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

Des Moines Disability And Injury Legal Blog

Farm accidents can justify workers' compensation claims

Accidents can happen at any kind of workplace, but some professions and workplaces are more dangerous than others. Many people in Iowa's agricultural industry work around heavy equipment and potentially hazardous chemicals every day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the agricultural industry employed more than 2 million workers in 2017. Each year, hundreds of these workers are killed while performing their job duties. Accidents related to transportation, which includes overturned tractors, are the biggest cause of fatalities in this line of work. Those who lose a loved one in a farm accident can suffer tremendously, and they are often left with the financial realities that accompany unexpected medical and funeral expenses, as well as lost wages.

On-the-job head injuries can end careers

Suffering an injury at work can cause many complications, both for the injured worker and for those who rely on them. This is particularly true when a worker suffers a head injury, which can cause many symptoms that impact their professional and personal lives. Unfortunately, head injuries do not always cause pain or other obvious symptoms when the injury occurs, and the symptoms may not arise for days or weeks.

If you recently suffered a head injury on the job, your employer may discourage you from seeking workers' compensation, or the insurer providing coverage may attempt to dismiss your claim. Head injuries can impact workers in many ways and deserve direct medical treatment just like any other injury. Be sure to build a strong workers' compensation claim to keep your rights in Iowa protected while you work toward a full recovery from your injury.

SSD benefits for those with Parkinsonian syndrome

Being diagnosed with a serious medical condition can deliver a severe emotional blow. As these individuals struggle to cope with the reality of their conditions and seek ways to plan for their futures, they may also find it challenging to work. When their injury or illness leaves them unable to work and their condition is expected to last for a significant period of time or result in death, then they may be deemed disabled by the government, meaning that they might be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The government assesses every condition differently for SSD benefits purposes, though, which is why Iowans need to understand exactly how they can qualify for benefits under their particular medical situation.

Parkinsonian syndrome, which derives from Parkinson's disease, is recognized by the Social Security Administration as a disabling condition. Before it can be deemed as such, though, a claimant for SSD benefits must prove that he or she meets certain requirements. To start, the individual must have sought treatment for at least three consecutive months. If, despite that treatment, the individual still suffers form impaired motor function in at least two extremities that causes extreme limitations, then he or she may be deemed disabled. This is often evidenced by showing challenges related to standing, balancing and using one's arms.

Initial workers' compensation claims require diligence

No profession in Iowa is safe from workplace dangers. Some jobs, of course, pose more threats than others, but even those who normally work behind a desk can end up suffering on-the-job injuries. The harm caused in a workplace accident can run the spectrum of severity, too. Some individuals are able to return to work quickly, thereby incurring minimal losses. Others, though, face harm that is debilitating or fatal. Regardless of the circumstances, workers' compensation benefits may be available to help these individuals secure the financial resources they need to acquire appropriate medical treatment and recoup their lost wages.

Most people who are injured on the job need compensation quickly. They oftentimes are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and sudden unexpected medical bills can upend their financial stability. Unfortunately, initial workers' compensation benefits are sometimes denied. There are a number of reasons why a claim may be denied, including insufficient evidence demonstrating that the injuries in questions were caused or exacerbated while performing one's job duties.

Calls for investigation into adjudication of SSD claims

It's no secret that many Social Security disability claims are initially denied. There may be a number of reasons for these denials, including insufficient medical evidence and work history. As frustrating as this may be, a recent study may be shedding light on the lax review system SSD claims undergo, which could be costing countless Americans -- including those right here in Iowa -- the financial support they deserve under the law.

In many instances, Social Security disability claims are reviewed by doctors. The issue, as highlighted by recent reporting, is that many of these doctors are paid for each case that they analyze and make a decision on. This has caused some reviewing doctors to make decisions on as many as five claims per hour. These are rushed decisions that are likely based on only pieces of one's claim rather than its entirety.

Summertime and heat stroke: Be sure to protect yourself

If you work outdoors during the hot summer months in Iowa, it's imperative to protect yourself against the heat. Failing to do so can result in a variety of health concerns, such as heat stroke and dehydration.

Heat stroke is a serious heat injury that can result in illness or death if left untreated. For example, if you don't receive immediate treatment after overheating, it could cause damage to your internal organs.

Firefighters may be at increased risk of occupational disease

There are many noble professions. Firefighter is certainly amongst them. While this occupation is noble, it is also dangerous. These brave men and women put their lives on the line on a daily basis to help keep Iowans safe. Sadly, even if they are able to survive each individual fire unscathed, these firefighters' exposure to airborne chemicals oftentimes causes them to develop occupational diseases such as cancer.

Tragically, this isn't an uncommon occurrence. In fact, nearly two-thirds of all firefighters who died in the line of duty did so after succumbing to cancer. And there are many retired firefighters battling cancer who are not accounted for in these statistics.

Arthritis may be a disabling medical condition

Many people in Iowa struggle with some sort of arthritis. This condition is an inflammation of one or more joints that can cause extensive pain and stiffness. For some, this condition is nothing more than an annoyance. For others, though, arthritis can be debilitating. When arthritis is so severe that it affects an individual's ability to work, it may be time for that individual to consider applying for Social Security disability benefits.

To acquire SSD benefits for arthritis, an individual must present medical evidence demonstrating that they meet the government's definition of disabled. The first way an arthritis sufferer can qualify for these benefits is to satisfactorily show that they have consistent inflammation or deformity of at least one weight-bearing joint that affects their ability to walk. Benefits may also be awarded if the consistent inflammation or deformity affects a joint in the upper body to the extent that it makes it impossible to perform fine motor skills.

Construction accident leaves Iowa worker dead

Construction is a dangerous industry. Workers in this field are at risk of being struck by moving vehicles and falling objects. They themselves can fall from scaffolding or rooftops, and operating machinery can lead to repetitive motion injuries as well as pinching and crushing injuries. Some workers who are injured on the job are lucky enough to obtain a full recovery, but they still face financial hardship while they are out of work thanks to lost wages and medical expenses. While workers' compensation benefits may be available to these individuals, what about those surviving family members who lose a loved one in a workplace accident?

One Iowa family may have to explore whether they can recover workers' compensation death benefits after a fatal construction accident. The incident, which occurred in Cedar Rapids, involved a 47-year-old man who fell from a beam. He was found in an alley with serious injuries. Although he was rushed to the hospital, he later succumbed to his injuries.

Children's disability benefits include the PASS program

Many people in Iowa struggle with disabilities. While many of these individuals are adults who struggle to find a way to make ends meet because they are no longer able to work, some disabled people are children. These individuals, just like their adult counterparts, may be able to qualify for disability benefits. Since these benefits can provide long-term financial relief, it is critical to understand how to obtain and keep them.

Yet, even children who qualify for these benefits may wish to find gainful employment sometime in the future. Multiple government programs exist to help these individuals ease into the workforce without facing financial difficulties due to halted benefits. The Plan to Achieve Self-Support, often referred to as the PASS program, for example, allows an individual to set money aside to further a work-related goal.

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Des Moines, IA 50324

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