social Security reads your medical records to determine how your impairments affect your work, so it’s important that nothing is left out. Most doctors know what key language to write in your medical records to help Social Security find you disabled.

 

If you are applying for Social Security Disability, give us a call for a free consultation. With more than $275 million in awards and settlements, Oxner + Permar has the experience, knowledge, and commitment to protect your rights.

My claim was denied – What now?

My claim was denied – What now?

Having your claim denied can feel like a dead end. However, just because your claim has been denied, doesn’t mean your case is over. When your workers’ compensation insurance company denies your claim, they’re basically saying that they don’t think they are responsible for paying for your injuries.

A lot of workman’s compensation law is determined by laws that can be up for interpretation. That’s why attorneys are the best people to interpret relevant statutes and analyze claims. Because so much is open to interpretation, claims are denied for all sorts of reasons, and just because one law was interpreted one way for another case, doesn’t mean it’ll be interpreted the same way for your case.

When you receive a denial, your attorney will do two main things:

  1. Send a list of Interrogatories to the Defendants.
    Interrogatories really just means a list of questions. These questions are designed to help your attorney figure out why the claim was denied and discover any information that was not available before. Generally they have about 30 days to fill them out, though they can file for an extension. Chances are you and your attorney will receive a list of interrogatories from the defense as well.
  2. File a Hearing Request.
    This will allow the Deputy Commissioner to determine if your denial was improper – if so your case will go to court. It will also give you and the defendants a chance to go to mediation and settle your case outside of court. As it can take around 6 months to actually get a hearing, mediation is a good option in the meantime.

If you can afford it, we highly recommend that you continue seeking treatment until your hearing. Not only will it be beneficial to your health, but it gives us a better understanding of your medical condition, which gives us a better understanding of your case.

If your workers’ comp claim was denied, there are still plenty of opportunities to come to a settlement. Be sure to contact an experienced attorney who will help guide you through the process.

 

What Does it Mean to Settle on the Rating?

What Does it Mean to Settle on the Rating?

This is an excellent question that I often hear from clients who were injured at work: “What does it mean to settle on the rating?” In order to understand what this means it’s important to first know what a rating is. Ratings are given to physical injuries to describe how much or little ability you’ve lost in your injured body part.

For instance, if you sustained a shoulder injury, your doctor may give you a 5% rating. This means that your shoulder is working at 95% of its original capacity. In other words, you’ve lost 5% of your original mobility in that shoulder. Typically, your rating will be assigned by your physician at the end of treatment.

So how does that rating affect your settlement? Your rating is equal to a particular dollar amount that you are owed. There is a specific calculation for determining this amount. Each body part is assigned a number of weeks. Then, they multiply that number by the rating percentage and workers’ compensation rate.

Let’s say you have injured your back and received a 10% rating. A back injury is worth 300 weeks. If your workers’ compensation rate is $300, you’d multiply 10% x 300 x 300. So if you settled on the rating, your settlement would be $9,000.

It’s always a good idea to speak with an attorney who is experienced in workers’ compensation to help you navigate terms such as this. It can take a huge headache out of trying to figure out what you need to know for your case. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney.

To “settle on rating” means that you will receive a sum of money determined by the degree of your injury and where you were injured. If you’ve been injured at work, contact an experienced attorney to find out if this is relevant to your case.

If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied, Is My Case Closed?

If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied, Is My Case Closed?

If you file for workman’s compensation, one of the most disheartening things is to have your claim denied — especially if you were counting on your benefits to help make ends meet while waiting to be able to return to work. It can feel like having a door slammed on your only viable option after a work injury. Keep in mind that just because the insurance company has denied your claim, your case is not necessarily closed.

Top view of a rubber stamp with a giant word "Work injury claim - denied " isolated on white background

The fact is, insurance companies deny compensable cases all the time. You’re not out of options. At Oxner + Permar, we work with our clients to evaluate their claims and explain their options. For instance, your insurance company may only be willing to offer a settlement. We’re more than happy to evaluate an insurance company’s offer to determine if it is fair. We want to make sure that our clients are receiving the compensation that they deserve.

As an injured employee, you have the right to be heard in a court of law and to have a judge determine the compensability of your claim. We don’t just offer guidance, we’ll fight to have your claim deemed compensable and for the insurance company to be ordered to provide adequate compensation. Don’t let an insurance company call the shots for you. Have someone on your side who knows the law and is willing to fight for you.

If your claim is denied, your case doesn’t have to end there. Call Oxner + Permar for a free consultation and talk with an experienced attorney about your options.  

Can I File a Workers’ Comp Claim If I Work For a Temporary Work Agency?

Can I File a Workers’ Comp Claim If I Work For a Temporary Work Agency?

When an employee is injured at work, we always tell our clients that they should file a claim with their employer as soon as possible. However, if you work for a temporary agency you might be wondering, how does that work for me? Can I still file a claim if I work for a temporary staffing agency?

When clients ask me this, my response is “Yes!” You absolutely can still file a workman’s comp claim if you work for a temp agency. Under the NC Workers’ Comp Act, you are entitled to benefits.

Generally, claims are still filed in the same way a permanent employee would; however, the key difference is that you are filing a claim against the temporary work agency and the insurance company not the contracted employer.

If you are injured as a temporary employee then you must inform both your temporary work agency and the employer you are doing work for. For instance, let’s say you’re employed by ABC Staffing Agency, and they place you at Bob’s Truck Shop. You begin work there and things are going well, but one day an accident occurs and you break your arm. You must file an incident report detailing the accident and your injury with both Bob’s Truck Shop and ABC Staffing Agency.

If you work for a temporary staffing agency and are injured while on the job, you have rights and may be entitled to benefits. At Oxner+Permar, we have experience working with all kinds of employees, and we’re dedicated to making sure that you receive the settlement that you deserve.

Did you know that as a temporary employee, you’re still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits? If you have any questions concerning workers’ comp and temporary employment, contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.

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