Monday, November 29, 2010

5 Things to Keep In Mind When Filing For Social Security Disability Benefits

For those of our readers considering filing for Social Security Disability benefits, we are posting this article from another source to give you things to consider. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.

You should seek the advice of a social security disability lawyer before filing a claim for disability benefits. He will verify the information furnished and make changes if necessary taking care that your application fulfills the eligibility criteria specified by the social security administration.

Properly Filled Application

You can download SSD benefit application form from the SSA website or visit the local SSA office for a copy. For an average American filling in the form might seem a complex and daunting task. It would therefore be better to hire the services of a social security disability lawyer who will ensure that you fill in all the required details properly with adequate evidence to back your claims.

Timely Action

Never delay the filing of application for SSD benefits. The processing of the claim and approval might take at least a year even if you are fortunate enough to get through the first time. Any delay in filing the application or failure to furnish information requested by the SSA on time will sabotage your chances even though your case might be genuine.

Employment Record

SSA will take into account your employment history ten years prior to the date of your disability. You should have been employed gainfully for at least five of the ten years prior to being disabled. In addition to this it is important that social security disability insurance was being deducted from your salary. It is important that you have pay slips, bank account statements and other relevant documents to substantiate your claim. SSA will compare the evidence submitted by you with the form W2 submitted by your employer to verify your claim.

Letter from the Employer

You can request your employer to give a written statement that your disability was the cause for being unable to work. You can also ask him to include details of your job profile and your performance before you were disabled. This will give an idea of the way in which disability has rendered you incapable of performing any monetarily productive work. Take the help of a social security disability lawyer for proper guidance in these matters.

Medical Record

This is the most critical record upon which your claim's approval will depend. You should maintain a record of the hospital visits, medications prescribed, investigations done, record of any therapy done, medical bills, and other relevant information. This will serve to impress upon the SSA representatives the extent of disability and the expenditure you are incurring on healthcare after being disabled.

Social security disability lawyer might also request your doctor to give a letter describing your current health status, probable prognosis, and the time it might take for you to completely recover and undertake gainful employment.

It is important to understand the whole process and keep all the relevant data ready. A good social security disability lawyer will guide you at every step of filing the claim and will also regularly pursue the case and update you about the status.

Make an educated decision when looking for the right social security disability lawyer. It's wise to konw what you need to qualify, what to do if you've been denied a claim, and things to be careful of when filing. This social security disability site will break down each medical condition in an easy to understand way, and will help you win your claim!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another gas worker fatality in the Marcellus Shale

There has been another gas worker fatality in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. In this unfortunate and sad instance, a dump truck driver hauling stone to a well site lost control of the truck and ran off the road. The accident occurred on Overton Road in Overton Township, Pennsylvania. Here is a link to an article on the incident from the Towanda Daily Review.

There was another Marcellus Shale gas drilling truck accident yesterday as well. A crane used at one of the drill sites overturned near Granville Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Fortunately, the driver in this incident was not injured, as per the article about the incident in the Towanda Daily Review.

It appears that these types of truck accidents have been occurring on a regular basis. Why is that? Is it due to the amount of truck traffic on the road-- the more traffic will naturally generate more accidents? Is it that the gas workers are being worked too hard and not given enough down time? I don't know the answer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Health Insurance For People with Pre-existing Conditions

Many of our clients have long-lasting, chronic injuries and conditions, even after their case is over. Most insurance companies will not insure them due to these pre-existing conditions. Well, now there's an option.

You may not know this, but Pennsylvania (and many other states) now offer health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, who could not obtain health insurance from any other source. In Pennsylvania, the program is called PA Fair Care and information regarding signing up can be found here. There was a recent article in the Towanda Daily Review about the fact that not too many people know about this health insurance plan, so I'm trying to spread the word. Here are the details:

  • The program offers benefits ranging from preventive care, physician services, prescription medications, diagnostic testing, hospitalization and mental health services
  • To be eligible, applicants must be state residents who have been uninsured for six months prior to applying for coverage through the program
  • Applicants must have a pre-existing medical condition, ranging from diabetes and hypertension to ulcers or arthritis.
  • Individuals who are eligible will have a monthly premium of $283, plus copays and coinsurance

Check out the link above to PA Fair Care and see if it's a good plan for you and your family.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Manufacturer Pulls Darvon, Darvocet Pain Medicine

I'm posting this article because many of our Pennsylvania workers' compensation clients and auto accident clients take pain medications for obvious reasons. Many of these medications are for controlling chronic pain due to very serious injuries. Our clients suffer from life-long pain and disability due to these injuries. With these drugs off the market, although our clients will be safer, they will ultimately have fewer choices to manage their pain.

From ABC NEWS- Health:

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it is pulling off the U.S. market the prescription painkillers Darvon and Darvocet, which combines Darvon with the aspirin substituteacetaminophen, because of new scientific evidence they can damage the heart, even at recommended doses, or cause fatal cardiac abnormalities. The agency now is asking manufacturers of generic propoxyphene to do the same.

The drugs have been banned in Great Britain since 2005. The European Medicines Agency in June 2009 recommended their gradual removal from the European Union market after concluding risks, including the risk of fatal overdose, outweighed pain-relieving benefits."

Chesapeake Energy opens $7 million "Man Camp" in Athens Township

Finally, Chesapeake Energy and Nomac Drilling opened up the "Man Camp" in Athens Township, Pennsylvania. The facility will house approximately 276 employees of Chesapeake Energy and Nomac Drilling. The facility will also serve as a training center for new employees.

I hope the training will have a significant focus on safety. Carroll & Carroll, P.C. has handled many workers compensation cases for gas drilling employees, including drill site workers and truck drivers. Drilling sites can be dangerous places. There have been several employee deaths at the sites around Bradford County, Sullivan County, Tioga County and Susquehanna County.

Here are links to articles from the Towanda Daily Review and the Sayre Morning Times. The Daily Review article has an imbeded video presentation from a Nomac Drilling spokes-person.

The Eastern Training Center and Housing Facility, located on Lamoka Road, has 11 buildings, including six dormitories, a cafeteria, a training center, a non-smoking recreation center, a smaller recreation center for workers who smoke, and a laundromat.

Nomac Drilling LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How much is this going to cost me?

I often hear this question when new clients come to the office for the first consultation. This question is often asked in both personal injury cases (auto accidents, slip and fall, defective products) as well as workers' compensation cases.

If you felt the need to contact a personal injury attorney, we can just go ahead and assume that you have suffered enough. Our initial consultation is free, and if we determine that you have a case, you won’t pay us a cent unless we get you good results. Our fee is based on a percentage of your settlement or judgment.

In Pennsylvania workers' compensation cases, our fee is set by statute at 20% of whatever benefits we obtain for you. Also, we will cover any litigation costs that are necessary to win your workers' compensation case. An average workers' compensation case could cost up to $5,000.00 to litigate. If we are successful, the workers' compensation insurance company will pay those litigation expenses, above and beyond any award you've won.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Water tanker truck rolls over in Camptown, PA

Via the Towanda Daily Review:

A Williamsport man was transported to Robert Packer Hospital after the water tanker truck he was driving rolled over in an accident Monday night on state Route 409 in Camptown, police said

The truck, which was operated by 49-year-old William McClelland of Williamsport, was carrying a full load of fresh water to a gas well site, state police said.

The truck was coming down "a steep grade" at the time of the accident, State Police Cpl. Roger Stipcak said. "It looks like his brakes failed" and the vehicle gained speed on the incline, he said.

C&C Law has been seeing a lot of these types of truck accidents. In many instances bad roads are the cause of the problem. There has been a significant increase in the amount of truck accidents in Bradford County and surrounding counties due to the Marcellus Shale gas drilling.