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

Des Moines Disability And Injury Legal Blog

How the SSA reassesses disability benefits

It can be emotionally challenging to confront the reality that a medical condition leaves you unable to work. Fortunately, if you meet certain federal requirements, many of which are specific to your particular medical condition, then you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits. Applying for these benefits can be a grueling process, though, resulting in many initial claims being denied. Many disabled individuals wind up having to appeal their denials before they can obtain the benefits they deserve.

Do you need to apply for disability for your minor child?

Even in the best circumstances, having a child and raising them to adulthood is both difficult and incredibly expensive. Families invest tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in the shelter, food, clothing, health care and education of their children. For some families, the costs associated with the care of a child can be far more than what the average family will incur.

A child born with significant disabilities, whether the product of a birth injury or a genetic anomaly, will require more medical care, more expensive childcare and possibly even the full-time assistance of one of the parents. Your family may have to find a way to survive on a single income, regardless of how many children you already have.

State cited for safety violations at psychiatric hospitals

There are a number of dangerous professions here in Iowa. Many of the workers in these occupations could suffer an injury that could drastically affect their lives. A workplace injury can result in extensive medical expenses at a time when an individual is unable to earn a paycheck. These lost wages can exacerbate one's financial troubles, leaving them on unsteady footing.

Sadly, employers who fail to implement proper safety precautions often put employees at risk. This may be the case for many workers at state-run psychiatric hospitals. According to reports, the Iowa Department of Human Services, which is in charge of operating these institutions, was recently slapped with nearly $73,000 in fines due to a number of workplace safety violations.

How symptoms are assessed in an SSD claim

Social Security disability benefits can only be obtained after certain federal requirements are met. While some of these requirements apply to all medical conditions, such as work requirements, others are specific to the medical condition in question. Therefore, those who have been disabled by a medical condition need to seek out an individualized approach when applying for Social Security disability benefits.

A lot of the requirements that must be met to obtain SSD benefits are not clear-cut. Instead, the Social Security Administration relies on a number of factors to make a determination. This is the case when the SSA assesses symptoms stemming from a medical condition. The final determination on the symptoms is critical because it is often indicative of an applicant's severity. Thus, a finding that the symptoms are relatively minor may lead to a denied SSD claim because the condition is not debilitating enough to justify approval.

Iowa firm adept at handling children's disability claims

Learning that your child has a disability can be heartbreaking. Parents in this situation often struggle with the fact that their children will not be able to live what they once considered a normal life. It may be challenging for these children to perform daily tasks, and they sometimes need extensive medical treatment or rehabilitative services. This means that while parents struggle with the emotional aspect of witnessing their child struggle with a disability, there are also very real financial ramifications, too.

Fortunately, the Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income programs may provide relief. These governmental programs recognize a number of disabling conditions in children and, if an individual meets federal requirements, then compensation may be recoverable. These benefits can be a financial lifesaver for parents and the children who are confronted with a disability.

Social Security disability benefits and Down syndrome

For most expectant parents, having a healthy baby is the most important outcome of their pregnancy. As a result, many of these parents take steps to better ensure their children are born without illness or injury. Yet, despite these efforts, some Iowa children are born with serious medical conditions. These conditions can limit the emotional, intellectual, or physical abilities of a child. Making matters worse is the fact that it can be costly to treat these medical conditions, which, in turn, can threaten a family's financial viability. Fortunately, Supplemental Security Income may be available to some of these children and their families.

One common medical condition that may qualify an individual for SSI benefits is Down syndrome. While it is easier for a child with non-Mosaic Down syndrome to qualify for SSI benefits due to the intellectual and neurological limitations that often accompany this condition, those with Mosaic Down syndrome may also qualify. Those in the latter group must simply provide more medical evidence to demonstrate how the condition affects the child's ability to live a normal life.

5 common causes of construction accidents, injuries

Working in the construction industry puts you at risk of many types of injuries. Even minor injuries can cause pain and discomfort, while hindering your ability to do your job in the future.

Here are five of the most common causes of construction accidents and injuries. With this knowledge, you can take steps to enhance your safety on the job site.

  • Falling objects: If anyone is working at height, there's always a risk that an object will fall to the ground below. This could strike you with great force, thus causing injuries ranging from a concussion to broken bones. The best way to protect yourself is to be aware of what's happening above you, while also wearing the appropriate safety gear.
  • Falls: Falls are among the most common types of construction site injuries. These can occur on the ground or at height.
  • Equipment accidents: There is no shortage of equipment on construction sites. From power tools to vehicles, every piece of equipment can help in a variety of ways. However, every piece of equipment can also cause injury if not used in a safe and appropriate manner.
  • Vehicle accidents: For example, you may be staffed with the responsibility of operating a forklift or Bobcat. And even if you're not, you may work in close proximity to moving vehicles. When a vehicle is in motion on a construction site, the risk of an accident is much greater.
  • Repetitive stress injuries: These injuries don't occur immediately, but instead set in over the course of several months or years. For instance, construction workers who regularly lift heavy items may develop issues with their hands, wrists, elbows, knees and/or shoulders.

Animal processing workers susceptible to workplace injuries

It almost goes without saying that the agricultural industry is at the heart of Iowa's economy. Politicians and other public figures often praise Iowa's farmers, shedding light on the important work they perform. Yet, something that is kept more in the dark is the danger that is often seen by those who work in this industry.

Take, for example, those who work in animal slaughtering and processing. These individuals typically work on processing lines where knives, hooks, and saws move at a high rate of speed. While this type of work can result in repetitive motion injuries, it can also lead to amputations and death. In fact, between 2015 and 2018, one worker every other day became so injured that they required hospitalization. Additionally, nearly 10 people in this profession die each year due to work related injuries and illnesses. These statistics are staggering, but they don't even take into account workers who suffer comparatively minor, albeit life-altering, injuries that prevent them from working.

Workers' compensation being withheld? Bad faith may be to blame

Individuals who work in Iowa shouldn't have to fear for their financial stability in the event of a workplace injury. After all, most employers are required by law to carry workers' compensation insurance. This means that those who are hurt while performing their job duties should be able to secure workers' compensation benefits in a timely fashion to help offset their lost wages and medical expenses.

Yet, far too often insurance companies delay paying out on valid claims. For many injured workers, these delays can be financially devastating. They may be put at risk of losing their home and vehicles, and their medical bills may wind up in collections. It may even be challenging for these workers to put food on the table. Some are even forced to turn to high interest loans to make ends meet, which, in turn, can initiate a debt spiral that is difficult to escape from.

A few tips to help secure Social Security disability benefits

As unbelievable as it may sound, approximately 25% of our country's population reports suffering from some sort of disability. That equates to about 61 million people, many of whom are struggling to get by on a day-to-day basis. For those whose medical condition is expected to last for at least a year or result in death, financial assistance may be available through Social Security. Many people believe that obtaining these benefits is as simple as filling out an application, but it isn't quite that simple. Therefore, we're going to discuss a few tips that may help disabled individuals secure the SSD benefits they need.

To start, given the medical detail that the Social Security Administration requires when making a claim determination, it is critical to be thorough when discussing one's medical condition. Must of us don't understand the ins and outs of our medical conditions, which can make it hard to be clear when describing them. Therefore, those pursuing an SSD claim may benefit from having their physician assist them in completing the claim. These medical professionals can be very specific about a condition's current state and its prognosis.

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