Schott Mauss & Associates, PLLC
Helping Iowans Who Are Injured And Disabled Obtain The Benefit They Deserve

Des Moines Disability And Injury Legal Blog

Consider legal help when injured at work

Previously on this blog we discussed repetitive motion injuries and the effect they can have on your ability to work. Unfortunately, these are not the only risks you might face in the workplace. A scaffolding fall, a machinery pinch or crush and exposure to harsh chemicals can all leave you seriously injured and facing significant losses. Amongst these damages are lost wages and medical expenses. You might also need extensive rehabilitation. If your injury or illness keeps you out of work for a period of time, and the injury was suffered at work, then workers' compensation benefits may be sought.

Recovering these benefits may sound easy enough, but the truth of the matter is that the process for obtaining workers' compensation benefits in Connecticut can be fraught with legal complications. Because of these challenges, many Iowa residents end up seeing their initial workers' compensation claims denied, which leaves them without the financial resources they desperately need. There may be several reasons why one's workers' compensation claim is rejected. Amongst these reasons are claims that an injury pre-existed a workplace accident, an employee's own horseplay caused the injury in question and the employee was engaging in a frolic or detour at the time of the injurious incident.

Can I receive both workers' compensation and SSDI benefits?

Most Iowa workers understand that they can receive compensation to help make financial ends meet after a serious injury. Such benefits could include workers' compensation, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or both.

Workers' compensation benefits only apply to workers who suffer injuries during the course and scope of their job activities. SSDI benefits apply to those who suffer disabling injuries that prevent them from working -- whether it's during their job activities or not. SSDI benefits are also provided through the federal Social Security Administration.

The basics of a bad faith claim

If you've been injured on the job in Iowa, then you're probably finding yourself overwhelmed. You might be struggling to ease your pain, and it might be worrisome to say the least to think that you'll no longer have an income on which to support yourself and your family. Of course, you might take relief in the fact that you might be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, but what happens when an insurance company keeps brushing you off to avoid paying out?

If this happens, you shouldn't continue to sit back and wait for the money to which you are entitled. In fact, you may be able to pursue a bad faith claim. Under the law, insurance companies are supposed to act in good faith and act reasonably when it comes to processing claims. When insurance companies act unreasonably and fail to pay benefits, then a bad faith claim may be justified.

Workers' compensation and repetitive motion injuries

Workplace injuries can occur in a variety of ways. Employers failing to provide proper safety equipment or adequate training, third-parties veering into a construction zone, and even inclement weather can all cause a worker to suffer serious injuries. Yet, sometimes injuries are suffered on the job while carrying out one's day-to-day duties. Even in these circumstances, an individual in Iowa may be able obtain workers' compensation benefits.

One of these routine tasks that can cause serious injuries are those that are repetitive in nature. These types of injuries are extremely common, with tendinitis and bursitis leading the way. Tendinitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed, usually where it connects to the bone. This condition most often affects the shoulder, biceps and elbow. Bursitis, on the other hand, occurs when a sac meant to lubricate areas of friction inside the body become inflamed. This is most commonly seen in the knees, elbows and hips.

SSD claims and the consultative examination

Before a disabled individual In Iowa or elsewhere is able to recover Social Security disability benefits, he or she must prove to the federal government that he or she meets certain requirements. The specific requirements vary depending on the injury or illness at hand, but one's claim usually must be supported by medical evidence that shows the existence of the condition, its severity, and its effect on the claimant's day-to-day life.

Many times, though, claimants put forth evidence that indicates that they have a severe medical condition, but the evidence is not strong enough to make a determination of whether the individual is disabled in accordance with federal requirements. In these circumstances, the Social Security Administration may require a claimant to undergo a consultative examination.

Worker injured at Des Moines construction site

Construction work is amongst the most dangerous in our society. These men and women bravely put their safety on the line in order to build the infrastructure we need to advance our economy and overall well-being. In the process, though, they often perform their duties in close proximity to heavy machinery, fast-moving vehicles and excessive heights. Sometimes, despite utilizing safety equipment provided to them, workplace accidents occur that leave these workers seriously injured.

That may be the case for one man who was injured on the job at a Des Moines construction site. Reports indicate that the man was utilizing some sort of drilling apparatus when it kicked back, causing him to suffer injuries. The extent of the man's harm is unclear at this time, but he was taken the hospital. He apparently was complaining of arm pain at the time.

Workers’ compensation and rehabilitation benefits

Suffering an injury while on the job can affect every area of your life, not only your employment. The time it takes to recover from the injury and get back into the workplace may be short if you are lucky. However, if your injury is complicated or severe, it may takes months or even years before you regain all the function that your injury took away.

In some cases, an injury may permanently impair you, or injure you in such a way that you may make a strong recovery, but simply cannot return to the job you were working when the injury happened. In instances like these, workers' compensation typically provides compensation to cover many aspects of retraining so that you can re-enter the workplace, even if you cannot return to exactly the same position.

Breast cancer and Social Security disability benefits

Cancer is one of those words that we all hate to hear. Yet, it's prevalent enough that this disease has affected just about everyone in Iowa in one way or another, either directly or indirectly. For those afflicted with some variation of this disease, life can take a dramatic turn, and the things that were once easy and enjoyable suddenly become impossible. This includes the ability to work. Those cancer sufferers who are unable to work may not only feel like they've lost their sense of purpose, but also their income. As a result, it can become difficult for them to make ends meet and pay for the medical treatment they need.

Fortunately, these individuals may be able to recover Social Security disability benefits if they can show that they meet the federal requirements necessary to be deemed "disabled." Breast cancer is one of the forms of cancer that may qualify for SSD benefits. In order to do so, though, a sufferer must show one of five existing conditions.

How children qualify for Supplemental Security Income

Many of the discussions that focus on the Social Security disability system revolve around adults who have been rendered unable to work by a serious illness or injury. While these adults in Iowa and across the U.S. certainly make up the vast majority of disability claimants, they are not, by any means, the only individuals who may qualify for disability benefits.

Children, for example, may qualify for Supplemental Security Income if they meet certain federal requirements. Amongst these requirements are a limitation on the amount of income the child has earned in the given year. For example, disabled children who are not blind cannot earn more than $1,180 per month and still qualify for SSI benefits. These children must also demonstrate that they a medical condition that severely limit their functional abilities. Also, the condition in question must also be expected to last for at least a year or result in death.

What benefits can you pursue through workers' compensation?

If you are injured in a workplace accident, then you'll likely face some financial hardship. Although you may have some paid time off built up, it may not be enough to cover the amount of time you'll be away from work. This means that you might end up losing wages during a time when you have to absorb unexpected medical expenses. This hardship can be difficult to overcome, particularly if you don't have significant savings.

Fortunately, Iowa residents may be able to recover workers' compensation benefits. If successfully obtained, you may be able to recover up to 80 percent of your income after taxes, depending on your condition. Other factors can play into the amount you can receive through the system, but the maximum recoverable amount for those deemed to have a permanent partial disability is $1,583 a week. Those who suffer from a temporary total disability or a permanent total disability can recover up to $1,720 a week. This latter amount is the maximum that can be recovered through workers' compensation death benefits, too.

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Schott Mauss & Associates
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Des Moines, IA 50324

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